Dublin GameCraft II – bigger, longer, craftier

19 Nov 2012

The winners, organisers and judges at Dublin GameCraft II in the Engine Yard

Thirty-three teams of games developers from all over Ireland and the UK descended on Engine Yard over the weekend with one aim – to build a fully functioning game in 12 hours and have some fun in the process. Armed with only a colour and image as inspiration, what the teams managed to produce was nothing short of brilliant in the time given.

This was the second GameCraft of the year organised by Andrea Magnorsky (of BatCat Games) with the first being held in DIT in February. There was a little change from the original format from the last one with teams now enjoying a full 12 hours to develop a game and a further two hours to play them afterwards.

The theme for the day was chosen at random based on a colour and an image drawn out from those submitted by the judges

Theme for GameCraft

Colour and image theme for GameCraft 2

Teams were free to interpret the images as they liked and develop in any method they chose. Kicking off at 9am, the next couple of hours saw the games begin to take shape with a large number of teams opting to use the XNA and Unity platforms again, although there were a number of ambitions teams who sought to build from scratch in JavaScript. One entrant even decided to stream his development live. The extra four hours added this time around was a huge benefit, as the vast majority of games were completed on the day with another few fit-for-purpose with a view to being further developed in the future.

Big winners on the day were:

The Wolverines, whose members scooped first prize overall with their game Turbo Duck, a flight simulator with epic visual design and gameplay.

Second place went to a game called A Feast fit for a Queen, one of a number of games to come from Swrve employees during the jam.

Third place went to the Clock In Rock team for the game Where’s Your Burd At? a platformer game based on the doodled characters in a copybook.

Other awards on the day went to:

Best Art award: Rocket Deadman – a platformer/adventure game with stunning graphics, written, designed, coded and music recorded all within 12 hours!

Best Gameplay award: Team Final’s game A Tale of Love – where players have to attract a mate by flying close to her and emitting the same colour as she does.

Best Technology award – Daniel Elliot (‘@agileguy‘) developed his MMO Blueprint, a pirate adventure MMO reminiscent of old Sid Meiers games, using Facebook authentication.

Best MMO award – The Dublin JS team shaded the MMO category with the game Hope is a Thing with Feathers, based around the Emily Dickinson poem of the same name. Up to four players could play together online.

Best Story award – Awarded to Conor Lynch‘s team, Professor Bluebirds Time-travelling Adventure. Players play as Prof Bluebird as he time travels looking for a cure for bird flu. The game features 30 different screens and eight different endings. The game can be downloaded here: Professor Bluebirds Time-travelling Adventure.

Best Humour award – Pump Station Studios (the guys behind Happy Snappy) developed Donkeypocalypse on the day. A twisted tale of birds on wheels battling chainsaw-wielding donkeys. Makes sense to you? Nawh, us either!

Judges choice award – Was unanimously awarded to Wildlife on One. A multiplayer game where one player is David Attenborough trying to take photos of a rare bird and other player is a smurf trying to prevent him taking photos by throwing rocks.

Ones to watch award – Given to ExploGames, who built and published a game on the day using QB64.

Viewers choice award – This was awarded to the game with the most votes from those who attended GameCraft. Flama Games (a team of two 11-year-olds) took this award with their game Tweety.

I left my house on Saturday morning at around 8am and got home somewhere around 2am on Sunday morning and I honestly couldn’t tell you where the time went. Not for a single minute during those 18 hours was I bored, with the atmosphere in the Engine Yard being one of fun and excitement throughout the day. With the recent announcement that employment in the games industry in Ireland is up 91pc over the last three years it is easy to see why from the development that went on over the weekend. Credit must go to everyone involved and to those who participated.

Special thanks goes to Vicky Twomey-Lee who helped organise the event, David McCabe who helped everything run smoothly, Engine Yard, and all the judges for the games.

Some photographs of the day can be seen here: Dublin Game Craft 2 photos.