We’re non-stop in Abylight! A couple of weeks ago the 10º edition of the Nordic Game Jam took place and part of the team of Abylight Studios travelled to Copenhaguen to participate.
For those who haven’t heard about this event, the Nordic Game Jam is the greatest event of video game in Denmark and one of the biggest Game Jams around the world. This year more than 900 people attended and about 182 video game were developed.
We arrived on Thursday 7th, pretty late longer than expected, because of delays at the airport. Double pity because we missed the preparty arranged to warm up, we had to resign ourselves hearing how was it went.
Making time while we wait for the plane
Just for you to picture it, here is an example of how much fun they had:
Next day, we had a strong coffee and we headed to the Aalborg University (AAU). At our arrival, we registered and the topic of this year was announced: Leak. Before beginning with brainstorming, we made the decision to split up in two teams so we could meet people from other nationalities and enrich the experience: speak English, see other ways to work …
While we were searching for other team mates, we could attend many panels about game development. Many topics were presented, from tips to make the most of the experience in a game jam to more specific subjects such as game engines or audio techniques for video games.
Camouflaging with the environment
Of particular interest and relevance was the keynote of Blizzard designers: Kevin Martens & Jesse McCree, who very generously shared tips and best practices for a successful game jam, and explained how the creative process developed in a jam game is applied in a company of that size and importance within our sector.
What a lucky to have these legends for the event!
At the end of the day, we had two teams and the real challenge was about to start: creating a video game in only 48 hours.
On the one hand, the team IRIS formed by: Miguel García Corchero, engine programmer in Abylight, Carlos Martos, game programmer, and Nilo Laso, who is in charge of testing. Also, they counted on Michael G. Rose, danish musician, and Pip Snaith, an artist setled in Scotland.
On the other hand, the team TripleSteam was integrated by Emilio José Lopera, game designer/programmer, and Carlos Corella, assistant marketing & production in Abylight.
There are plenty of anecdotes collected during demanding hours of project. We want to highlight the motivation that pushed the IRIS team to stay up all Saturday night developing his game to ensure on time delivery and having the option to participate in the subsequent competition.
By midday on Sunday, both teams had completed succesfully the Nordic Game Jam:
“It’s raining inside“, from the IRIS team, is a competitive two-player video game in which we have to create water leaks in the basement of our opponent until we flood it completely avoiding him from flooding ours.
In case of flood, controllers and consoles first
“Sinking Soviet Submarine“, from the TripleSteam guys, is a two-player cooperative video game. One player is the pilot of the submarine and he has to avoid crashing with naval mines while the other one keeps the submarine working by repairing the engine, pumping water out and reloading torpedos.
“We all live in a soviet submarine” So was the song, no?
Both teams were highly satisfied with the result and the lack of sleeping was worth it. “it’s an experience in which you meet people from different countries, mainly english and nordics. The environment was very friendly.-In Carlos Marto’s words-It’s a good chance to try different techniques, roles and create the craziest games”.
At the end of the jam, the best projects were selected for the Finals Presentations and the Awards Gala It took place at the Imperial Biografen, one of the best cinemas in Copenhagen and Northern Europe, with capacity for 1002 persons. There, our CEO Eva Gaspar, awarded the prize for the most marketable game to “Safety on board” from the Game Swing Team.
Eva Gaspar giving the prize
Here, the best of the gala. From left to right: Jesse McCree from Blizzard, Jess Hider from Epic Games, Ed Valiente from Nintendo of Europe and Eva Gaspar, our CEO.
If you want to know who were the Nordic Game Jam winners, you can visit their blog to find out.
Finally, in order to illustrate the spirit of the event, here is an example to get an idea of the size of NGJ 2016.
Miguel García Corchero resumes in these recommendations the experience in the jam:
- It’s about team playing, where a good cooperation it’s better than an individual extreme effort
- Focus on the core of the idea and have a valuable minimal product before the first half time. So you can dedícate the rest of the time to polish.
- The simplest ideas are the most attractive, people will have little time to decide wether they like or not your game. Focus in developing simple game mechanics easy to understand.
- Don’t forget to enjoy. Participating in a Game Jame makes you grow personally, but you will enjoy it better if you have a motivating and receptive attitude during the whole process.
However, the trip didn’t finish there! The next day, we had the opportunity to vistit two big dannish studios: IO Interactive, creators of Hitman, and KnapNok Games, known for Affordable Space Adventures.
Hannes Seifert, CEO of IO Interactive, received us in the studios. We had a little talk there and he offered to take us on a tour around their impressive facilities.
Even the Agent 47 himself came to meet us
Afterwards, we met Dajana Dimovska, CEO of Knapnok Games, and Lau Korsgaard, creative director. In the studio, they showed us their last projects in development. As you can see in the next picture, we were even able to try them!
In Knapnok Games they know how to entertain us
It was a real pleasure to visit both studios and we hope to return the hospitality in a future visit to Barcelona.