As you are all aware, last weekend was Uni Jam 2012. This debrief will go to everyone involved in the event and will cover general information about participants, issues that were encountered and how they were resolved, a prize break down and acknowledgements for support received from sponsors and other third parties.
Students from the following universities attended the event:
Nottingham Trent University
University of Nottingham
City University London
University of Derby
University of York
University of Warwick
Anglia Ruskin University
When registration closed, 56 competitors were signed up for the event. However, for various reasons only 44 of the expected 56 took part.
One team (four students from the University of Nottingham) explained a few days prior to the event that they would not be able to attend due to an unexpected increase in work load.
Another team was expected to arrive from the University of Manchester, but none of the five members of this team were present.
There was a team put together from students who had signed up as individual participants, but three of these students dropped out on the day leaving only two members at the jam. It was agreed that they would be allowed to continue as a team of two as the circumstances were out of their control.
The main issue that was encountered throughout the entire weekend was a problem with the Wi-Fi. At the beginning of the event teams began trying to set up source control for their projects, as well as use search engines such as Google to determine if their ideas were plausible. In most cases they either couldn’t connect or found that websites took an impractical length of time to load.
This problem was quickly resolved by a suggestion from Demos that we move the competitors to a nearby location in Newton where signal strength seemed to be better. Tables were set up and teams were asked if they would like to move. Due to the large amount of stewards on hand, this was a quick process and we were only set back by 40 minutes. Organisers agreed to shift the event timetable back by an hour to make sure that participants weren’t at a disadvantage due to lost time at the start.
It is clear from the video footage taken during the event that the general atmosphere was great. Everyone was happy to talk to us and explain how things were going, and everyone was smiling even in the middle of the night people were struggling to stay awake! Even in cases where development was being halted by bugs and other issues, all the students managed to stay positive and enjoy themselves.
Another highlight was when a member of the team from Warwick University offered to help the 2 man team (from Kingston and London City University) with a maths problem. This goes a long way to showing that although it was a competition, the spirit of the event was friendly and students from different universities were able to work together to create brilliant games.
A quote from the DevSoc Facebook page following the event was “I came to Uni in October, hoping to be able to learn how to make games, and with DevSoc, I successfully made one after a month. Can’t argue with that!!!” This is what the vision for the game jam was all about, so feedback like this has made all the work worthwhile.
Prizes were awarded by the judges as follows:
Accessibility – NTU DevSoc (Patrick Merritt, Paul White, Eamonn Hayden, Charlotte Ash
Game Play – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
Graphics – University of York (Samuel Twidale, Joe Williamson, Tom Rosling)
Innovation – Anglia Ruskin University (Ed Horsey, James Roberts, Kieran Linnie, Owen Westfield Bell)
Windows 8/Windows Phone – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
People’s Choice – NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton)
Random Prize Draw – NTU DevSoc (Eamonn Hayden)
This event would not have been a success without all the support we have received from third parties. Our thanks go to:
Nottingham Trent University – For providing on going support through the planning and running of the event (special thanks to Demos) and providing us with a venue and some money for provisions.
Stewards – For volunteering their time to help run the jam. Some stayed awake for the whole 24 hours to make sure they could help if they were needed.
Microsoft (Lee Stott) – For sponsoring the Windows 8/Windows Phone category, Peoples choice category and random prize draw. Lee not only judged the competition, but was also present throughout the event to give ongoing support.
Mode7 Games (Paul Taylor) – For judging the competition and providing a Frozen Synapse key to everyone who participated in the event.
David Smith – For judging the competition and providing ongoing support throughout the competition.
Pocketeers – For sponsoring for the Innovation prize category.
Marmalade – For sponsoring the Game Play prize category.
Desura + Indie Royale – For sponsoring the Innovation prize category.
Pololu – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category.
Rebellion + 2000AD – For sponsoring the Graphics prize category.
Insane Dev (Steven Batchelor-Manning) – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category and coming down to the venue to show support.
Dynamite Jack – For sponsoring the Graphics, Innovation, Accessibility and Game Play prize categories.
Wiseman Designs – For providing treats for all competitors in the form of Haribo and Freddos.
Interested in sponsoring the competition? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!