The Taylor University CSE GameJam Fall 2015 grew again this year with 29 registered participants on 13 teams. As I mentioned in the earlier post, the theme was “Survive.” The student teams each took that theme in different directions. There were combat oriented scrollers, dungeon crawlers, puzzles, arcade classics, abstract distance runners, and story driven narratives. The five of us judging (faculty Dr. Jon Denning and Dr. Derek Thompson; alumni Mark Della-Croce (2001), Jon Baugh (1997) and I) had quite a few games to play and judge these past few weeks. After much discussion regarding the qualities of each game and clarifying some qualifications, we determined the winners.
- CranberryCloners by Jacob Bernard, Jonathan Strycker
- Save Them by Dallas Mullet
- Never Fear, Teddy is Here by Neil Perry, Ryan O’Malley, Micah Russel
I want to congratulate all the teams involved. I was very impressed with the originality of many of the games and the hard work put into a single weekend of design and implementation. I hope many of these teams will continue to work on their games to polish them more and release them for others to play. GameJam was an intensely focused and fast-acting event. I think slowing down now, reflecting on these games, and devoting some slowly more thoughtful time to their development could lead to some high quality games. Some of the GameJam games really have a genesis for a great game within them if the students would continue with the iterative design process.
The Spring GameJam 2016 (March 3–5) will coincide with our first time teaching the Game Studies course. Dr. Denning and I are very curious to see how that will impact GameJam. We are hoping the depth and quality of the games produced will increase as many of the students will have greater knowledge and experience from the class. Students will also be studying the iterative design process during the course which should impact the quality of the games they can develop. Personally, I am also hopeful that some student team create a hybrid digital/tabletop games as part of GameJam as well.
If you have thoughts for the next GameJam at Taylor or for our Game Studies course, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.