The title translates as: The Paddock. We were asleep at the end of the event, you know.
I won’t write too much about the event itself (I don’t want to write too much to be honest), if you are an spanish reader you can read a review here. I’ll be writing a lot about things we have done there in further posts, because what happpened that weekend was interesting in many ways.
First of all, I want to inform that the Caracas Game Jam 2012 (CGJ 2012) grew up quite a lot. And that’s a good thing. I was having a conversation yesterday with @chiguire and @justyole (founders of the event here in Caracas) and I said growing up is not (only) a matter of numbers, and this CGJ was a proof of it. Last year we had more people and more games (including a board one), this year the numbers weren’t quite different, but it was the experience as a whole. The last 3 years we had a facility specially designed for developing, this time wasn’t the case, but the desire to expand to other universities was a major goal this year so we decided to take the risks. We did it in the best way we could. But it wasn’t easy at all. We, as organizers, had to confront a million problems in order to keep the event going without much noticing by the attendees: from electric power problems to some douchebag claiming rights over some space we used those days, everything made CGJ better. Everything made us better.
See, we as organizers were producers of 12 games completed that weekend. And I proud of it. Don’t missunderstand me, I’m not claiming any right over any game (except the one I was directly related), but if you are an old follower of this blog you know I just have to be very sincere about what I think, and that’s what I think: We helped over 40 people to transform their visions into playable and finished games. And that’s good not only for the obvious personal consequences, but for the global ones: most of those developers had never worked with such a figure as a producer (or did it just a few times), and now they have. They now know how things should work inside of a well planned game developing team. Now they know how duties have to be distributed. And that’s good. Their standards are higher, their experience is wider and their knowledge is broader.
From a logistic point of view, it was exactly like leaving home to go to college: you suddenly realize those details that make a lot different your experience when you are with your family and when not. We got that, and the next year is going to be even better.
Because, by far, this was the best GCJ: the event, the community, every single attendee grew up in a way we can’t imagine the last year.
In second place, El Potrero is not my game at all, the credits go to Osmel Briceño, René Espinoza y Hernán Ruiz. As that last link says, I was more like a game designer consultant and moral supporter. The team decided to recognize my contributions in the game by including me in it, but make no mistake: the game is not mine, I just watched out the process.
This game is an old school platform game made in Autodesk Maya. Literally, you need to install (and to know how to use) Maya to play it. The reason: the team had no programmers, at least in the usual sense. Actually, the name of the team was NTP: No teníamos Programador (Something like WHNP: We Have No Programmer). Osmel and René are my coworkers in a 3D animation studio, we are part of the technical directors team, therefore their knowledge is focused in making tools inside Maya, and given that no team in the event absorbed them, the final decision was to make a game with what they know. Hernán provided the concept art and general modeling.
The workflow created by the teamt that day gave me an idea. Right now I’m working in expanding the tools inside El Potrero to give artists (maybe basic) tools to sketch their games ideas. I think it is a good way not only for sketching and prototyping, but also to make easier the switch to real game engines such as UDK or Unity whether or not the game is part of a professional or personal project (and also for the work in our animation team).
That last paragraph is a long term goal, but I’m very glad about it because is the result of, as I said, the best CGJ I ever been a part of.
Global/Caracas Game Jam 2013 will be held between January 25-27 . We will be expecting you there.
A couple of videos related:
Global Game Jam 2012 Keynote
Caracas Game Jam 2012 Keynote (spanish)