Mindstorm Studios hosted the Global Game Jam Lahore took place from the 31st of January to the 2nd of February 2014. The objective of the event was to unite all the budding video game enthusiasts for a three-day event and be part of the process of creating an entire video game from scratch based on an assigned theme. The turnout was terrific and a few hundred people applied, amongst whom about a hundred people were shortlisted.
The event kicked off with the CEOs of both Mindstorm Studios and Tintash (another prestigious Pakistani developer) giving opening speeches about the changing nature of the video game industry, and its rising potential in the modern world. Proceeding that, the theme was provided and the rest of the day given to the participants to finalize their teams and conceive of ideas for their games. Many of the participants engaged in brainstorming ideas, drawing them out, penning them down. The teams were really enthusiastic about the event, with some people working in teams of just two people, out of the maximum five that was allowed. Some people event slept the night at the venue as bad weather and high spirits fueled their enthusiasm for activity.
The second day of the event involved much work. The bulk of coding and design work was done during this period. Participants were driven by coffee and the spirit lifting presentations by some mentors, experts in the video game industry. These mentors gave some really great tips about how different aspects of video games were made, like sounds, artwork, design and story writing. Furthermore, each mentor provided personalized advice to each team on how their individual ideas could be improved, along with assistance on which developmental tools and assets to use, to streamline and smoothen out the development process. Once again, many teams stayed the night, working hard on their projects to ensure they were done on time, Four P.M. of the next day being the submission time. Coffee, Betel Leaf and the LUMS Music Festival nearby ensured they maintained their spirits. Furthermore, the accompanying music that some of the hosts so graciously set up helped maintain morale.
The third day of the event had everyone rushing around. Sleep deprived and highly tense developers and designers alike struggled to complete their projects on time. The devs rushed the testing of their games, joy they derived from working aspects while despair from broken aspects of the functionality. Everyone was on their toes as the time of submission loomed ever closer. Two days of intense effort was slowly being morphed into complete projects that grew completer by the second. Everyone was excited, the devs, the organizers and the judges as they eagerly awaited the submissions.
And so the submission process came to a finish as the teams submitted their final products . The judges , after much deliberation narrowed the submitted games down to ten. These ten lucky devs had the opportunity to present their hard work’s result to everyone and their games were played and enjoyed by everyone present.
The conclusion and epitome of the event was the final judging criteria. One game had to be crowned as the victor of the game jam. After much deliberation on the part of the judges, the award of the victor went to ‘Shadow Ball’ by GVMS. Awards in other special categories went to other games like Cradle by the Misfits, that was praised for its narrative and artwork.
And so came the three day event to an end. An event, the first of it’s kind that was enjoyed by everyone present: The devs, the mentors, the organizers and the judges. An event that was a learning experience and was worth every bit of the effort invested in it by everyone present. Everyone got to engage in creative discussion and partake in a highly exciting albeit, tiring developmental process. Professionals and Amateurs alike experienced the thrill and the joy of creating and designing an original, creative idea from a theme. Everyone Jammed, and it was an awesome experience!