Founders Day Game Jam Winners Go To IndieCade!
One of the ways we act on our mission to empower and unite video game developers in Arizona and beyond, and help people get into games, is to hold regular game jams. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, game jams are a fantastic opportunity for anyone (regardless of experience) to make a game.
On September 23rd, 2016, we launched the Founders Day Game Jam at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) with the sponsorship of Clique. The jam lasted until the evening of September 25th and ran with the theme of “Let the games be heard”. The roughly 60 game developers were encouraged to use the Clique API in their game and tell a story of “voice”. Eleven fantastic games were submitted, and they can all be played here: https://itch.io/jam/foundersjam/entries
Most games were made in the Unity3D and Unreal game engines, and several were virtual reality experiences for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. And, for some reason, an unexpected theme of “sheep” made it’s way into several of the games…
Once the games were submitted on Sunday, the following judges played them and submit their votes; Tim Gentry (Clique), Christian Adame (Phoenix Art Museum), Jonathan Cottrell (Hopscratch), Tim Winsky (TwinSky Games), Jessica Conditt (Engadget), Jason Pistillo (UAT). We're very grateful for their time and enthusiasm!
First place went to Song Birds, and Most Innovative went to Loot N’ Scoot, while Bust'a Worm received 2nd place and Bard_Quest received 3rd place. The ultimate prize of a trip to IndieCade 2016 in LA went to both the Song Birds and Loot N’ Scoot teams!
The energy of this game jam was amazing! Thankfully we’ve got it all recorded on camera as we’re also producing a documentary around this experience to highlight our talented community of game developers and showcase the magic that happens at game jams. Our collaborator Erik from T&R Gaming also came out to live stream the event.
Two weeks later, the momentum carried forward as we flew both teams (nine developers in total) to LA for IndieCade; Marshall Cannon, Keaton Clark, Nikolas Santiago, John Wisniewski, Jeff Rosenberg, Tony Johnson, Joe Keigher, Brandon Habib, and TJ Tapia.
The International Festival of Independent Games (IndieCade) took place from October 13th-16th, 2016 at the University of Southern California (USC) and was an excellent place for the game jam winners to network with game developers from around the world and showcase their games.
Thanks to our sponsors, we spared no expense to make sure the developers were comfortable (housing them at an airbnb mansion in the Hollywood Hills) and making the connections they needed (setting them up with interviews with Playstation, Oculus and Cartoon Network). The teams were also graciously given spots to demo their games during several 2-hour sessions of GameTasting.
Everyone returned even more excited than before they left, including us! We hope to continue to offer awesome and unique opportunities like this one. It goes without saying to keep your eye out on these games and teams to see what’s next. In the meantime, come and join us for our next Mixer, on October 27th, to chat with them and other video game developers from the Phoenix area.
The next big game jam on our radar is the Global Game Jam 2017. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information on that event in the future.
PS. The Loot N' Scoot team has already received their Gear VR dev kits from Oculus. Super rad!