Some random thoughts on Indie Game Jam 0, ten years on.
Indie Game Jam 0 was an event in 2002
co-created by Chris Hecker and myself.
(Chris is a little concerned
with how jams have affected indie dev culture.)
This ten-year anniversary invites reflection on the state of indie games and on
game jams and the IGJ's relation to them, but I'm not really up for that reflection,
so I just figured I'd toss out some information about the event and its context
and let people think about it for themselves.
Event & Outcome:
- The participants in the Indie Game Jam were friends/acquaintances of ours
who were game industry veterans (some of whom were no longer in the game industry)
- Like the later IGJs, IGJ0 was structured not by gameplay/content theme but
by technological/mechanical theme; IGJ0
offered a 3D engine using sprites to create 100,000 "characters"
- We avoided making it a contest to make the best game; "Jam" was chosen to emphasize this
- Darwinia (by Introversion) was inspired by the IGJ0 100,000 sprite-character concept
- The first Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC followed soon after IGJ0 (we showed the games there)
- The first Ludum Dare competition was a month after IGJ0
- The Xbox was released in Europe the day before IGJ0 started (it had been released in the US
a few months earlier)
- Windows XP had been out for four months.
- The App Store was a long way off. The iTunes music store didn't exist yet; the original iPod had been released a few months previously.
- Snood was 6 years old; Spider Web Software's Exile was 7 years old.
- Recently released:
- Grand Theft Auto III (2001 on PS2)
- Serious Sam (2001)
- Black & White (2001)
- Shogun: Total War (2000)
This game's much lower sprite count was the inspiration for the IGJ0 technology.
- Not released at that time:
- Cave Story (2004)
- Samorost (2003)
- Bejeweled (2002)
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (2002, first Touhou Project bullet-hell shooter on Windows)
- Kingdom of Loathing (2003)
- Knytt (2006)
- Oasis (2005)
- Grow (2004?)
- WarioWare (2003)
- Ico (2002)
- Half-Life 2 (2004)
- World of Warcraft (2004)
- Not released at that time: Attack of the Clones (2002), Firefly (2002), Ubuntu Linux (2004), N-Gage (2003)
- Not existing at that time: YouTube (2005), Google AdSense (2003), Twitter (2006), GMail (2004),
- x86-64 (AMD64) was announced but unreleased
IndieDB isn't searchable by year and doesn't share the database, so I was limited
in my ability to track down indie games from that year.