Polish Games at the Global Game Jam
#technology & innovation
small, Polish Games at the Global Game Jam, "Relay", photo: promotional materials, relay.jpg
During this year’s Global Game Jam over 7200 games were created in only 48 hours, by teams from around the world, including – what a surprise! – Poland.
global game jam
i hear you
the last supper
GGJ enthusiasts gathered in 10 Polish cities: Warsaw, Kraków, Gdańsk, Poznań, Łódź, Katowice, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Cieszyn and Wrocław. They shared a total of 171 games on the GGJ website: some of them are rather trivial and only mean something to their creators, but there are also some games really worth looking into. Here are some of them:
I Hear You
One of the most interesting themes which kept coming up during this year’s edition of GGJ was that of a totalitarian country controlling its inhabitants through wiretapping and media propaganda. The game I Hear You takes on this topic masterfully: one plays as a security service worker, who listens in on citizens’ phone calls. Each day he gets more information about content which he should report to his higher-ups – one has to do this during the actual phone call, otherwise his superiors will lose confidence in him. The people who we are wiretapping often talk like they are somewhat paranoid (they are probably aware of the surveillance), but the eavesdropper slowly becomes paranoid himself. Does a seemingly innocent phone call to a friend contain encoded information? Is the ‘mother’ that someone is constantly calling, really their mother, or rather a co-conspirator? I Hear You realistically conveys the stifling atmosphere of a society where the lack of trust is contagious. If the creators continue work on their project, they might make something as good as Papers, Please by Lucas Pope.
Other games with a similar theme include: Relay, where we also eavesdrop on others, simultaneously making sure that we don’t lose the correct radio frequency, thus missing part of the call, and PRL FM, as yet anunfinished, but very promising simulation of taking over Poland’s propaganda radio broadcast; what’s worth noticing is the game’s visual aspect, inspired by 1950s posters.
Blind is one of a few games that used the main theme of the jam –waves – to illustrate the situation of the blind or visually-impaired. The player’s task seems rather simple – he has to drink a glass of water. However, he is in a state of complete darkness and can only find the glass through a simple form of echolocation: after pushing the space button, a quickly fading wave passes through the room, showing outlines of furniture, objects and walls. An everyday task becomes a real challenge. Such a solution isn’t a novelty in video games, but Blind stands out, because it tries to recreate the experience of a blind person coping with unknown surroundings.
Orientation in darkness is also a theme in Blinded by the Darkness, a VR game where louder sounds appear on the screen as colours, and Helpless, where the problem of orientation is only more complicated by opponents chasing the player.
The Last Supper
Jupiter (with the face of a well-known Versailles garden sculpture) is planning to destroy the Earth. The task of the player is to collect food for their last supper on Earth, which will end the era of humans. With the use of magic microwaves, he explores monumental and surreal landscapes, while Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem plays in the background. Virtual ’pure nonsense’ in its purest form.
This is only a small fraction of all the games that were made at this year’s Globe Game Jam. Find out about the rest here.
Article originally written by Paweł Schreiber, 3 Feb 2017, translated by WF, 9 Feb 2017, edited by NR, 14 Feb 2017