Our team remembers it well: “but what if we hosted a game jam?” – It was tongue in cheek at the time, and we weren’t really sure if we were going to do it, but there was enough interest from the community on our Facebook and Twitter polls. One reason why this community is so awesome is everyone has a say. Sometimes if we’re not sure about how something is going to go down, we just ask and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no way we can improve and grow as a community if we don’t hand the mic over to our members.
Our Global Game Jam 2018 site for VR was a testament to that.
We asked our members on Discord: What do you need for a successful game jam? The answer? We want mentors. And so we brought on local awesome mentors from Cloudhead Games, Blueprint Reality, Virtro, and Mythical City Games. We also hosted a workshop with Academy of VR! We asked our jammers on a Google Form: What tea and coffee do you want? What kind of snacks would you like? What is your preferred Sunday dinner? Is there anything else you’d like? And so our jammers had a constant stream of fruits, orange juice, lemonade, tea, and coffee in the morning, vegetable platters and treats in the afternoon, and on Sunday, we wrapped everything up with Stretch Pizza and plenty of Fujiya sushi platters.
This year, the Global Game Jam worldwide theme was revealed as “Transmission”. For about an hour, jammers mingled and conceptualized with the theme in mind. Each idea was shared, and folks were in teams in no time. While we weren’t sure how to arrange the space for a VR jam, we had the dedicated VR artists constantly in their rigs on the outer corner, while we had teams in a rectangle, with shared HTC Vive headsets using the same pair of lighthouses. It was surprisingly really robust, and a lot of fun! They say you learn something new every day, and learning what works for a VR game jam layout was one of ours.
The final send-off had the Bens of Blueprint Reality on board. I don’t think we could ever tire of MixCast demos – every time we see someone IN their environment, it makes a world of difference to the viewer. First person view is one thing, but seeing a person in the virtual environment brings so much context. (Also Ben Sullivan is an absolute master of Fruit Ninja!)
Emerald Activities created “The Library” and was able to integrate MixCast with ease. CTO Ben explored all the bookshelves, and held onto one of the snake models. (Only in the Vancouver VR Community!)
You can check out all of the kickass game entries here!:
Thanks again for making VR history in Vancouver by being a part of the first ever VR-focused Global Game Jam site. And a huge thank-you goes out to our volunteers and mentors. If you were there, please fill out this quick survey!
Some nice words from our members:
- “This is like, the luxury Global Game Jam site.”
- “It’s so great having Antony!! This is the best level of mentorship i’ve experienced in any jam/hackathon.”
- “You should totally host more game jams.”
- “We’ll do this again – just fill out the form for us, haha!”
- “I’ve been to 5 Global Game Jams, and this one is my favourite one.”
Check out one of the first time VR creators’ work below! You can download it and try it out for yourself in the link above.