Champlain x Dawson Game Jam 2024

As the semester wrapped up, I found myself busy with work for my final projects, and while I initially didn’t think I could make time for anything else, I was quickly proven wrong when I heard about a Game Jam hosted by Montreal faculty members Kaermack Polewska and Nick Kornek. It also included students from the local gaming programs at Dawson College, joining as participants.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, a Game Jam is an event in which different developers are given a theme, and have to make a game adhering to that theme over a certain time period. Having never been part of a Game Jam before, I was eager to check it out and see what it was like. Things got crazy right away with the theme of the jam being randomly selected at the start of the event so no one could prepare in advance. Being selected entirely from emojis, the theme consisted of an upset face, an umbrella, and a tornado. With only 48 to make a game, the developers set off to create.

48 hours later, we all came together to see what everyone had made, and I was amazed by the variety of each game presented. Each game had its own charm and set of ideas that showed how differently multiple people can approach the same theme. Of the games shown, some of the highlights included Bedtime Twister, a horror game in which the player must play a video game during a storm without their parent noticing. Another standout was Quantum Tornado, in which the player takes control of a tornado with the intent of destroying an entire town. This game boasted impressive programming and seemed incredibly refined for a game on such a short timetable. And the third highlight for me was Grandma Lost Her Cats! A humorous game in which the player character Grandma has been sucked into a tornado along with her cats, and must rescue them while avoiding evil cats. The story combined with the graphics and sound effects led to so many great laughs and was just a great experience overall. Had you shown it to me at any other point, I never would’ve been able to tell it was made in just 48 hours.

While my involvement in this event was limited, seeing this jam and what game developers could do in just 48 hours was such a fun experience and really inspired me to test my limits. What games can I create in 48 hours? What Ideas can I create out of such a vague theme? I plan to participate in other Game Jams in the future in hopes to continue experimenting with these challenges.

For the other entries, check them out here.

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