48 Hours. Sleepover. Hangover. Tantrums. $2,000 Cold Hard Cash. Booyah!
The Royal Jam 2017 was an important milestone for Royal Wins as it was our very first cross-border event involving our China studio. Over the past year, our Guangzhou office has been participating in their own mini-jams and ideas hackathons, broadening their knowledge and improve their skill-set. Over time, our core studio in Sydney has been increasingly impressed by the creativity, innovation, ideas, development skills, drive and tenacity displayed by the China Team. So we felt that it was time to bring China into the fold and join us in our bigger annual Game Jam for 2017!
The format saw some minor changes from the previous years. An important one being the calculations that determine the Most Valuable Player. This year, each team would nominate an MVP from each team based on their role. For example – if the art in one game was very impressive, then teams could nominate the artist as the MVP for that team along with a score out of 10.
The event was a 3-day affair. Wednesday was the team break-up and draw. Teams could break-up however they liked. This year was interesting as the newcomers paired up against the veterans. There were 2 draws. The first for the theme and the second for the platform between iOS and Android.
The theme was “Mech”, as in “Mechanical”. Teams could utilize the theme however they liked with the teams incorporating it in the most seamless way taking the most points. Afterward, teams could stick around and plan but NOT do any development work on their games or go home early and rest up for the crazy 48 hours ahead.
The teams’ break-up was the following:
Members: Myles Blasonato (Design) | Danny Di (Dev) | Princy Suarez (Art)
Game: Mega Mech Mayhem!
Description: A Match-3 combat game revolving around the head of security, Olivia, as she destroys the rogue Moji-Droids.
Name: Disco Studios
Members: Nicholas Foster (Design) | Joel Hardgrave (2D Art) | Chang Yu (2D Animation) | Stuart McRoberts (Dev)
Game: Tunnel Trouble!
Description: A vertical endless runner revolving around Queen as she attends the reveal of Ella’s new Mech when it goes Rogue and pushes Ella into an underground tunnel in her lab. Queen jumps into to save her. Dodge obstacles moving Queen left and right, slide along walls to slow-down your speed to avoid obstacles easily.
Name: Grade Two in Middle School
Members: Jason Liang (Dev) | Juke Zhu (2D Art) | Martin Ke (3D Art) | Kaka Feng (3D Art)
Game: Future Automata
Description: A top-down dual stick shooter. Blast obstacles away with the awesome new MKIII Mech
Members: Zihao Liu (Dev) | Jam Chen (Dev) | Blue Wu (2D Art) | Cherie Wu (2D Art) | Ren Li (3D Art) | Hoover Xie (3D Animation)
Game: Mech Billionaire
Description: A monopoly style economy game. Work your way around the board making purchases and earn more than everyone else.
Challenges You Say?!
Thursday and Friday where the official days of the Jam – teams were given challenges to earn bonus points such as early submissions of their games and presentations along with a code and art challenge.
The code challenge was announced Thursday afternoon. All programmers had to take 3 hours off and were not allowed to work on their game during this time. All teams, both Sydney and Guangzhou, opted in and succeeded.
The art challenge was announced Friday morning and required changing the art of the games to black & white after all teams opted for color.
And the Winner is?!
Games had to be submitted at 5pm Friday or early submission at 3pm. Afterward, there were drinks and food and members headed home, rested up and enjoyed their weekends before presenting their games on Monday to important people in the industry and management.
All teams had impressive presentations and unique ideas that were all developed in the space of 48 hours. It was a close, but the winning team was…
Disco Studios and their game “Tunnel Trouble”.
And because he did so well with developing for iOS, as most developers know is much harder than Android, earned himself enough points to be crowned MVP of Game Jam 2017
Royal Wins survives another Jam!
And that wraps up the Royal Wins’ annual Game Jam event for 2017. Congratulations to Disco Studios and well done to the other 3 teams as it was a close competition, and everyone learned so much in 48 hours. Most importantly it solidified the culture and level of skill that the talent at Royal Wins has. I’m not surprised the games turned out as good as they did.