Scenes and Event – Global Game Jam Lagos 2013

Hello Ardent Viewers of this blog,
The Global Game Jam Lagos event actually held for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria in collaboration with the Department of Computer Sciences, University of Lagos and Casual Connect on January 23rd – 27th.
So here are the details as to what actually went down at our Lagos venue.

Day 1
We had some challenges on the 1st day of this event in regards to the
venue that was provided by the Department of Computer Science, University
of Lagos. We found that there were some other groups that were scheduled
to use the hall that same day which greatly affected the start of this
program. However we eventually kicked off by 2pm with little participation
from our participants and the students at the University which was our
major target audience for this event. We quickly resolved this by
notifying
all our registered participants and guests that the event has Kicked off
and most of them responded by the 2nd day.

Day 2
We kicked off on the 2nd day with our guests and participants present.
We started the day by presenting the videos given to us by Casual Connect
organisation which was followed by Questions & Answers on the videos shown.
Our guest speakers – Leonard Duro – Emanuel and Luke Dicken then took the
stage.2 of our speakers werent able to make the event due to some
unforseen circumsatnces out of the 4 talks initially planned.
Credit must be given to Leonard Duro – Emanuel who proceeded by breaking
down the game industry as a whole in relation to such fields like
Accounting, Mathematics, PR and Marketing, Fashion etc. The participants
expressed a serious “A-ha” and “I didnt’t know that” moment on this
professional breakdown on the fields that could benefit from the Game
Indusrty.
At about 3pm, Idamiebi Illamina – Eremie and Folarin Pearce from Sonbim
Games with their title “Titi Tilapia” took the centre stage of this event,
explaining how the title evolved, with walk through scenarios and demos
from the game. Some interesting comments were made as to the final colours
used to for Titi Tilapia the fish, and her expression when she found out
her eggs were stolen. This showed us that the participants actually paid
attention to introductory concepts of behavioural science and Artificial
Intelligence which was explained to them by Luke Dicken and the Head of
the Local Organising Committee – Benedict Olumhense, who answered some of
the questions too.

Day 3
Some stroke of luck met us on the 3rd day as one of the Lecturers at the
Department of Computer Science decided to pay a visit to the venue of this event.
He then noticed that his students were missing and expressed shock at this scenario
and proceeded by informing the class representative of the final year class
that they should partake at this event, which they eventually did. This
also coincided with when most sites would commence their activities with
the game jam. Nigeria was the 1st to start due to our activity schedule.
We still had some time to do some orientation for the new participants in
regards to this event and the game industry at large. Some of the students
expressed fear that creating a game title in 48 hours would be a
huge task and they wanted to know what was the process to achieving this
task. We introduced the Game Maker 8.1 engine to the students and
particpants and advised on reading up the first 2 chapters of that book.
This enabled them to understand how the game engine works which was best
suited for a game jam. By now we hadn’t received the theme and keynote
speech for the event from the Global Game Jam organising committee, this
was to be played before all sites began creating games in line with the
theme of the event. Upon the close of the event site, to our surprise a
Female Lecturer from the Department of Computer Science, University of
Lagos met us and congratulated us for our efforts in organising this
event. She wanted to particpate at this event and was duly informed on the
requirements and activities on the next day.

Day 4
At about 4am on the 4th day, we recieved permission from the Global Game
Jam organising committee to play the Keynote and theme video for our
participants, we proceeded to download the videos but we couldnt play them
due to the time our local site will commence activities for the day which
was initailly 9am but adjusted to 10am.
When we finally commenced the day activities, the theme video was played
which was “Heartbeat”, all the participants expressed surprises as to how
a theme like that can evolve into a game. We initially left the
participants till about 12pm to brainstorm on the theme video and concept
for the game title. At about that same time, the Head of the Local
Organising Committee – Benedict Olumhense, inquired from the participants
as to the progress made on the game development. He discovered that the
participants were challenged with this, he then helped out by having a
discussion with them on creating a game using the theme by delving into
biology and illustrating how the heart is the center for living things
especially humans and explain how it processes new blood cells from bad
blood cells, what kind of ailments could affect the blood – Malaria,
Diabetes, HIV, AIDS etc with medical services in form of normal drugs and
retroviral drugs as a consideration to sustaining human life. All these
concepts now formed the Art resources for the game. The team were happy at
this discovery and continued developing the title. We noticed how a few
members of the team became leaders in expressing the rudiments of the Game
Maker Engine in relation to creating this title which was by the way named
“Blood City” by the participants. We ended our activities for the day with
the team still in the creation stage and creating a Google Hangout forum
with all the participants involved to enable the team continue the title
development while at their respective homes.

Day 5
We commenced our final day by 12 noon due to the day being a Sunday, not
many of the participants showed up with only 3 at the venue. Towards the
final hours of our site closing down for the event. Only one other person
joined in. By then we concluded that “Blood City” our supposed game title
was not going to be developed. But the Local Organising Committee for the
Global Game Jam Lagos event expressed satisfaction even though no title
was developed which was actually our expectation due to this being the
first of its kind held in Lagos.

There was a couple of lessons we learnt executing this event, which was we
relied much on the Department of Computer Science, University of Lagos to
inform their students about this event as well as helping us to secure a
venue for this, with only the latter being fulfilled.

Again steady power supply to the venue affected the execution of this
event as the University doesn’t allow generator sets from other sources
to be brought into the campus.

What worked for us

We had provided a different registration site for this event which allowed
us to contact our participants other than that provided by the Global Game
Jam organising committee. This proved to be effective as it allowed us to
contact our participants via their personal phone lines about the
commencement of this event.

The provision of content by working with foreign organisations like Casual
Connect, Sonbim Games and local speakers proved worthwhile as this was
used in our orientation period to inform our participants about this
industry.

Here are some images from our event.
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