Finding Home at the 2019 Global Game Jam
What is the Global Game Jam?
The Global Game Jam, or GGJ for short, is the world’s largest game creation event, held annually across different locations worldwide. It is a hackathon for planning, designing and creating video games within the time limit of 48 hours. The theme is announced on the first day, and teams around the world take two intense days coming up with their best game incorporating the theme.
For 2019, the Global Game Jam was held on the weekend of the 25th through 27th of January. With “Innovation, Experimentation, Collaboration” as their logo, they attract thousands of participants in hundreds of locations each year.
A playground for game creators and designers
Being heavily involved in the production elements of games, people from Secret 6 have long been participating in the Global Game Jam, and this year, three members from its Manila Studio joined in on the fun: 2D artist James Pajunar, technical developer Willard “Anheurystics” Torres and game designer Cherish “Ishy” Socro, a long-time participant of the annual GGJ.
With this year’s theme being “What home means to you,” the teams set out on their own interpretation of the word “home.” James created art for the post-apocalyptic platformer “Once a Paradise“, where “home” means our planet Earth, now ravaged and left behind after years of coddling the human race. Willard helped code the RPG “Tokens Through Time,” where you play as a fresh graduate who buys a rundown flat and tries to make it feel more like home. Finally, Ishy joined Team County Dawgs in producing the Unity-based adventure “Take Me Home,” where a boy and a dog try to survive the wilderness looking for ways to make their home warmer.
The different takes on the theme and the different types of gameplay from these three teams alone give you an idea of the creativity and diversity that the Global Game Jam elicits from those who join.
This environment of time-bound creativity and innovation attracts game developers who want to hone their skills and improve their craft. James says GGJ helps you learn about “speed, time management, team communication… and we get to experiment with new stuff outside our comfort zone.”
Ishy echoes with similar thoughts about learning at GGJ: “With the short amount of time available, and as a designer, I definitely learned how to spot features that need to be cut. I learned how to communicate with programmers so they better understand the features and the workarounds that I want to suggest. I’ve also joined game jams solo, so I learned my limitations in a hyper-focused crunch environment.”
MSI: Made for the Game Jam
MSI has long been known as a leading brand for high-performance gaming laptops and hardware, allowing gamers to enjoy great graphics and speedy performance in value-packed machines. In the Global Game Jam, they showed that their machines are equally adept at creating the very same content and applications their fans enjoy.
The brand sponsored a GGJ venue at the PLDT Innolab. During the event, multiple VR ready laptops, as well as one of their latest ultra-thin Workstation laptops, the WS65, were at hand for the Global Game Jam participants to use and enjoy.
Secret 6 programmer Willard Torres affirms the importance of MSI’s participation in the Global Game Jam: “Sponsorships can really improve the quality of life for the jammers. For jams with
specific hardware requirements (like VR jams), providing powerful enough hardware can really help lighten the load for the developers.”
For this year’s GGJ, MSI brought the VR Ready laptops GE73 8RF 040PH Raider RGB, the GE73VR 7RF 018PH Raider, and the GT75VR 7RF 216PH. They also introduced their new Workstation laptop (complete with a new sleek reworked logo and appearance), the WS65. All were equipped with 256GB SSDs for faster storage (plus 1TB HDDs for the VR Ready machines). However, the GT75VR 7RF 216PH and the WS65 stood out with a massive 32GB of RAM onboard. All machines were more than capable of what GGJ participants demanded from them.
Of particular note was the reliability and stability of the high-powered VR Ready laptops. Even after more than three hours of heavy use, participants were pleasantly surprised that the machines still ran cool. MSI is proud of its Cooler Boost Technology that helps a lot in stabilizing temperature. It even has a manual key to run the fans at the highest speed on command. You can press it and turn the fans on to maximum, even before playing, ensuring your laptop will not experience heating problems. In an environment like the Global Game Jam, this feature becomes very important.
“During GGJ you kinda cut corners and might even be too focused to make sure you save every time you update something. Better hardware means less likely crashes! That definitely saves up time and effort. Not to mention the more powerful your hardware is, the more you can experiment with process or graphics intensive games,” said game designer Ishy Socro, musing on the importance of hardware during this kind of event.
Versatility and Power from MSI
The Global Game Jam is an annual celebration of the creativity and innovation of both gamers and game creators. It comes as no surprise that a brand as prolific and exceptional in gaming such as MSI would be there, right in the thick of the action.
The brand has long been an outstanding option for gamers and developers, and a great partner to game development companies like Secret 6. Their participation in this year’s Global Game Jam proved that their machines are just as great in game creation hackathons as they are for enjoying the latest and greatest games.
You can learn more about their powerful laptops on their website and see these amazing machines in person at any of their three concept stores: at SM Megamall (4th Floor, Cyberzone, Building B), SM Mall of Asia (2nd Floor, Cyberzone, North Wing) or SM North EDSA (4th Floor, Cyberzone, The Annex). Follow them at Facebook and Instagram to see the latest in their versatile range of products.
If you’re searching for a partner in your creative endeavors—be it game development, high-quality photo, audio, and video production, or high-intensity content creation—MSI has the solution for you.