Today GameSparks proudly congratulates winners of the inaugural SparksJam – a 12 hour game jam recently held in association with Pulse College.
This year’s awards have been split into two categories – The Judges Choice, chosen by members of GameSparks and Pulse College, and People’s Choice, where voting was opened up to SparksJam participants and an unlimited amount of Itch.io users.
SparksJam, presented by GameSparks and Pulse College ran for a short but sweet 12 hours on the 23rd of September. 60 registered participants teamed up to eat a huge amount of pizza and compete against each other to create a winning game, using the theme ‘invasion’.
“Invaders” and “Invasion: Destroy All Buildings” won the Judges Choice awards, claiming tickets to PocketGamerConnects: London 2017 as their prize.
Andreas Lau, creator of “Invaders” said that SparksJam “was a really fun experience and I wish I could have been physically attending the venue.
I like the challenge of creating something in such a short time frame. Some might think that working 12 hours non-stop is hard, but it is actually quite easy when the work is something you love. Additionally the topic was a really cool and open one, it was a lot of fun to match the modifier to a game of this topic.”
“Invasion: Destroy All Buildings”, created by Pearse Tooney, Mel Dayalan and Matt Shaw, takes the usual connotations of ‘invasion’ and turns them on their head, seeing players take the wheel of a UFO, destroying as many human dwellings as they can in a limited amount of time.
After hearing the news of his team’s success, Matt Shaw said “We’d been to a couple of previous jams and really enjoy the atmosphere at them. This was our first without a professional programmer so we were a little wary of what we’d be able to create in the timeframe, but with Unity’s easy to use interface we were able to split up the work a lot and piece it together at the end. Pearse looked after the visuals and bullied us into keeping to a time schedule, Mel handled all the sound and mixing and I coded the game and UI.
The sparksjam staff were really helpful and happy to answer some of our likely idiotic questions as we floundered through areas of Unity we had never touched before the day. We had a lot of ideas at the start but we decided to stick to something simpler and it allowed us time at the end to add in the little bits and pieces we wanted. All in all it was a great experience and we came out of it happy for having taken part, and are delighted (if somewhat surprised) to have made the judges choice award. We’ll definitely be back for the next one.”
SparksJam participants and an unlimited amount of Itch members voted for the People’s Choice Award, which went to “Mighty Crack”, created by Richie Bryne and Richie Fahy. The Mighty Crack had players wade through the darkness within a maze-like house, taking on the waves of invasions with a gun as their defence.
All of the participants and judges were extremely impressed with the submissions made for the very first SparksJam. Shane O’Brien, GameSparks Technical Project Lead said, “12 hours is a tiny amount of time, most would think it was barely enough to create anything remotely playable. I’m both impressed and proud of the games that were made at SparksJam. It’s always great to see what comes out of the pressure cooker!”