LvlUp Game Jam/Train Jam/International Conference on Game Jams/Game Developer’s Conference

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It is 4:30pm and I am very tired due to jetlag. I realized I did not write a post since the Swiss Train Jam, so much as happened since then. I helped at the LvlUp Game Jam in Fribourg. I gave a talk about Game Jams and Game Design.

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The presentation was in French, so I was more comfortable than usually. I really like to give talks and I loved to answer the questions from the future jammers. During the week-end, I was not participating to the game jam, but I could not resist to try to work with Wuthrer. We created a little non-game.

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Of course, it was not about finishing a game, but more about trying something different. Being in a place where people are jamming when you are not is a weird sensation, it is like feeling out of place. Participants asked me questions during the week-end, but I was working on my projects.

The weeks before my departure to the US were intensive. I finally took the plane early in the morning on Wednesday the 9th of March and I arrived the evening in Chicago, where my hosts welcomed me at the airport. After a good night of sleep, I went to the train station and arrived at the Junction bar with a queue of Train Jam people. I went to the back of the queue and meet Chris. We received our Train Jam badge, ate something at the bar, formed team for the game jam and then queued to enter the train.

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There were 200 people ready to board the train and create a game. I decided to create music to be able to move between several groups and have less pressure compare to a game jam where I had to code. I did not sleep well in the train, so it did not help my jetlag. The landscapes were beautiful.

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In the end, I did music for three games. I was not completely happy with my results, I should practice some FL Studio to make some better musics. We finally arrived in rainy San Francisco, everyone presented their games and we went our own way.

I wake up early in the morning to go to UC Berckley for the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creations Events for which I wrote a paper back in January. My talk was about Big Team Game Jams, events focused on emulating the big production feeling and that were practically done in Switzerland.

I was happy to discover the different other works for my master thesis and be able to talk with the authors of the many papers I read for my master thesis. When Sunday was over, I could sleep and visit the city. I had to take this picture:

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And then it was GDC (the Game Developer’s Conference), the biggest conference for game developers around the world (well except a lot of developers from South America and Africa, because it is way too expensive for them to come). It is all about networking and discussing. It is also about parties on the evening, where you can drink and show your game. I did not any booth and did all my marketing guerilla style. You are talking with someone, you ask if they want to test your game and that’s it. I gave a lot of business cards. I had to reprint them. I could go to the Xbox Lounge to talk to Dan Fornace, the creator of Smash Land and Rivals of Aether, something that would be completely impossible otherwise.

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Of course, GDC is not just about showing your game and meeting people. It is also about parties (where you can show your game and meet people, but also drink free beers). I went to the Itch.io party, the github party and the GDC Japan Party.

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I also ate a lot of different local food specialities (burger, burrito, burger,…)

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And on my way back to Zurich, I took the time to visit Chicago, with my awesome couch hosts. I leave you with the million dollar view:

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Swiss Train Jam

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It is 18:32, as I come back for the first experiment shot of the Swiss Train Jam, an 8-hours game jam travelling thourgh the unknown parts of Switzerland. We were 5 participants, changing trains every hour, and jamming in some extreme condition of movement.
The theme that was given by David Javet early in the morning was: Rail. We divided in two teams and the results of the day are two games: Cow Lateral Damage and Meow Railways. I took a lot of pictures and activated my social network mode. As you can see:

My experience was that a trip should at least be 30 minutes to be productive and comfortable. The trip from Lausanne to Montreux was a bit to short, but the pause in Spiez that I was afraid of was actually very welcome. The landscapes of Switzerland are wonderful and oxygen the process of being in front of the computer. We had a lot of fun together and the transit between each train is a nice way to pace the game jam. I learned a lot of useful things for a real first edition and I hope that scaling up the format will not destroy the fun of it.

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SGDA General Meeting


I officially represent the Swiss-French community in the Swiss Game Developer Association. I presented my ideas to bridge the two communities in front of 11 voting members. Swiss Train Jam and Röstigraben Game Jam are on the program for this year, as I want an active way to mix the two communities together to see future collaborations arise.
Yasemin Günay from Kobold Games approached me to present their games and company to the Swiss-French Game Developer Meetup. It is a huge step to consider the position of the Swiss-French community in the SGDA, because with me on board, it legitimates the association in the Romandie. A lot of nice festivals are on schedule and I look forward to participate in them, and already thanks the SGDA for their work to acquire low-cost place for indie game developers.

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