Last week, Train Jam 2016 came to a close, and the creations of this 52 Hour, 2,438 mile long trip are on show at this years GDC. While we weren’t aboard, and are not at GDC to see these creations in person, I’d feel remiss if we didn’t make some mention of both the event and the creations.
Landscapes of Train Jam 16 by Tomas Batista
For those not in the know, Train Jam is, to quote their website, “a collection of developers traveling via train to the Game Developers Conference and creating games during the ~52 hours it takes to arrive in San Francisco from Chicago.” The event is organized by Adriel Wallick, and has been going for two years. More information on the logistics of both the jam and the train ride can be found here.
The games created on this trip are shown off by the teams of developers at GDC, which is taking place this week. These games are on show on the 3rd floor of Moscone Westfor this entire week if you happen to be lucky enough to be in attendance and would like to take a look and meet the developers.
The End of the Line for Train Jam 2016 In San Francisco
However, it’s all about the games created, and these are all available at itch.io. I’ve taken a bit to go through them, and picked out my five favorite. No specific ranking, and this is by no means representative of the whole offerings of this years Train Jam, but just five of the games that caught my eye.
JAmtrak is a two player competitive conducting game. Direct, shove and kick potential passengers onto your train before your opponent does. The first player to jam their train to maximum capacity wins!
There a certain frenzy inherent in this game that is just too much fun. Fantastic stuff for a night with a friend and a beer.
Face off against other robots in transporting the largest amount of things that are definitely not human bodies
Definitely not human bodies…
Wonderful cheeky humor which I love.
You’ve been tasked with rescuing your friend from an evil castle, but are they worth saving?
A surprisingly effective discussion about the give and take of love. I really like this game because i feel many choices worked incredibly well in the idea of a game jam; the color pallete, the style, and the looping narrative are all really solid ways to tell a good story with few resources.
My name is Maxine. I’m an associate power distributor for DWP Chicago.
It’s my job to ensure that an office’s power needs are satisfied at the start of each day.
Some, like my husband Dean, would say I’m nothing more than a maid with a distributor’s license.
Cool concept, but I was really blown away by how good this game looks in such a small window of being created. I did not expect to see something this polished of this type of style coming out of 52 hours of production time. Color me impressed.
Lazy Village may be the world’s first “Active Idle Game.”
Your avatar emerges from his house in the Lazy Village, ready for day’s work: chopping trees, digging mushrooms, and exploring the countryside. When you’re ready to add another villager, a new avatar emerges, and your old one continues on the path you set.
A very cool concept. Sort of ends up being a bit of a puzzle in making sure your villagers aren’t overlapping each other’s jobs, and scales from there. Lost more time that I’d care to say in this when I really did not intend to…