2015 Athens Game Jam Wrap Up
The 2015 Athens Game Jam took place this past weekend from Friday May 15th at 5pm through Sunday May 17th. Seven teams in total participated in this year’s event, creating games over the weekend along the theme The 80’s to compete for prizes. Game jammers chose their favorites at the Showcase on Sunday afternoon, after each team presented their game’s concepts and features, followed by a few hours of open play time for attendees to experience each game as votes were cast and tallied.
The seven games built during the 48-hour jam, from concept to design to implementation, can be viewed in their current state here. The games include (in alphabetical order):
B9 – Bullet Hell meets Rhythm Heaven. A top down shooter where you must time your shots to fire on beat. By Thomas Bailey, Dustin Cline, Ian Edwards, Jeff Porter, and Dan Wentworth
Bitchin’ Brawl (1980) Ever wonder what would happen if the A-Team’s B. A. Baracus (Mr. T) encountered the King of Pop, Michael Jackson? We toss these two iconic 80’s personalities into the fighting ring, a la Street Fighter II. Who will stand victorious? By Dustin Checketts, Andrew Ho, David Herald, Taylor Read, and Richard Saney
David Bowieeeeeeee! Play as David Bowie, skateboarding through a temporal disaster towards Robo-Reagan! By Talal Alothman, Nick Ellington, Ilya Polyakov, Lucy Ralston, Tony Ransom, Shannon Smith, and Nick Splendorr
Escape From the 80s Vice You find yourself at a lame 80s party. Deciding you need to go to the bathroom you find yourself being teleported to the 80s! In order to leave the party, you must beat the 80s. By Mathew Trilby-Bassett, Derek Freed, and Sebastian Marquez
Freedom, Brother! YOU ARE HULK HOGAN BROTHER! GREATEST WRESTLER IN THE FREE WORLD! SAVE MICHAEL JACKSON FROM THE KOOLAID KOMRADES! By Jenny Brewer, Michael Churvis, Natary Lee, Christopher Jackson, Shu Jackson, and Alex Turbyfeld
Ghosty A five player asynchronous multiplayer game where one player is a ghost and the other players fend off the ghost with their flashlights. By Justin Lennox
Polybius A retro style tunnel shooter based on an urban legend about an arcade game that has psychological effects on its players. By Renee Blair, Kelly Gallagher, Louis Romanos, and Rob Solomon
And the winners are…
Overall Best Game – Polybius
Best Game Design – Escape From the 80s Vice
Best Art – Freedom, Brother!
Best Implementation – Bitchin’ Brawl (1980)
Best Sound – B9
Prizes for the winning teams, as well as food throughout the weekend and the necessary space to hold the event, were made possible by generous support from UGA’s Center for Community Design and Preservation, eHub, and Launch Institute as well as donations from Georgia Game Developers Association, The Rook & Pawn, Retro Age, and Four Athens member companies Partner Software, Cogent Education, and Vitamin C.
The annual Athens Game Jam is a volunteer-run event that is free and open for anyone in the community to participate. The core team of volunteers for this year’s event include David Ducrest, Zane Everett, Brian Ruggieri, Samantha Ruggieri, Nick Splendorr, Alex Turbyfield. A huge thanks goes out to these dedicated folks for making this great event in Athens possible.
Discussing this year’s participation, organizer Stephen Borden commented, “The highlight of the weekend was seeing people who have never met get together and collaborate on a ridiculous game idea, and have a blast doing so. I also heard from several people that they learned new techniques or tools from their teammates.”
He further described the ongoing vision to grow the reach and impact of this unique event in Athens by saying, “One thing I’d like to see is teams continuing to work on their games after the jam, to release a more polished and complete version. We’re still working on how best to encourage that.”
All Photos: Samantha Ruggieri