EGX REZZED CREATIVE ASSEMBLY GAME JAM 2015
Back in March Chris used some of his down time to attend EGX Rezzed and compete in the Creative Assembly Game Jam. For those of you who haven’t heard of this Creative Assembly host an annual Game Jam at Rezzed in which teams of five compete to create the best game in a matter hours (8 hours to be exact). These games are then presented to a panel of judges with an audience on the final day of Rezzed. This year’s panel consisted of Gary Napper, Design Director at Creative Assemble; Keith Stuart, games editor at The Guardian; Jonathan Haynes, web news editor also at The Guardian (guess which media outlet sponsored the Game Jam); and Colin McComb, American writer and game designer. Each team consists of professionals and talented up-and-comers in the gaming industry who handle a particular part of game development and at the start of the competition they are given several current news events (again, sponsored by the Guardian so the news element here is key) to choose in order to base their game upon this event. Chris’ team, Ultra Testibus decided to base their game upon the Ed Miliband (former British politician) bid to cut energy bills and began their fight against the clock to produce a fun and high energy game in eight hours.
The first step was choosing a style and method of reflecting the energy cuts. The group decided on a local multi player in which 2 players (Ed and David Miliband) compete to slash literal bills using samurai swords, they then also incorporated crowd interaction with software that turned the noise of cheers or boos into the pace at which the bills were thrown (in other words, the louder the crowd-the more paper bills the characters had to slash). To reflect the ninja theme Chris composed music with an Eastern theme, using traditional Japanese instruments but with an undertone of Hip Hop. After the music Chris then worked on sound design, creating the whoosh leaping sounds and swift slicing effects. He then assisted programmers in determining how to best configure the condenser microphone to record crowd interaction levels to a very true representation. This concludes Chris’ part in the development and he then went on to provide his own special voice acting for the opening monologue for their presentation (any and all hysterical laughing was completely scripted and not a mistake..he did his best).
Ultra Testibus were named the winners of the Game Jam and awarded a feature in The Guardian along with games and t-shirts from Creative Assembly. For anyone that would like to see Chris’ spectacular acting debut as well as many talented people creating terrific games under a lot of pressure please enjoy the entire event here: Game Jam