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On the 15th December 2011, the first ever  Proper Game Jam took place.

Throught the day, we kept a blog of the event as it happened and posted it onto our Facebook page.

When asked about this Game Jam, Paddy Sinclair (CEO of Proper Games) commented How can I sum up the Proper Games’ Game Jam?  I’ll go with fun!  We were all quite shattered at the end of it, but with that warm glow of creation to keep the smile on our faces, and as you’ll see from the videos - there was more than a few laughs in the games as well.  It’s great to let everyone stretch their creative legs like this and we’re justifiably proud of our achievements.

As a company, we have seen a number of strategic changes during 2011.  The Game Jam was not only a great way to end our year before the festive break – but it is also a reminder on the necessity of encouraging  creativity in our studio.  One of our released IOS Titles, Stupid Cupid, originated from an earlier game jam – and who knows maybe one these games will follow!

Without a doubt, this Proper Game Jam will be the first of many!

Summary of what the teams produced: 

Team: Shoutybeards!
• Game Title: Brian Blessed’s Toast Run Extreme!
• Platform: Flash
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/d8XqrJVBGS0
• Game Description: Winner of the Proper Games Tourettes Award, Brian Blessed's Toast Run Extreme 2012! combines the great insitiutions of toast and shouting!
• Brought to you by Team Shoutybeards!, BBTRE2012! challenges players to launch their toast at high-velocity jam, butter and chocolate whilst avoiding low-flying ricecakes, because who likes ricecakes anyway?

• Team: Nice Tri
• Game Title: Elf Help
• Platform: Unity
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/8ihgMgGv98c
• Game Description: Elf Help is a two player co-op game where each player controls a unicycling elf, each holding onto the ribbon of a present. The brave elves set off through Santa’s workshop – which is on fire – and the players must each use their single button to jump over obstacles. However, exact timing is required from both if they are to clear the obstacles as straying too far apart will unwrap and drop the present, sending them back to the previous checkpoint. Get to the end of the level to save the precious present and become the toast of Elf-Town.  The game was created in Unity and features local and network play, a 400 meter long level and the three Jam themes of One button (per player), Toast (kinda) and Re(Uni)cycling.

• Team: Risky Yak
• Game Title: Ants Snatch Toast
• Platform: IOS
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/eChF6y9sNjs
• Game Description: Built in a day, Ants Snatch Toast is an exciting puzzle game for the iOS platform.  Draw the path for the ants to follow, dodging hazards and other insects looking for a tasty ant snack. With a limited number of ants and timer counting away, guide those ants, snatch that toast and bring it back safely to the nest.  

• Team: Fritzdoig
• Game Title: Wushi
• Platform: XNA Xbox
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/VFyshNPNUBQ
• Game Description: Wushi is a one button 2D platformer where you test your skill and reaction times as a base jumping sky pirate running from the world across a sky of platforms, sky ships and floating isles.

• Team: Ninja Fact
• Game Title:
• Platform: IOS
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/mivXIzmtmEk
• Game Description: Toast Ninja is a title based around the “frantic slashing and hoping for the best” game mechanic. As the intrepid Toast Ninja you are faced by an array of nefarious toasters that pop bread products towards you for your spreading attention. Deftly layering on butter, then jam dare you risk applying marmite for a risky combo bonus? Sometimes your Ninja Master likes it, sometimes he doesn’t – he’s inscrutable like that. Burnt toast will incur your Master’s wrath if buttered, and the occasional feline is caught playing with the toaster array – again your master loves the kitties so do not apply butter unless you are confident that you can then apply transformative jam to allow the poor moggie to ascend to a higher state of being.

• Team: Happy Tomato
• Game Title: Space Stream
• Platform: Windows 7 Mobile
• YouTube Link:
http://youtu.be/f1beHRB7EGE
• Game Description: A one-button side-scroller where the player has to struggle against the flow of space to get to the finish as fast as they can.

....and below, you can read all the action as it happened (in reverse blogging order, of course)!

Monday 19th December 1:00PM

Gameplay Footage - Update

A lot quieter in the office today - most of our talented guys are now off for a well deserved break..

The first ever Proper Game Jam has been a great success and we are already talking about when we will do the next one!

Well as promised, here are all the gameplay footage for the 6 teams...

TEAM: SHOUTYBEARDS!

TEAM: RISKY YAK

TEAM: NINJA FACT

TEAM: NICE TRI

TEAM: HAPPY TOMATO

TEAM: FRITZDOIG

...we already have a few favourites and I'm pretty sure we may even look to develop one or two of them!

I'll pull together 'official' game descriptions and post accordingly.

Cheers again for following our first ever Proper Game Jam!

 

Friday 16th December 3:30PM

Gameplay Footage

As a reward for all the teams' hard work - we are heading out for our festive slap-up meal.

The gameplay footage is being uploaded to our YouTube Channel as I type!

Once each team's footage has been uploaded - they will appear below.

TEAM: NICE TRI

TEAM: HAPPY TOMATO

TEAM: FRITZDOIG

...and we'll be back again on Monday to upload the contributions by teams Ninja Fact, Risky Yak and an absolute cracker from the Shoutybeards - well worth coming back to see!

Right, I'm off for a mince pie!

 

Friday 16th December 11:00am

"Stop writing and Pencils down"

It really has felt like a class room exam this morning :)

That's it, the first Proper Game Jam has come to a close.  The team's have really worked their socks off (not literally thankfully!).

Now we are all going to see each team's creations in full.

Yes - I will post some gamplay footage as soon as we've captured it!

Pat on the back teams - job well done!

...You've certainly all earned your Christmas dinner this afternoon - table is booked for 3:30pm!

Friday 16th December 10:25am

Another Surprise from team Nice Tri!

Well after getting a 'no update' - team Nice Tri have come up with the goods.  Here's what they have to say...

Tinkering time for Nice Tri this morning is consisting of:

  • Title and End screens

  • Shaders and other VFX

  • Playtesting – I actually got to play the level in its entirety at 9:50 this morning

  • And most exciting of all - network play optimisation!

We are proud to say that we have managed to get all 3 themes included – albeit rather tenuously – and what our game may lack in overall polish, we feel we make up for with features!

Wait, did they say all three themes and network play!?!  Very impressed guys, very impressed!

 

Friday 16th December 10:20am

Quick Update

Right, as suspected - everyone is very very busy.

So here's a very quick update from the teams that didn't tell me to go away...

  • FRITZDOIG - No update - but both smiling!
  • NICE TRI - No update, but I can hear some Christmas music being played!
  • HAPPY TOMATO - The plan this morning to try and find and fix the bug that is messing up the collision detection with our ship. Good luck!
  • SHOUTYBEARDS - Brian is about to step out on stage! Great you managed to find him in time!
  • NINJA FACT - No update but looking very confident!
  • RISKY YAK - Things are going as well as they can do at this hellish time in the morning. Our plan for the last hour is to make the game. :D  Erm!

The plan, once the hour is up - the teams will be presenting the games internally.  Then we'll grab some footage and post it up here!  Very impressed with what I've seen!

I will of course report back after the show & tell!

 

Friday 16th December 9:50am

Tinkering Time!

Good morning!

Well the teams have just one hour to tinker with their games before our first Proper Game Jam comes to a close.  I can feel the tension in the room so I'll do my best to report on the current status before the panic sets in within the teams.

Also, as soon as I have captured some gameplay footage - you'll be the first to see it!

Right off to pester the teams once again...

But before I do, I should post a little present that I found in my inbox this morning - from team NICE TRI, great work guys!

 

Thursday 15th December 5:30pm

Final Design Update for the Day!

The time certainly has flown.  As this will be the last update for the day, let's take a look at what the team's have at the moment.  Remember they have up until 6pm tonight - then an extra hour tomorrow morning.

  • FRITZDOIG - all going to plan, apparently!

 

  • NICE TRI - Going well… going too well… I’m suspicious. All we need now is some polish and maybe we can include a super surprise for tomorrow! - I think I know the surprise - so fingers crossed they can do it!

 

 

  • HAPPY TOMATO - a team of very few words!

 

  • SHOUTYBEARDS - Basic game and graphics are almost done.  Pleased to report that Brian is currently in make-up and being prepped ready for entry.  Also, audio is being edited! - So relieved Brian could make it!

 

  • NINJA FACT - Basic scoring, combos, progression & audio in.  Tweaking & visual polish remaining. - I've been assured that "no cats have been..." you know the rest!

  • RISKY YAK - AAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG….. It’s going ok :D Can we please get our more pizza? - no you can't!  Stop thinking about food and work on those ants!

Right, that's the end of the last post for today.  We'll be back again tomorrow morning - with more updates and even some gameplay footage!

Night!

Thursday 15th December 4:00pm

Doesn't Time Fly!

It's 4pm, which means there is only two official hours left of the Proper Game Jam today!  But fear not, there will be one hour of 'tinkering' allowed tomorrow morning.  I've just had a walk around the office and am genuinely amazed at just how much the teams have managed to do - so far!  I think we will need to look at the company scheduling for 2012 and see if we can look to output one of these beauties!  I'm really looking forward to capturing some video footage for posting tomorrow!

My only concerns as an observer at this stage - firstly there is still no sign of Brian Blessed, and secondly team Risky Yak have just informed me of their choice of title for their game!  Let's just hope that both are fixed in time for tomorrow!

Did you know that our free to download IOS game, Stupid Cupid (another blatant plug I know) was actually the result of a Game Jam.  So you never know what today might lead into...besides tomorrow that is!

Thursday 15th December 3:15pm

Ninja Fact Update (2nd Attempt)!

Well the secret Ninja squad finally gave in and issued an update...

Toast Ninja!  Think Fruit Ninja, except buttering Toast and erm.. other bread products instead of slicing fruit (tagline needs work…) 

  • Paddy – Working on Toast physics and sourcing audio

  • Abi – Working on lots of arty goodness!

  • Andy – Swiping, buttering, jamming and other code stuff.  Also, telling our Marketing Manager to stop bothering me coz I’m busy!

..the cheek, and here was me about to put them back into my good books!  Mind you, with all these lovely art assets they've provide - I might just forgive them!

Thursday 15th December 2:45pm

Ninja Fact Update!

Surprise surprise, no progress report or artwork has been received from this team.  They really are just wanting to get as much exposure as they can - well it won't wash with me!  Right I'm going to give this team a nudge and report back asap!

Thursday 15th December 2:40pm

Nice Tri Update!

The more I check the progress, the more excited I am getting. 

Sounds like this team have been very busy...

Progress is going well so far within team Nice Tri – after a 20 minute discussion to pin down and agree on the design we have each taken on separate tasks:

  • Chris has begun work on the elf player character’s modelling and animation and is moving onto texturing.

  • Alex has created some basic level geometry and is beginning to put a level together as well as producing a comprehensive design document.

  • Omid, has done much work on the code side of things using placeholder art assets he has 2 moving characters that can jump on command and both carry the present together, they interact with the environment and can die if they fall off it. They can also drop the present if they stray too far apart from one another – although at the moment this happens when either jumps so we currently have a game whereby if either of the players presses their single button, they will lose – but this is only due to the fact that the carefully planned jump height in Alex’s design doc has not yet been implemented.

...very comprehensive comment from Alex - can't wait to read the design doc! Ahm :)

And these guys have given me lot's of artwork also...

 

Thursday 15th December 2:30pm

Fritzdoig Update!

Right come on guys, what have you got...

Fritzdoig are close to a first playable with core visuals placeholdered, and the character has some concept art and the beginnings of character animation. Fritz is working on parallax scrolling for the level.

Woohoo - so the rumour was true, we almost have a playable game.  Right I have the video camera ready!

And their artwork tease...

 

Thursday 15th December 2:20pm

Risky Yak Update!

And here is what they have to say...

Well…. As you can see below the game is going well.  It’s a path finding game where you have to navigate your ants (who have gone blind due to global warming or some other nonsense) to a slice of toast and bring it back to their nest.  Mike has the basic functionality working at this stage and is now just fleshing the game out a bit to be a bit more challenging. Colin is churning out more assets and making the game beautiful, it’s a shame you can’t see more of his fine work in the picture. I have just finished the design for the level and I am now raiding the Proper Games archive for Flock sound affects to place into the game.  Also if you wish to nominate us for an Oscar or Nobel Prize please feel free.

zzzzzZZZZZ what erm, oh right.  Ok, thanks for that very informative text Paul.  Let's see what he's talking about...

 

Thursday 15th December 2:10pm

Shoutybeards Update!

Sticking with the style of quoting the team...

We have a toaster that pops, we have square jam. But we are far behind as we have no Brian as yet!

...I'm starting to spot a design flaw here.  Surely an 'extreme toast run featuring Brian Blessed' requires Brian Blessed himself!  Hmmm does anyone know if Brian is in Dundee today, or indeed have a number for his agent?!?

Anyhow, let's see what they have got to show...

                

Thursday 15th December 2:00pm

Happy Tomato Update!

To quote the team...

Happy Tomato are happy with progress and tomatoes.

  • Chris is coding the AWESOME gameplay

  • John is coding the INTUITIVE interface

  • Will is creating BEAUTIFUL art

IT'S ALL FINE!

...and here's a sample of what's keeping them, erm, Happy:

 

Thursday 15th December 1:10pm

Huge Milestone Achieved!

Right, erm, well 10minutes later this is what happened!

 

 

Now as much as I am sure that everyone is enjoying looking at our teams eating pizza - I'm going to starting posting some progress reports from each of the teams - and here's hoping some artwork as well!  I should say, I have heard a rumour that one team may even have a playable creation!

Thursday 15th December 1:00pm

Huge Milestone Reached!

Perhaps one of the most important times of the day has arrived.  I'll report back on progress after the following has been consumed!

 

Thursday 15th December 11:20am

Design Updates

Well as promised, I've been around the teams and I've been given a hint on what what they are working on.

Now, I'm not sure if asking them was such a good idea - but here is what they said:

  • FRITZDOIG - a one button platform runner (like Freedom City Runners I suspect)!  Platform: XNA Xbox
  • NICE TRI - a festive themed game involving elves and a toy factory!  Platform: Unity
  • HAPPY TOMATO - a vehicle moving through fluid!  Platform: Windows 7
  • SHOUTYBEARDS - an extreme toast run featuring Brian Blessed, apparently!  Platform: Flash
  • NINJA FACT - Toast Ninja, does what it says on the tin apparently!  Platform: IOS
  • RISKY YAK - greedy ants grabbing toast!  Platform: IOS

So it seems that the themes of toast, one button, and Elves (ahm I didn't see that one in the rules!) are proving the preferred choice.  Talking of toast, I hope someone has ordered the pizzas for lunch...anyone?

Thursday 15th December 10:24am

The Risky Yaks are complete!

Pleased to report that their third member has just arrived.  But I don't see any secret weapon in his possession (or a bacon roll for me either - humph!).

I'll let all the teams get under way and then find out what they are up to around 11am!

I might have a game of Stupid Cupid whilst I'm waiting.  Yep a blatant plug for our free to download IOS title - it's just had a festive update :)

Thursday 15th December 10:00am

And we're off!

The first ever Proper Game Jam is under way!

Roll call on teams...

  • FRITZDOIG - the other 50% of the team just arrived!
  • NICE TRI - heads down and all looking very serious!
  • HAPPY TOMATO - surely they should be smiling more if they chose a team name like theirs!
  • SHOUTYBEARDS - looking very confident - so much so they aren't even sat by a computer!  I was joking about using sellotape and bourbons!
  • NINJA FACT - all mysteriously quiet!  Is this the Ninja skills at work!?!
  • RISKY YAK - erm I think they are missing a team member!  Is he picking up a secret weapon on his way into the office?!?

Thursday 15th December 9:40am

Team NINJA FACT back in the good books!

Well well well, team NINJA FACT have finally given me their logo.  Looks good - but don't think I don't realise what you are doing.  Sending in your logo late, just so you get a post all to your own.  As if I would fall for that!

 

Thursday 15th December 8:55am

The Day Begins!

Morning!  Well I am detecting an element of confidence in our teams today - no early starters in the office (except 50% of FRITZDOIG).  I think I have time to grab a coffee before it all starts at 10am!

 

Wednesday 14th December 6:00pm

Team Names Announced!

At last, after a lot of chasing, here is the line up for tomorrow...

  • FRITZDOIG - Fritz Ackerley &  Micheal Doig (hmmm wonder how they came up with that name!?!)

  • NICE TRI - Alex Pass, Omid Darani & Chris Bradwell (the most intelligent by far!)

 

  • SHOUTYBEARDS! - Calum MacRobert, Phil McClenaghan & Danny Parker (I wouldn't have expected anything else gents!)

  • RISKY YAK - Mike Rennie, Colin McQuillen & Paul Leishman (...and I had such high hopes as well!)

  • HAPPY TOMATO - John Sinclair, William Wright, Chris Brown (perhaps inspired by the disgruntled ornithoid concept )

  • NINJA FACT - Paddy Sinclair, Abi Cox & Andy Turner (...yet to supply a logo, so not in my good books!)

And of course, let's just hope that the logos are not a sign of the artwork they are going to create tomorrow!

Right, that's me signing off - will see you in the morning, bright and early!

Wednesday 14th December 2:30pm

Themes?!?!?

So the teams have been given three themes to choose from for their game.  Now after the numerous groans and sighs - I'm guessing that any association to the themes will be quite tenuous.  But hey, I didn't see anything in the rules excluding tenuous designs - so perhaps let's not think too much about the following themes!

  • One Button
  • Toast (I'm seeing a Jam association here!)
  • Recycle

Right, I'm off to get those team names as promised...

Wednesday 14th December 12:00noon

So what's going on?

Well, quite frankly it's about time we held our own Game Jam - so that's exactly what we are doing! 

Tomorrow we will see 6 teams, made up of our own staff, taking on our first ever Game Jam challenge.  The teams have been decided, the themes have been set, the dev kits are ready, and we've even thought about the pizzas!  So let's see those creative juices start flowing!

My promise to you - I'll keep updating regular reports on progress throughout the day so you can see how things are going.

...You never know, we might even have some working stuff to show at the end of the day! (fingers crossed!)

So the Proper Game Jam rules have been written in stone (well in an internal email, but you get my drift!)...

  • 10AM start and finishing up at about 6PM
  • “Show and tell” will be on Friday 16th December with 1 hour of “tinkering time” before 10am (just like in Scraphead Challenge)
  • No restrictions are being placed on the tools the teams can use to create their game (does that include sellotape and bourbons?)
  • The assets from any of Proper Games previous projects are fair game for use (I guess that's called recycling)

Right, well let me go and chase up the team names and I'll get back to you!