Inside the Creative Assembly Game Jam 2013


May 4, 2013

Birmingham's NEC was a strange old place last weekend. It wasn't necessarily the livestock show that took up one of the halls; I didn't get to check that out, though in my head it involved a fine heffer rotating slowly on a plinth, bathed in glorious light and surrounded by fawning farmers. It wasn't the many LED road signs pointing to Middle Earth; I did check those out, and they led to a car park that hosted a single Ginsters delivery van, somewhat disappointingly. It was that sitting alongside these was the dark half of Hall 9, where Rezzed had set-up shop, and where there was a fine selection of much of what's making gaming so exciting right now.

At one end there were squabbles of people noisily conspiring against each other as they played boardgames, while at another there were teams of developers quietly collaborating. This year's Game Jam, graciously hosted by Creative Assembly, was a quite savage affair, the tight time limits of other Jams whittled down to a brutal nine hours.

Who would willingly sacrifice an otherwise pleasant afternoon in Birmingham to put themselves under such pressure? They're an interesting, diverse bunch, the jammers: seasoned indies, father and son teams and those who jam just for the love of jamming, and the love of creating something tangible and new in the space of an afternoon.

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