Monday 25 June 2012

MCR Game Jam at the Maker Faire: call for entries

The Manchester Game Jam is happy to confirm that we'll be at the Manchester Mini Maker Faire in July! We're mega excited about it, and have big plans, and now we need YOU to get on board and help us out. Here's how it's going to go down, in handy FAQ format:

So, what's the plan?
The Manchester Game Jam will be doing a live two day jam event, at the Manchester Mini Maker Faire on the 28th and 29th July, at MOSI. We're going to create a gigantic step-on controller that we'll be making games for, so visitors can get involved and play our games on a big projection screen for the duration of the show. It'll be similar to the recent Experimental Gameplay contest, but a bit more flexible and a lot more home-made!

Who are you looking for?
Developers, designers, game nerds, and anyone else who wants to get stuck in and help us make awesome games for our giant controller. As well as making loads of games over the Maker Faire weekend, we also want to have some ready in advance too: so if you can't make the weekend you can still get your games played by everyone at the event.

How does it actually work?
We're working alongside the clever chaps at HAC:Manchester, who are making six big step-on buttons. The buttons will be wirelessley attached to a PC, that's hooked up to a large projection screen. The buttons will be mapped to the 1-6 keys on a keyboard, and will register "up" and "down" states, same as pressing keys on a keyboard. Because they're wireless, you can use any button layout you like. Your game can use any number of the buttons, and can be for single players or lots of players: go nuts! The buttons will also be colour-coded, so if you want some sort of visual reference in-game you have something to work with:

Are there any other specifics we need to know?
  • There should ideally be a screen at the start of your game that shows how you'd like the buttons to be laid out, along with some instruction on how to play
  • Your games should be entirely controllable using the six buttons (including the game menus, if there are any)
  • You games should work at 1024x768, full-screen
  • Your game should run on a reasonably modest PC, and if there are any requirements or runtimes (XNA, AIR etc) that you require, let us know
  • Sound is OK, but the event might be loud, so don't rely 100% on it
  • It's a family event, so keep it clean!
Are there any themes/rules?
Nope. If it plays on our giant controller, we'll take it. We'll be rotating through all the games on a regular basis over the weekend, so everything that gets submitted will get played by the Maker Faire visitors.

I'm coming to the live jam: what do I need to bring?
People entering the jam will need their own laptop: we'll have power, tables/chairs, and WIFI. 

I can't make the jam, but I'd like to make a game: is that OK?
Definitely! This is still a great opportunity to get your game played by loads of people on a large scale. We're really keen on getting together some games created in advance, so there's always something fun happening on our controller right from the outset. Send us everything and anything you come up with. 

Who owns the games we make?
You do. We're just providing the giant buttons! Please feel free to stick your name/email/twitter on whatever you make.

If this sounds like fun and you'd like attend (or, if you'd like to make something in advance), get in touch! Attendees can still turn up on the day of course, but it would be best if we had a handle on numbers.

For more info, or to submit your games, here's how you can get hold of us:

Email us - MCRgamejam [at] gmail [dot] com
Tweet us - @MCRgamejam
or call Dan on 07849 959 348

We can't wait to see what you come up with. Thanks!


  1. Hi Dan,
    AWESOME idea :) I wrote a comment yesterday but messed up posting it, so here we go again:

    It would be great if you could list a few "How to get started" items here as well! I think that might be really useful for people who think "Oooh yes, I'd love to contribute a game" but don't know where to start. Just a handful of links perhaps?

    Thanks :)

  2. Yep, good call. Had a few people ask about technical details so I'll put together a post and put it up shortly. :)

  3. We wrote a checklist for the curious!

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