Autorun is Hectic. image Great Wizardry, Average Sushi – Global Game Jam 2016

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Don’t Sneeze. Allergens is also Hectic.

The winners of Hectic Games Jam #8 were announced today… aaaaand that makes two for two! Allergens was victorious, and now we don’t know what to do with all these Xboxes.

Thanks to this victory, we get to take GLTCH and Allergens down to PAX next month! Northern Sydney TAFE had some unused booth space that they were happy for us to steal. So that’s kind of wow.

But alas, the jam!

Our team numbered 3 instead of 5 this time around, and the pressure on being the only programmer was intense. For once, Nico was able to force my hand on making an art-heavy game, but it was the game’s innovative artistic wiggle that made it stand out.

The theme this time was….. qualia? A phenomenon I had not ever heard described but had definitely experienced. In a nutshell, qualia describes how an event can be perceived by different people in different ways, despite both of them being exposed to the same stimulus. Cue ideas about disassociation and dual identities. And cue our game about allergies.

Could you imagine how it must feel being allergic to absolutely everything? What about if your worldview changed every time you sneezed? That was the ‘stupid idea’ behind Allergens: a game where you guide two sisters (Anna and Eve) through the woods at the turn of spring. Your obstacles in this perilous quest? Flowers. And bunnies.

You see, Anna is deadly allergic to spring, but her carefree nature prevents her from seeing the dangers that lurk in every mild breeze. Eve, on the other hand, can barely look at sunshine without her pulse quickening. Her perspective on the world is much more perilous, even if it is only to protect her younger sister.

The jam itself was surprisingly calm. Sleep was at an all time none, so we entered a stage of depravity and delirium by Saturday. This time though, we were comfortable spending the first few hours planning. We had no arguments and no major pivots. We were lucky enough to walk into a good idea and follow it through.

Our bottomless thanks goes out to Hugo for making Hectic (and now PAX) possible, and to Sen Wei for making it bearable after it had begun.

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About James
I’m deeply passionate about the promoting and developing the social, educational, and creative potential of games. Through my work at Chaos Theory, I have only just started a journey to doing exactly that.
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