So. Finnish Game Jam winner was Snobli Run. A cute game in which a horde of male and female Snobli run to the left. Pressing the screen will make the horde jump, preferably over precarious chasms. Whenever a male lands on top of a female, a new Snobli is… generated. The objective is to get as far as possible before the species becomes extinct due to miscalculated jumps (one of the most common reasons of extinction).
The game is simple, well-crafted and working. And I do think it deserved victory.
Allow me to explain. At the beginning of the Finnish Game Jam there was a lecture by a professor from Tampere University about games and innovation. There were several games that were mentioned. One of these was B.U.T.T.O.N, a game where the objective is to press your button on the controller. The trick is getting to the controller, which should lie across the room, with three other players attempting the same while everyone obeys the rules set by the game. Since local multiplayer is fun because of all the wacky stuff going on between the players, the game tries to emphasize that by moving the actual gameplay outside the screen. Brilliant.
There were also other games, mostly live action roleplaying games that got mentioned as examples of innovation in gameplay. That lecture set the tone of the event; Since two days is not enough to finish conventional games, the participants should go beyond conventional. Innovate. Break rules. Create something entirely new. There were even “diversifiers”, achievements that could be claimed for the game. A game that makes sense only when played with a romantic partner. A board game with digital elements. Part of the game repeats in a fractal pattern. The game can only be played once.
I whipped myself into an artistic frenzy (although I used my old ideas for a digital tabletop roleplaying game) and thought that it would be extremely interesting to see the winner of the event. While Sturgeon’s Law applies to even game designers, I thought that with hundreds of games the winner would be totally unique and gives new perspectives to the concept of gaming. Instead, the winner was a game where you jump over obstacles.
On an unrelated note, damn my friday post schedule. The accursed day tends to slip by.