Here’s a story that has multiple layers of coolness, or, as Shrek would say (Yeah, I’m going there.) it’s like an onion. It all started back in September of last year at the 360iDev conference. 360iDev, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a great get-together for iOS developers because it’s still small enough that you can attend it and actually have a pretty good chance of meeting everyone there instead of just falling into the sea of people that show up for a massive convention like GDC. One of the things they seem to do at every 360iDev is a game jam, or, a marathon game development session where developers crank out workable games from start to finish overnight.
TUAW’s Mike Schramm attended the last one, but, instead of covering it for the site he decided to jump right in and build his own game. He blogged the whole thing, which I’ve found to be incredibly interesting to see what it’s like when a blogger jumps to the other side of the fence, so to speak. At events like these, we’re used to just showing up, hanging out, pestering whoever we can, and saying peace out… Not actually slogging through the whole gam jam process and coming out with an workable product entitled Antithesis ($0.99).
Original concept sketch on the left, final screenshot on the right.
The concept for the game is cool too. It’s a Pong battle, so to speak, where you control a black paddle and defend against a stream of black balls, while an AI-controlled white paddle does the same. The line in the middle shifts back and forth between both sides depending on who is playing better in a series of waves. Like most game jam titles, it isn’t the deepest game in the world, but it’s really cool reading the whole process and seeing the game in various stages of development then finally playing the end product.
Game Jam photo courtesy of RetroDreamer.