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This Is A Game You Are Not Going To Win

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 14, 2022

I go to a university that focuses on art, including fields like visual effects/special effects, game design, concept design, and animation. Two of my roommates are also game design majors and thus attended a forty-eight-hour game jam at my school, which basically means they and a group of however-many-people they wanted had to make a game following a theme within forty-eight hours. 

Usually, for the game jam they participated in, all concepts, characters, and everything from modeling to coding to even a video trailer that is used as “grading” criteria is done within said forty-eight hours after the announcement of the theme. 

However, this year, due to makeup classes that fell during the game jam, the school delayed it by a week but still announced the theme. This meant that all teams had up to a week to at least think of a concept that fit the theme; as long as no assets were previously made, it technically wasn’t against the rules.

My two roommates were in a team of fourteen people and had already grouped up together and taken over a classroom when a different group asked to use some computers in the classroom at the back. They reluctantly agreed, mostly since there were still free computers.

Along came this girl who started asking nosy questions. When they questioned her, she claimed that she was a game jam official and was thus looking around at the games. This was later proven a lie, as she was mostly looking at the concepts and trying to pick and choose a group to participate in the game jam with. This was very short notice, as my roommate, the overall team leader, had compiled the fourteen-person group at least a few weeks in advance.

The nosy girl made her first mistake by trying to kiss up to a guy that she thought was the lead, ignoring my roommate who kept answering her questions as the actual team lead. 

By the time she figured it out, my roommate had already rejected her, as they already had a solid team and my roommate also could not figure out what in tarnation her major was; her answers fluctuated from animator to a user-interface designer. Later, we found out her major was special effects — bearing a passing resemblance to animation but nothing like user interface.

Eventually, this girl (who managed to bother almost everyone else participating in the game jam) joined the group that was in the same room as my roommates, which turned out to be a fairly obnoxious group, as they would do loud cartoon voices without caring about the other people who were working. 

Even worse, at one point, when a professor walked through, they blatantly lied that my roommates’ group had had “weeks of preparation”. (One week. They had one week, with no models done beforehand or even more than the concept discussed and finalized.) The professor attempted to be a diplomat by telling them that while my roommate’s group had better gameplay, but the obnoxious team had better art.

Eventually, the final day rolled around, and the girl walked up to my roommate’s group and commented on how similar their game was to another group’s and how she sometimes forgot it was a different game. 

Not only were the games not similar except for both having the same word in their title and having animals as protagonists, but this was incredibly rude to do, considering she essentially insinuated that their hours of work didn’t matter due to the games “being similar”.

Nobody reacted. This tactful, diplomatic, and absolutely not at all petty girl proceeded to say it louder, and then had the audacity to go, “Oh, oops, I shouldn’t have said that.” Sure.

Eventually, the game jam finished, and all of the groups were tallied up. Not only did the obnoxious group’s game not fit the theme at all, but my roommate’s team won Best Art. (What was that about their art being better, professor?)

What got me about this whole situation was how extremely quickly this girl burned several possible future professional bridges in less than a single weekend. My roommates are pretty well-connected, and a lot of their friends who also participated in the jam complained about this girl. Even I preemptively blocked this girl without participating in the jam or having met her.

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