Survey results are in! GameHackDays dix points!

8461731078_e311fa30ed_zWell a week on, we hope you all have recovered from the creative explosion that was TIGA GameHackDays!

Our aim with any GameHack event is to put on the best damn game jam in town and we need your help to make that happen. Which is why we always put out a survey to get your feedback, comments, suggestions and feelings about the event. GameHackDays is no different, but this is the first year that we’ve published the data, when you read it, I’m sure you’ll understand why we couldn’t keep this to ourselves :)

Highlights from the survey:

  • GameHackers rate GameHackDays as the best game jam they’ve ever attended!
  • 100% are intending to attend the next event
  • 65% of GameHackers will continue to work on the game they made at the event
  • 93% loved the Golden Joysticks :)
  • GameHackers prefer 4 minute time limits for demos, compared to 2 minute limit from the previous GameHack (91% vs 63%)

You can find the full data here, but safe to say we’re pretty chuffed that everyone had a great time.




GameHackDays: The Survey!


What did you think of TIGA GameHackDays? We want to know!

We hope you had an amazing time at TIGA GameHackDays, we certainly did! Although we think the event went swimmingly we are always keen to get your feedback, so if you can spare too minutes it would be awesome if you could take our survey! 

We’ll be publishing the results of the survey tomorrow!


TIGA GameHackDays game round up

Now that (sadly) GameHackDays are now a fond memory, we’re well underway with sorting out the videos of the events and the demos. But as that may take a little time, we asked the lovely people who attended the event to send in screenshots and links to the games they created!

We will be updating this list as we get more games :)


TIGA GameHackDays: Day 3!


Early on a Sunday morning! That’s dedication!

And so we entered the third and final day of GameHackDays!

Keen to make the most of the available hacking time, GameHackers arrived early and to help kick start their creative process we delighted them by giving them fresh made smoothies made by our fair hands! Safe to say they went pretty quickly, as did the croissants and pain au chocolate!


One more go in the zone!

With breakfast out of the way it was heads down for all the teams, a sense of frenzied activity descended on Modern Jago as teams continued to work on their games. Whist they were working Nisha and Richard from TIGA caught up with each of the teams and how their games were progressing! As we walked round each table we saw the rapid improvement in each game, clearly our GameHackers had been working hard overnight to make their idea into reality.

With everyone concentrating so hard, time seemed to be moving fast, as the countdown clock in the main hack area was shedding hours at an incredible rate! In what seemed like no time at all, lunch was upon us! Teams dashed out from their desks to grab some much needed food and drink. Then it was straight back to work, as we only had five and half hours left of hacking time! As the countdown clock ticked away the noise levels at Modern Jago increased dramatically, a controlled hush exploded into a wave of action as teams kicked things up a gear.


Nisha and Richard get the latest progress from teams on camera!

It was wonderful to watch the creations unfold and evolve, what was just a idea just a few days ago now getting close to a playable game! With occasional sugar boosts provided by Nisha, Robert and Tom the teams looked towards the finish line! Team names, categories and presentation equipment were confirmed and we were into the final hour! The final hour of any game jam is always a enjoyable but tense time! Games are tested and retested, presentations are thought about and the team decides who will head on stage to demo!

And then the countdown stuck zero! Hacking time had officially come to an end! To reward everyones hard work it was pizza and beer time! This gave everyone much needed time to relax and recuperate ahead of the demos!


Interviews taking place!

With the beer consumed and the pizzas finished, it was DEMO TIME! Three days of hard work would be demo’d on stage to fellow GameHackers and our judges! Teams had up to four minutes to talk about their game, the technology they used and show the game off! 23 teams took to the stage each offering a unique idea that integrated a whole range of technologies. We were fortunate to have Richard Lee from TIGA on hand to run the AV *and* record all the demos, his expertise made sure that all demos went well and that teams encountered few problems when taking to the stage!
Although we’ll have the full demo videos online shortly, here are some of the games demoed! Andy Touch was the brave soul to demo first, he had created an awesome looking game with a distinct visual style that enabled you paint on walls. Angry Dwarf followed, with a game about an Angry Dwarf raising merry hell on some elves! Team Atcom was next with an excellent take on the picture match puzzle that integrated facebook to create matching puzzles based on your friends pictures! Cold Cactus’s game was to help an escape pod avoid hitting asteroids and other space junk! Dude Srsly took an intersting take on the 1980′s beat em up double dragon, except this time you try and save a chicken! As it was HTML5 based it they invited other GameHackers to enter into the game on stage, very brave!


Cold Cactus’s game taking shape!

As each team stepped up to the stage, we all were amazed at the range of creativity and innovation on stage, from Kinect hacks, to large scale multiplayer gaming GameHackers really pushed the limits of what could be achieved in just 24hours. In what seemed like no time at all, the demos were over and it was time for judges to retire and make the incredibly hard choice as to who would win.

In the judges area discussion came thick and fast, we looked at each game in depth, the high quality of each teams work made the decision process pleasantly difficult! Around thirty minutes later we had come to a consensus on who would win each category, now all we had to do was tell the GameHackers!

We started with Best Flash game, winners would receive Adobe Creative Suite Six Master Suite, worth an amazing £2.5k! Lee and Renaun took to the stage and highlighted the incredible talent on offer at GameHackDays which was why they had decided award the full prize to two teams!

  • 1st prize was awarded to Team Atcom for their unique social picture match game
  • 2nd prize was awarded to Sam Chau for his “no interface required” sound game.

Some of the artwork used in Team Jessica’s winning game!

Next to be awarded was Best Windows 8 Game, which was awarded to Team Jessica for their beautiful point and click adventure! They all won a Kinect developer kit from Microsoft!

We also awarded a special prize to IOJOE for their Kinect hack that everyone had been enjoying throughout the event, they won an awesome Kinect development kit from Microsoft!

We then moved to the Best Mobile Game there were three winners each would receive a Nokia Lumia smartphone and Nokia premium developer accounts worth £1500 each!

  • 3rd Prize: Nokia Lumia 620 and one Premium Developer Account went to Scrappy Games!
  • 2nd Prize: Nokia Lumia 820 and two Premium Developer Account went to One More Go!
  • 1st Prize: Nokia Lumia 920 and three Premium Developer Account went to Plant Pot Games!

Last but by no means least it was time to award the Golden Joysticks! These were available to all teams!

  • The winner of the Community Spirit Award went to Doug Pennant for providing audio to an amazing 13 teams!
  •  The Non challenge, challenge cup went to Dude Srsly for their awesome chicken saving multplayer beatemup!
  • The Hacktackular Award went to  Sam Chau for his unique, simple and innovative take on the audio game genre!

Sadly all good things must come to an end, so as the final prizes were distributed it was time to call closing time on another GameHack event, one things for sure – we can’t wait till the next one! In the meantime we have setup an online survey to get your feedback, we would really appreciate it if you took two minutes and fill it out :)

We would like to thank:

  • Nisha  and Richard from TIGA for their tireless work over the weekend
  • Wesley and Habien from Modern Jago for their support over the weekend
  • Renaun and Lee from Adobe, who battled jet lag to help GameHackers throughout the weekend and for sponsoring the event!
  • Syd Lawrence from Twilio for sponsoring the amazing food
  • Microsoft for providing the amazing venue and amazing Kinect devices for our attendees!
  • Nokia for their amazing Lumia smartphones and Premium Developer accounts

Without our sponsors and the hard work of the team, none of this would be possible! 

TIGA GameHackDays: Day 0!

So GameHackDays: Day 0 is in the books! I’m curating a Storify during the event but thought I would quickly post to update y’all on how yesterday went!

After a dashing from Modern Jago to TechHub and back to download some SDKs (thanks Uber_Lon!) I had just enough time to swap into my GameHack T Shirt before heading to the stage. Although a lot of people would not be arriving until Saturday morning, we had a great turn out and about half the attendees had been to last years Big GameHack, which is fantastic to see.

We then had our lovely sponsors on stage, starting with Ricard, CEO of TIGA who spoke about the fantastic things that TIGA does for the UK games industry and how they are looking to do more community based game events in the future!

Then Barry Pftak from Microsoft took to the stage to talk about Microsofts new incubator which offers game developers funding, expertise and Unparalleled range of connections in the games industry, which is a fantastic opportunity .

Barry Ptak from Microsoft talked about their new incubator program

Barry Ptak from Microsoft talked about their new incubator program

Next Riaz and Ian from Nokia talked about the Lumia line of Windows Phone and the huge opportunity it represents for developers to access millions of consumers. Nokia are giving away three smartphones, 5 premium developer tokens (worth £1500 each!) and a major featured position on the Windows Phone 8 Store!


Ian took us through the Lumia journey and how Nokia is betting it all on games!

Renaun and Lee from Abobe followed Nokia to briefly talk about Flash and its focus on games and how it enables simple cross platform gaming.


Renaun and Lee from Adobe talking about Flash and how its rapid prototyping makes it easy to hack a game in 24hours!

We then had one of our own GameHack community members Stephen Chan on stage to talk to the audience about game jams, share tips and tricks and how to make the most of them! (In short keep it simple and have fun!).


Stephen Chan dropped some truth bombs on how to make a game in 24hours!

I then took to the stage once again to thank all of our sponsors (Adobe, Microsoft, Twilio and Nokia) for helping us put on this event (without them it would cost attendees £46 and that doesn’t cover venue hire!) . I also reiterated the importance of keeping hacks SIMPLE, it would be great to make a AAA title in 24hours but realistically it isn’t going to happen, start small and build from there.


A mysterious box appears…..

I also revealed what was in the mystery box which has been following me around for a couple days:


Golden Joysticks

GOLDEN JOYSTICKS! We wanted to have some GameHack prizes that everyone could have a chance at winning, even if they don’t enter a challenge category.




Speaking of awesome, thanks to Twilio we had some pretty amazing food too


Which went down pretty well!


All in a good start.


TIGA GHDs: The press release!

Thursday 7th February 2013

TIGA GameHackDays: Fun, Prizes and Learning

Adobe, Microsoft, Nokia and Twilio on board as sponsors

TIGA, the trade association representing the games industry, is staging GameHackDays full of fun, prizes and learning. GameHackDays will see teams of entrants compete to design and develop an original game across this weekend. Taking place at Modern Jago in Shoreditch on 8th, 9th and 10th of February 2013, the event will provide a brilliant showcase for aspiring or independent game creators.

Michael Hu, Sr. Gaming Product Marketing Manager, Adobe Systems, Inc. said:

“Adobe Gaming focuses on helping game developers and publishers build, optimize, monetize and deliver games for the widest possible audience online and on mobile. We are happy to continue supporting this mission in the UK by sponsoring and speaking at the TIGA GameHackDays event this weekend. These events always produce some of the most innovative and creative content and we are excited to see what will be on display.”

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

“TIGA is focused on helping developers, large and small, to fulfil their potential TIGA’s GameHackDays will provide great opportunities for developers to learn new skills and win some great prizes. TIGA is delighted to be staging the GameHackDays at Modern Jago, courtesy of Microsoft.  I would like to thank all our partners for making such generous prizes available for the winners.”

Andrew Webber, Audience Marketing Lead for Indie Game Devs and Business Planning & Strategy Manager, Microsoft, said:

“With the fastest growing app store ever and, since launch at the end of October, already seeing game apps being downloaded in the 100,000’s now is the time to jump onboard and develop your next game app for Windows 8 or Windows Phone or both.  The Microsoft team are here to help with resources, enthusiasm, passion for game apps and help with promoting.  Good luck and look forward to seeing your game apps in the Windows Stores”

Syd Lawrence, Twilio;

“Oh man, I’m so looking forward to GameHackDays, I want to see what awesome games the developers can come up with over such a short period of time. As a big gamer myself, and a developer, it just makes sense to be involved in GameHackDays.”

Riaz Ahmed, Developer Evangelist, Nokia UK & Ireland said:

“Gaming in 2013, is dynamic, immersive and fun. Whether at home or on the go, gamers want access to the best games across all platforms and all devices. The Developer Experience team at Nokia along with Microsoft is committed to giving developers the tools, services and resources to help game developers bring their ideas to life on the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. With our Nokia Lumia smartphones combined with Microsoft’s gaming heritage, we are bringing incredible gaming experiences to our customers, across our entire portfolio of smartphones on a daily basis.”

“We’ve seen a number of exceptional gaming titles come out of the UK, which is why Nokia is excited to be sponsoring GameHackDays as we really want to nurture talent and support the gaming industry in the UK”.


TIGA GameHackDays! 8th – 10th Feb @ Modern Jago

Tickets now available for TIGA’s GameHackDays!

Overnight GameJams and hackathons are awesome but can leave you feeling like a zombie out from lack of sleep. Fortunately, the good people at Microsoft are letting us take over Modern Jago during the day  Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

By running the event over 3 days it means you can learn something new, whilst having enough time to play games in our games room and meet a bunch of great people (and maybe win some prizes on the way!).

Warrior, Wizard or Elf? Choose your path!

For GameHackers – for those that just want to get their head down and code/hack and create a game. You can spend every minute doing that!

For Learning Enthusiasts – we are bringing in resources from the games industry in the form of developers, coders, artists, audio specialists and game marketing experts. There’ll be pop-up sessions where you can ask these guys any questions you like.

For those that want some relaxation time fun during our GameHackDays -  there is a cool Games Room, separate to the main hack areas, where you can let loose! We’ll be running a mini-tournament for those with the time and inclination – high score wins!

Themes and Prizes for GameHacks created over the weekend:

Flexibility is key here, and you’re open to create whatever is of interest to you and your team. If you think its cool, theres a good chance people in attendance will like it as well! We’re not making this a prize oritentated event, but Adobe has offered up a prize for Best Flash Game – Each member of the winning team will win 1 copy of Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium (max of 5 people in the team).

Please note that games must be Stage 3D based. The game must be built using ActionScript 3 targeting Adobe Flash Player® in a desktop browser or Adobe AIR® on a mobile device or desktop computer. The game can be in 2D or 3D but must use Stage3D, Adobe’s fully hardware-accelerated architecture for Flash Player and Adobe AIR.

You can demo your hacks at the end of 3 days to a panel of games industry bods who love and create games themselves, and be rewarded and recognised for your hard work throughout the event!

Head over to the registration page for more information!

GameHack Q&A: Mutant Labs

Who are you?

Ben Reynhart, Creative Director for Mutant Labs

What is your favourite game of all time and why?

My favourite game is Portal, because it’s challenging and has tonnes of character. I never really played puzzle games before that, so it introduced me to the genre. I’m a big fan of anything Valve make generally :)

Do you regularly attend Game Jams? Or was GameHack your first one?

Yep I try to! Our company (Mutant Labs) has a great ethos for hacking together projects, especially games. I would say that our entire company partakes in around 3-5 game jams a year, in fact we are doing one this weekend!

How did you find it?

I loved it – probably the best Game jam we’ve been to. The organisation was top notch, catering, location, etc. Everything was ideal.

What was your idea?

Having 7 members  in the Mutant Labs gang, we decided to split up into 3 different teams and work on 3 games:

  1. Burger Rush - This is a cross platform Android and iOS multiplayer game of Jet pack tag. Airborne burger junkies battle it out for precious time holding the meaty treat, whilst building up their burger bar.
  2. ChaseBook - What if all your Facebook friends turned on you? What if you wanted to avoid any social interaction? It’s up to your finger to save your lonesome existence in this iPad game built in iOS Flixel by avoiding all your friends and staying out of the way.
  3. Treated Accordingly - This game was inspired by the dedicated security team at Pinewood studios who serve and protect the star-studded list of actors and actresses found on set – mess with them and you will be treated accordingly! In a multiplayer top-down game, one player sneaks around the map taking photos of celebrities, while another plays a hardened security guard with a hatred for paparazzi.

How did it work out?

  1. Burger Rush - “Pretty good actually, Chris and I have worked this way a few times before and have the process down quite well. We initially struggled a bit at the start comming up with ideas as we are used to working with a theme, but after a few cups of tea and some snacks, we settled on the idea for Buger Rush.” – Rich
  2. Chasebook - “We were pretty happy with the outcome of Chasebook. We managed to get the core gameplay of making your friends chase you down, and got big boss Zuckerburg in to round things off at the end. All in all we were keen to make something challenging and a little bit silly, which i think we just about managed to pull off.” – Alex
  3. Treated Accordingly - “I think we were overly ambitions with our idea (at least technically), however we got the majority of work done, and had a playable demo by the end. We where also lucky enough to have a talented animator/comedian on our team, who made a killer game trailer that added loads to the project.” – Ben

Did you continue working on your idea after GameHack?

We saw real potential in the Chasebook game mechanic, so we took the idea and developed it into a commercial game: Half-Inch Heist – an action-packed diamond heisting game on a tiny scale. The game will be released on the iPhone App store in Autumn 2012 – see for details.

Any tips to share about making a game in 24hrs?

  • Don’t be too ambitious! Start with a simple idea with a neat hook and expand from there.
  • Don’t waste time with using source control / setting up tools  - just dive in.
  • Teams of 2 works best, artist and coder. Having 2 coders is sometimes problematic. Bigger groups need more organisation and are less efficient.

Anything else you would like to share?

It’s not a bad idea to have in mind who you might like to work with before going to the jam. At the same time it’s a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Also don’t try and learn a new programming language! Use tools you are familiar with to get most bang-for-buck!

GameHack Q&A: Lightwood Games

Continuing our Q&A series, we chatted to Katherine Gordon of Lightwood games – winner of the BlueVia best use of Mobile awards at GameHack.

Who are you?

I’m Katherine Gordon, half of the Lightwood Games team.  I’ve been programming ever since I can remember, and creating iPhone & iPad games with Chris Newman at Lightwood for the last 2 years.

What is your favourite game of all time and why?

That’s a tough question!  The game that always springs to mind when asked is Monkey Island because it was the first computer game I really played, and have played to completion many times since!

Do you regularly attend Game Jams? Or was GameHack your first one?

GameHack was my first game jam experience!  Hopefully not the last!

How did you find it?

It was great fun and incredibly tiring!  I might be getting a bit old for programming all night!;o) The event was well organised, and the presentations at the beginning were a nice way to get everyone thinking about what to create.  The phrase “Done is better than perfect” from the Facebook presentation has been quoted numerous times in our office now when we’re struggling with a problem!

Being at Pinewood Studios was pretty amazing, even if we weren’t allowed to wander round.  There was plenty of food and drink available to fuel the coding and everyone was really friendly.

What was your idea?

We had been toying with the idea of connecting multiple iOS devices via Bluetooth to create an enlarged playing surface for a long time, but never quite getting round to making it.  I foolishly decided that I could do it in 24 hours!  We opted for a simple Lights Out style game to show off the technology.

How did it work out?

At 6am, after much hair pulling and frustration, it finally worked! I had devices connecting together and creating this huge surface we’d been hoping for.  Then we had a couple of hours to actually get game play working!

Amazingly, we did manage to pull it off and once we had text scrolling across the devices suddenly everyone was interested in what we were doing! After many hours of sitting quietly in a corner being ignored by everyone, we had people interested in what we were doing!  Which was great, except that I was having a lot of fun demoing it instead of ironing out the last few bugs!

We even won a prize! Rather shocking after our incredibly sleep deprived demo of the game!  So it must have worked out pretty well :)

Did you continue working on your idea after GameHack?

After GameHack we polished it up a little, squished some bugs, and released the game as Plasma Party. Since then, we’ve actually tidied up the Bluetooth tech code to make it much more robust and used it in a second game called Head Hunter Challenge which we developed with a Game Hack style deadline, although we gave ourselves 5 days rather than 24 hours as we wanted to get 3 complete game modes in there!

Any tips to share about making a game in 24hrs?

Try to have a plan beforehand, and keep it simple!  If you know who you’ll be working with, have a bit of a meeting and come up with ideas first.  Make sure you’re all working in a language you’re familiar with and that you know how you’ll split up the work so you’re not coding over one another.

Anything else you would like to share?

I really enjoyed the GameHack experience and I’m looking forward to coming to the next one!