Melanie Stegman: "Every GGJ I am surprised by the variety of games, variety of people, and variety of friendships that develop over the weekend!"
Melanie has participated in GGJ several times. This is her story and greetings to the Global Game Jam Community.
"Hi GGJ! I'm so happy to be a part of this community! I am an indie game developer in Baltimore, MD, in the United States. I am also a biochemist, and I studied proteins involved in cancer and Tuberculosis... I make games because I want to explain proteins to people. Public funds support our research, so the people who vote need to know what's being done with their money. Additionally, people who are sick need to know what medicines are available and how they work. I love games, and now I teach Game Design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
GGJ 2019 theme "Repair" was inviting to me
I have spent many a restless night at GGJ's in Washington, DC; Harrisburg, PA; and this year I'll be helping to host our site at MICA, in Baltimore. Whenever I host a GGJ, I ask everyone to form a big circle, say their idea out loud, and then walk to the person whose idea they would like to work on (which I learned while helping at American University in DC). This makes for the maximum amount of mixing up participants and gets students working with adults, and vice versa.
In 2020, while I was hosting the Harrisburg University site, I was drawn to participate myself, because the theme "Repair" was so inviting to me. Naturally, I suggested a game in which proteins were repairing body systems... When everyone had spoken their ideas, I was happily surprised that 4 game developers walked over to me! Strategic Repair Protocol was born. Every GGJ I am surprised by the variety of games, variety of people, and variety of friendships that develop over the weekend!
Repair Protocol is a strategic puzzle game about enzyme kinetics
The game we created is called Strategic Repair Protocol. It is a puzzle game about enzyme kinetics... and what it would be like if you could hang out with that swell group of little machines that keep us alive. We've imagined the enzymes as steam punk machines with some magic in their insides. The image below is a concept drawing of a level in Strategic Repair Protocol. Nano-Machines work together to use the Red Bits to produce the Blue Bobs and Purple Bobs, the player optimizes their rates.
This is a link to our webpage for the game, which includes an inspirational video by Nature on Nano-Machines.
Participating in GGJ gave me friendship and a sense of belonging
I belong to a world-wide club of people who make games for the fun of it. I recommend everyone try a game jam. If you are sending your big sister off to college and wonder what's she's doing in computer science classes? Are you wondering what your teenage child is talking about when they are drawing sprites for a game? Get yourself signed up to spend some time sitting at a table with some strangers planning out a game about swinging from cloud to cloud, or something!
You will find that game developers are like scrapbook artists, knitters, and quilt makers: they are thinking, what do I want to make? How will my user use the thing I am making? What have I got? What do I know how to do? What can I learn fast enough to get it into this project?
Dear GGJ community, thank you for all the fun and I look forward to much more. Bring your non-dev friends this year! Let's see how cool our games can get when we have some real outside the box thinkers alongside us! Keep in touch! Melanie#8832 on Discord. Oh! And if you want some games about science, or if you have made a game about science head over to ScienceGameCenter.org."
Original Strategic Repair Protocol game can be found here.
Current link for the game: molecularjig.com/strategic-repair-protocol