Can’t stop the jamming!

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I remember my post from last year. After one year and a half of exhausting jamming and master study, I was starting to get bored by game jams. But I did a game on GameBoy and suddenly I realized something important. Game jams are not just about creating games. It is about living extraordinary experience (painful one too). Oh God I was happy when I compiled the last rom and uploaded it (with my shitty upload bandwidth, I was actually happy to create a 256kB gb rom instead of the usual 100mB .zip files that takes 20 min to upload home).

Jamming is easy for me now, so I try to go outside of my comfort zone on the game ideas. Welcome at Houdini’s for example made me try something new in terms of gameplay. As a beginner game developer, I was focused on creating game in a certain genre. Now, I have several prototypes that I want to continue as game project. For example, I want to have a Soup Raiders TRPG with crazy cartoon mechanics inspired by Disgaea, Fire Emblem and the like.

Jamming is about creating new ideas out of nowhere. I tend to want to create games in the genre I like, but game jams force me to try anything. If my colleagues want to try a specific idea, I bow to that and start to think how I will code it. With the Master in Game Design, I can also think to better way of implementing a mechanic, in a way, I became a gameplay programer.

This month of May was super busy at my job and I did not jam, but I don’t feel I missed something. I was always trying to make one game jam a month. It was my way of being creative. Now, I am also trying new engines (for example, I want to get my hand on Godot 3 as an alternative to Unity) and new platforms (GameBoy, Nintendo DS, Arduboy…).

So, in short, I can’t stop the jamming!

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Indie Train Jam 2017 and GDC17

 

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March was an intense month for me. After we signed the contract with our new publisher Digital Smash for the upcoming release of our game, it was time for Kevin and I to pack our things and to go to the USA for the Game Developers Conference. At the same time, the Nintendo Switch was about to release March the 3rd and it was a really good occasion to get it for 50CHF cheaper than in Switzerland. Nintendo announced a conference at the GDC (I could not attend it, I had to many things to do) but here is a link:

 

However I went to see the post-mortem of Civilization by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley. It was amazing to see the two game designers talking about the birth of this game series. I took 5 pages of notes just from this presentation. You can find it on the vault: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024294/Classic-Game-Postmortem-Sid-Meier

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But before the GDC, I went for the second time to the Indie Train Jam from Chicago to San Francisco! Last year, I could not sleep well in the train, so I was worried on how I could sleep well. Fortunately this time, I slept well enough. I also did music for a team, making it a relaxing jam. Here is a photo of the team:

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If you are looking carefully, you should recognise Jeremy Spillmann from Switzerland. Yes, this year I was not the only Swiss in the train. With this team, we made the game Take Your Shot, a duel game with a twist for pacific players. Here are some more photos from the train:

 

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Then it was time to setup the GDC booth and go to Game Connection America. The #SwissGames booth was all covered in red carpet, we were in the complete end of the booth in the corner, probably not the best place, because not that many people were going through this part. On the other hand, Game Connection America was mostly a B2B  event, pretty boring compared to GDC, so I figured out I could train my soft corporate skills. At least, the venue was in a Baseball stadium:
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So when Game Connection America was over, I was ready for GDC at the #SwissGames booth. I met some very interesting people, networked hard. We went to meet Nintendo to get Splash Blast Panic to go on the Switch. And of course, I did the queue to get a Switch on Friday the 3rd:

 

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But I got one! As soon as the GDC was over, Soufian and I went on a road trip to California Highway One, before I took the plane back home to Geneva. Here are some photos:

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Then I was on my way home, saving the Hyrule Kingdom.

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Global Game Jam 2017 – HoP-PiE-PoP

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For this year’s Global Game Jam, Kevin and I combined our forces with David Javet and Mathieu Pellet from Team Tchagata, and joined later on Saturday by Antoine Tuloup. We jammed with 78 other jammers in Yverdon-les-Bains’ castle:

Over 36,000 jammers in 702 sites across 95 countries have created over 7,000 games during this Global Game Jam week-end all around the world, with everyone starting at their own timezone. As soon as the theme went out at 6:00pm (theme: Waves), we decided to focus on a Puyo Puyo-like type of games, but with items instead of combos attacks. Here is a photo of the complete team:

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The Genre of the game is defined as Waifu Puzzle Battle for Beach Domination, it can be considered as a more ecchi version of Puyo Puyo (generally more targeted towards kids normally). Here are some screenshots or the game:

You can download and play the game here:

http://globalgamejam.org/2017/games/hop-pie-pop

It requires two (sort of standards) controllers.

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