Reed Game Jam was great!

For most of August, I led an extended game jam, a slow jam, at Reed College, for students and alums. It was modeled after a maker space where participants could drop in when they could, to accommodate those who had to work day jobs.

It was great! And… enlightening!

One thing I learned is that 3 weeks of unstructured slow jamming is about the same as a 48-hour traditional, little-sleep game jam. The amount of work and the completeness of a project are about the same. One big difference is that you get a lot more playtesting iterations in, though, so what you have can be more balanced, if not necessarily more complete…

I think next year we should provide a little more structure, set definite goals, etc.

This year, we ended up with 7 projects in various states:

  • a tight economic boardgame designed by Joe Wasserman about managing a barbershop. Yes, a barbershop. I would buy this in a heartbeat. It is very, very good.
  • a deck building, sort of area control, combat card game, inspired by Eminent Domain *and* Cosmic Encounter. Wow.
  • a space 4x (minus 1 x) co-op card game. This one is mine, and I’m still working on it. Hoping to launch a Kickstarter sometime soonish.
  • a push-your-luck dice game inspired by Kerbal Space Program, about the early rush to space during the Cold War.
  • a strategy roguelike-like, inspired by Small World, etc.
  • a platformer based on The Faerie Queene
  • a vector and momentum game about mobsters fighting on ice. Awesome concept.

There’s probably going to be two or three Kickstarter projects emerging from last month, eventually, so I’ll be sure to provide status updates when I can.


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