Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Boston Game Devs Make 8 Games in 36 Hours

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the much-better-than-american-idol dept.

Programming 52

Darius Kazemi writes "This past weekend, a bunch of Boston-area game developers got together and did a 36-hour Boston Game Jam, inspired by the Indie Game Jam. We made eight games in 36 hours based on the theme of 'shift' for platforms as diverse as PC, GBA, and cell phones. The games range from a surprisingly complex behavioral sim to a game where you have to squish your opponent in a 2D physics deathmatch. Most of the games are available for download right now, and some of them even include the source code. In days to come, we'll be adding developer diaries and other goodies."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


Fast track development... (-1, Redundant)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773246)

Crap! Now Duke Nukem Forever will be delayed yet again as the development process is changed.

Re:Fast track development... (1, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774032)

You know it's a dead horse of a joke when FP gets modded Redundant.

Attention Stupid People (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774882)

No, actually, there is nowhere on Earth that indicates that Slashdot's "Redundant" moderation is intended only for comments which are redundant of only previous comments in the same story. Even bullshit about redundant first posts are redundant.

"Redundant" rings true of any comment involving

- the welcoming of overlords (of any class)
- netcraft confirmation
- it's a trap re: "Microsoft Blows Sunshine up Linux's Butt" and related articles
- Soviet Russia making you the object of some verb
- planetary landers, washing machines, etc. running linux
- frost psit
- hot grits re: Natalie Portman
- beowulf clusters of planetary landers, washing machines, etc.
- boom headshot
- 3. ????????
- 4. Profit!

and other lame, stupid, overused, redundant jokes that make the reader want to smack the poster with a wet plastic dildo. Duke Nukem Forever development cycle jokes qualify.

Redundant posts may not even be repeating overused Slashdotisms, but just garbage that is all too common on the Internet or in the media, such as 9/11 being an inside job, the Holocaust never happening, etc.

So STFU, your stupid post is both redundant and unintelligible. Judging from your comment and your sig, I think you may be overly obsessed w/ being moderated on Slashdot. Grow a brain and get a life.


Re:Attention Stupid People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17779144)

Looks like someone's sense of humour is still at the dry cleaners doesn't it?

And anyway - I, for one, welcome our wet plastic dildo overlords. . . . . .

Re:Fast track development... (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775114)

But don't you see? A first post can't be redundant.

Simply hilarious!

Get it??? Get it??!!


flash (1)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773528)

flocking Flash.

I hate it when sites make it impossible to navigate unless you have flash installed. Anyone have a direct link to bypass the flash?

Re:flash (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17773714)

I just put up a quick no-flash version of the games index:

http://bostongamejam.com/games_noflash.html [bostongamejam.com]


Re:flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776562)

Can you please print it and send it to me by mail?
It still requires a browser :(

Re:flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17813500)

Would you like that on a wooden table? :)

Re:flash (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17777330)

So much for that... I tried to mod you underrated, and my finger slipped and the menu selected overrated. This beta system doesn't let you undo unless you lock yourself out of a story by posting a comment. Oh well... mod parent up ;)

Re:flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774940)

here, this might be a more helpful link: http://www.flash.com/ [flash.com]

Welcome to 2007.

Six objections to SWF (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776472)

here, this might be a more helpful link: http://www.flash.com/ [flash.com]

Does SWF work properly on older (less than 1 GHz or less than 256 MB of RAM) or newer (64-bit) PCs? Does SWF work properly on handheld devices? Do most SWF site developers take visitors on dial-up Internet connections or visitors who use assistive technologies [wikipedia.org] seriously? And when will web advertisers stop using distracting SWF animations that motivate people to turn off SWF support entirely?

Innovation in Gaming? (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773648)

What would be a new "Innovation" in game development? With all of the functionality now pushed to chips, is it now in the harware engineer's realm? Perhaps more creative artists and plots. I'd be curious to know just how much other mainline medias such as video and audio communication/content is integrated with games.

Re:Innovation in Gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774564)

What would be a new "Innovation" in game development?

I think if we had a list of them, they wouldn't be innovations but implementations. Just because we haven't thought of it now doesn't mean it's not possible later.

Re:Innovation in Gaming? (4, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17777516)

you have fallen into a trap. You believe that an innovative game means finding a new way to push bits around faster or better than before. It does not. A better game is created by designing something that is fun to play. Innovation comes in the form of new game play mechanics, new input styles, new types of stories.

Making a game with 10 times the polygons of the closest competitor is not really game innovation. Graphics innovation sure, but you could make pacman with everything bump mapped and shaded and such but it would still play like pacman.

Re:Innovation in Gaming? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17785694)

So when virtual reality comes out (it exists now but not in a feasible form) and games take advantage of it, that won't be innovation? Only input devices matter, not output?

Re:Innovation in Gaming? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803102)

It will be innovation, but not all the same innovation.

Hardware innovation - There will be specialized equipment required for this, whether its headsets, body suits, a Matrix-esque server or a holodeck. The development of this is innovation.

Graphical innovation - Somewhat tied into the hardware innovation, but also something that can be pushed at a software level. This is also innovation.

Input and/or Gameplay innovation - How people actually code and use the system is a separate innovation from the others. If all someone does is use the equipment to play the original PacMan on their TV, that's not innovation (although it might be an interesting, if pointless, adaptation of the technology). If someone creates a game where you run screaming for your life collecting orbs as ghosts threaten to eat your soul, that would be innovation.

The key here is in understanding what kind of innovation is being talking about. You're obviously interested in graphical innovation. However, the point of the "jam session" and what the GP is getting at is that this is completely different and separate from input or gameplay innovation.

8 games by 8 teams... (1)

jbreckman (917963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773950)

They had 8 groups of people all make a game each in 36 hours.

Impressive still, but not really news.

Re:8 games by 8 teams... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774270)

Impressive still, but not really news.
Well I didn't know about it before. Is it only news if someone at least loses an eye?

Re:8 games by 8 teams... (3, Informative)

jbreckman (917963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775282)

I don't know what that means.

Two people making a game in 36 hours wouldn't be news. Eight sets of two people making games in 36 hours becomes news?

Re:8 games by 8 teams... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17777400)

It isn't the games, it's the way they were made. Also, I generally consider 8 new games in 32 hours with documentation, and for free to be news -- most stuff is either commercial, or a knock-off of something else. Of course, I think this is more developer news than games news....

One artist? (4, Insightful)

SpaceToast (974230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774150)

Very cool, but why one artist and one sound designer, floating between fifteen developers? Every team should have at least its own artist -- and don't think [wikipedia.org] we aren't [wikipedia.org] into this sort [wikipedia.org] of thing [wikipedia.org].

You've got the Massachusetts College of Art, one of the best and one of the scrappiest art schools in the country, right across the river. Next year, think about reaching out. You'll be amazed at the response, and the amount of polish these kids can do on deadline.

Re:One artist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774294)

For small games like this jam was focusing on, one artist is easily enough for 8 projects. Most of the projects only asked for three to five assets from the artist and sound guy, because that's all the assets they could integrate given the timeframe. So if I had brought more in, they would have been twiddling their thumbs.

I'd love to make the jam bigger and better next time, but I'm really focusing on small teams of designer/programmers making interesting interaction, and not so much on producing polished, good-looking products. Still, I'll probably bring in a few more artists next jam.


Their website is useless (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17774304)

That's neat, I guess. Too bad they don't explain:


According to the home page they're "a bunch of professional game developers from around the Boston area". I know of no game development companies from Boston (and I live next to it!) so some idea of WHAT kind of games these developers have worked on would be helpful.

What platform?

What platform is required to play the games? Not even the game download page really explains how to play the games. Apparently some are cell phone and GBA games, with no indications on how you'd play them.


What license are these licensed under? Presumably some proprietary license as there's no indication of source code being available.

All in all, the webpage is basically worthless, giving no useful information about who these developers are, what the games are for, why they were created, how they're intended to be played - anything.

Overall - useless.

Re:Their website is useless (1)

un.sined (946837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774496)

Turbine is located in Westwood, MA. That's what, 20 miles from Boston? I live about 20 miles from Seattle, but when someone out of state asks where I live, I tell them Seattle.

Re:Their website is useless (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775234)

Hi. Our contact page has links to all the companies represented:

http://www.bostongamejam.com/contact.html [bostongamejam.com]

As to platform, you're right, we should be more specific. I'll get on that soon.

As to license, this is released for the time being under the "we don't give a shit what you do with this code" license. But I'll probably GPL it, again, when I get around to it.


Re:Their website is useless (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775302)

Uhh, wasn't guitar hero originally developed by a company in the Boston area?

wow, look what i found via one little google search: from the boston globe website [boston.com]

also, see the numerous other replies linking the website of the people on whom the article was reporting.

Re:Their website is useless (1)

Daverd (641119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17778450)

I know of no game development companies from Boston (and I live next to it!)

Among some of the more noteworthy game development companies in the greater Boston area are Irrational Games [irrationalgames.com] (System Shock), Harmonix [harmonixmusic.com] (Guitar Hero), and Stainless Steel Studios [wikipedia.org] (Empire Earth).

Unfortunately Stainless Steel shut down a few months ago... maybe all those laid off employees were the ones who made the games in the article. :)

24 hour comics (1)

Nananine (967931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775188)

This reminds me of 24 hour comics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_hour_comic) which are 24-page comics drawn and inked in--you guessed it--24 hours. There's an annual 24 Hour Comics Day event that usually compiles a number of hand-picked comics made by artists and writers across the country. Italy's started their own version of it. It'd be cool if this was made into a annual challenge for dev's around the globe.

Re:24 hour comics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17804312)

Apostrophe is used to denote possession, not plurality.

Squish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775196)

I don't know about the quality of these games, mostly because I haven't stopped playing Squish yet. Entirely too much fun.

But where... (3, Funny)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775354)

But, where's my Duke Nukem Forever? I'm pretty sure that a hardcore 2 day coding crunch would end up with a better game than what they have so far...

Is this a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775492)

I just downloaded 2 of the games shift and squish, shift wouldn't even launch, and squish the physics were so far off that the players just bounced off the screen and died instantly. Great Job guys ... lol

Re:Is this a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17777016)

Hey, it's Boston. That's the city that was surprised to discover that the two-ton concrete tiles that were GLUED TO THE CEILING OF A TUNNEL managed, somehow, to fall and crush a woman. Boston's not exactly know for its handle on physics.

Re:Is this a joke (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17785102)

Yeah, I mean Harvard [harvard.edu] and MIT [mit.edu] have never contributed anything to phys... oh, never mind.

Re:Is this a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17786302)

Technically, neither of those are located in Boston: they're both in Cambridge, MA.

(Unfortunately for the original joke, that means that the Boston Game Jam also happened in Cambridge, since it happened at MIT. But still...)

What languages were used? (2, Interesting)

damg (906401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776012)

What languages were used? I would think that, given the time limit, something like Python (with PyGame or PyOgre) would be preferred over the more traditional C++?

Re:What languages were used? (1)

DanRoy (1039686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776096)

If I recall correctly: Python, Torquescript, C++ (with and without PopCap framework), Flash, Flash Lite

Re:What languages were used? (1)

LincolnQ (648660) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780224)

I did Slidewalk. We used Python, PyOpenGL for graphics, and Pygame for sound. We definitely preferred it over C++ for the reason you stated.

I like the way this is going (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776514)

I'm a 'musician' (clue : it's not what I get paid for). This is the second story I have seen recently where creative fields are given a limited time to come up with 'product' as part of a community project. As a lone musician I spend too much time in a bubble re - recording things time and time again even though the first take was probably good enough (which ultimately has the potential to stifle further creativity) - I can imagine the same happens to writers/artists/musicians or any people from any creative industry. I applaud this sort of collaboration it can only lead to more quality out there, and quality that's free for all, not quality controlled by publishers.

it's all about the moomins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17782630)

there have been limonaid style compos going on at demoscene events for years now. a few hours for a tracked song based on present samples, or a limited timeframe to pixel up an image. maybe themed, maybe not. in any case, it's not actually a new form, and it's usually fun to see all the results lined up.

Darius! put it up on scene.org! ;)

mike, anonymously
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account