The Global Game Jam weekend is now over. 6535 registered jammers worked on 1492 games. The spirit of the event hasn't changed from last year: it's a worldwide explosion of creativity unlike anything else in my experience. People work at an unhealthy pace for two days straight, creating something new, unique and fun. The event connects people from all parts of the world, and creates a bunch of new friendships at the local level. People argue over gameplay mechanics and laugh at a slew of newly created in-jokes. The Global Game Jam is something to be celebrated.
At the FGJ Tampere jam site, the organizers' experience from last year showed: the first evening we were mostly ahead of schedule, and it would be hard to come up with a single complaint. And oh, the people were amazing, as games industry types tend to be. This goes doubly for the lone person who introduced himself as a sound designer, who consequently had a lot of work thrust upon him. I wonder why the sound guys haven't found the event, at least here in Tampere?
Our team's game, Rhythm of the Stars, was very successful: we were among the winners of Gamesauce Challenge, and were nominated for the Finnish Game Jam best game award. You can go play the flash game right here at the Rhythm of the Stars home page or if you prefer, at Kongregate. Also see our Global Game Jam page, where you can also comment on and rate the game. I'm very happy with how Rhythm of the Stars turned out, thanks for that for our competent programming team, and especially our designer and musician Juho Korhonen.
Most of the other games from Tampere also deserve a mentioning. In the eccentric Bumper Pandas (Jam page / Play), you take on the monumental task of making pandas mate and multiply in the face of multiple dangers. Cargo Carl: The Epic Moon Shift (Jam page / Play) puts you in the shoes of a space truck driver cussing and causing havoc, and The Guiding Light (Jam page / Play) challenges you to lead a sparkle of light down from a star onto the surface of the Earth. Ultimately, Here Be Dragons (Jam page) might be the most interesting of the bunch: you can side with the dragons or against them, and if all the dragons in the persistent game world are killed, the game can't be played any more. Unfortunately the team ran out of time at the jam, but something great might still come out of it. All the games draw inspiration from this year's theme of "extinction” in some way, but they are very, very different from each other.