Two19 Game Jam
Game Jams are a really fun way for us to play around with new ideas as a team, usually going from brainwaves to prototype in a day or two. Festival of Explosions our upcoming Kingless expansion, for example, is the product of our last Game Jam back in early 2021.
We try and host at least one Jam sesh every year - this year was no exception! And, for the first time, I wanted to share some of it with you and let you peer behind the curtain.
Given our team has grown from the 3 of us (Alex, Nathan and myself) to include Bianca 👋, I thought it was time to try something a little different with this year's game jam.
So, to kick off, I tasked everyone with pre-preparing an idea before the event. The idea could be as wild or obscure as you like, a completely open field for the imagination to run wild. (Spoiler: run wild it did!).
We'd each then have 15 minutes to present that idea to the team, with a few minutes for Q&A at the end of each presentation. A small buffer to iron out any last-minute kinks or questions people might have had. Everyone presented differently; from PDFs to a pre-recorded video, even a live demo of the idea in the presentation! - This turned out to be a lot more fun than I had anticipated, with equally helpful and insightful probing questions at the end.
We then split into two groups, taking our 2 favourite ideas to work on further. When we regrouped an hour later. We found each of us had contributed a personal touch, taking those initial ideas further far quicker than any of us could have done alone.
The greatest challenge of the day was choosing a single idea for all of us to carry forward into a rapidly designed prototype. With some swift rule writing and the help of some of our favourite design tools, we were able to do a milestone playtest that same afternoon. We have a long way to go but being able to take an idea from its inception to the team having genuine fun playing a first round was fantastic.
Despite picking a single game to work on, ultimately we had 4 stellar ideas from these presentations, 4 ideas that are being cultivated into their own projects and eventually prototypes. As with FoE and Kingless before it, we know all too well just how much these ideas morph over time!
This is where I have to be a little secretive. I can, however, share that all of these ideas take place within the same world as Kingless (and FoE). Things are getting a little bigger than the Hammer & Crown!