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Feature: 'Inside Nordic Game Jam 2008'

'Game jams' - in which developers get together to improvise and create games in a limited time - are a key source of creativity, and Gamasutra has a full report fr
The 2008 Nordic Game Jam featured 134 game developers, over 40.5 hours and showcased 19 game demos, and Anders Højsted was there to get a full report. The event took place at the IT-University in Copenhagen, and participants came to form new connections, work with different teams, and show off their skills and creativity, all with the aim of making the coolest game in 49 hours. Following a series of talks, the jam was on. Teams of three were formed to develop game concepts based on a single theme, as Højsted explains: "The theme was "Taboo"; this was chosen to make sure that the participants would have to work on themes of a more artistic nature that they'd never work with it commercially. We were a bit scared that theme might inspire participants to make a game that would provoke religious resentment globally, but the participants handled the theme in a fairly mature manner. On top of the theme, we included three game play restraints. The game had to have a game loop and be winnable (which excluded digital toys and screensavers), the game had to be playable with a controller and not just mouse & keyboard, and the game had to be multiplayer, either against an AI or another player. The jury would judge the games on these criteria." After the concept presentations, it was crunch time. Højsted explains how the winners would be judged: "The jury 's task was to find the game that best lived up to the criteria for the competition. The jury's members was picked to give a good spread from industry and academia; from the industry it was Alessandro Canossa from IO Interactive and Stephanie Munck from Deadline Games, from academia Troels Linde from the University of Gotland in Sweden and as wildcard we had Erik Robertson, Director of The Nordic Game Program, which supports the game industry in Scandinavia and is responsible for the annual Nordic Game Conference in Malmö near Copenhagen." You can now read the full feature, which goes up close with the process and the participants' games -- and, of course, provides details on the winner (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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