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Boston Game Developers Produce Eight Games in a Weekend


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 22, 2006 - Boston-area game developers gathered together on a cold weekend in January for the first annual Boston Game Jam. Patterned on the famed Indie Game Jam ( ), the event challenged developers to build a game based on the one-word theme of "shift" over the course of a weekend. The Jam attracted developers from Turbine Inc., CogniToy, Unknown Worlds, Demiurge, Funkitron, and SolidWorks. Also in attendance were developers from the MIT Education Arcade, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Singapore-MIT Game Lab, as well as numerous independents.

Attendees had 36 hours to make their games, starting with nothing but a design on paper and whatever technology they felt comfortable with. Games were developed solo or in teams of two. In the end, eight games were created.

The theme of "shift" was interpreted in a variety of ways. Some games chose to base their game thematically on shifting, such as Dan Roy's games about shifting perceptions around the diamond trade, or Philip Tan's game about preventing jetlag on an intercontinental flight.

Others used "shift" in their game mechanics. David Ludwig, of Funkitron, and Darren Torpey worked on a game about the shifting of seasons. The game made by CogniToy's father-son team Kent and Lincoln Quirk the only 3D game of the Jam, and was a puzzle game about shifting between moving conveyor belts. Al Reed and Alex Rice, both of Demiurge Studios, created a 2D physics game about, yes, shifting boxes to squish your opponent. Max McGuire of Unknown Worlds made a game where shifting the terrain on a planet causes a shift in the geopolitical relations between nations of people on the planet. Eric Rosenbaum and Jonah Elgart's toy/game asked the player to shift the phase of a rhythm. Even the event organizer, Darius Kazemi of Turbine Inc. wrote a game where the central mechanic is shifting the topology of a maze.

Jim Ingraham (SolidWorks) was the floating artist, providing art on an as-needed basis to the participants. Duncan Watt (Fastestmanintheworld Music) provided the same service for audio.

"The Boston Game Jam went off smoother than I could have hoped," said Kazemi. "We all scoped our games appropriately for the given time period, and the art and sound ended up being way better than you'd expect to see in a bunch of 36-hour games."

Contact: Darius Kazemi

Title: Boston Game Jam Organizer

Phone: 774 242 1254

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