Global Game Jam Minsk 2015: how to make a game in 48 hours?

    Global Game Jam is the largest international hackathon, in which participants from hundreds of cities simultaneously create games on a given topic. GGJ has been held since 2008, but has never been held in Belarus. On January 23-25, 2015, with the support of Game Stream JLLC, the Minsk Wargaming development center, the first Global Game Jam Minsk was held.
    Hackathon results and tips for participants from experts from Wargaming, HalfBus and GameJam under the cut.


    In terms of effectiveness and scale, the past Global Game Jam Minsk is not inferior to hackathons in the cities of GGJ veterans. The 48-hour marathon was attended by 75 people from Minsk, Brest, Gomel, Bobruisk and suddenly Amsterdam. Of the 16 projects announced on the first day, 14 were presented at a local competition.

    rulesGame Jam does not limit participants in choosing a platform or technology for creating a game. Despite this, 9 out of 16 teams were used to develop Unity.

    To get started, we suggest you watch the video in order to better feel the atmosphere of Global Game Jam Minsk 2015:

    And now, first things first.

    January 23, the first day of the hackathon, exactly at 17:00 the topic was announced. She, as always at GGJ, was extremely abstract and left room for imagination. After all, the answers to the question “What do we do now?” (What shall we do now?) As many as there are people on Earth.

    Immediately after the brainstorming began, the results of which formed 16 ideas and the participants began to break into project teams. Around nine in the evening, someone went home to sleep, but the most hardcore teams continued to work: they coded, painted and worked on the design all night without leaving the room.
    On Saturday morning, game designers and developers from Wargaming, Halfbus and GameJam shared their experiences in creating and developing games born on other hackathons.

    Game design: documentation and organization of the production process / Alexey Kalinin / Wargaming :

    To Game Jam and beyond! / Dmitry Minsky / Halfbus :

    Project from scratch - problems of commercial and indie development / Kirill Perekrest / Wargaming :

    VHS Story: from the "gamejam" to Greenlight / Nikita Kulag / GameJam :

    In parallel with the performances, the teams continued to work, distracted only by snack and playtests. At any stage of development, participants could seek advice from mentors - experienced Wargaming specialists. They attended Jam for 48 hours and tried to help every team.

    The third day of the hackathon became extremely stressful for the participants. The forces were already running out, and there were 2 more serious tests ahead: uploading the final build to the official GGJ website and presenting games for the local competition.

    Only 14 teams were able to prepare demos. They presented their projects to a jury of Wargaming experts: Sergey Burkatovsky (SerB), Levon Zakharchenko, Andrey Biletsky, Alexander Miroshnichenko and Ivan Radkevich. As a result of open voting of the Jam participants themselves for the prize of spectator sympathies and secret voting by the jury members, the places were distributed as follows:

    3rd place: Feed the cat
    - What do we do now?
    - Of course, feed the cat!

    Platform: MS Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad
    Technologies: Unity
    The main character of the game is a cute chubby cat looking for fish that treacherous owners hid in the most unexpected places: on a cupboard, on a chandelier, behind a chair ... You have to feed the poor fellow, directing him to the right place with a laser pointer, slipper, buzzer and other toys.
    A month after the hackathon, the project team, despite all the desire, was not able to continue development. Let's hope that the guys will definitely find the time and do a few more levels about the cat’s adventures in other rooms.


    2nd place: Parapapa
    - What should we do now?
    - Run and don't stop!

    Platform: Web
    Technology: as3
    Parapapa - an arcade game inspired by Pacman. The main task of the player is to take his little brothers and sisters out of the castle's full traps, not giving them time to think and understand the whole danger of the situation. After all, if you do not indicate what they should do now, the consequences can be fatal.
    Two students from Amsterdam and Minsk continued to work hard on the game all month. In the coming weeks, we will be able to see an expanded version of Parapapa with bosses, various opponents and new levels.


    1st place: Kings of Washington
    - What shall we do now, my King?
    - Do not anger the dragon and the UN

    Platform: Web
    Technologies: JavaScript using libraries: Pixi.js Prototype.js SoundJs The
    magic tornado brought a small medieval kingdom directly to modern Washington. Of course, life in the kingdom will not be the same: the UN protests against the killing of a dragon, the knights are hooked on fast food and no longer fit in armor ... The King has to deal with all this, maintaining a balance of power and trying to stay in power.

    The winners of the hackathon met several times and discussed options for further development of the game. Now they are trying to implement them in the demo version. After receiving a playable prototype, the guys plan to use their main prize - professional advice from Sergey Burkatovsky, Levon Zakharchenko and Alexey Kalinin.

    Kings of Washington_Global_Game_Jam_Minsk_2015

    Audience Award: Crisis
    - What Do We Do Now?
    - Buy up all the currency!

    Platform: MS Windows
    Technologies: Unity
    Team Name: Vodka Games
    The most topical hackathon game. After all, a currency crisis can turn a peaceful town into a real war zone. Your main goal is to buy as much as possible $ and no one limits you in ways.

    Now the “Crisis” is being finalized. In the near future, the author will publish a new version of the game on his blog, and in the future, perhaps, will publish it in one of the social networks popular in the post-Soviet space:


    Special Prize: The Village of Evil
    - What Do We Do Now?
    - Defend your native village!

    Platform: Board game
    Team name: Sandwich Games
    The game is a simulator of saving the village of evil goblins from the invasion of noble heroes. A large amount of humor and random make each game unique.
    After the Global Game Jam Minsk, the game continued to develop. "Village of Evil" took part in the competition of copyright desktops on the Igrokon in Moscow, was adapted for Tabletop Simulator, and the release of the boxed version will take place at the Unicon convention in April.

    You can read about other games below:
    Arena: The Choice
    “What shall we do now?”
    - Defend and attack

    Platform: Web browser with special plugins or packaged apps
    Technologies: Unity, Photon Cloud
    Status: At the moment, work on the game is suspended, but the development team does not deny the possibility of returning to the project.
    Page on GGJ

    Arena: The_Choice_Global_Game_Jam_Minsk_2015

    “What shall we do now?”
    - Run for the ball. The main thing is not to forget to breathe.

    Platform: Web browser with special plugins or packaged apps, Android
    Technologies: Unity
    Team Name: Empty Stage
    Status: At the moment, the team has returned to work on other projects. Catkenstein will also be finalized, but later.
    Page on GGJ


    “What shall we do now?”
    - Survive in the elevator with the homeless.

    Platform: Web
    Status: Additional information on the game is not available due to its traumatic and thrash content. Obviously, the game will not be finalized.
    Page on GGJ

    “What shall we do now?”
    - Save the Bun!

    Platform: Web standard
    Status: The game will not be developed further. But the experience of the hackathon was not in vain - now the author is writing another game using JavaScript and HTML5, but without frameworks.
    Page on GGJ


    Munchkin rush
    “What shall we do now?”
    - Download

    Platform: MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux / Unix
    Technologies: Unity
    Status: No further development will be conducted. The team began work on a new joint project. The mechanics of the game will be similar to Hotline Miami, but in the setting of America 20-40. Twentieth century.
    Page on GGJ

    Party sim
    “What shall we do now?”
    - Hanging over!

    Platform: MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux / Unix
    Technologies: Unity
    Status: Due to the difficulties of remote collaboration, the development of Party Sim is currently suspended. But one of the authors has a desire to transfer the game to the Web, so maybe the party simulator still gets to the release.
    Page on GGJ


    Space solution
    “What shall we do now?”
    - To surf the open spaces.

    Platform: MS Windows
    Technologies: Unity
    Status: The authors of the game decided to expand the universe, arm themselves with 3D graphics and make a bias in humorous fiction. So if you ever see the game Space Saga on Steam - you know, this game came from the Global Game Jam Minsk 2015
    Page on GGJ

    “What shall we do now?”
    - Escaping from a maniac.

    Platform: MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux / Unix, Android, iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Windows Phone
    Technologies: Unity
    Status: Horror Survival format turned out to be too severe both for the developers themselves and for Jam as a whole. So the authors do not plan to develop it further.
    Page on GGJ


    You think you have a problem?
    “What shall we do now?”
    - Analyze yourself and others.

    Platform: MS Windows
    Technologies: Unity
    Status: The project team is actively working on the full version of the game. A pitch document has been written, in the process of developing game mechanics, the development of the UI concept has begun. The process is not going as fast as the participants themselves would like. But the most atmospheric game of Minsk GGJ “You think you have a problem?” to be.
    Page on GGJ


    We will write about further successes of participating games and other hackathons in our groups on Facebook and Vkontakte .

    And finally, I would like to know what you think about hackathons? Tell us how you participated in the hackathons and what came of it? Well, or why do you think such events are a waste of time?

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