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Bristol Games Jam and Team Mirrornaut

October 3, 2011

I took part in Bristol Games Jam this weekend, which was a pre-jam as part of the Extended Play festival.  Now, I’ve not taken part in a Games Jam before and to be honest I was a little sceptical of the idea having given over way too many of my weekends to game development over the years, indeed we’ve been working most weekends on Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land.  However I’m glad to say I was totally wrong – it’s not like overtime at all.  It was really amazing fun and I’d totally recommend it.  If you’ve not taken part in a Games Jam, basically a group of people get together and spend a set amount of time (24 hours, 48 hours…this one was 7pm Friday 30th Sept till 7pm Sat 1st Oct) trying to make games from scratch.  There were about 20 people at the Bristol event and we formed 3 teams who together made 4 games (including 1 paper-based board game).   For the Game Jam, you’re given a theme that defines the work – up to you how you wish to interpret it.  For this event the theme was ‘mirror’.

I was lucky enough to become part of a small team of four; Nick Dymond (sound designer), Ashley Gwinnell (coder), Tom Parry (artist) and myself (on drums design).  Nick’s audio was really amazing and he banged out great sounds that totally fitted our concept throughout.  Tom did a fantastic job on the art, and his retro-styling for the game really gives it a distinct feel.  Ash was a really solid coder who put the whole thing together – and did so amazingly fast.  Interestingly Ash and I had worked together about 5/6 years ago on a hypermedia project with Knowle West Media Centre.

Team Mirrornaut came up with the concept on Friday night between 8-9pm ish of a platform game where the main character can ‘mirror’ to a play space below.  However we did not really start work on the game until 10am the next morning, so what you see is the result of about 9 hours of game development:

You can download the game from here.

Overall, the people taking part really made the game jam work so a huge thanks to all who attended.  Special thanks to the rest of my team, to Debbie for all the organising and to Korash, Ella, Ben and the Explay team.

PS. Nick has put up a tune from Mirrornaut, Nat of Team Disco has done a great blog post about their experiences, as has the lovely people at Thought Den, plus Sy has made a short film about Team Disco’s process:

Then there is Medusa’s Mirror – which is looking great fun after only a few hours of development (read more here):

Let’s hope it happens again soon!

Update! We got 2nd prize for Mirrornaut.  Excellent!  Well done us and all who took part.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2011 11:18 am

    Nice write up Tom! Mirrornaut was such a solid little game, love it!

    • October 3, 2011 6:27 pm

      Thanks 🙂 Well done yourself & team – as a fan of TBS games, Team Disco’s game is right up my gaming street!

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