When I saw the invitation to join the Laurea GameJam on 25-27SEP2015 I was immediately interested. Why would I join the GameJam? I play games quite randomly. My programming skills are minor. Not to mention any special artistic skills…
I had my personal motives and learning purposes. My opinion is that we people need to keep ourselves up-to-date. The game world is everywhere around us and it is only expanding. My family member is studying the game industry to be professional and I have been monitoring the industry through his studies. It is really fantastic to see those young people who are so enthusiastic about what they are doing! The subject of GameJam was Adopting Healthier lifestyles which is very meaningful to me. The university staff encouraged everyone to join so I decided to do it. It was a unique opportunity. And the experience turned out to be really worth doing it.
At GameJam participants had several brilliant ideas for games. Aleksandr and Roman from Aalto University had an idea of educational game for children and it was close to common interest of ours, business administration students from Laurea; Meiju, Aida and me. So we united to be Team Bonfire and spent the weekend together working with the game developing. Lots of ideas, discussions, sweat, joy, tears, success, doubts… We had only 48 hours! Working so intensively in a team with strange people was really challenging but also rewarding.
In addition to own team work it was absorbing to hear lectures from professionals, get to know new people, see other teams’ works and get knowledge of game industry in general. Going to roller coast drive with Oculus Rift virtual display was an explosive experience and it gave an obvious hint of the future; how games can and will be developed for useful purposes. So the concept of GameJam, combining people from different areas for game developing, will certainly be increasing way of working and even essential in game industry.
GameJam was an inspiring add-on to my studies. And actually, it is still going on… Team Bonfire was so successful that our game Hungry Cells won the first prize! Great for us! We will travel to Barcelona in November and take Hungry Cells along to be presented at JamToday Fair.