Jason Kelk is on the prowl for Homebrew happenings
The most recent Global Game Jam – where developers are given a theme and mere days to create something – took place at the start of 2018 and there were hundreds of gatherings organised to take place during the event itself as people came together to create and socialise. Although the majority of entries were written with current-generation hardware in mind, pretty much anything goes including board games and baked goods.
There were titles designed for unusual hardware so the Tiny Arcade – an Arduino-based games system – received the impressive-looking
Killing The Messenger, Oculus Rift owners with Oculus Touch can have a blast at Cyber Wave and Transmission: Defence was written around the author’s custom-built Bluetooth controller. We were surprised to see an attempted alternate reality game – where in-game events bleed over into the real world – which the developer claims is “based on light transmission and amplified tools” called Where Is My Girl?, and Oszipong is a variant on the venerable bat and ball game which runs on an oscilloscope and Teensy microcontroller.
There was a healthy dose of satire throughout; both Bad Blood and Vaxx Challenge are board games, with players of the former taking the role of companies vying to privatise the
NHS and the latter explaining how vaccinations and herd immunity work. The web-based Fake News – The Game is a Cards Against Humanity style affair where the aim is to make the others laugh with funny news headlines and Prime Target sees an Amazon delivery drone’s GPS fail, sending it headlong into an enemy war zone.
8-bit computers and consoles fared well from the game jam. For The Galaxy on the Game Boy sees the player searching the quadrant for enemy transmissions and trying to disable them. The VIC 20’s Dr Ultra is a medical simulation of sorts where the player uses paddles to control a powerful ultrasonic laser to cut kidney stones out of their patients – this one comes with a version of Snake which was thrown together in a spare hour, just because the programmer could – and finally we have to mention one title on the C64 where the goal is to deliver messages by train for no other reason than the appalling pun title of Trainsmission.
Due to the small timescale, there are quite a few entries which should really be considered as previews rather than complete titles but everything shown off can be found behind the link, Kikstart.eu/global-jam-2018.