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Fall Game Jam Post-Mortem

Fall Game Jam Post-Mortem
Eastern Kentucky University Association Computing Machinary(ACM) hosted a Game Jam from November 7th - November 9th which kicked off by speaker Michael Hartman, President, CEO, and founder of Frogdice who did a pretty good job of talking about the gaming industry and his climb to success.  He created his first game while he was attending University of Georgia Law.  He showed some vital statistics about game development being more lucrative than the movie or music.  He talked about his company and its success through crowd funding. Students asked poignant questions and he passionately answered about myths and how to see if this industry is for you.  He made a point that just starting and finishing a game is key even if its not perfect.  He stressed the importance of creating a portfolio of games.  He talked about his program called the Pollywogs for volunteers, part-timers and interns.  These are die-hard fans of Frogdice and their games.  He said playing their games is the first, very important step towards becoming a Pollywog.
After the talk Daniel Maniferren (Vice President of ACM) passed around a list of themes for attendees to pick five and rank from 1-5.  After the tabulation of votes the theme picked was, "This isn't even my final form."  The theme was left up to interpretation.  Fresh in the minds was advice from Lisa Brown (Insomniac Games) about spending the first two hours not using tools but thinking more about the game theme.  Some teams where formed while others choose to develop alone.  The night game to an end with every one ready to come back for more the next day.
On Saturday students began to hash out game play ideas.  Alex Mankin formed an organic team consisting with members familiar with their tools and environments.  Olivia Hornback said that she was researching a HTML5 game frameworksand found one that she was going to tweak by Sunday night.
We also had 9 year old game tester, Andre Morrison II, who was checking out Mark Cahalan's game.  Alyssa Morrison was interacting with gamers but was busy playing games.  Sandwiches from Jimmy Johns was delivered around lunch time.  The day ended with teams making further improvements and artists were busy at work in Photoshop drawing and designing game environments.
Breakfast of scramble eggs, turkey bacon and pancakes was made by Olivia and Alex.  Members were heavy in coding and some realizing that they might not have a finish product by day's end.   The pressure was on for those still in the running.  Around 5:00 pm the upload page was made available to gamers on the webpage to deliver their game at 12:00 pm.
Completed games were shown and voted on by students on November 12, 2014 on the fourth floor of Wallace.  Scores for the GameFest were tallied.  
1) “This isn’t even”
1) “Form Filer Extreme”
3) A Square Escape
4) Form Manager 2014
5) Snakes and Cakes
6) Text Adventure
7) A Game
8) Quiz Game
Thanks to all who came out to attend.  Thanks also to our sponsors Kentucky Innovation Network, EKU Gaming Institute

Published on November 26, 2014

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