Fire Monsters – Kid Game Jam 2015 Post-Mortem

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The Kid Game Jam is a game development event that happenend from October the 24th to the 25th, where children decide the artist vision and the rules and professionals create the game. I had the pleasure to work with 5 crazy boys, fully motivated to see their ideas being concretely playable. Our team name (that the children chose) was Epic Players.
First thing on Saturday morning, we played a game where we had to draw the most evil and disgusting monster (I draw Kroko-Capital, a capitalist crocodile) and after draw the biggest fear of this monster (I draw Meow Zedong). This little creation game put our kids in context.
We created the team, centered around the few programmers and then we brainstomred the ideas. Of course, kids always had too complicated ideas, but I was there to guide them on some simpler idea. We settled for a action game where the players incarnated Fire Monsters and killed villagers and fire-fighters that threw them water.

They began to draw and quickly finished all the required assets and then began to disturb me in my programming process. It was to be expected from this game jam, but we could have some educator who could take care of children when the developers were working. At te end of the day, I continued to work back and finished the programming part of the game on the Saturday evening. The Sunday, I took the assets of the children and put them in the game. It was a quick process, finishing the game around 2pm, with a deadline at 4pm (when the parents were coming back). As soon as the game was finished, children could play it and they never stopped.


They were seriously playing from 2pm until 5pm, the game they created. In term of game design, there were a lot of flaws in the game, with broken mechanic. But they still managed to play it over and over again. They had the pleasure to show it to their parents at 4pm. My family also came to see the results.
So what went right:

  • Superb mood with the children and this enfantine touch in the games.
  • Children always happy with their game, even with horrible flaws.
  • Simple idea, with the prototype finished on Saturday evening

What went wrong:

  • Children screaming all around and disturb developers
  • Was a bit sick during the week-end
  • Could have polished a bit more the game on Sunday

At the end, it was a wonderful experience, being myself a bit child-in-heart adult, the fact that children had pleasures filled me up. I would be ready to participate next year again! So, see you Musée du Jeu Suisse and see you in January for Global Game Jam.

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The game in itself is a top-view cooperation beat them all, where players incarnate fire monsters that fights against firefighters and villagers. You can play from  1 to 5 players, depending on the number of controller plugged in the computer. You can move (Left Stick or ASDW or Arrow keys), shoot(Right Stick or Click in the direction of the mouse cursor), link to an other player (Right Bump or SPACE), and shield with a teammate by coming near enough to him.  Here is how it looks like in-game:

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You can download the game here: http://eliasfarhan.ch/FM_Win32.zip or http://eliasfarhan.ch/FM_MacOSX.zip

2 thoughts on “Fire Monsters – Kid Game Jam 2015 Post-Mortem

  1. Thanks for sharing this Elias. I agree, next time there should be someone dedicated to just take the kids out for a while.
    But your game prototype was quite impressive despite the noise and mess that was surrounding the developers. We should call this “extreme gamejamming” 😉

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