3 years ago

Rainbow Jam 2018 – Meet The Crystal Jams!

We are now 1 day away from the start of Rainbow Game Jam 2018! We are so excited to kick off the jam this year!

In the run up to Rainbow Game Jam 2018 we wanted to take this opportunity to share the work and voices of previous entrants of Rainbow Jam!

Today we have The Crystal Jams: Liz Frost (itch.io), Fiona Peak, and CHAINES (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), developer of Rainbow Jam 2017 game Prism Break!

Hi, Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Based in the UK, we are a wife and wife team with several Ludum Dares under our belt. This time we are joined by our friend and musician, CHAINES, as we were for 2017 Rainbow Jam.

Team artist, Liz is both a 2D and 3D artist, and recently a code dabbler too when needed for UI and FX. Last year a she made a game for a local art exhibition about trans lives, and always has one game or art project on the go. At the moment she’s working on an AR project for a show that CHAINES putting on next month, in between playing too much Beat Saber.

Fiona decided at age 11 to single mindedly pursue a career as a games programmer and now age 34 she has over seventeen console titles under her belt, including three bafta winners. She is passionate about representation of marginalised identities in games as well as the witchcraft behind making game mechanics that feel good.

CHAINES is a musician based in Manchester. Their music has received critical praise from the likes of FACT Magazine and The Wire, and they have worked extensively with the London Contemporary Orchestra, including premiering music at the 2018 BBC Proms.
Games are a source of immense excitement and potential for CHAINES, and their ability to tell persuasive stories inclusive of all kinds of people and scenarios keeps them coming back to find ways to augment that in sound.

Can you tell us about your Rainbow Jam 2017 Game?

Prism Break – an arcade shooter based using colour as a weapon.

Why did you take part in Rainbow Jam 2017?


We love game jams, but as our live have gotten busier it’s been harder to find time to do a joint Ludum Dare – making a game in 72 hours requires being able to clear yourself for adult responsibilities for a weekend. The slower pace of a two week jam makes it more accessible, and there is less pressure to meet all the tight rules of a competitive jam like the Ludum Dare.

Also, as a big bunch of queers, supporting and encouraging other LGBT+ people to make games is really important to us!

What were your highlights of Rainbow Jam 2017?

Our 2017 game went great, even though we did have to fit in making it around busy weekends. In particular, the sound/music is amazing thanks to CHAINES. We hadn’t worked with them previously, but if you’ve played our game you will be able to see for yourself just how much the soundscape adds to the feel of the game.

Last year the theme for Rainbow Jam was “Spectrum”, how do you feel your game explored that theme?

We didn’t know about the jam until after it had started, and we came in late with an idea that in retrospect did technically fit the theme, but didn’t explore the wider LGBT+ themes that it implied. We hope to make something this year with at least a little bit of gay in it, even if we don’t have time to make a narrative masterpiece about coming out in as a space pirate.

How has the LGBT community helped your passion for game development?


Games, whether video games, pen and paper RPGs or board games, have always been big parts of our lives, and like maybe LGBT+ people, they’ve been part of how we have formed our queer identities too. The simple act of being able to play someone of a different sexuality or gender in a game can broaden how we see ourselves, and give us a new sense of how we fit in the world. Our generation has been lucky to have these media as a method to explore who we are, and they will only become more exciting as technology improves and the design space widens.

It’s also really important now for LGBT+ and marginalised people in general to be in game development right now. Gamergate has if anything, strengthened our determination to not be pushed out and make a space in games for everyone, whatever their background or identity.

What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t taken part in Rainbow Jam, or any other game jam before?

Good time management is key and its important to just “get it done” sometimes, even if you are not 100% happy with the work. I usually have a nagging voice in my ear telling me to stop being a perfectionist and just send over some assets to stick in the game already!

Keep in touch and get involved on social media!

Discord    Twitter    Facebook     itch.io

Categories RainbowJam18 RainbowJamInterviews

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