Georgian web game developers debut at Global Game Jam

Screenshot of game created by Georgian Kakha Chavchavadze within the Global Game Jam 2015., 28 Jan 2015 - 13:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

For the first time Georgia has become part of the global internet game developers community.

Young Georgian soft developers debuted among the 27,000 developers from 78 countries at the  Global Game Jam (GGJ) 2015.

More than 30 young Georgian web developers gathered at the Game Lab at Ilia State University (Iliauni) to respond to the intellectual challenges of the GGJ 2015 event. They were tasked to design, develop, test and make a new game in 48 hours.

People with all kinds of backgrounds participated in this global event, which aimed to foster creativity and encourage game development all over the globe.

This years' theme of the GGJ 2015 was What Do We Do Now?. Participants of the GGJ gathered at various selected locations all over the world on January 23 and had 48 hours to develop a game that fitted the creative brief and theme.

The budding Georgian developers used their imagination and technical skills to develop games about fictional legends involving a protagonist who becomes blind in a dense forest. Other participants used Sigmund Freud as the main character of the game.

"I created a game where the main character is an astronaut and is free to choose to either save or destroy the world. The player must decide for himself if the Earth deserves to survive or not," GGJ participant Kakha Chavchavadze told Radio Liberty.

Iliauni Game Lab manager Nika Rostomashvili said this was the first time Georgia had participated in the event, and had now transitioned from consumer to developer and creator of internet games.

"Today we joint the biggest and largest-scale Game Jam event and this means that we not only participated in the development process of  new products but created new trends and innovations,” he said.

Zviad Baratashvili who helped organise the local Game Jam in Georgia, was one of the participants of the global event. He said such an event was more important for Georgia as a beginner country in this sector than other more developed countries who had bigger input in the global gaming industry.

The structure of a typical event sees participants gather on a Friday afternoon where they watch a short video and listen to advice from leading game developers. Then the secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make internet-based games that followed that theme. Completed new games must be completed 48 hours later - by Sunday afternoon. 

In Georgia the GGJ was held from January 23 to 25 and the main reason was not competition but collaboration, organisers said. All games developed during the event were now available on the GGJ website.