It’s Friday night at the Global Game Jam, and we are all coming up with game ideas. The group I split up with has fully rejected any idea I contributed. I watch the other ideas build on the main board with a growing sense of disappointment. No idea seems like anything I’d like to work on. I begin to think that I don’t belong here. I think about leaving now and spending the weekend at home.
Then, a man stands up and writes two words on the white board: Velociraptor Cannibalism
“What’s the concept?” someone asks.
The man shrugs, and points back to the words. A few people in the room laugh derisively. It seems stupid, it’s not a game idea, it’s just two words. Yet when it comes to vote on games, this concept, Velociraptor! Cannibalism!, gets as much support as any of the others. When we finally split off, six people, four of whom are total strangers to me, decide to make a game together. In a room full of Game Designers, programmers, geeks, and nerds the weirdest folk in the room have all found each other. We get to work right away. We sleep for less hours than the fingers on one hand. We work.
At the end of the weekend, we’ve finished the game. Sure, there is still art to do, but the mechanics are done, playtested and the card layout has been completed. We realize we are the team laughing the most, we delight each other with quips at the bottoms of the cards. Our artist, Jennifer Rodgers, gives the Raptors accessories that somehow give them distinct personalities. At the end of the weekend, we demonstrate the full game to the group, and I can see the onlookers smiling.
We ended the weekend with a game, a website, a Kickstarter proposal, and a new small community. Today, Kickstarter approved our project proposal. Today, one of the group got our game added to a convention schedule. Working with this group is like magic, every time I turn around, someone has created something. We are moving forward like an avalanche, accomplishing in days what took me years to do on my own.
Thank you to Jesse, Jenn, Bri, Andrew and Major for making me feel so welcome, for being so talented, so driven, and so enthusiastic. Creating a game with all of you was a delight. Though the year is early yet, Making Velociraptor! Cannibalism! with you is already a highlight. I am so grateful to the Global Game Jam for bringing us all together.
To learn more about Velociraptor! Cannibalism! check out the links below:
Velociraptor! Cannibalism! http://velociraptorcannibalism.wordpress.com/
Update: March 13th, 2012: Our Kickstarter has launched to incredible success, blowing past our goal of 4k to 16k and counting. I am again grateful that we found each other, and made something together.