Each Thursday night at the Philly Game Forge many local game developers gather for Philly Dev Night. Each month, they have a 12-hour game jam, each with a different theme. If you’re unaware, a “game jam” is an event where a bunch of developers get together to make a game in a set amount of time. In the case of Philly Dev Night, the 12 hours are usually across the span of a week, with the following Thursday being when all the games are showcased and voted on.
This month’s game jam is a little different, though. It’s called “Profit Jam,” and the goal for each team was not just to make a game. They had to make and ship a game. Following that, they were each given six weeks to make as much money as possible.
There are different ways of monetization—whether it be through microtransactions, advertisements, merchandise—or just, you know, actually selling your game for money. Whatever they decided on, nine of them actually shipped games.
Here’s a few details on each one:
Cool Dog Don’t Care was made by former Geeks of the Week, Aaron Chapin of Space Whale Studios, Mila Pokorny of DeerFox Games and Quadratron Games with Steve Pettit of Get Warmer Games, with music by Rob Miller. This is a pretty impressive team, and their game tied for best game overall in the game jam judging that went down last week. The game – which is about a sunglasses-wearing dog riding a motorcycle in the desert – costs just $2.99 and is available at their website. Oh, and the game is loaded with puns – like the fact that it’s got a Stickstarter. Get on it.
Monster Want Burger is an adorable game by 2011 Philly Geek Awards-winning Cipher Prime. It was supposed to be a puzzle game, but it’s not a puzzle game, because they’re “bad at this.” The game doesn’t have a price yet but will be available soon at their website.
Those kooky dudes over at Flyclops made a mobile game called Why Are We Running, which is an absurd amount of fun. In this top-down game, you’re a dude running around a city and everyone who sees you chases after you. It’s your job to lure them in front of speeding cars, through burning buildings, and into open manholes to murder as many people as possible. Move over, Hotline Miami – there’s a new murder simulator in town. The game will be available for sale soon.
Arguably the game that made me angriest was Daniel Zacharias of IGV and Ivandir Ndrio of R4VR’s Wordy Birds. It’s basically a game about texting: a word appears on the screen and you have to type it in as quickly as possible. The shorter the word, the less time you have. A bird appears each time you type a word correctly. It has that addictive satisfaction that makes you want more. If you have an Android phone, check it out. They’re also bringing it to iOS. Oh, and it won the “most likely to succeed” award, meaning it was the game people thought would make the most money at the end of the six-week period.
Two-time Philly Geek Awards nominee Greg Lobanov of Dumb and Fat made a game that he refers to as “pretty simple” – all you have to do is “fling a ball of goo around and find stars.” It also has a lot of secrets, and a score made by Reckless, which Lobanov says “were made with his mouth.” The game is out now and available on their website.
2014 Philly Geek Awards nominee Ghost Crab Games made a little game called Stick & Move, which lets you control a stick through a maze to collect points to build up your meter and blow parts of the maze up, all while avoiding hitting the walls. Learn more and follow updates at stickandmovegame.com.
2014 Philly Geek Awards winner Shawn Pierre of Origaminc made a game called “That’s Not A Pixel,” which he refers to as a simple game. There are three simple rules: “get the pixels, avoid other pixels, and make sure your colors match.” It’s just a dollar, and it’s available now on his website.
Breaker Blocks is a tabletop game by former Geek of the Week Jake Vander Ende of Spriteborne, with the instruction booklet designed by Lex Piccione. Players duke it out for control of circuits, trying to control more than their opponent while also messing with them with command modules. The game is available for $20 on his website.
Super Puck Jam is “a retro-hockey-themed beat-em-up that’s free to play.” You get to skate around as a hockey player, hitting beer bottles out of the air and fighting off your enemies. It’s currently in early access, and you can pick it up right now at their website.