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September 10th, 2014
Codename @ OrcaJam 5! 

At Codename, we really do eat, breath and live videogames. Not only do we spend our working hours building the games you love, we spend much of our time outside the studio stretching our creative fingers in different directions - sometimes with very interesting results.

Last weekend, members of the Codename Entertainment studio attended OrcaJam, a local game jam in Victoria and got their creativity on. What exactly is a game jam you ask? In short, a game jam is a 48 hour period where teams of passionate game designers, artists and others can form a team together and try to create a fun and *functional* game, often centered around a theme, which is announced at the start of the Game Jam itself. The theme for this round was (slightly paraphrased): "Great Things from Small Beginnings!"

The ultimate purpose of a Game Jam isn't to produce a fully polished game, but to challenge a game designer to conceptualize, develop and QA a game within a very short period of time. There is no time for feature creep, grandiose ideas or egos; you must get down to business immediately or you'll run out of time. To be totally honest, you're going to run out of time anyway, but it's always best to go in prepared and challenge yourself!

Artist Cory and developer Ben were members of a 4-person team, and created a sharp little game called "Bot Spank". (You can see their game here!)

Developer Nick was a member of a different, 4-person team and created a little platformer called "Quarry Quandary." (A direct link to their game is here. )

So why, when we work on games all day, are we willing to give up our free time when we could be doing things like…laundry? Or other "life" chores? When asked, Nick had this to share:

"While game jamming on top of a full-time job is rather exhausting, it's an incredible opportunity to improve your skills and network with enthusiastic people in the local game development community. You particularly get a good feel for what it takes to produce a product from start to finish. And I must admit, everyone has a lot of laughs during game jams. We develop jam games with a sense of humor and are able to laugh at all the bugs and emergent features that crop up."

Check out their games, and enjoy!

(Curious about OrcaJam? Check out their official website here!)