We recently had another successful Nordic Game Jam here in Copenhagen with around 700 participants from more than 30 different countries. Nordic Game Jam is the largest on-site game jam in the world and has been taking place for the past 12 years in the city where Unity was originally created. It’s a three day event and includes one day of talks and workshops, followed by almost 48 hours of game jamming.
Jamming is a great way to try new things and experiment with game concepts that you wouldn’t normally work on. For the solo developers or beginners this is also a great way to find other people to team up with and collaborate on a project.
Once the jam is over you also have a game, which you could leave as is or see it as a prototype for a large project and take it further afterwards. An example of a game that has become a commercial release after Nordic Game Jam is Stikbold! — A Dodgeball Adventure. Stikbold! was conceived during Nordic Game Jam 2013 and was released April 2016 after further development.
Before Nordic Game Jam kicked off we hosted the Polish Invasion at the Unity office. The Polish Invasion was a group of 25 Global Game Jam winners travelling to Nordic Game Jam. While having a pit stop at the Unity office the jammers showed us some of their projects, including the recently released BeatCop.
Having the Polish game developers invade us has become a tradition as you can read about from a previous year, and we look forward to having them come visit us again!
Speakers and conference
After a fun night of pre-partying and Marioke (a game themed karaoke session), it was time for Nordic Game Jam to kick off.
The first day included a conference with a great line-up of speakers and workshops:
Dominik Johann (Accounting, Dr. Langeskov) and William Pugh (The Stanley Parable) set up the Idea Court, where they would take in any ideas for games and rule them good or bad alongside an elaboration of what this idea could possibly entail, when executed as a game. Brie Code (Child of Light, Assassin’s Creed) talked about people who would enjoy games if the games only were a bit different. If you haven’t yet read her article about making games for people who don’t like games, you’re in for a treat!
Kelly Wallick (Indie Mega Booth) held the keynote presentation that wrapped up the conference part, telling the story of her journey from being a chemical engineer to now running the Indie Mega Booth.
Unity booth and help desk
We were a small group from Unity participating both during the conference and the jam. During the conference our recruitment team was on site speaking with the jammers about career opportunities. Our Evangelist team set up a Unity Help Desk, where they were helping out with technical support and advice, while jamming on their own game.
Being part of Nordic Game Jam is important for us — most of the participants of this jam are a strong part of our community, and it’s inspiring to be among so many creative minds while in their element. Copenhagen in general has a brilliant game developer scene in particular indie game developers. Games such as Inside, Stikbold!, Progress, Kalimba, Affordable Space Adventures, Cloud Chamber, La Petite Mort, and #SelfieTennis were all created here.
This year the venue was different from previous years. Nordic Game Jam 2017 took place at Docken which is located next to the sea in an industrial area of Copenhagen. It immediately got very cozy as all jammers were gathered in large open areas, compared to previous years, where everyone split up into smaller rooms.
There were many amazing games presented, and it was hard to pick just one especially during the finals. The winning game of Nordic Game Jam was “Baba Is You” an impressive one-man project with an abstract view at coding and puzzles.
Games to mention:
As you can imagine many of the teams participating in the jam were using Unity for their projects, and the presentations were great! These were some of the gems that we saw:
One platform less (from our onsite Unity team)
… and loads more.
Find a complete list of all the 145 submitted games on itch.io.
Many thanks to the team behind Nordic Game Jam 2017 for making yet another extraordinary game jam!