Hat Jam 7: Meow Tales

Biggest. Jam. Yet.

With 12 teams, Hat Jam 7: Meow Tales, was a boisterous and magical affair. The game jam brought together over 60 students and alumni from the VFS Game Design, Programming and Entertainment Business Management campuses.

(Click here to view the Presentations on YouTube.)
(Click here to view the Awards Ceremony on YouTube.) 

After selecting their fairytale theme from one of our wondrous hats, jammers had 48-hours to create games from start to finish.

Thanks to our sponsors, we were also able to feed our jammers and provide wonderful prizes.

We had snacks…

Pizza parties, where the jammers could take a brief break to catch up on how each others games were going…

And free Red Bull, courtesy of the Wings Team, that helped keep our jammers caffeinated throughout the weekend.

For prizes to giveaway, we had Twitch Swag Bags (complete with t-shirts, power bars, bottle openers, badges & micro-usbs), Fresh Bowl restaurant gift vouchers, games as well as t-shirts donated by jammer Kris Kamaruddin.

The games were judged on four categories: Audio, Art, (Use of) Theme and Innovation, with overall quality also taken into consideration.

At the end of the weekend, the teams gathered back in the TV studio to present their games to each other. Their presentations can be viewed on YouTube at this link.

The presentations were also live-streamed on Twitch, with help from Kramer Solinsky (VFS alumni and QA Ninja, Roadhouse Interactive, pictured below).

We were also lucky enough to have four industry judges join us.

From left to right: Paul O’Rourke (Sound Designer, Double Fine Productions), Yen Kwoon Hun (Senior VP of Technology, IUGO Mobile Entertainment), Danielle Bailey (Art Lead, Fuel Powered), Kayla Kinnunen (Game Director, Roadhouse Interactive).

Game: Giant’s Den
Theme: Jack and the Beanstalk
High Concept: 2D top-down horror game where you play as Jack trying to get money, a harp & a goose that lays giant eggs before the giant can catch and eat you.
Team Members: Melvin Kwan, Charles Park, Brian Yich.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Lie to Me Darling
Theme: Pinnochio
High Concept: 2D side-scroller where you interact with NPCs and murder them with your long nose to become more human.
Team Members: Vitor Castanheira, Jean-Paul Peschard, Daniel Alciva, Yang Louis.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Lumbersmack
Theme: Red Riding Hood
High Concept: Red Hiding Hood finally got killed by the wolf and now you’re the woodsman out for revengence.
Team Members: Nicholas Gilbert, Adir Fakiro, Scott Thompson, Dani Kogan.
Playable Link: Here 
Game: They Call Me Rump
Theme: Rumpelstiltskin
High Concept: You play as the lawyer representing Rumplestiltskin in a custody battle against the Queen (the Miller’s daughter).
Team Members: Dylan Jenken, Thomas Caleffi Scaletscky, Markus Redi, Kavan Mann, Errol Hanham, Alex Kott.
Playable Link: Here 
 
Game: Le Chaudron Vert
Theme: The Frog Prince
High Concept: You play as a witch who owns a bar and you need frogs to create soup. When princes enter the bar you turn them into frogs for your soup.
Team Members: Jean Leite, Rafael Andrade, Vitor Pena, Sebastian Figueroa, Nigel Sampson.
Playable Link: Here 
Game: The Bloody Pair
Theme: The Red Shoes
High Concept: The Bloody Pair is a top down 2.5D game. You are a diabolical pair of red shoes that can move by themselves when Kristina, a spoiled little girl, puts them on. The villagers want to save Kristina from the menacing footwear, you must fight them off to prevent them from removing you from her feet. Evade the townsfolk and kick them in the face.
The player must skilfully combat the villagers’ persistent efforts. When shoes this diabolical are afoot you never know what people are capable of. The shoes will do whatever it takes to retain control of Kristina’s feet. After taking too many hits in the face the police have laid traps you must dance around.
Team Members: Juan Barrera, Thomas Irvine, Taylor Powell, Taylor Evans, Matheus Bonfiglio.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Gaston
Theme: Beauty and the Beast
High Concept: Gaston is 3D third-person brawler where players take control of Gaston as he protects the village from wild animals.
Team Members: Jean Escalante, Cody Cornelissen, Chris Chang, Nick Marce, Benjamin Foxall.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Cinderacer
Theme: Cinderella
High Concept: Cinderella racing in cars.
Team Members: David Milne, Nick Aspeslet, Mike Luxton, James Preston, Matthew Thomas.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: TNT: Thumbs of Rage
Theme: Tom Thumb
High Concept: Medieval cyberpunk side-scrolling shoot-em-up. Tom Thumb meets the 80s meets side-scrolling shooter.
Team Members: Duncan Simms, Kurin Laing, Raphael Toledo, Derek Brouwer, John Pinho.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Mulan Rouge
Theme: Mulan
High Concept: 2.5D side-scrolling brawler set in a world based in Chinese Mythology where you control Mulan who has to destroy the Han army. One foot soldier at a time.
Team Members: Charles Adams, Kris Kamaruddin, Wesley K, Nycholas (Nyck) Weissberg, Cesar Ort.
Playable Link: Here 

Game: Runaway Bride: Cold Rabbit’s Feet
Theme: Tortoise and the Hare
High Concept: 2-button, fast-paced infinite runner to escape a bad marriage.
Team Members: Frederico Zveiter, Claes Lewenhaupt, Andreia Goncalves, Taylor Voth, David G Piper.
Playable Link: Here 
While points were tallied and the judges deliberated…
Hat Jam volunteers Calder Archinuk and Lawrence Mathes showed off their non-competition entry jam game 4-player fighting game Fairy Battle Tails, that they created during the weekend, with sound contributions by judge Paul O’Rourke.
Then, it was time for the Awards ceremony (which can be viewed on YouTube here).
Hat Jam volunteer Calder Archinuk was voted Most Helpful by the jammers for helping mentor throughout the jam. Calder is a VFS GD alumni, was previously a VFS Level Design Instructor and is now a Programmer at Whitebox Games.
Giant’s Den won Best Use of Theme for utilizing Jack and the Beanstalk creatively in their horror game.
Cinderacer won Third Place, impressing the judges with their use of theme and inclusion of multiplayer networking.
They Call Me Rump won Second Place with their humorously unique take on the tale of Rumplestiltskin.
 
Lumbersmack won First Place, wowing the judges with their overall polish in all areas (including mechanics and level design), leading to the most complete experience of the jam.
They also swept the category awards, taking Best Audio for having the most complete and original sounds and Best Art for their high level of detail.
Congratulations to all jammers who participated! We look forward to seeing you again (and new faces) next time!
With Global Game Jam (Vancouver) taking place in January 2015, the next Hat Jam will be in May 2015. (Although we encourage all students and alumni to participate in the 300+ person game jam!)
We’re looking for volunteers, so if you’re interested in joining our merry band of jam-loving organisers, email HatJamSociety@gmail.com by January 1, 2015 with your full name and a few words about why you want to help make Hat Jam awesome!
For more updates (and to see more behind-the-scenes photos from the jam) like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
Thanks again to our sponsors, judges, and to all who volunteered time to make the jam awesome: Calder Archinuk, Lawrence Mathes, Anna Prein, Michelangelo Pereira Huezo, Kramer Solinsky, Jon Tittley and Larry Baert.
‘Til next time, Hat Jam out!