261 Hong Kong Jammers joined 701 other sites for Global Game Jam 2017

Over 36 thousand jammers in 701 jam sites located in 94 countries participated in Global Game Jam 2017. Hong Kong was 10th biggest among these locations with 261 jammers, both students and professional game designers, creating 46 games at Cyberport over the weekend on 29-31 January. During the 48-hour jam, a global theme was announced, teams formed and full game development cycle completed from ideation to testing including art design, programming, game design, sound design, user interface design and testing. This year's theme was the word “Waves”.

The event led to a two-hour award ceremony where the best teams in nine different categories were awarded. The award for best theme integration went to the team behind the game “Ripple Blossom”. In the game players solve puzzles by creating ripples on a pond to make flowers blossom. The award for coolest gameplay was “Bathroom Fantasy” where players create waves in a bathtub to control a boat being imagined by the person taking a bath. The audience award went to the team behind the game “Triple Wave” a game where players control multiple characters trying to eat sushi while avoiding inedible items. “Waver” a colourful game about solving puzzles by changing the landscape with your own voice won the award for great art direction. The game “Wave Breakers” won the award for best board game. In the game the players compete against each other using cards to build up their own wave while breaking down your opponents. The Retro Spirit award went to “Duality” a hardcore bullet hell game. The Super Multiplayer award went to “Love Waves” where up to 4 players compete to collect treasure revealed by the receding tide while trying not to be washed away. “Wave Sumo” won the Most Potential for 2017 award, a multiplayer game where you try to push your opponent out of the ring using waves. Finally, a there was one special award for an outstanding game that did not fit into any of the above categories. The special award went to multiplayer rhythm sport game “Nekolele” by PolyU Design students.  PolyU students in teams for two of the winning games.

Globally, the jam has a reputation as a creative platform for professional and beginner game developers to create innovative games in a limited time frame. Many such games are further developed into commercial products or successfully inspire new ideas in the industry. We expect to see some of this year’s games in the app stores later this year. Hong Kong’s 2017 game jam event was a good example of how entirely unique ideas, interfaces, technical implementations and gameplay can be created in a fun event and working with new people.

The event in Hong Kong was organized by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design together with Cyberport. Six other institutions of higher education supported the event. Hong Kong Game Development Association, Chinese DIGRA, Hong Kong Digital Game-based Learning Association, Dimsum Labs and Hong Kong Maker Club were event partners. Grandtech, Unity, Outblaze, Playstudios Asia, ME2ON, LKF Labs, Blackforge, Capstone and RETRO.HK sponsored the event. GoAnimate was the Official Animation Partner, with Pro Sound Effects as the Official Sound Effect Partner.

All games created during the GGJHK, together with illustrations, are available at http://globalgamejam.org/2017/jam-sites/hong-kong/games. Photos from the event will be located on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ggjhongkong and uploaded shortly. For more photos or any other inquiries, please contact hanna.wirman@polyu.edu.hk.

For details, please visit the event’s official website: http://ggjhongkong.blogspot.hk/