moved over from projectspark.com forums
And the #GameJam Winners Are…
by Rahul Sandil
Over a period of just 26 days, there were more than 400 worlds submitted to the first ever Project Spark #GameJam. And those levels were played more than 250,000 times by our community. That’s big. A big way to kick off community GameJams. First, thank you to Ford for being our collaborators throughout this #GameJam. Their interested in inspiring innovation, pushing creators to go further and rewarding creations has been great.
Both Ford and Team Dakota have been blown away by the submissions. We had a feeling we would be seeing some inspiring creations. But this many at once? Our judges spent their holidays gleefully playing entries. They invited other developers over to play your creations with them. They talked excitedly about the great new things they saw over the holidays. It’s clear that what our community created here weren’t just submissions. There were full playable games and lasting, emotional experiences. Our community is not amateur artists and developers. You are real artists and real developers who poured love, sweat and Kode into works of wonder.
I wish we could award the grand prize to everyone. It sure would have made the judging easier! But then it wouldn’t be a competition. In the end, we needed to go from 400 to just 6. That was immensely hard, with very tough choices our team had to make.
Before we get to the final winners though, there were a few levels we wanted to call out. These didn’t quite make it to the top 5 or grand prize, but they deserved to be commended for what they accomplished.
Greatest Improvement: Clockwork Catastrohpe by killenjoke
Killenjoke released their GameJam entry early and updated often. It was a submission that lived and grew throughout the competition. We checked out the first version on an earlier stream and had an idea for where the submission was going. It turns out the final version was even greater than what we were expecting. Grinders, cannons, rollercoaster-like tracks were all used to help turn on a lightbulb. Killenjoke’s iterations and questions to the community are a bright point in what makes our community amazing. These are creators that can get together, help each other out and all build better worlds together. And killenjoke used that to build one of the top submissions in the competition, in one of the most highly contested categories.
Most Visually Impressive: Let’s Get Primitive by Defco 7T
One of our judges was watching someone play this on their screen and asked “What game are you playing?” They had no idea they were looking at Project Spark still. This world pushed the boundary on the types of visuals you could create in Project Spark. We are watching and waiting for whatever Defco 7T makes next. After Super 16+ and now this, they are a creator everyone should be following.
Biggest Laughs: Turning on a TV by AnAverageRecon
The comedic journey of what starts out as a simple concept is top notch. One guy wants to be able to turn on his TV without having to pick up his remote. So he builds a little machine to help him with that. It starts with you having to shoot a target to release four ball weights. After that, the machine gets crazier and crazier, involving robots, squirrels, jetpacks and the moon. This is a world you can’t miss!
The First Prize Winners
First place may take home the prize, but the competition was so close in every single category. The final scores were incredibly close, where even with a 100 point spread, some entries were less than a point away from each other. But in the end, there can only be one winner for each category and one grand prize winner. The following entrants and their collaborators are potential winners of an Xbox One, subject to eligibility and confirmation!
GameJam – Rube Sparkberg Fire Start by RaffArundel
The Rube Sparkberg competition ended up being viciously close. Those that got it, really got it, creating some of the best entries across the board. But in the end, the fire starter was the best of the machines. There were so many great moments from the simple act of launching a ball, to a plant falling in love with a stuffed squirrel, to a final display of fireworks. Congratulations to RaffArundel for building something Rube Goldberg would truly be proud of.
It Moves Like That
Space Gunk vs The Galaxy by InstantKafka & Paradoxmoomoose
First, the game starts off with a comic book panel intro scene. Second, you have a choice of your hero. Third, you have a boatload of good and fun 2D action mechanics. Fourth, you have a beautiful design. Any one of those four things would have made a great entry. The fact that this game has all of them and they’re fused together so well puts it in a class of its own.
Lights, Camera, Spark
Remembrance by NieNieChu
This category was another one that was incredibly close. The closest of all of our categories. But there can only be one first place and that goes to NieNieChu for creating an emotional stop motion story with Remembrance. It’s a mix between an interactive story book and a cartoon short you might see before a high-class animated movie. It tells its story by showing, expertly using unique designs to make you feel as the characters feel.
Let’s Get Primitive
Primitive Quest by LordStarwalker
This world was first uploaded early in the #GameJam process and LordStarwalker continued to add more and more impressive elements from there. This creation shows the power of tweaking, adding and refining. The final version of Primitive Quest lets you play as a wizard or warrior and includes leveling, party members and plenty of different goblin types, all in expertly designed primitive versions of Project Spark characters. Congratulations to Lord Starwalker. Now we want to see what happens once you’re in the castle!
Life’s an Arcade
Singularity by The Onomatopeia & Cambel Soup
Singularity was a visual treat with solid gameplay. It took a simple concept and made it all new kinds of fun by containing the action in a circular area. This was the world our judges talked the most about. The phrase “blew my mind” was used at least a handful of times when discussing it. Hats off to The Onomatopeia and their collaborator Cambel Soup for their creativity and for combining visuals and gameplay into something special.
The Grand Prize Winner
While the competition was steep throughout the GameJam, there was one entry that received stellar marks across every category. An entry that our developers crowded around a community livestream to watch and wonder at. An entry that we agreed pushes the envelope in the types of experiences you can create in Project Spark. An entry that the community also agreed with our choice on.
That entry is…
X-Zero by ArisildeDamal & ST Aabra
What more can we say. It’s racing so good that it could stand as its own game. X-Zero has crazy UI, top-notch racing mechanics, good track design, unique visuals, multiple tracks thanks to level linking, clever AI… the list goes on. It’s a complete package. And most importantly, it’s a satisfying game. It’s something people enjoy whether you tell them it was built in Project Spark or they think it’s just another new blockbuster video game. Congratulations to ArisildeDamal and ST Aabra for an exceptional experience.
All creators listed above are potential Prize winners of the Xbox Live and Ford and “Project Spark” Game Jam Contest. Winner status is subject to eligibility and confirmation.
Thanks to International Creators
Despite prizes in this first GameJam being limited to U.S. audiences, that didn’t stop the international community from participating and contributing fantastic levels. There were a lot of submissions from international users, but we wanted to highlight some of those that really impressed us. Despite not being eligible for winning, our panel of judges did also play international submissions. Here are the ones that made the cut of what we consider top entries:
Arcade Runner by RodianWuzi
Goblins Must Evolve by ysss
Cyberion Wars by Swarmhammer
Reset Buttonberg by Sparkotron
Acceloron by Karhedron
PLINKO! by Photeth
Play as a Doctor by ElysianRain
De Blokz by SlovenlyMoon
Well that does for our first ever GameJam! All winners will be contacted with more information and to confirm eligibility. Thanks to everyone for participating. This has been an amazing first experience for us and we look forward to doing more like this.