Last year at the first annual Rosetta Stone Game Jam, I went to compete with William Miller and Jack Cooke. It’s was a thirty-six hour competition with a simple theme – “make a game that teaches something” and our project about viruses mutating and invading a human body, called Pathogen, won 1st place.[View a post-mortem on the win at Will’s blog here]
This year we returned to the 2011 Jam eager to defend our title. The jam was revised somewhat, dividing the eleven competing teams into student and professional divisions and drawing their entrants from a much wider and more capable pool of applicants. The projects and participants were more sophisticated and interesting, and their games better crafted, than last year by far. It was truly a challenge among peers, a real competition. And as the judges ruled, we were honored with 2nd Place in the pro division.
Describing the competition as several steps up the tiers than the 2010 jam may sound like an excuse, but I assure you: it was a terrific jam and a tight competition. There were creative and well-executed games from many parties, many games that impressed me and challenged any notion of supremacy lingering from last year’s win. And the project we made — a puzzle-platformer with malleable reality called “Notan” — was a giant of a triumph for the three of us. It represented truly heroic effort from Will and Jack, who in twenty-nine hours along with me accomplished more than we had ever thought possible in such a span of time. We are all immeasurably proud of our result, and not at all perturbed with the almost-victory. The rewards for 2nd are swanky enough to please anyone, anyway!
During the next week I intend to write a complete retrospective or post-mortem of our experience at the jam. As I have now been awake for thirty-six hours, I’ll wait to start that until tomorrow. “Notan” will also be up online somewhere, soon, for playing. Watch for links to that.