It’s 2017. This is Canada’s 150th anniversary.
A few months ago, I tried to gather interest in a collaborative project to make a game to celebrate this occasion. Now, we’re moving forward: a game jam spanning the 150 days leading up to Canada Day on July 1, and it starts in the rectum of Canada.
Ok, some citizens in Windsor, Ontario may not like that old joke from Stephen Colbert, but regardless, I’m saying the first game jam meeting will be in Windsor, courtesy of maker-space Hackforge in the downtown area.
The first meeting will technically not be during the proposed time period of February 1 to July 1, 2017, but instead will be on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7pm ET. This will be a meeting to agree on the format and schedule of the project.
The intention of this experiment is different from most other game jams. While “game jam” usually means a energy-drink-fueled showdown over a few days to make a project in the spirit of competition against other participants, the “Canada 150 Game Project” will be a collaborative effort. There are no winners or prizes. Just make something showing off the pride we have as Canadians, if possible as a group with as many people as possible. This is spread out over a long period to be more accessible and forgiving to those who might not have time or energy for a coding-sprint.
Admittedly, the responses I’ve gotten so far have been very few, and the most I’ve heard was “sounds cool.” I would like to have connected game jams across the country join in this event, but I don’t think I can even get more than a few people within my community to participate (inspiring others to action is one of my weakest attributes, which I’ve learned well as a indie developer). I’ll be relying on a few close friends to start this with me, and hope that it gains momentum by the end. If nothing else, I’ll have a project to show off as my own. Anyway, the purpose of this early game-jam meeting in Windsor is to discuss the format: should we all make one big project together, or many separate projects? Should we all use the same toolset (Unity3D, Unreal, etc.)? Is monthly meetings for jam sessions a good idea, or should there be a single longer jam like other more traditional events? All of these questions will be asked, and decided, on this day, for the sake of inclusion to as many as possible, and to write in stone that this is happening.
So if you are in the Windsor area, please consider coming out to join the conversation, and prepare for game dev sessions as early as February. If you live elsewhere in Canada, please consider organizing something similar in your community and let us know about it. One of my biggest peeves is when a giant opportunity exists and not a person in the world cares to do anything about it. Get out of your beaver-hats and flannel PJ’s and put down that maple-cocoa: let’s get together and make something fun!