Talk:Game Jam


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This page is to facilitate conversation and team formation for participants in the first Game Jam, and future jams. Please add your feedback below, noting what you liked and didn't like from the


Team formation

People needing a team

Teams looking for people

  • Pythagoras could use more help from someone who has worked with GnuGo, Go platforms, and tournament-running libraries.

Game categories

Mesh Networking

Each XO can broadcast and connect to any laptop around it over a mesh, allowing for collaborative activities. Use cases and game models.
Example: Labyrinth, with the worldmap growing as people enter/leave.


Each XO has a videocamera embedded in its display. example jams: vision-based games, use cases.
Example: 3dPong with camera input; videostream + drawing game

Tablet Mode

The XO laptop has a tablet mode that's readable in sunlight, with gamepad buttons. example jams: styles of play including real-world activity beyond a confined space.
Example: Reversi; 3dpong with parabolic motion inputs from direction keys.

Libraries for learning and play

The XOs will ship with some libraries for creating new games and simulations. example jams: new libraries along these lines for specific sets of applications.
3d drawing libraries, building on pong, et al; tile libraries building on CuteWorld...

Invitation confirmation letter

*** Confirmation ***

First things first - please confirm you're coming to the Jam at This is also the page where
you pay your registration fee; the processing fee will be refunded at

*** Schedule ***

Development time is from 7:30pm Friday to 3:30pm Sunday (takes place within
a span of 44 hours). The schedule, such as it is, looks like this:

5-7pm - check-in, set-up computers, learn about developing for the XO
7-7:30pm - introductions, kickoff, begin jamming
7:30-9:30pm - dinner available

9-10am - breakfast available
noon-2pm - lunch available
12:30-1:15 - midway check-in; short updates from teams on progress, and a
great chance to ask for help or extra hands.
6:30-8pm - dinner available

9-10am - breakfast available
noon-2pm - lunch available
3:30-5pm - final presentations, judging, and wrap-up
5:30pm - check-out

The schedule is also posted on

*** Location ***

The Game Jam is being held in the Academic Center of Olin College at 1000
Olin Way, Needham MA which is approximately 45 minutes from Logan Airport.
Directions to campus can be found at On-campus parking is free.

The campus is wheelchair-accessible. If you have any special needs, please
let us know and we'll do our best to accomodate you.

*** Sponsors ***

This event is so cheap because of our fantastic sponsors. We're hoping to
run more Jams in the future, so if you know any companies or organizations
that might be interested in helping us out with this Jam
or future ones, please ask them and let us know!

*** Housing ***

You should have received an earlier email if you are staying on campus
during the Jam.

If you do not have on-campus housing but require lodging, two nearby hotels
are offering a Game Jam discount; mention the One Laptop Per Child Game Jam
at Olin College to get the special rates. If you are having difficulty
getting lodging for any reason, please let us know and we'll do our best to
help you.

Babson Executive Conference Center (~10min walk)
One Woodland Hill Drive
Wellesley, MA 02457
$170/night double occupancy

Sheraton Inn Needham (~10min drive)
100 Cabot St.
Needham, MA 02494
$139/night double occupancy

*** Some final notes ***

This is an experiment in the creation of computer games, development for the
XO hardware, and content creation for the OLPC project. As such, expect
things to be mildly chaotic and slightly rough around the edges - we're new
to this as well.

What this means is that as the first OLPC Jammers, what you do next weekend
will set the stage for what will hopefully be many Jam groups for OLPC
across the world in the years to come. So come on in and have some fun.
Please feel free to adapt, start, suggest, and change things during the
course of the Jam if you have an idea for how to improve the Jam, and give
us lots of feedback (yep, we'll be timing the publicity releases and
registration deadlines better next time).

*** Questions? ***

If you have any questions or need to make arrangements before the Jam, shoot
us an email at olpcgamejam<<hat>> or give Mel call at 847-978484, or Sj at 617-5294266.

That's it. If you need anything, drop us a line. Otherwise, we'll
see you on Friday!

Art resources

The owner of Lost Garden has made two open libraries of game images named PlanetCute and SpaceCute available for game developers. --Basique 19:46, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

Audio resources

360KID [1] has offered audio assets to build spelling and word games. Almost 300 prepped audio files in MP3 and AIF formats including A - Z and 1 - 10 spoken files. To access visit

Judging Forms

These are the forms we will be using to collect data during the judging on the final day of the Jam. Please comment and edit, but make sure anything you add would be applicable to all games. Note that the parents are going to be filling these out for their kids.

Are all 'child forms' to be filled by the parent? No direct comment from the child?
Comments were mainly from the judges, who were children. Younger cihldren were helped by their parents to fill out forms quickly.
Also, what about the type of games they normally play? (ie: browser based or cd/installed; action vs. puzzle; etc) Did they like the graphics? Sound? Idea? Were the input methods (keys, touchpad) good? Would they like to play it again? Would they add/remove something?
We didn't ask enough normalizing questions about their background... did ask for general feedback about input methods, but it was generally hard for them to get used to the varying levels of lag.
Another suggestion could be to record a video of the children playing the game, so that later you may see what interactions they had with other kids and the games... 2cts, --Xavi 02:34, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
Great idea for the next time. Little video cameras for each testing station... or a background process on the XO? in theory we should be able to capture video or periodic snapshots and keypresses while running a game in the foreground. Sj talk

The Games

  • 3D Pong -- line-drawn pong with gravity, impacts, and 5-line text config files for making new levels
  • Sprayplay -- Crossfire with a range of geometric shapes for pucks and a physics engine
  • Kuku Ankula -- a mathmunchers variant + question dictionaries
  • Reversi -- Reversi with a few interface features
  • Hungry Spacecat
  • Typeblocker -- typing tutor in Flash
  • Sort -- a timed shape/color/texture sorting game

not fully packaged for Sugar

  • Ball Game - an incredible machine variant with gravity wells, rotatable platforms, trampolines, and many balls
  • XO Easel - a shape/color/dressup game with different backgrounds. wins award for team with youngest artists.
  • Abalone variant with colorful backgrounds.

not fully working on an XO

  • Labyrinth -- puzzle solving : finding your friend[s] in an outdoor labyrinth
  • Pythagoras -- a pygame framework for Go and no-AI board implementation
  • flTron -- a simple tron implementation; early stages. part of the author teaching himself python

Also played, but not written this weekend: Etoys, Block Party, US Invaders (c/o Noah), Memosono

games on machines

37X -
23B -  fltron
 ?C - snowfight, ball
5CE - usinv, spacecat
30F - 3dpong, ?

some quotes from the forms

One parent said Kuku Anakula was "...a great game for 2nd to 3rd graders" - some judges asked for easier math questions, others for harder ones. One judge liked the Labyrinth game so much they returned to play it afterwards. A pair of siblings had a small argument because one got to play it through twice. One judge described 3dPong as "awesome... oh yes, I scored another point!" Pythagoras was described as having the " intro of the session" Reversi was so "awesome" and "very absorbing" that it was "only easy to leave because it was a two player game and the game ended." Sprayplay was "really fun" and one young judge said it was the "best game yet." Typeblocker was "addictive" and "hard to stop," and Sort spanned the widest age range, being enjoyed by a 12-year-old judge and a 3.5-year-old judge.

Photos: We have some photos on flickr tagged olpcgamejamjune2007.

Judge input

There were 18 data-judges (from 20 folders). I did not count the total number of judges. Folder #9 did not get filled out, folder #20 did not get returned. Identifying information in comments (gender, age) have been stripped out and been replaced with generic [child] or [judge] nouns-in-brackets. You can correlate back to gender and age of judge by number, though. Gender distribution: 4 female, 14 male. Check to see if your game appealed more strongly to one gender or another. Age distribution: (6-8 years) - 8, (9-11 years) - 7, (12-14 years) - 3. Note that 2 of the female judges were 12-14 years old. Gaming experience: All but 3 judges played video games at least once a week. All but 5 played video games at least 3 times a week. This may account for the "it needs instructions" mentality we occasionally encountered. Computer experience: All but 3 judges (who started between 5-8 years old) started using computers between 0-4 years old. All judges used computers both at school and home. 7 judges had their own computers at home. Some general comments: The judging was definitely biased towards easily demonstratable, fast-to-play games. Any suggestions on how we can change this would be very welcome. During the event, some children wanted to play with the "real computers" (non-XOs), some wanted to play with the XOs and not the "normal computers."

Participant feedback

User:MitchellNCharity#Game Jam feedback

From an adult judge's assistant: I believe that the judges who RSVP'ed should have been given priority to play with the games (at least initially). Perhaps a list of those pre-registered could have been read and those students instructed to go to the computer room first. (perhaps even have specific assignments for each judge to start at a particular game). It was very chaotic in the room and it was very difficult for my two judges to get to play games (in fact, they were "done" even before they had to leave because they were disappointed). A bigger room was needed, or perhaps the use of two rooms and then judges switch rooms after 30 minutes or so. I know you did not anticipate that so many people would show up, and you did the best you could with what you had. I'm sure it was very overwhelming to have so many judges show up! I just think those that RSVP'ed should have been given priority. Ultimately, it's a good lesson for kids that planning ahead sometimes has rewards!  :)

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