Category «Game Jam»

Forest Poems

The Climate Change Jam we hosted on Alakajam has ended, and we actually managed to submit an entry too. Our idea was to bring the need for our planet's reforestation to people's attention. Ultimately, Forest Poems became less of a game but a collaborative forest where participants can create and add their own small soil patches with trees which also form a poem.

The texts are semi-randomly generated from a list of words, chosen from five different nature-themed poems by five different authors (you can find the credits in the game). Prominently on Forest Poems' start screen are three links to various sites concerned about planting trees.

We like how players are have to place their trees in a pleasant composition while also thinking of a somewhat meaningful poem. And afterwards it has to fit to the already existing patches, slightly challenging creativity a third time. And of course, seeing the virtual forest grow over time is a joy to watch.

Ten projects were submitted to the Climate Change Jam - more than we expected! Mostly because the theme is hard and does not spark "fun"; which is the reason we wanted to do it. Game jams are awesome, and we think they could be inspiration for "more" than just throw-away projects. In any case we want to thank all the participants (and those who tried)!

By the way, this week the gamescom in Cologne starts. Jana will be there for a few days - if you see her, say hi!

Climate Change Jam announced

Over at Alakajam!, the site for excellent game jamming, we will host an event with a bit more significance than usual. We were thinking about how people have so much creative energy when participating in game jams, and how this energy could be used for an important topic, maybe the most important one of our time. So, here it is now:

It would great if more people see the urgency of our planet's climate crisis too and submit a statement - it doesn't even have to be a game - to the Climate Change Jam next month. While the event probably won't make a big difference in itself, it would be a symbol.

Climate Change Jam is officially happening from August 10th to 18th, 2019. The official announcement post is here, where you will also be able to submit your entry.

Let's make this happen!

bpb game jam 2018: Hugs & Kisses

Just like in 2016, we were invited to a local game jam in Remscheid, Germany, hosted by the bpb (the German Federal Center for Political Education) to make a political statements through game concepts and prototypes. As such, the theme was a bit different than the usual jams: "Discimination, ostracism, radicalization".

Our own entry is a bit more game-y then we would have wanted; but after not being able to find a more meaningful idea (and message) for nearly half a day, we went with one of the earliest concepts we had. So we created a 2-player co-op game about cats and dogs, and about working together to keep all the citizens happy. We called it Hugs & Kisses.

The world map is divided in three zones. The dogs' zone (blue), the cats' zone (red) and the neutral zone between them. In the dog country are mostly dogs and only a few cats, and vice-versa. The neutral zone has both species equally. The gameplay is simple (and inspired by Overcooked): you have to feed the cats and dogs in your country, otherwise they get unhappy. So if there's a cat in cat land craving for fish, the cat player goes to the fish spawning point and carries the fish to the hungry cat.

Only when there is a cat in dog land asking for fish it gets interesting, because a player cannot enter the other player's zone, so they have to work together and trade the fishes and bones with each other by throwing them around.

bpb game jam 2018 - Hugs & Kisses

Be aware that YouTube videos try to set cookies and contact Third Party servers!

And sometimes, a community member gets sad and needs to be hugged. <3

In any case, should the needs of a citizen get ignored for too long, they become mad - i.e. they explode and take parts of the level geometry with them. Discrimination has a fatal impact in this case indeed.

You can try our little jam game on itch.io (Windows only). It's best played with two gamepads, but keyboard is fine too. Be aware that it really is a prototype, so there is no real lose or win condition. But see if you can beat the game without anybody blowing up!

By the way, if you are interested in the development of games, you might want to read a short article about Hugs & Kisses on my own blog - it mostly describes the process of creating the level for the game.

Of course it was also very nice to meet many teams from all over Germany and Austria at the jam, seeing their games come to existence during the three days, and of course having a good time together. If you want to find out more about them and their games (and speak a bit of German), click your way through the bpb game jam wiki and have a look at their projects!