We are now 4 days away from the start of Rainbow Game Jam 2017! We are so excited to kick off the jam this year!
Hi Jupiter, Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, my name is Jupiter Hadley. I am a indie games journalist and Youtuber. I cover thousands of indie games, many of which are from game jams. I write for various websites including AlphaBetaGamer, GameJolt’s Fireside, Big Boss Battle, etc. I also co-run www.indiegamejams.com.
Why did you want to get involved with Rainbow Jam 2016?
Firstly, I love game jams. I love helping out with them in whatever way I can. With the Rainbow Jam 2016, specifically, I was very excited about the tagline ‘to celebrate and promote diversity within the games industry.’ Promoting and celebrating diversity is something that needs to be done more often. This game jam seemed to be focused around more meaningful games, games with more of a backstory and connection to people. It’s something that definitely got me interested.
What were your highlights of Rainbow Jam 2016?
Well, I wrote up an article of my favorite games here. The two that still stick out in my head, a year later, are Rails to Rest and Who am I?. Both of these games left me thinking about myself as an individual. Rails to Rest had this start up that made me design the exterior of a character – like creating myself, to then turn me into a ghost whose appearance made no difference. That little detail is genius, especially in with the games monologue of discovering if your belongings make you who you are. Who am I? had me questioning if I was truly happy, as that is what the main character was questioning. The gameplay and mechanics featured in the game also felt good and well polished, but it was the general feeling of the game reaching me as a human instead of just being something to tinker around with that kept these two entries in my mind.
Last year the theme for Rainbow Jam was “Identity”, if you could have made a game what ideas would you want to explore?
Hmmm, if I could have made a game, I would have probably tinkered around with the idea of a character who felt split between two personalities; who others wanted them to be and who they were themselves. When I was younger, I made a lot of decisions based on what other people would want me to do, or what other people thought I should do, instead of what I wanted. I felt, for a while, that I was constantly playing the part of someone else – someone who needed to act a specific way. It would be interesting to make a game that shows my feelings from them – even if to just let that story out. Maybe I would have made a game about lack of identity and discovering who you are – just to sort of flip the theme on its head.
Diversity is an important topic in games at the moment. What are your thoughts on current representation (or underrepresentation) of minorities in games? How can the games industry do better to explore the stories of marginalised groups in games?
I feel like there is a underrepresentation of minorities in games at the moment, but that the industry, in some ways, is recognizing this and trying to slowly fix it. It takes a lot of effort to cover the stories of people who are marginalised, but as long as the industry is making the effort, is reaching out to those underrepresented, it all helps.
Have you ever taken part in a game jam? What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t taken part in a game jam?
I have taken part in a game jam, many, many years ago. My advice would be start off small, then start adding features after you have made a playable small thing. Do take care of yourself as well – your body won’t code right if you aren’t well slept and fed.
Do you have anything else you would like to share?
I am currently producing a monthly Podcast on Indie Gaming News called ‘Whats Indie News’. That’s the most recent project I have taken on. I’m always working on covering loads of game jam games over at my YouTube Channel.