What a crazy weekend! Just got back from jamming with a team for the Cartoon Network Game Jam, and let me tell you it was the most intense jamming experience I've ever had. First, we had to apply and be accepted as a team to even be able to show up. Fortunately, we got in!
The contest has cash prizes and high-profile judges from Cartoon Network itself, so we were all super nervous. We worked together on Global Game Jam as a practice run, and learned a hard lesson about over-scoping. Then, two nights before the jam, we decided to do another practice session and cranked out a first-night prototype in about 3 hours that we were happy with. That gave us the confidence and practice we needed to be ready for the real thing.
We were the first group there, and hand to wait outside for a while as the organizers set up. Over the next couple of hours, about 250 people flooded in, set up their rigs, and prepared to jam.
Cartoon Network had announced that the property we'd be working with was the brand new O.K K.O game that came out for mobile about a week before the jam. I played it the whole way through as research, but the organizers clarified that there would still be a theme that would throw a curve ball at anyone who wanted to cheat and start jamming before the event. Once everyone was ready, each of our team leaders (in this case, Will) went up and collected an envelope from the organizers as they announced that each team would be making a game based on one of the side characters in the O.K. K.O. universe. We got Shannon, a robot villain who can transform in various ways - producing laser guns and saw blades on various parts of her body.
The creators also told us the was a master of disguise, implying that her transformation powers would allow her to look vaguely human. We ended up making a SHMUP with wherein you can transform to have a laser, saw, or disguise to taunt your enemies. Can't share the game directly since it's still being judged, but hoping to get one of the top 16 games (of about 45) for a cash prize! We have two weeks to polish our project up before final judging, so nose to the grindstone until then! I'll also be working on ScreenPlay to show at a play testing night two weeks from now, so inserting nose between TWO grindstones for the next couple of weeks!