On the weekend of February 3rd, Dakota State University participated in our yearly Global Game Jam! The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is an event where students from all around campus, in any major or specification come together to make a game in a 48-hour span! Over 50 in person, students showed up to enjoy each other’s company and find a team to make a game with. After the intro video, we were given the theme! Roots! Having this information, students went all over Beacom to settle down in a classroom, or at a table to begin working with their teams. I went around to all the beginning teams and asked them how they were feeling about things! The excitement and ideas were flowing quickly! The commencement ceremony started at 5 pm, on February 3rd in Beacom 135.

Jumping to Sunday, the final day of the GGJ, I sat perched on top of the staircase with my phone in hand, ready to keep track of all of the games!

The first game shown was built in Tabletop Simulator, and showcased a 2-6 player game of passing cards, and gaining cards to feed your rabbit character the food they liked, while sabotaging the other players by giving them cards they wouldn’t enjoy, and even rotten food! This game was presented by a single person and was developed by a team of three.

Tabletop Simulator

The next game presented was from the team “The Gay Cats” (a reference to last year’s GGJ.) Their game, “Dust” is a Tabletop Roleplaying game that was presented in both physical paper form, and online google doc. The system includes interesting character generation, lists of spells, and customized character sheets! The Gay Cats had six presenters.

Gay Cats pictured with the Six Presenters

The third game was an adorable 2D platformer that was presented by seven people and developed by eight. The game “Appleton Falls Far” depicts the story of a lonely apple that has fallen from the tree it was previously growing on, and now has slowly begun its climb back up to its branch, meeting different faces along the way, such as a tomato man, who asks them what they’re doing and points out how they don’t really look like a tomato. The game continues with Appleton finding out that even if they get back to their branch, they’ll never fit in there anymore, and must discover a new identity. The game features floating mechanics, frame animation, and a beautiful art style!

Appleton Falls Far

The fourth game, “Under the Tree” had four presenters and developers showcasing a 2D puzzle dungeon crawl with a beautiful pixel style, custom made sound effects and music to coincide with the changing levels.

Under the Tree

The next game entitled “Mole” is a puzzle platformer and shooter presented by 6 people. You are “Lester” the mole, and you have been tasked with eliminating all of the other moles in your area. This game also featured unique music and a rather small development team!

Mole Game

The sixth game, “Blighted Wildes,” was a 2D platformer with 7 presenters and 9 developers. The story of a heroine going around and bringing life to dead trees all while avoiding enemies, spikes and other dangers. There was a specific jump in the game that was showcased to be particularly difficult, showing the need for some skill while playing this game.

The second to last game, “Of Bark and Beatles” was a tower defense game where your tower is your lone standing tree! You must manage your resources to purchase defenses and add buffs to the items surrounding your tree to ward off the swarms of beetles.

Of Bark and Beatles

The final game that was showcased at the game jam, was “Plants VS Plants” presented by a single developer. The game featured resource management and smart thinking as you had to be careful where to place your roots to gain the most territory.