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A graphic image of a colourful face with a SNES console in its mouth
Chris MackinJan 30, 2024 11:59:54 AM2 min read

dBs Bristol hosts the Global Game Jam 2024

Working in collaboration with Bristol Games Hub and MyWorld, we were honoured to once again host the Global Games Jam at our Bristol campus in January 2024.

If you've never heard of a game jam before, they're public events that are run the world over for anyone passionate about games development. Artists, designers, programmers, composers and producers come together to create a game in a short period of time, usually 48 or 72 hours. 

Organised by Ben Byford (Nuclear Candy Games) and Viki Johnson (Ground Shatter), the Global Game Jam 2024 saw our students, avid creators in the local community and industry professionals from Bristol's gaming scene come together over three days to create a game based on this year's theme, 'Make Me Laugh'. 

Taking the theme in their stride that 50 or so attendees split off into various small teams, each brimming with their own ideas on how to realise a game that met the theme of the year. 

dBs was on the scene during the initial stages of idea development to catch up with some of the creators and hear more about what they were working on. 

Slay the Jester

Global Game Jam 2024 Collage 1

"Slay the Jester is definitely a working title. It's a card game where you play as a jester who faces a row of characters in a medieval court. You play cards against the characters and attempt to make them laugh. One card is an action card, which is the joke itself, and the other is a modifier, which is the tongue or the delivery of the joke. Each card that you play wears down the enemies health and if you get down to zero you make them laugh. If you run out of cards before making all the enemies laugh, then you fail and are executed."

Untitled Elephant Game

Global Game Jam 2024 Collage 2

"We have an AI engineer that reckons that he can detect laughter, so we asked, 'how do you gamify detecting laughter?' When is it optimal for you in a situation to laugh - it's if you're working with someone who is thin skinned and thinks they're funny. So we started with a dictator, but thought a more common example is working in customer service and having to be a bit of a sycophant to the customer. Sycophant sounds a bit like elephant, so the customer is an elephant. You have to laugh when the elephant cracks joke, and then have to not laugh when he's trying on clothes. That's the idea."

Untitled Clown Game

"Our idea came from clowns. We have this idea of a clown in a gig-conomy - running around town trying to make people laugh and gets his rating up. They're trying to bring some joy to what is an otherwise dreary town. We're currently planning a top-down, fast-paced and maybe ability-heavy gameplay loop with some inspiration from Hotline Miami. We're potentially trying to have the soundtrack and gameplay link together based on well you're building up combos through making people laugh." 

Watch this space for both our mini-documentary about the Global Games Jam as well as our recent Q&A session with Ben Byford on YouTube. 

Like the sound of studying games development at dBs Institute? Check out our BA (Hons) Game Art and BA (Hons) Game Development: Programming degrees?