Planes, trains, buses: What do these modes of mass transit have in common? Game jams and hackathons have taken place on these vehicles, so why not on a boat, too? That’s what SPLASH 2016 aims to achieve in early 2016.
Game jams are events in which games are designed and developed in a short period of time, in this case from start to finish during a short cruise.
Over the course of two days, beginning evening February 19, 2016, in Tromsø in Norway, a Hurtigruten cruise ship will ferry dozens of game creators to the city of Trondheim by February 22, 2016. SPLASH 2016, a Norwegian game jam, will be within the Arctic Circle, so it will be a wintry experience, cutting through Nordic waters among beautiful fjords.
According to an official news release, SPLASH “is a collaboration between the two game networks, Framverk and Hamar Game Collective, with the goal of creating a more connected games industry in Norway while also strengthening their ties to the game dev scene in the rest of the world.” Nordic countries have certainly plenty of indie game development and are no stranger to game jams (i.e., the influential Nordic Game Jam).
As a matter of fact, the Norwegian game jam SPLASH team mentioned they were influenced by another mobile game jam.
“We were inspired by the Train Jam that travels every year from Chicago to San Francisco with participants for the Game Developers Conference,” said Runa Haukland with Hamar Game Collective, one of the organizers of SPLASH.
Such a distinctive venue for a unique sort of a game jam is bound to get attention, and so far, SPLASH certainly has. According to Henriette Myrlund, SPLASH organizer and project manager at Framverk, all available tickets — going to 100 participants from 19 nationalities — sold out in a span of 10 minutes when they went on sale December 3, 2015. Also helping to spur tickets sales are subsidized cruise ship tickets; attendees pay $90 for an experience organizers estimate at $450. However, participants will be responsible for transit to and from the start and finish of the location.
Currently, a wait list is online for additional interested potential game jammers. Organizers say that with additional sponsors, more may be able to attend.
Events for Gamers will be sure to follow developments and news from the SPLASH game jam camp.