The start of the New Year 2022 could not have been more eventful and hyperactive for Epiphany and its gaming initiative, Epiphany Games, as the organization kicked it off with Developers’ Game Jam 2.0 on January 10 with its usual gusto and verve.
This year’s Developer’s Game Jam 2.0 was supported by Australia Awards – Pakistan under its Small Grant Scheme.
Epiphany’s long-term partners and supporters, The Gamestorm Studios and ConsoliAds generously offered prize money of PKR 100,000 to be distributed amongst the top 3 teams, and USD 2,700 advertising and user acquisition credits for the top 10 teams respectively.
Developers’ Game jam 2.0 comprised 100+ applications, 16 teams, 11 workshops, 21 industry mentors, 13 games, 5 publishing partners, 10+ community partners, and ProPakistani as its esteemed Media Partner. The event concluded with a lot of fun, learning, active feedback, and (oh so many!) hyper-casual game ideas coming upfront.
Foodies Are Us
The two-week event started with an orientation session during which the theme for this year was announced. Just as jamming escalates to an exciting momentum, the game theme for this year’s developer’s game jam was revealed to be “FOOD” much to the participant’s surprising delight!
11 Fun, Fact-Filled Workshops
Shibli Mansuri, Founder at Yes & Games also appeared as a mentor to talk about “Game Jamming 101”. He discussed the intricacies of game mechanics, producing winning game components, and efficient teamwork.
His insights and decade-old tech knowledge proved extremely impactful during the workshop whilst tackling questions of the audience.
As the individuals started warming up to each other by the second day, there was an onslaught of exciting game ideas and energy flowing within the group post-theme disclosure.
As much as the young gaming enthusiasts need encouragement, their creativity is also needed to be put on the right path! Therefore, the “Putting on Your Thinking Cap” session was led by Khaya Ahmed, Writer at Sumo Digital on January 11.
She discussed the multi-dynamics of game narrative and storytelling whilst patiently explaining the art of game ideation. Soon after, “Introduction to Game Engine” was co-led by Shaun Ansari, CEO at Reality Forge, and Muhammad Hadi, Unity 3D Instructor at Game Train, which introduced the two most popular game engines, Unity and Unreal.
Ansari described the challenges to the game jammers, the upsides, and complexities of these platforms, and the best way to utilize them.
The two facilitators led separate workshops as well – “Using Unity to develop hyper-casual games” and “Learning about Unreal” – where they conducted a deep dive about the two platforms, with a practical demonstration of the tools and functions the jammers can use to create their games.
Equipped with a teaching/training background, both facilitators were able to make the sessions extremely interactive and responded to the probing questions of the audience.
The aim of the game jam was to create new and interesting gameplay features while working around the short time frame and smaller teams.
To expedite the game conceptualization, speaker Warda Rashid – Producer at Big Immersive, in a workshop titled “Game Design Fundamentals”, provided procedural training on how one can convert a game idea into an ACTUAL GAME! The teams created a live game design document as well.
One of the most enjoyable and audience-engaging sessions included “Presentation of HC Codes” by Ekaterina Dekalenkova, a business developer at Ketchapp @Ubisoft, where she explicitly discussed the factors to bear in mind when creating a successful hypercasual game and the top current HCG trends in the market.
She also provided candid feedback on the game ideas pitched by the teams.
Other valuable workshops were held on “How to Pick an Art Direction for Your Game” by Shakil Awan, “Designing a Player Journey” by Shaun Ansari & Ahsan Khan, “Narrative Game Writing” by Nahyan Farooq, “Analyzing Trends in Hyper casual Games” by Tuğçe Kurulday, “Non-Disruptive monetization for Gaming” by Asad Mahmood, and “Introduction to Immersive Ads” by Moin Jawaid.
21 Mentors Extended Their Expertise
Besides the workshops, the participants had access to 21 brilliant minds from Pakistan and abroad who generously offered their advice and expertise to the teams over two consecutive weekends.
The Winning Games!
Developers’ Game Jam 2.0 concluded with a warm, close-knit event attended by friends of Epiphany and Epiphany Games, the larger games community, as well as the teams, mentors, facilitators, and judges. The event concluded with a lot of fun, learning, active feedback, and hyper-casual game ideas coming up.
Judges for this year included Jean-Baptiste Henry, Publishing Manager at Tapnation, Ashley Luo, Business Development Analyst at Ketchapp @Ubisoft, and Arsalan Bhalli, Creative Director at Mindstorm Studios.
They declared the “Food Hunger” team as the winner for its game “Crazy Rider”. The second prize was awarded to “Stall Steal” by team “Codeblooded”, while “Food Planet” by team “Alpha” secured the third position. The game “Potion Cure” by team “Sunfly” was announced the crowd favorite by popular vote.
Developers’ Game Jam 2.0 honed the game craft of so many young game enthusiasts that created innovative and viable games that you can view and play here.
Do play them and leave your feedback! Epiphany is grateful for all the support and valuable feedback coming its way, and looks forward to seeing you in the future as well, especially for the next Game Jam in Quarter 2 of 2022.