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Global Game Jam Guildford - A Retrospective

Dan Thomas
Dan Thomas
Head of Game Services 7 Feb 20203 minutes read

Dan Thomas, Head of Etch Play, gets his creative juices going and participates at the Guildford Edition of Global Game Jam 2020.

Here at Etch, our mantra is "love what you do". Attending game jams like Global Game Jam 2020 is one of the many ways we on the Play team get to do what we love, immersing ourselves in the games community and being creative.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Guildford edition of GGJ. Held at the beautiful new offices of Wargaming UK, the local site hosted a dozen teams of local games developers, who came together to spend their weekend planning, designing, and building a whole host of weird and wonderful games in just a few of days.

The Wargaming UK offices

The venue provided a fantastic space for focused creativity, and the friendly attendees added a relaxed atmosphere that brought together hobbyists, professionals and veterans together, from indies to AAA, to collaborate on their inventions.

Having missed the Friday introduction and team formations, I turned up on Saturday and tackled a solo project. My submission allows anyone to create their own classic-RPG-game-style conversation between two avatars, which can then be shared online. Like all the best game jam creations, it was an extremely fun project, which I was pleased to be able to present at the final ceremony on the Sunday. There were plenty of features and polish that I didn't get around to, but that's always the case when you're working under time pressure at these kinds of events, and the fun is in the journey, not the destination. That's my excuse anyway!

A screenshot of my RPG conversation creator

A screenshot from my creation, which you can try here. Press spacebar to continue the chat!

There was loads of imagination on display from the other attendees too. Among the eclectic list of presentations at the end were varied games such as a physics puzzle about spaceship repairs, a handmade boardgame involving catapults, a first person planet discovery experience, a game where you save trains from disaster by repairing tracks, a raft construction and shark avoidance simulator, an alien language translator, a one-button collaborative robot bungee, and rhythm blacksmithing. Yes, rhythm blacksmithing.

The team behind rhythm blacksmithing, showing off their game

You can check out all of the wonderful creations here.

We'd like to extend our thanks to Wargaming UK for hosting, and Jon Keliher of Supergonk and Liam de Valmacy of Media Molecule for organising such a great event and props to all the other attendees for making this a great weekend. It was great to see Guildford's creative community spring into action and create such engaging, interesting experiments. 

Until next time!

Interested in what we do at Etch Play? We believe that the experience is everything, and we help games companies bring that idea to life with websites, apps and services that bring players and creators together. You can find out more about our offering at etchplay.com/work.