The 2017 Global Game Jam was held over this past weekend and was full of frantic programming, sleepless nights, and coming together to make awesome games from Hawaii to Helsinki. It’s always a joy to watch GGJ from the outside, see all these developers disappear for a weekend, and then re-emerge with new, inventive creations. We’ll be covering some of our favorite finds from the 7,160 submitted games over the next week.
This year’s theme was “Waves”. The video revealing this theme “presented a visual montage including ocean waves breaking on a beach, wind making grass dance on a hillside, a Mexican wave sweeping around a crowded sports stadium, sound waves vibrating along a guitar string, and even animals seeming to wave hello”, indicating the variety of direction that this theme could be taken.
“We were trying to find a theme that would be inspiring on many levels of game creation. This theme can be used on all levels of game development: code, audio, graphics, gameplay as well as a thematic aspect of a game… I love this years theme. It can bring about memories of relaxation or action, joy and sorrow. It is very versatile.” -Annakaisa Kultima, GGJ Commitee Member
The selection process for these five games entirely subjective: With 7,000 plus games having been created, these are just the ones that caught our attention, and you might find a completely different set of game that captures yours! (Check out the full offering here.) We’ve tried to provide as much information about the game, where it was created, and the people that created it as possible
Without further delay, here are five fantastic games created during this years Global Game Jam:
Created at the Playcrafting + Microsoft (NYC) Global Game Jam
UI & Graphic Design: Alex Lang
Development: Jaime Fraina
Environment/Effects & Development: Nik Kbros
Sound Design & Storyboardin: Angela Fan
Character Art & Animatio: Giorgi Rekhviashvili
Unwavering took the theme this year in an emotional direction. It is a short, narrative experience, with very little replay ability or game mechanics, but is incredibly polished, very thematic and quite moving. Unwavering is in many ways a testament to the idea of doing something in a smaller scope to a high level of detail.
Created at the Bergen Game Jam
Developed By: Cato Hansen, Simon Østrem, Petter Amland, Dag Sindre Bjugn, Steffen M. Fureli
Cascade took waves and saw explosions, which sounds like a perfect plan to me. The game certainly is in need tuning, as the explosive waves are currently so large that the mechanic of the game is all but impossible to fail at. However, it is a very cool concept, both mechanically and visually, and I think has a lot of merit.
Created at Abertay University
Sentinel is “a short science fiction audio-based puzzle game inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel“. That alone would have been enough to get me interested, but then I saw the visuals of the game. They’re unsettling for sure, but also are a great use of a small amount of assets and colors to great effect; something I always like to see in action at Game Jams like this.
Created at the GameCraft at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities 2017
Art: Jamie Hess, Noot Vue
Programming: Reyer Swengel, Louis Vadis
Music: Cooper Crose
Design: Patrick Foor
Game Jam Party Games are some of the most ridiculously fun things I’ve ever seen. They’re typically very simple, and have a hook that’s incredibly catchy; two parts of making a great game for multiple players. The mechanic of shooting waves from your ship to force your opponent off the flat earth is really solid, though I’d have loved to see them come from the sides of the ships
Created at the NYU Game Center
Developed By Chris Chung, Rob Rappoport, Alex Lee, Erenyx Qiu, Evan Lowy
Use both of your control-sticks to adjust the pitch and amplitude of two different waveforms and ride the wave of sound! Collect diamonds, avoid obstacles, and enjoy life on the wave!
If you participated in the 2017 Global Game Jam, know someone who did, or found a really cool creation on your own, let us know about it in the comments below or on Twitter! We’re planning to spotlight at least a few more games from the game jam over the coming weeks and would love community input!