Teamwork makes the dream work for global game jam winners

A Staffordshire University student has won an international game jam after joining forces with teammates more than 1500 miles away

A screenshot from Ogre Time with the ogre looking up at the tiny hooded rescuer stood on a platform

Ogre Time is inspired by the idea that the big should help the small

I had a lot of fun participating, and I'm really proud of us for winning! My team were friendly and easy to work with, despite being hundreds of miles away, and the win has led us to consider continuing to work on the game.

Emily Perry, BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development

Ukie’s bi-annual student game jam draws from a pool of 4,000 students from 40 different institutions across the UK and challenges teams to create a computer game in just 48 hours.

This year, Ukie and Sharkmob launched Collab-jam which also invited international schools to take part. Each team included a mix of students from different countries, who had to work together across borders to make the game that best represented the theme of collaboration.

First year BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development student Emily Perry teamed up with a trio of students from the National University of Theatre and Film "I.L. Caragiale" in Romania.

She said: “I really enjoyed working with my team! From the time the jam started until the jam ended on the Wednesday, we were almost constantly on call through Discord. Eventually, we settled on a single keyboard, multiplayer game, using the idea of two characters with completely different sizes, both helping each other to achieve a goal of some sort.”

Inspired by the idea that the big should help the small, and that all kinds of people have different skills they can bring to the table, Ogre Time is a two-player platformer puzzle. One player controls a giant ogre, and the other his tiny hooded rescuer. Both players must use each character's unique skills to escape from the dungeon the ogre has been caged in, avoiding or defeating guards and traps that intend to impede their progress.

All teams were assigned an industry mentor to support them throughout the game jam process and winners were chosen by a panel of industry judges. The winning team’s prize includes travel and accommodation to visit Sharkmob’s studios in Malmö or London for up to 3 nights in 2022.

Emily said: “I had a lot of fun participating, and I'm really proud of us for winning! My team were friendly and easy to work with, despite being hundreds of miles away, and the win has led us to consider continuing to work on the game.”

Shaun Reeves, Course Leader for Computer Games Development, added: “Games graduates are likely to move into flexible roles that give them the opportunity to work remotely from anywhere in the world – so being able to collaborate virtually like this is a really important skill.

“We are so proud of Emily and all of her team members for their hard work during the competition! To produce a winning game like Ogre Time in such a short time is a fantastic achievement, especially for a first year student. Emily’s future looks very bright.”

Discover more about studying BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development or visit Staffordshire University for an Open Day – find dates and book your place.

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