As you all should know by now, the GGJ theme is a closely guarded secret which must only be spoken of once Hawaii starts jamming.
What you might not know is that we have a fantastic team of people working really hard to come up with the perfect theme for GGJ every year. They spend months looking for just the right balance of something which will inspire creativity, thoughtful reflection and expression as well as something which will work across both culture and language.
This year, we would like to introduce you to the following folks who make up the GGJ18 theme committee:
Taylor Bai-Woo is a game maker (art, programming, design) from Toronto Canada that co-owns a studio called Gloam Collective (working on a game called Bravery Network)! Outside of her studio she tends to make weird explorative games. She cares a lot about characters, atmosphere, and building a world that doesn’t necessarily make sense, but gives a feeling. Sometimes she also just makes very bad games that are mostly bad jokes, people like those sometimes. Example work: Frail Shells, Job Lozenge, CHOPSQUARES, Claw Champion Earth, Osteotic Bypass.
Renaud Bédard is a senior programmer at Square-Enix Montréal (Canada) but has been in game dev for 10 years, between Toronto (Capybara Games, Below) and Montréal (Polytron, FEZ). He ran the Peter Molydeux-themed jam in Montréal, and participate in a whole bunch of GGJs and other local game jams. He is also into toy synthesizers and is a happy dad of a 3 year old boy and a 6 month old daughter.
Alex Camilleri (Theme committee producer)
Alex Camilleri is a game designer and programmer at Frictional Games. Their roots start in the indie artsy scene, making small experimental games and eventually releasing the autobiographical Memoir En Code: Reissue. They are also a member of the Contralto Game Collective, a group of devs working on inclusive, experimental, and culturally relevant forms of play.
Nicky Case makes things that help people learn by playing like http://explorabl.es. They also made Coming Out Simulator, which was nominated for an IGF award.
Rex Crowle is an artist that accidentally ended-up in games industry back in the early days of Lionhead Studios. A few years on they helped set up Media Molecule, and then worked on the art, design & general vibes of LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2 as well as directing Tearaway and Tearaway Unfolded for Vita and PS4. At the moment they are taking a bit of break, and building a little game called Knights And Bikes, about tough little girls cycling around a British island in the 1980s, in a Goonies type way.
Laura E. Hall
Laura E. Hall is based in Portland, Oregon. She is interested in puzzles, environmental narrative and player behavior. She designs mostly physical games: cards, running around in fields, alt control objects, ephemera-based storytelling, puzzle objects, or escape the room games. She has participated in GGJ for years now, and making games every year was how she learned how to scope projects and produce demo versions of work. She also wrote the Katamari Damacy book for Boss Fight Books, and serve on the board for the Portland Indie Game Squad (PIGSquad).
Daniel Linssen makes lots of small games (many of which are for game jams) which usually focus on some interesting mechanic or visual style. They really like exploring weird ways in which the player can see and use the world around them, mostly using ultra minimal pixel art. Example work: Roguelight, The Sun And Moon, Planetarium, Sandstorm, Walkie Talkie, birdsong and windowframe.
Mattias Ljungström is based in Berlin, Germany. They recently made Future Unfolding, before that Spirits way back in 2012.
Shailesh Prabhu has been making games for 12 years, 9 of which were with their studio in India called Yellow Monkey, and included work such as HUEBRIX and Socioball. Now living in Copenhagen, they work for a game studio for a day job and continue to make games on the side. They are currently working on a two player, competitive local multiplayer game about Flying Carpets called Sky Sutra. They have run a game dev community back in India and helped out with conferences and a few jams.
Berendine Venemans is a game designer who just entered the world of Art and Installations. They worked as a professional game designer at Guerrilla Games, working on Killzone: ShadowFall, Horizon: Zero Dawn and the yet to be released DLC Horizon Frozen Wilds. They were an enemy designer for Killzone and a Quest Designer on the Horizon franchize. Their career move sees them focusing on making crazy art installations using games as an inspiration! Think weird controllers, cool interactivity using light, sound and tickling your other senses.