Bonfires, jamming, baking and more happened at Exile Spring 2014
Exile Game Jam Spring 2014 was yet another success last week at Vallekilde Højskole. With over 60 participants from parts of all over the world, the coziest game jam in the world provided fun times and a great jamming experience to all the participants.
The extended game jam took place from April 30th until May 4th 2014, days in which we were lucky to have such an amazing weather that allowed us to have meals outside, have bonfires at night over some beers and relax over the lawn on Sunday morning after brunch.
As usual, Exile is a more relaxed type of experience when compared to other events such as Nordic Game Jam or Global Game Jam. It always starts with games prepared to get to know each other and mini-challenges and workshops over the first day before the proper game jam begins.
The theme: Make something that has never been done before, and do something that YOU have never done before (so if you are a programmer, try making art, if you are a sound designer, give coding a go and so on). So with that in mind, all the participants, including the Game Academy students at Vallekilde Højskole, set out to make teams, many of them with new people they have never worked with before, and try their hands on something unique.
So what were the standouts of the game jam?
First of all, we have the audience vote award, which happened to be shared between two different games! First, we have Nicklas Nygren’s Super Air Flyers, and with the exact same amount of votes, Martin Fasterholdt’s Javelin.
In Super Air Flyers, you control a plane with no thrust whatsoever in a psychedelic 3D landscape with a series of rings you have to maneuver your plane through before you make it to the portal in the end.
And in Javelin, you fight a series of enemies through several levels where enemies will attack you with javelins. However, if you dodge them, you’ll be able to pick them up (even from a dead body) and prepare your counter-attack.
But we like to have more than just a winner at Exile. Which is why we had a jury that selected even more games for different categories.
Most emotional game: Old Man Wants to Exile, where you explore the sad, boring house of an old man who will very slowly try to sneak around his annoying children trying to keep him indoors so that he can make it to the Exile Game Jam.
Best to watch: Baking Simulator, a fun combination of the Oculus Rift and Kinect technologies where the player will have to bake a virtual cake with the help of an assistant providing the hands. Though the poor Matthias fell off the stage while presenting with the Oculus Rift on him. The dangers of virtual reality games!
Best meta-game: King of Colors, a funny tribute to the Danish artist Per Arnoldi, uses his three favorite colors, red, blue and yellow and his three favorite shapes, square, circle and cone, in a card guessing game to become the King of Colors.
Better than I thought: Hidden in plain text, an ASCII two-player competitive game where one player will have to hide himself in a mess of ASCII characters spread all over the screen, with barely a hint of where the player is moving (based on the speed of his movement) and in the next turn the other player will have to locate his position and make it as close as possible.
Most commercial game: WeStory, a smartphone experience where several participants can build together a story out of pictures, text and audio as they create a new part of the story to pass along to the next player. As players pass the story to the next person, a full story starts taking place, though usually in a very chaotic and crazy way.
Least/Most Feministic game: Cunt Touch This, inspired by the cunt colouring book by Tee A. Corinne, the game is a meditative drawing activity accompanied by sounds the user creates while painting. But the player has to be careful when painting on the sensitive areas, since too much paint there will cause the image to pulsate in slow motion. The award was given to the game best suited to contribute to the discussion of feminism and games.
Most Newtonian Gravitation Game: Newtonian Gravitation, which as the name implies, has the player using gravity to his advantage to jump from planet to planet to make it to the goal. The planets are small in size, with the player being able to walk around the entire planet to gain speed and then jump to escape the pull of the planet’s gravity and as such make it to the next planet.
Tech award: Super Air Flyers, Nicklas Nygren’s game got yet another award for his polished technology behind the game.
Knowledge +1001 award: Boredom Simulator, this award goes to the best game made by Vallekilde students, and in this case it went to a game where you travel in a tourist bus alongside your annoying girlfriend, all of it experienced in marvellous 3D through the Oculus Rift to make the boredom immersion as close to reality as possible.
As you can see, the selection of winning games is varied quite varied, full of exciting stuff, curiosities and technical achievements.
And this time IGDA Denmark sponsored the final party after the game jam on Saturday night, which we’re sure everyone enjoyed! As usual, the final party includes a music jam at night, a visit to the nearby graveyard and, of course, the sauna.
We’ve taken quite a few pictures during the event, but here’s a collection of some that will give you an idea of the overall mood of the event.
We look forward to having Exile again next semester for Fall 2014!