There was also the case that I had my own idea in mind and I didn’t feel like pitching it to several individual groups. I took too long to put it on the board because of an odd sense of insecurity. I ended up erasing my idea completely after no one took to it and decided to do what I should have done all along, stop and talk with the one guy I knew the best at the Jam. His name is Brian Chung (http://www.beescee.com/) and I knew him to be a bright gentleman who I could get along with from our previous interactions at, you guessed it, another NYU event (Practice, and it was fucking great). He already had a group going with Vikram Subramanium (http://www.twitter.com/vikerman) and GJ (www.neonjelly.com) and they had a great concept revolving around the Powers of 10 video. We began talking and soon we were joined by Jordan Joyner (http://www.jordanjoyer.com/). After some talking, idea pitching and discussion I went from feeling listless and uneasy to feeling great because my group had a great concept by the end of that first night.
Over the next 2 days I went from being very excited, to being apathetic, to almost hating the game and then on the last day I was at peace and I loved our game. I looked around as we toiled on our game and saw other group’s work and it looked really cool. The more we worked the less enchanted I became because well, the game wasn’t quite “there” yet. I have experienced that with big budget releases that have release dates years off but to be staring at the game’s guts all over the table late on your first full day working (think 6pm) on it, it was scary. It got my mind wandering and I started to think that everyone else was doing something so much better than my team. Definitely a case of grass is greener syndrome and not anything to do with the skill of my team. Then at the end of the day on Sunday, as people started to play our game, the universe within…, and actually really like it, I was thrilled and I realized just how awesome we had done in such a short amount of time. There were many high fives to be had all around.
I walked around during a 2 hour play session that took place after our 3pm soft deadline and I got to try/look at the other group’s games. I was pretty blown away by the results. Everyone had something really cool and unique to show off but at the same time I was happy to have a game that I could say was just as good as everyone else’s that was there. That session was a great way to wrap up the weekend. The fact that my teams game was given a “Best Overall” award and was written about on Kotaku the next day was just icing on the cake.
In the end this 2012 Global Game Jam was excellent on many levels. I found a great group of people who are super talented and dedicated to their craft, both whom I worked with and who created the many other games at the NYU center. I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of working on. I gained respect for myself as a game designer. And finally, after so many bad experiences working in teams (mostly in college), got to experience what it’s like to work with a great and talented team of people who just want to make good games.
Now, onto my post mortem of sorts for the weekend.