The world’s largest game jam, the Global Game Jam, had its 2019 session this past weekend from January 25th – 27th 2019. A game jam is a short, usually two or three day long event, in which programmers, designers, artists, and more all gather together around a central theme and make small games very rapidly. Sometimes they do it in team, other times they’re solo projects. Many of them occur in physical locations with a small number of people. The Global Game Jam is unique in that it happens around the whole world as people all over the planet participate remotely or in satellite locations in various countries and create games around that year’s central theme.
For 2019 the Global Game Jam theme was, “What home means to you,” and according to the official Twitter page over 8,000 games were submitted. We looked at the list of submissions and if you filter them for just games with VR support you’re left with 166 games. Obviously I haven’t had a chance to look at all of them yet. We’ve seen some great prototypes in past years as well.
Every year I’m amazed at the quality, ingenuity, and sheer commitment shown over such a short period of time. In a lot of cases projects that begin as game jam games turn into fully-fledged titles after a year or more of additional work and polish.
For example, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes was born at the 2014 Global Game Jam and is one of the most well-known and most-played VR supported games to date. Furthermore, Screencheat began that same year from Samurai Punk, who later went on to create and release The American Dream.
After browsing a few pages of games for this year a few of the highlights I came across (note: once again, I haven’t been able to check out each and every game yet) include:
Never Let Go looks like its aesthetic was heavily inspired by last year’s critical darling, Return of the Obra Dinn, with a stark black and white art style. Seems like something that would be quite evocative to experience in VR.
My Little Planet VR: This one looks a lot like O! My Genesis, which is impressive give it was made in three days.
Home InVadeRs: Imagine that Home Alone was a tower defense game in VR. The visuals are crude, but it’s a solid premise that translates to VR quite well.
Inbound: Earth is probably the most visually impressive VR game we’ve seen come out of this year’s Global Game Jam. It’s a simple little defense and attack game with some great production values considering how short the jam period was.
What are some of your favorite game jam games, VR or otherwise? Let us know down in the comments below!