Global Game Jam 2017: Vancouver highlights

Mana Marketing took part in Global Game Jam 2017! It was a fun-filled 3 days and it was amazing to see developers, artists, designers, and more come out and work together to complete a game over the weekend. The theme for this year was “waves” and our team ended up making a rhythm game (link at the bottom of post).

We got a chance to check out a lot of cool games, and we wanted to share some great ones from GGJ Vancouver! You can download the games on the GGJ site which we’ve linked, though some require special hardware. They’re all free, so give them a try and see what jammers managed to accomplish over the weekend!

Above and Below

above and below global game jam gamesThis game was so much fun with a partner! It’s made for gamepads and Timothy and Jarrett, the team behind the game, does not suggest using a keyboard to play it. The main goal is to dig for treasure, but it’s a lot about teamwork. There’s one player on a boat, and another player tethered to the boat as a diver. The player on the boat has to pump air to keep the diver alive, while also move the ship forward. The diver has to dig up treasure on the sea floor. The team did tell us that they wanted to give more tasks to the diver as well (mainly having to repair the boat as it deteriorates so the player on top doesn’t sink), but didn’t end up putting that in. We hope we’ll see it in a later game build!



atlantis global game jam gamesThis team made a 4-player multiplayer game, which was super cool based on that fact alone. You play as an octopus. What do octopuses like best? It turns out it’s sushi! Grab the plates of sushi around the map and get it back to your octopus den. The player with the most plates (that is, the most points in the end) wins!


Dot Defense

dot defense global game jam gamesWe think on day 1 of the jam, when our team was still trying to come up with an idea, Thomas was already playtesting his game. We could totally peek at his progress from our table, and the next two days was mainly him tweaking the game. It was play-perfect when it was time to submit!

Dot Defense is a tower defense game with aspects of competitive RTS. Will you manage to be the last dot standing?


Chanko Masters

chanko masters global game jam gamesThis game really caught our eye since the team was developing with two Wii Fit balance boards during the jam. We made a beeline to see what it was all about!

Two players compete against each other by standing on the balance boards. You control your sumo wrestler’s movements using the boards, as you execute actions using a Wii remote. It’s a lot harder than it sounds since your sumo wrestler’s basically a giant blueberry, and stopping them from rolling off the board is a challenge in itself when you’re on the balance board! The first to knock off their opponent 3 times wins!


Don’t Drown

Don't drown global game jam gamesWe didn’t get to try Don’t Drown during the jam, but we tried it out during the after party! Here’s a game that really gets a group’s teamwork on. The main goal is to navigate your ship around Kraken filled waters. It’s a game for 2-4 players, and we played on tablets while the main ship’s movements were displayed on a Mac. Each person has to take on a different role (and you can switch mid-game—actually you most likely will have to, to make sure the appropriate role is filled during a time of need). It was super hard controlling the sails, but then hastily changing roles to scoop water out of the ship. The other player had to steer, while also shoot cannons. Loads of roles, and loads of fun!



global game jam gamesThis creative little game gives you a feel of being in the shoes of a barista. You’re Joe the barista and you’ll have to satisfy hordes of unsatisfied customers by tossing coffee at them. Each wave, you’ll get nice little coffee machines to help you fulfill coffee orders as the game gets harder. Don’t forget to collect your money off the floor (customer etiquette these days, am I right?), and be prepared for the next wave of customers. Else you’ll get Roasted!


Om Master

om master global game jam gamesThis game requires extra hardware to play—namely, a mic. But once you’ve got yourself set up, it’s a challenge to hum your way through the game! Dodge evil spirits by making a high pitch “aaa” sound to move up, or a lower pitch “omm” sound to drop down. So. Ridiculously. Creative.

The background story to the humming monk is pretty darn interesting too. Check it out on their GGJ page!



koi global game jam gamesOur 4-man team made a game called Koi. We wanted to do something that fit the theme of waves, and some of our team members wanted to make a rhythm game. And thus, Koi was born!

Control the two koi fish in the center of your phone screen by tapping on the left or right side of your screen. Make sure the colored fish match up with the incoming dots that are generated based on the rhythm of the song. The amazing music was made by Brian from the Tree of Audio! The link above is to the final version of the game (we touched it up after the game jam ended), and we developed it for Android.

There were lots of other games that we either didn’t get a chance to try or didn’t get to see it demoed. If you’ve got cool game jam stories to share or got Global Game Jam games you recommend, feel free to leave a comment below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *