Austria Game Jam 2012

30Jan12

This year the third Austria Game Jam took place at the St. Marx Media Quarter in Vienna. In the last two years I couldn’t attend due to an unfortunate date collision of the game jam and the GFG, a small but high-quality game dev conference held in Hannover, Germany. Unfortunately, it didn’t take place this year. When I was approached by Jürgen Musil, one of the AGJ organizers, if I wanted to be part of the jury I immediately agreed.

I made sure not to see nor hear too much about the teams this year to let the games speak for themselves. I knew old colleagues and friends were taking part in the jam, so any kind of connection I made between a participant and their game was to be avoided. At least, I tried to.

The topic was quite intriguing this year – an image of Ouroboros, the snake that bites its own tail. A visual trigger to inspire the jammers.

The games that were created during the game jam were all quite intriguing and catered to a broad audience. A digital board game, a conceptual paper prototype as well as platformers and variations of the classic Snake title. There was a game for every taste and preference and we had a hard time limiting our enthusiasm down to one single game. In the end, we were able to decide upon one game, which stood out from the rest because of a great number of things: it was, first of all, extremely fun to play. We wanted to continue playing, no one wanted to go see one of the other projects before this one was finished. The level design was thought through and gradually became harder to master. Just the right amount. The game mechanics were consistent and there was even a twist, which explained the name. Once I’ve found out the twist it was great to find out how to master it. So, in the end it might not have been the most innovative twist (we’ve seen it before), or the most innovative genre but the “togetherness” of all the single elements and the ability to be fun and enjoyable made the decision easier in the end.

If you’re curious now, go to the official Austria Game Jam website and take a look at all the games that were submitted there. Take some time, play them all and have a great time. It was a pleasure being part of this year’s AGJ!

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