DAY 3 (Sunday, January 29, 2012)
This morning we had bagels, sponsored by Riot Games. We'd finally figured out the right quantities to order, so they didn't all disappear in minutes, and we had enough to last all the way to lunch, when our sponsor IDC brought in bread and coldcuts so folks could make their sandwiches. This went well, though one of the IDC folks was evidently botanically challenged, and purchased a head of cabbage when they meant to get lettuce. Ah, gamedevs, we’re lost without our microwaves!
We also ran into a small mixup when I checked with the teams about who was going to do the demo of each game. One team was working on Macs, but had neglected to bring a Mac-VGA cable. Mike Orlando from IDC saved the day though by running out to the Apple store and picking up an extra cable though, thanks!
Globally, things were also further intensifying this day, as the turn-in terminator was sweeping westward across Europe, resulting in hundreds of new games being uploaded. Then when we got to East Coast turn-in time, the globalgamejam.org site finally crumpled under the load, and it was impossible to access. So to reduce stress level on our St. Louis (Central Time) jammers, we told them not to worry about uploading by the deadline, but instead to just wrap up at 3 pm and head down to the auditorium for demos. We also had even moar food, again catered by Riot Games. We had learned to over-order, so they’d brought enough barbecued beef and fixings for 100 people, and we had tons left over (which were gratefully grabbed by some of the Rolla students to take back to their starving fraternity brothers).
Closing ceremonies went great. We re-showed the Spanish-language keynote from Gonzalo Frasca, with subtitles this time, and it fit in perfectly, as he gave an inspiring talk about how all the skills we were acquiring were helping us to “level up”. We also heard a few words from David Whatley, and a touching speech from Dinesh Mirchandani.
And then, the demos! There were too many games to all cover properly here, but some of them were side-splittingly funny. “Towel Fight of the Gods” was a crowd favorite, and “He Who Ages”, with its super-simplistic graphics but still an amazing demo simply from the patter by its developer: “This is a monster. And also a simple square”. The game “Copperhead Jack and the Cave of the Snakes” had some great gameplay reminiscent of "Earthworm Jim". "Obelisk" had some jaw-dropping 3D graphics, and "Lost Soul" was one of the more complete games, with three full levels. "Ouroballus", "Snake Bites", "From the Ashes", "Immortal Coil", "Mobius", "Ra: Eternal Fire" (with real graphics, not just "Box Chicken"!) were all fun to watch, and the "Together Forever" game, put together by a large team of students, was impressive with just how massive of a world they'd put together in a short time frame.
Then it was group photo time (though no one's sent me one yet!), and we recorded a video for 2013, and then it was cleanup and putting tables back the way they were, and swapping contact info, and we all scattered back to our separate lives again. Except maybe for me, as it was back to Skype, since the jam was still happening in the western timezones! It wasn't until Hawaii finally got their games turned in that we directors could declare the jam "done".
As I write this, on Saturday, February 5th, the totals are: 243 locations, 47 countries, 10709 jammers, and 2217 games! We're working up a report for the Guinness Book of World Records, and have set a date for next year's jam: January 25-27, 2013. I can't wait!