Game Jam: Creating a game in 48 hours

So a few weeks ago my brother and I did a game jam. Brian, who has his own game development company, talked me into spending the weekend at the Google Launchpad in San Francisco to do a charity game jam. Now I didn't really know much of anything about game jam's and while I've worked with Brian on his other games, generally as artist and alpha tester, I haven't exactly done much game development. But is sounded like fun and was for a good cause, UCSF Children's hospital, so I agreed.

We showed up on Friday evening and did the meet and greet, dinner and introduction to the game jam. The goal was simple have a working game by the end of the weekend. Getting there was not nearly as easy. However we rose to the challenge. At 2000 hours on Friday we got to work brainstorming. We had a number of decisions to make the key ones were:

  • Platform: PC
  • Type of game: Collectathon
  • Perspective: 3rd person
  • Theme: Time travel and Museum

The idea for the museum cam from looking at the list of diversifiers provided by the kits that were interviewed at the hospital. "Elephant", "UK", "red" and "science" are the four that inspired the museum based on the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow Scotland. After we decided it would be a time travel collectathon in a museum we created the list for our Minimum Value Product or MVP:

  1. Museum
  2. Kid
  3. Guard
  4. Collectible items

My job was to build the items we needed for making the museum and find characters. Walls, floor, stairs, railings and pillars were my first task; second was characters. Floors and walls were done first and Brian used those to build the museum. It took 14 hours for Brian to build the 416,000 sq ft museum. While we were working on this TheOnlyRyan interviewed us twice, you can find us in the recording at 2:09:00 and 6:01:50. 

In between working on specific items we brainstormed on game play and what the story behind the game should be. It evolved into a 10 year old who had stolen an older brother's time jumper to take the history exam required for entrance into the time academy. We set up so we could choose to create a larger game after the demo we were making for the game jam.

 After I finished with my MVP items I started getting exhibits and doing the voice over work for the game. Working down to the wire to get things completed and tested  we uploaded the game to as required. Just a couple minutes after the end of the game jam, it took a long time to upload. That version of the game has the label "Demo_002" in the title of the download. Download here.

We have a few ideas on what is next, but would love your feedback on the game.



CreativityMegan Kane