Post-Mortem Frankenstein Play Jam and Epic Game Jam Round #3

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What a monster did I create. “Return to Castle Frankenstein” is an experimental game, switching narration and mix of horror. I had to put together completely different assets and the result is a monster of a game. You can download it here.

Okay, I cheated. I did not use all the assets, but I could not do miracles. I had a very limited amount of time and exams at the same time. The execution was pretty random, but it is the goal of a Play Jam. I am expressing this notion of play, not of game, no rules, fuck the rules.

Did I enjoy it more than typical game jam? Yes and no. When you see a new asset arriving, you think about it, you try to think how the hell you are going to put it in the game. The funniest part is when artists only gave me atlases of their models. Do not expect me to put the arm at the correct place. The end of the game jam was though. I just finished my master and I just wanted to sleep, but no, I had to finish the game that so many people were waiting, and I was alone.

When I released the game, I enjoyed a whole day of sleep. And I also started to move out from Zurich, putting everything in boxes.

As soon as all my boxes were in my room in Lausanne, I left for the 3rd round of the Epic Game Jam, completely exhausted. Like every Epic Game Jam, I went with Frederic Dubouchet and we planned to crate a 3d game on Unreal Engine. With Ramiz as an artist, I started to create the music.
We finally crated Green’s Revenge a 3d shmup with a 2/3 camera view: here.

During this summer, I will start working on Soup Raiders, a tactical-RPG remake of our GBJam 4 game Black Whiskers with Alexis Simonetta, a lot of fun in perspective. I will also continue to work on Splash Blast Panic, adding Online Multiplayer, a lot of fun in perspective :D.

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Frankenstein Play Jam (9-19th June)

Game jams are mostly gameful events with playful outcomes. It means that game jams are regulated events that allow participants to create crazy games. But often, as we participate in game jams, the event by itself is not fun or memorable, except for exceptional and extraordinary moments. In the continuum of Ludus (game with rules, like video-game, chess) and Paidia (game without rules, role-play), what if game jams become Paidia events, what if game jams become play jams.

In this context, let me present the Frankenstein Play Jam. Inspired by the Kid Game Jam, anyone can come and create assets (images, animations, music, sounds), that I have to include in a final game and that is the only constraint. There is no theme, anyone can do any assets (respecting the Swiss Law, which is pretty unrestrictive). The goal is a merge of several art style in a Frankenstein monster manner.

If you are interested, send me a mail at: elias [dot] farhan [at] gmail [dot] com

You can import your assets here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7RPgWbE-u7UeXVRMDl3MlpIb3c&usp=sharing

You can also participate locally, from June the 12-19, in room 5K07, Toni-Areal, Zurich.

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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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