Possible Intro and Ending?


Our documentary will start one hour before the end of the game jam. The opening shot will be an over the shoulder of view of Jason or I playing a close to finished build of the game. While we’re playing, there will be a voiceover talking about what’s left to finish in the game, and how little time we have to finish it. This will establish a conflict quickly, and give the viewer something interesting to watch while we discuss the game jam. After showing the gameplay with voiceover from our interview for a bit, we’ll cut from game footage and show us, the people talking and making the game, continuing the interview.


However the game jam goes, good or bad, the documentary will end on a high note of showing the finished game being played, and an interview of Jason and I talking about doing more game jams. Outside of the class, Jason and I have decided to do more jams, and whether or not this one goes well, it’ll be a learning experience for everyone involved.


What’s the narrative spine of our piece?

Two people accomplishing a task against all odds.

What are your main characters? What are your plans for getting footage besides boring talking head shots?

Jason, Cooper, and Quintin. We have screen recordings of the entire development process, gameplay video of the finished game, timelapse of the apartment across the entire event, b-roll of computer parts moving and booting up etc..

How is conflict driving your story?

We’re undertaking a really big task, with a really tight deadline, and are inexperienced in game development.

What kind of change do you wish to unfold in your piece?

We will show a game being made at every stage of the development process, so a big subject of the piece will constantly be changing.

What’s the inciting incident and point of entry in your story?

The Ludum Dare game jam is a 72 hour contest to complete what is normally a 3+ year task.

What issues do you foresee having to make your piece visually strong?

We need to avoid having too much video that is just us typing on the computer without any exposition or development of the story.

A Different Kind of Game Jam

While we’ve already talked about what Ludum Dare is, here is an interesting look at another kind of game jam: the Train Jam, which is a 52 hour jam that takes place on a train between Chicago and San Francisco right before the Game Developers Conference, which happens to be this week. Not only does the Train Jam serve as a fun challenge for game developers, it also serves as a way to network and get to know fellow developers in the industry. The Train Jam has run for only two years so far, the second being just this last week. 



Script for Pitch

Here be the tentative version of our pitch script: 

COOPER is “debugging” by slamming his head on the keyboard
COOPER notices audience and turns towards camera
COOPER: “Oh, sorry! I didn’t see you there, I was just debugging some of my code in preperation for a game jam coming up on April 17th!”
JASON kicks the door in
JASON thrusts his hand forward, revealing a jar of jam labeled “Game”
COOPER slaps the jar of jam out of Jason’s hand
COOPER: “NO! That’s NOT what a game jam is”

COOPER and JASON sit at a table together
COOPER: “The Game Jam we’ll be doing, Ludum Dare is a 72 hour race against the clock to create a game from scratch. Every Ludum Dare has a unique theme that is announced at the beginning of the event.”
JASON: “Ludum Dare is the ultimate test for any game developer. Video games are usually created over the course of a few years by large teams of developers, with big budgets.”
COOPER: “…and we don’t have ANY of those things.”
JASON: “Then.. …how are we going to make a game?”

JASON and COOPER sit at their computers, slamming on their computers and screaming at the top of their lungs

COOPER and JASON sit at the table together
COOPER: “Without any resources and limited development experience in an environment where every minute counts, we will have to constantly iterate, problem solve, and redesign our game.
JASON: Ludum Dare games hardly ever conform to the standard conventions found in most video games, and rarely end up as they were originally invisioned.
COOPER: While all Ludum Dare games are unique, both the skill of the developers and the spontaneous nature of the event determine the quality of the game.
JASON: Not only are we going to create a game and document the entire process. Ludum Dare, by it’s nature, will let us explore game development in a way that neither research nor traditional development could.
COOPER: In short, rather than just talk about making a game, we’re actually going to make a game.
JASON: And THEN talk about it.

Unreal Engine 4

For a few generations of video games now, the Unreal Engine has been one of the most used game engines in the entire industry. While the Engine was first launched in 1998, over the years it has seen many iterations, the most recent, Unreal Engine 4, originally unveiled in 2012 was announced yesterday to be completely free for anyone to use, with 5% of the profit from any game release owed to Epic Games, Unreal Engine’s creator. While there have been free-to-use game engines in the past, one of the world’s leading game engines being free to use for anyone who is even curious about making video games has the potential to change the industry.

While we will be using the Unity Engine for the Ludum Dare game jam, Unreal Engine 4 presents many new possibilities for aspiring game developers all around the world.