Hat Jam 8

Hat Jam returns!

With the Global Game Jam in January, Hat Jam took a break. But the 48 hour VFS game jam returned March 13-15. Over 50 students and alumni made 11 games!

Hat Jam 8 was all about remixing classic games with some new twist. Two hats were used to draw the themes and twists jammers would be mixing over the weekend

Our sponsors helped fund the event and provide some fantastic prizes. Thank you East Side Games, Hothead Games, Next Level Games, A Thinking Ape, EXP, Freshbowl and Whitebox!

Food was provided by VFS Cafe

And Red Bull saved the day again! At the end of the event Sunday night, everyone needed a little extra energy for the presentations and awards.


We were able to give away some amazing prizes – The prize for the winning team were swag bags from A Thinking Ape, as well as a studio tour! We also had gift cards from EXP and Fresh Bowl and t-shirts from East Side Games. 15 lucky people also got Beta Keys for Whitebox Games‘ upcoming Dark Nexus Arena!

Games were judged for Art, Audio Potential, Innovation and Use of Theme. Four professional game developers joined us to provide feedback – Yannis Fyssas, Chevy Ray Johnston, Alex Schmidt and Damien Le Lievre. You can watch the presentations on Twitch here


Game : Tetrescape

Twist : Tetris with imperfect information

Basics : Stack Tetris pieces to reveal spikes, bombs or platforms. Your goal is to make a path to the top of the screen and lead your player to redemption

Team : Dustin Williamson, Kristopher Lee, Aleah Martin, Dani Kogan


Game : Invaders

Twist : Space Invaders with asynchronous gameplay

Basics : 2 players assemble a fleet of spaceships and send their force to the other player. Each player needs to defend the invasion

Team : Melvin Kwan, Vitor Castanheira, Charles Park, Daniel Alcivia


Game : Shinrai No Shippai

Twist : Asteroids with betrayal

Basics : One player tries to reach wormholes and shoot down asteroids and aliens. The other player spawns these obstacles. The player with the highest score wins

Team : Charles Adams, Wesley Keeling, Jessica Garcia, Ryan White, Dylan Rueter


Game : Bomber Missions

Twist : Bomberman with asymmetric goals

Basics : Players randomly get cards with objectives on them as they play Bomberman. Get the most points at the end of the round to win

Team : Derek Brouwer, John Pine, Kurin Laing, Brian Atuh, Bruno Miguel Tamer


Game : Centipede 2

Twist : Centipede and king of the hill

Basics : The king of the centipedes has to defend himself from monsters. Simply survive as long as possible

Team : Michael Carter, Michael Ventura, Aaron Munn, Todd Shindruk


Game : Zelda Cucco’s Revenge

Twist : The Legend of Zelda meets unnecessary physics

Basics : Assault link with cuccos and stop him from reaching the next dungeon. Fun fact – Cuccos have to flap their wings independently to fly and turn!

Team : Sara Stern, Maxwell Burgess, Claes Lewenhaupt, Taylor Shorten, Frederico Zveiter


Game : FrogZilla

Twist : Frogger in first person

Basics : Try to cross the roads, avoid cars and eat people. Each eye of the frog can be controlled seperately

Team : Steve Macias, Alan Porto da Silva, Andreia Concalves, Milton Ferreira, Benjamin Spailter


Game : Missile Not In Command

Twist : Missile Command with indirect controls

Basics : Launch flares from your truck to ‘suggest’ where the defensive missiles should go. Defend the city as best as you can

Team : Jake Waugh, Joseph Kazma, Diego Lopez, Teo Gonzalez, Matt Lazarte


Game : Caribbean Simian

Twist : A rhythm action Monkey Island

Basics : Collect musical notes as you travel to Monkey Island . You control the frequency and scale of the waves to guide your boat

Team : Charles Chung, Hugo Moraleida, Alex Sporny, Taylor Voth


Game : Ping

Twist : Pong with a shrinking game world

Basics : Pong with rockets, which can be reflected like the ball. Try to land rockets against the enemy territory to shrink it

Team : Carly Shephard, Adrien Gilly, Dani Kogan


Game : Gradius

Twist : Gradius with survival gameplay

Basics : One player controls the spaceship. The other player platforms over top of this ship. Both try to defend against attacking enemies

Team : Duncan Simms, Roger Jorza, Brayden Bertrand, Barry Huang, Nick Garzon


Game : Super Bowser World

Twist : Super Mario World in reverse

Basics : Classic Mario platforming as Bowser. Go left to capture the princess from her castle

Team : Ian Blyth, Sa Min Hong, Nim Frydman


Though we had lots of people helping out this weekend, but Teo won the Most Helpful Award! And a sweet Next Level Games backpack!


Tetrescape won for Third Place and Best Art. Great colours and visual language!


Frogzilla won Second Place and Best Audio Potential. The game was just insanely fun to watch!


Ping won Best use of Theme, Most Innovative and First Place! The addition of rockets made Ping more frantic and strategic than the original.


Great work from everyone that participated! We look forward to seeing you again next time. If you still feel the need to make games and forfeit sleep, another game jam – Ludum Dare 32 – is coming up very soon. The next Hat Jam will be July 2015.

Thanks again to our sponsors, judges and everyone who volunteered their time : Jaymee Mak, Lawrence Mathes, Michaelangelo Pereira, Anna Prein, Kramer Solinsky, Dani Kogan, Cam White, Matt Kirby, Marlon Franz, Larry Baert and Heather Ferguson.

Calder Archinuk is an alumni and former Instructor of VFS Game Design