Global Game Jam 2013

It’s that time of year again! Last weekend was Global Game Jam, an annual international games development event. At hundreds of locations around the world, thousands of developers – ranging from veteran professionals to first-timers and hobbyists – raced to build games based on a common theme. And, once again, DevSoc was among them.

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Uni Jam 2012 – Debrief

As you are all aware, last weekend was Uni Jam 2012. This debrief will go to everyone involved in the event and will cover general information about participants, issues that were encountered and how they were resolved, a prize break down and acknowledgements for support received from sponsors and other third parties.

 

Participation

Students from the following universities attended the event:
Nottingham Trent University
University of Nottingham
Kingston University
City University London
University of Derby
University of York
University of Warwick
Anglia Ruskin University

 
When registration closed, 56 competitors were signed up for the event. However, for various reasons only 44 of the expected 56 took part.

 
One team (four students from the University of Nottingham) explained a few days prior to the event that they would not be able to attend due to an unexpected increase in work load.

 
Another team was expected to arrive from the University of Manchester, but none of the five members of this team were present.

 
There was a team put together from students who had signed up as individual participants, but three of these students dropped out on the day leaving only two members at the jam. It was agreed that they would be allowed to continue as a team of two as the circumstances were out of their control.

 

Problems Encountered

 
The main issue that was encountered throughout the entire weekend was a problem with the Wi-Fi. At the beginning of the event teams began trying to set up source control for their projects, as well as use search engines such as Google to determine if their ideas were plausible. In most cases they either couldn’t connect or found that websites took an impractical length of time to load.

 
This problem was quickly resolved by a suggestion from Demos that we move the competitors to a nearby location in Newton where signal strength seemed to be better. Tables were set up and teams were asked if they would like to move. Due to the large amount of stewards on hand, this was a quick process and we were only set back by 40 minutes. Organisers agreed to shift the event timetable back by an hour to make sure that participants weren’t at a disadvantage due to lost time at the start.

 

Highlights

 
It is clear from the video footage taken during the event that the general atmosphere was great. Everyone was happy to talk to us and explain how things were going, and everyone was smiling even in the middle of the night people were struggling to stay awake! Even in cases where development was being halted by bugs and other issues, all the students managed to stay positive and enjoy themselves.

 
Another highlight was when a member of the team from Warwick University offered to help the 2 man team (from Kingston and London City University) with a maths problem. This goes a long way to showing that although it was a competition, the spirit of the event was friendly and students from different universities were able to work together to create brilliant games.

A quote from the DevSoc Facebook page following the event was “I came to Uni in October, hoping to be able to learn how to make games, and with DevSoc, I successfully made one after a month. Can’t argue with that!!!” This is what the vision for the game jam was all about, so feedback like this has made all the work worthwhile.
 

Prize Categories

Prizes were awarded by the judges as follows:
Accessibility – NTU DevSoc (Patrick Merritt, Paul White, Eamonn Hayden, Charlotte Ash
Game Play – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
Graphics – University of York (Samuel Twidale, Joe Williamson, Tom Rosling)
Innovation – Anglia Ruskin University (Ed Horsey, James Roberts, Kieran Linnie, Owen Westfield Bell)
Windows 8/Windows Phone – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
People’s Choice – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
Random Prize Draw – NTU DevSoc (Eamonn Hayden)

 

Acknowledgements

This event would not have been a success without all the support we have received from third parties. Our thanks go to:
Nottingham Trent University – For providing on going support through the planning and running of the event (special thanks to Demos) and providing us with a venue and some money for provisions.

 
Stewards – For volunteering their time to help run the jam. Some stayed awake for the whole 24 hours to make sure they could help if they were needed.

 
Microsoft (Lee Stott) – For sponsoring the Windows 8/Windows Phone category, Peoples choice category and random prize draw. Lee not only judged the competition, but was also present throughout the event to give ongoing support.

 
Mode7 Games (Paul Taylor) – For judging the competition and providing a Frozen Synapse key to everyone who participated in the event.

 
David Smith – For judging the competition and providing ongoing support throughout the competition.

 
Pocketeers – For sponsoring for the Innovation prize category.

 
Marmalade – For sponsoring the Game Play prize category.

 
Desura + Indie Royale – For sponsoring the Innovation prize category.

 
Pololu – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category.

 
Rebellion + 2000AD – For sponsoring the Graphics prize category.

 
Insane Dev (Steven Batchelor-Manning) – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category and coming down to the venue to show support.

 
Dynamite Jack – For sponsoring the Graphics, Innovation, Accessibility and Game Play prize categories.

 
Wiseman Designs – For providing treats for all competitors in the form of Haribo and Freddos.

 

Supported By 

Interested in sponsoring the competition? Let us know by emailing info@devsoc.co.uk!

 

Pocketeers Nottingham Trent University Marmalade
Microsoft Dreamspark Game City
Desura Desura Rebellion
2000AD 2000AD Pololu
Mode7Games Wiseman Designs InsaneDev.co.uk

Uni Jam 2012 is LIVE!

Here is the live feed for this years Uni Jam 2012. All updates and news that happens during the event will appear here, along with videos and photos taken throughout the event.




Insane Dev – Sponsoring Uni Jam 2012 with Arduino Uno’s!

Our very close friend and sponsor Insane Dev have managed to put together a bundle of prizes in the form of Arduino Uno’s! These great bits of kits will be joining up with the Pololu prize for the Accessibility Category!

 
Insane Dev have been there to support us through the thick and thin and they have come through for us again, have a look for your self:
InsaneDev's Arduino package of awesomeness

 
As fans of electronics/robotics and Arduino, we hope that the winners of the Accessibility Category make use of these like we do.

 
Insane Dev
 

Last minute reminders – How to get to Uni Jam 2012!

For all of you that are slightly confused on how to get to the Uni Jam 2012 Venue, this post is for you! The venue for Uni Jam 2012 is the Newton Building in the City Campus of Nottingham Trent University, this is shown in the wonderfully labelled map below:

Map of City Campus

 
The Newton Building’s address is:
Nottingham Trent University
Newton Building
Burton Street
Nottingham
NG1 4BU
 

For those of you arriving by train, there will be three Uni Jam Stewards there if you need anything, they can be identified by either wearing a DevSoc Tshirt/Hoodie (Dark Blue with the DevSoc logo on the back) as well as wearing a Uni Jam 2012 name badge. They will be able to give you directions on where to go from there. We suggest getting the tram (which is right next to the train station), this will take you almost directly outside the Newton Building.
The Newton Building is a large building with a glass front:
Newton Building
 

If you need to contact someone at any point, you have a number of options. You can call us (numbers are found in the information pack), email us at admin@devsoc.co.uk or tweet us on our Twitter.
 

Wiseman Designs Bring Gifts

Our close friends Wiseman Designs have very kindly offered to help the competitors of Uni Jam 2012 this weekend, they have very kindly sponsored the event by bringing many boxes of sweets as well as the awesome Freddo.

 
We firmly believe this will help the competitors reach their sugar intoxicated state that is essential when doing a marathon event such as Uni Jam 2012.

 
We hope you are getting excited because we are, we have almost finished our final last minute preparations!

 
Wiseman Designs

 

Uni Jam 2012 – Survival Pack is here

So are you taking park in Uni Jam 2012? Well if so we highly recommend that you read our survival guide as it walks your through some crucial information for the event, this include:
- How to get to the venue
- How to be eligible for the prize categories
- Little hints on how to excel in specific categories
- The event time table
- The event rules

 
You can download the survival pack here.

 
On the day of the event keep checking out twitter feed and this page for constant updates about the event!

 
See you soon!

 

Game City – Day Four… It’s Flerbtastic fun!

It is day four of the great Game City Festival! Flerbs is still a massive hit! We have had more and more people coming to ask if they can buy it, however sadly we still haven’t got around to perfecting it, it will be done however we first need to run through ideas about the best method to do this with the lead programmer of the project.

 
Indie busking is going very well. The core concepts and mechanics are done, and the Squirrel Apocalypse is coming! Keep Saturday 27th free, we will be showing our attempts at Indie Busking to the great audience of Game City. One game created by our two PhD society members Luke and Patrick who have a great track record in creating games in short time frames (examples are Flerbs, Whate and Retro Revenge. I will also be attempting Indie Busking so wish me luck, currently doing most of the work in the spare minutes at the festival and in the evenings I am making slow but steady progress.

 
If the games are good or bad you will be shown them, lets just hope it will go smoothly :)

 
Just remember Indie Busking is an open development process so if you have any questions about how we made them, just ask :)

 
We also were invited to the Game City Launch Party… yes, the launch was in the exact middle of the festival. However this is just one of the reasons we love the festival! Many industry professionals, game critics and university staff were playing our games and it went down perfectly. We all had a great time and enjoyed talking to the people that know what they are talking about. Let’s not forget the magnificent talk of Iain Simmons who as always gave the perfect talk to keep the crowd wanting more.