First of all - Happy Chinese New Year everyone! A month has now passed since Global Game Jam 2018 and it is high time for us to take a look at how it all went down.
It has been ten years since the first GGJ was held in China. The event’s attendance has only gotten bigger since then, especially in the recent years, which is surely the result of a growing interest in games and game creation around the country. This year, GGJ was held in seven cities around China, and Indienova attended the Beijing jam, this year organized by the digital entertainment company Happy Elements.
At the place of event in Juixianqiao in east Beijing, the main hall was filled with anticipation and eager jammers patiently waiting for the announcement of this year’s theme: Transmission. Some attended as a complete group, some were looking to find a team, and some were set at soloing. In total, 50 unique creations were to be made here within the coming 48 hours.
Among this year’s participants we found an enthusiastic team consisting of five professional game developers and first-time GGJ attendants. Their contribution, Kacha Factory, is a rhythm focused game with a simple three-button control mechanic. The name “Kacha”, derives from the sound the machines in the game make as you control them. The game consists of transmitting units of resources between these machines in a certain order, at a certain pace, and was quite challenging at higher levels.
“These teammates are all very nice”, Dai Youjia, the games graphic artist and seasoned jammer, comments. “And Kacha Factory is the best game of all previously made by me.” When asked about the development process the group explains:
“We started with 4-5 hours of brainstorming, and at Saturday night at 9 pm we had our beta ready. After completing the third level on Sunday we started working with effects, sound, music and debug… debug, debug, debug...”
At the same time in Chengdu, GGJ was held by the local mobile game studio tap4fun. Just like various other cities around China, like Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hangzhou, this was Chengdu’s second year as a jam location. Also here, the number of participants saw an increase since last year. Some of those were the team behind the game EnergyShock, which was one of this year’s game jam creations that was given some attention, as it was featured in PCGamers “Free games of the week”.
EnergyShock is described as a “roguelike, turn-based, deck building game” on the games itch page and is a lovely little piece made in GameMaker. The gameplay consists of battles along a horizontal grid, where every move is determined by the cards you play. It is up to the player to strategically order his or her cards to get in perfect distance and effectively smite the enemies. As the creators behind it are working on updating and expanding it, but the current version is available for download on both PC and Mac. Check it out!