What more reason do you need for making a game under pressured conditions other than you are having fun and possibly learning a little thing or two while you’re at it? How about doing it for a good cause – feeding my cat…ahem, I mean for charity…FOR CHARITY I SAY! Today, which is Friday November 23rd, at 5pm PDT (midnight GMT – which has just passed) marks the launch of the next Charity Game Jam! Yes, that’s a game jam that’s purpose is to raise money for charity and what a good thing to do. This jam will run until Sunday 25th and at the same times as the launch.
Arranger of things and community heart throb (or so we’re told), Christer Kaitila – better known as McFunkyPants – has organized this event with his beautiful, sexy mind. The charity is the most important thing here, and chosen to receive all of the donations is the Make A Wish Foundation. Most of you should be familiar but if you’re not, Make A Wish work to bring happiness to the lives of children with terminal illnesses. They grant them a wish, pretty much whatever it may be, and with the donations they set out to fulfil it for them. Christer offers the examples, “the one girl who just wanted to touch snow once in her life, or the little boy who always dreamed of going on a helicopter ride.” These children had their wish come true due to those who donated to the charity – isn’t that a worthy cause?
Donations are completely optional and the jam won’t be accepting any money directly, instead you should give it over straight to Make A Wish and then just inform Christer that you have done so and how much. Or you could join the jam’s other supporting charity, KIVA, and that won’t cost you any money at all.
We Be Jammin’
Right, on to the details of the game jam then! I’m doing pretty well here and I only cried twice when writing about those poor children…uh oh…here it goes aga-
Okay, okay, I’m back! So the game jam has a theme like many of them do, and this time it’s the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Basically, you have to make a game that is limited by the restrictions of this retro console. Games that are made with HTML5, Flash or Unity will be able to run inside the special virtual console called the FUNKYTRON! Which is what you can see on the Charity Game Jam website (it’s just a frameset). To make you life easier, consider this template HTML. If you make a non-web game, then you can simply use this 640×675 overlay image on top of your graphics and put your game at 32,32 underneath it.
This thing you see above is a 64 color palette specific low resolution (256×224 with DOUBLED PIXELS for a total size of 512×448) that you should use. Christer notes that all of these rules are completely optional as the aim is just to have some fun really. When you’ve finished your game, most likely on Sunday night, just submit it to the website and we’ll all give it a bash.