The Global Gamejam (Any good?)

28th January Media Molecule streamed to Twitch with their creations in the Global Gamejam 2018. The theme of the weekend was Transmission. Here is a rundown of what was made, and my thoughts.

Addendum: Just re-read my post, and I may have been a little harsh in my comments. The levels presented were created in less than 2 days, and so I may have been expecting a bit too much from them. They were interesting to watch though, just to get glimmers of what we can expect to see when the community get hold of this game. Dreams still looks amazing.

Radio Transmission by mmclare
There was an unfortunate echo throughout this which made it difficult to understand (and I am not sure if that was intentional or a problem with the stream), but it was basically a radio with dials on with a message about a “release date” (which we dont get to hear because the radio explodes). Not sure what the gameplay was, maybe it was just an interactive experience. A little underwhelming.
Connection to the theme: Strong

Scrobbled by mmAmy
Letter tiles appear and must be placed in the correct trays which are moving along a conveyor. Good basis for a puzzle game, but this was not particularly dynamic to watch. One thing that concerned me though. There were character models that you were supposed to possess and use to pick up the tiles. The movement of the characters was similar to that in Human Fall Flat, and added an extra level of difficulty, but the players ignored this and used their imps instead. If players could do this in your game it might spoil the whole concept.
Connection to the theme: Not obvious

Fly my pigeon fly by kittydog20
A procedural created endless runner with a flying pigeon. All concept, no real gameplay. It needed some hazards or collectables so that the pigeon needed to navigate rather than fly unharmed down the centre. However, great to see that randomised scenery can be made and there are lots of potential for driving and endless runner style games. Models looked good.
Connection to the theme: OK

Handyland by mmJohnB
A childs drawing style made this endless runner a bit different. The idea was to high 5 characters as you walked down the street. Very cute. It lacked some jeopardy though as it was unclear what the consequences were for ignoring the primitive shaped characters you met. The game ran on a turning cylinder, so the ever changing street would eventually get back to the start.
Connection to the theme: I cant see it

Gene Journey by Tom
An arcade shape matching puzzler based on the start of life. Interesting to see the use of multiple linked levels that give a different ending dependent on your score. One of the few actual complete games shown.
Connection to the theme: Vague

Nebula by Dan and Ben
A complicated game that was difficult to understand. Apparently involved hacking ships to create swarms to attack other players, but it was as clear as mud to the viewer. A whole page of instruction and explanation had to be read out and just confused everyone. It was the only multiplayer game shown. It was however very silent and lacked excitement because of it. Needed some explosion sounds and maybe some music.
Connection to the theme: Good

My thoughts generally about this Gamejam was that they made varied and interesting content which were starting points to developing something better over time. None of the games felt finished or polished, but it was unclear how many hours were spent on each of these games. I would not have liked to pick a winner, however Handyland seemed to be the most interesting visually, while Nebula was the game that could have been developed into interesting gameplay. They would not show us the workings of any of these games, so we still have not seen the logic system for Dreams. However there was mention of the cylinder in Handyland tuning on a “bolt” so I am assuming they will be using a version of the LBP bolts and switches. Interesting, but nothing jaw-droppingly amazing. That will come when creators have months to create and not hours.

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