Thursday, June 28, 2012

Philly Game Jam victory once again for TCNJ alumni and students!

Two weeks ago, on the weekend of July 15-17, a team of TCNJ alumni, students, and friends took home two awards at the 2012 Philly Game Jam, part of the Too Many Games festival at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

The Philly Game Jam is a 48-hour game development competition in which teams of professional, hobbyist, and student game developers compete to build a game with very little time (and even less sleep). All teams are given a theme at the start - an image, quote, or idea to help prompt their creativity - and then they have only their own equipment, skills, and resources to complete a working prototype of a game idea before the weekend is over.

A team of five game developers organized by TCNJ alum Alexander Cap took home two awards: "Judges' Choice" and "Most Innovative", for their game Kairos. Alex was joined by fellow alumni Brett Taylor and Nathan Wailes, TCNJ student Martin Bayer, and friend of the group Arnab Jahangir.

Kairos is a platforming game with puzzles that let the player age (and take years off) their environment in order to reach their goal.

This year marked the third Philly Game Jam in a row that the TCNJ game development community has participated in, starting with the event in Fall 2009 and continuing again at the last event in Summer 2011. Since the tradition began, TCNJ's game development community has continued to grow - in April 2010 the school's first game design club in many years, The Magic Circle, began holding meetings. In January 2011 the group organized a student/alumni trip to the NJIT Global Game Jam site, and in January 2012 The Magic Circle organized a public Global Game Jam site at The College of New Jersey.

This post is my sincere congratulations to the team for not only pooling their talents to create an impressive game, but for strengthening the spirit of community among TCNJ students and alum interested in game design and development. Go Team Kairos! See you at the next Game Jam!

If you are interested in playing Kairos or learning more about the team, please check out the Kairos wiki page.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Just Want to Be Noticed!

How is it that in the time since I last posted, I've completed the likes of Psychonauts, Bastion, and Professor Layton and the Curious Village, with nary a post discussing them? Three excellent, very diverse games, these: play them when you can.

Recently I was published in MediaPost's Gaming Insider for pointing out a dirty secret of pop entertainment: every story we love convinces us we're special, if only someone would notice. That point is augmented for the brands-and-advertising crowd with some follow ups for how content creators can use that truth to manipulate us all for their own dark purposes.

Is it true? Do we really play games because we're all narcissists? Am I ignoring the very real possibility that I'm the only one who thinks like this? Let me know with a comment - it's the only way I know that anybody notices me, after all, and that makes me feel special.

Now Playing:

Rayman Origins (Xbox 360)
Breath of Fire II (Game Boy Advance)