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27. to 29. of January, Moondrop, together with Sarepta Studio and Krillbite Studio, hosted Global Game Jam in Hamar, Norway. 62 participants came together over a weekend and together managed to craft these games.

We would like to thank everyone who showed up, contributed or hosted and I believe that it was a highly successful event! I must brag a little about the event in Hamar; good location, free entrance, good food (like pizza and waffles), plenty of space, good turnout and excited people.

If those reasons are not enough to convince you that jam is indeed good for you, let me elaborate!

As you might have guessed, the core of a game jam is that over a limited period, usually only a weekend, participants are attempting to create a game. At Global Game Jam that means either a digital game made on computers, or a board game. People get a theme that they must follow, so that all games should be created from “scratch”. You can use any development tool you are comfortable with as long as there is a legal license to use it.

Experimentation!
In our daily lives, we often have to “play it safe”. We might get some offbeat idea that you really find interesting, but you have other things to do that are easier to justify doing. Well, at a Game Jam you can throw all that out the window. Since the time span is so limited, you don’t have time to play it safe either way, so you might as well get as experimental as you can.
I love experiments! Finding out stuff, feeling like an inventor, breaking boundaries and expectations make me excited! About everything cool in the world was figured out by experimentation. Heck, even evolution is an automated process of experimentation!

Meet people!
When at least 3 game companies were going to show up at our site, global game jam can be a great place to¬† network and meet people who works with games on a daily basis. The social aspect of at least Global Game Jam is something you don’t get to experience very often, with that many new people with so many different levels of experience all working on the same theme at the same time.

Fun!
Game jam is and should be FUN. Making something is a very rewarding and meeting new people is exciting. The pieces for fun is definitively present and it is something you don’t get to do everyday!

Experience!
I learn something valuable every jam! Not every part of a jam is equally fun, like bugs and cutting your favorite features, but those parts are usually very educational. Experience is something that you cannot think or read yourself to. Actually making games, make you better at making games! Positive feedback loop? Great! It is also the number one tip I have for anyone wanting to make games or get better at making games: start making them! I also believe that jams are a way to expand ones portfolio.

In conclusion, I like jams, as they are a fun way to hone skills, test out strange ideas and see what other people come up with. Global Game Jam is once a year usually at the end of January. There are other jams going on as well, like Ludum Dare, that is only over internet. So go jam, it’s good for you.

It’s time for us to join the cool kids on the block and get down and dirty with a blog.

The content on this blog will probably be a bit scattered. We will have posts concerning our company and us, project updates and announcements as well as more techy kind of articles. I guess though that the overarching topic will be “Indie Game Development”. In the end we just want to share our knowledge, ideas and thoughts about stuff we care about.

To start off with a small note; ever wondered why we have a tree by our logo everywhere? Well, as you can read later in “The Chronicles of moondrop”, (let’s focus on the feature!) it’s an element from our past. Our first real game project was a “Bonsai simulator” (as we called it) and we made an early prototype for it that procedurally grow trees (or Bonsai).

Check out the Bonsai Simulator Prototype here!

Though the project is at a standstill we hope that someday we can use the idea in the future to bring the joy of the Bonsai simulator to people around the world!