Last weekend was one to remember - we were joined by budding Game Designers for our very first Game Jam in partnerships with Playhubs. Playhubs is a co-working space for the games industry and an incubator for early stage games startups, located within Somerset House in the heart of London and that’s where we were joined by many talented artists, programmers and project managers.
With just over 48 hours to work together, it was a great opportunity for our game enthusiasts to put their skills to the test against the clock, think outside the box and create a game to stand out from the crowd.
The theme of the event? 'Trapped'. How would you Escape? (see what we did there?!)
Our awesome judging panel included our Head of Game Art, Simon Fenton, Steve Holmes from 3D Artist and Joe Nash from Improbable who had the power in their hands to crown the winning team with an exclusive prize for each member - an awesome Samsung VR headset as well as a Samsung S6 mobile phone.
Ideas included, getting stuck in the London Underground with zombies, using real life experiences around phobias and even a game about escaping the Game Jam itself! As Joe Nash said so himself… “can see why, Somerset House has some terrifying corridors!”.
But of course, there could only be one winning team so a huge congrats to Team Mindhole - James Noonan, Jing Tan, Alex Strange, Denise Deak, the winners of Game Jam 2016!
Here's how the winning team found the event!
"It has been an amazing experience meeting everyone, creating a game in 48 hours and I felt lucky to be working with such talented people who are passionate about the same thing as me. As a regular Game Jam go-er, I feel this is the best Game Jam I've been to so far because the mentors were very nice and helpful, the location is great and the team was selected before the jam which ensures there is an even spread of different skills"
- Jing Tan
"Taking part in the Game Jam was both an incredibly rewarding experience and immensely fun. I'd not taken part in a jam before so was initially pretty nervous, but I am really glad I went for it and will definitely be attending more jams in the future. Escape Studios and the other event partners were fantastic hosts and there was a really great atmosphere and vibe between everyone there. Plus free beer! Our idea was built around a consensus within the team that we wanted to make something simple, effective and achievable within the time frame. We did some intensive idea sharing early on and got a core mechanic established quickly, which allowed us a bit more creative freedom later on. We found that sometimes taking things literally and just running with thoughts yielded some good ideas, which is how we decided to centre the game around the idea of a trapped idea. I was actually pretty shocked when they announced that we'd won, as the quality of the other teams' games was so high, and both myself and the team were thrilled to have won it. This is the second event I've been to that Escape Studios has organised (I went to the VFX Festival last year) and both events were outstanding both in terms of experience and networking opportunities, so I am really looking forward to what Escape Studios plans next!"
- James Noonan
"I was thrilled that our team won the Game Jam. The main reason I participated in the first place was to gain a unique experience as I have never participated in such an event before. I was really happy to be part of a very amazing team and get the chance to work with incredibly talented people. This also goes out to the other participants who have created very original and awesome selection of games. I was nervous at the beginning as I only just finished 1st year of University, studying 3D Design and Animation. I was worried that the lack of experience in the subject would limit me, but luckily this wasn't the case. Our team developed the whole idea of the game starting with different suggestions. One idea triggered another and as a group, we came up with the whole concept of 'Mindhole', our game. The experience overall has incredible, the event was well organized and I am definitely looking forward to participate in the future at other Game Jams."
- Denise Deak
Check out the winning team's awesome game - Mindhole!