February 1, 2018

IDG Hosts the Malta Global Game Jam for the 6th time

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The Global Game Jam is a creative event where you team up with other people to make a playable game in 48 hours. On the 26th to 28th of January this year, jammers made games in more than 295 sites in 60 countries!

The Malta chapter of the Global Game Jam was hosted by the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.

Our guests this year were:

Maciej Binkowski - Lead Game Designer - Dying Light

Mike Cook - Research Associate in Goldsmiths’ Department of Computing

Emily Short - Games Writer - Galatea, Sunless Sea, Fallen London

The Game Jam kicked-off with three quick-fire keynotes to give our jammers something new to think about and inspire them for the upcoming 48 hours.

Mike Cook was the first keynote speaker and he presented "Make Your Game Jam Smarter, Healthier And Weirder With Procedural Generation", where he explained how to use templates to make your work as a game designer more interesting and less stressful.

Mike Cook on using Procedurally Generated Content

He was followed by Emily Short, who presented "Matching Story and Mechanics" where she surveyed brainstorming techniques and common design moves to bring game and story concepts together quickly.

Emily Short on matching the mechanics of your game with the story

Our last keynote speaker, Matt Binkowski presented "How we balanced Dying Light and how I fucked it up" where he shared the process behing balancing Dying Light and the lessons he learned from that process.

Matt Binkowski on what players expect when they push a button.

Once the theme was announced teams formed up quickly and went to work on designing their game.

There was a lot of hard work and little sleep. Eventually the keynote speakers came to check on the games-in-progress and provide some helpful feedback.

Once the games were completed it was time to try them out and play them all.

After trying them all out the jamers had the opportunity to vote for their favorite game on the night. The winners take home the coveted "Winner of the Popular Vote" prize, a modified version of the Malta Global Game Jam poster. This year the prize included an authentic sample of IDG Lecturer Antonios Liapis's handwriting. The winning team also included to IDG Alumni: William Cachia and Jean-Luc Portelli.

The winner of the Popular Vote receiving the coveted prize!

All in all another great experience! If you'd like to see all the games made at the Malta Site you can see them on the Global Game Jam website here: https://globalgamejam.org/2018/jam-sites/malta-global-game-jam/games

We'd like to thank the keynote speakers, the volunteer helpers, and the jammers for being their usual awesome selves and hope to see everyone next year.

We have recorded the keynotes and we hope to share them with everyone soon so keep an eye on our page.