Global Game Jam 2024 Retrospective: Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity

Global Game Jam 2024 Retrospective: Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity

A few weeks ago, our brave engineers set on a quest to unravel the mysteries of their creative abilities, and now their conclusions are something to reckon with. Well, this is their story!

January has finally passed, and besides being so long and a month of empty pockets, we still have some great news to share. The Global Game Jam happened during the last week of January in Base42 - a mystic hackerspace that seems to be the place everyone’s crazy about.


For everyone unfamiliar, Global Game Jam is a worldwide event where participants gather to create games for fun. Game development enthusiasts from various backgrounds gather to create games in 48 hours. Organized by the Macedonian Game Initiative, this year's event brought together many newcomers, but also participants who attend every year. A small group of CodeChem’s crew also participated in the event, making it even more eye candy.

Read on as we are going to unroll some exciting events. Did our engineers push their limits? What were their goals, and who won what? Nope, we won’t reveal it. Sorry, but you must read this till the very last line of this blog post. I bet you have five minutes to spare and read something spellbinding.

The Layer Underneath the Jam

Let's dive deeper into the jam-packed action!

Picture Base42 buzzing with energy, the air thick with anticipation as participants eagerly awaited the announcement of making teams and an official start, setting the stage for what was to come. This time, the globally announced theme was revealed a week or so before the event: “Make Me Laugh,” and we bet everyone did.

The Interviews

When we interviewed the guys and asked them how they felt and what they thought of the event, we got one mutual answer: the atmosphere was crazy good, and this even came from Tomislav, who attended GGJ for the fifth time. They were all amazed by the event's success, but somehow, we managed to put all impressions in one place. As you continue to read, you'll have the opportunity to witness firsthand the incredible work they accomplished during the event.

Team Lama - Laughter Lord

The Best Dev: Gjorgji Dimeski 🏆

Gjorgji was surprised to find himself exceeding his expectations in so many areas of gameplay implementation. He was particularly happy that “Laughter Lord” perfectly embodied the "Make Me Laugh" theme with a certain amount of humor and wit. Although Team Lama was randomly chosen, this multiplayer browser game won an award, “The Best Dev,” in other words, team Lama used the best technologies for this Game, such as llama2, nest.js, angular, Tailwind CSS for animation, and so on.

The story revolves around a thrilling face-off between two players who battle it out by delivering humorous jokes that can make the powerful Laughter Lord chuckle. The game features a simple and user-friendly interface, where players can write their own jokes and unleash them on the Laughter Lord, each trying to top the other with their comedic skills.

Team Toilet Skibidi - Skibidi Toilet

Vasilaki's journey into Game Jam was quite unique compared to that of the other participants. He hadn't even planned on joining the competition, but something about the excitement in the air drew him in. Sitting on the sofa at Base42, he couldn't help but notice the toilet across from him. That's when inspiration struck - he decided to base his game on a true story and an existing meme where you keep the toilet door shut with all your extremities up. We have to admit - an amazing start for someone who didn’t even know the theme before.

Despite feeling exhausted from a long work day, Vasilaki was determined to turn his idea into a reality. He used his knowledge of blender to create 3D models applicable to Unity and write scripts for them with C#. Unlike some other participants, he preferred to work independently, so he acted as a one-man band throughout the competition. The endgame was so good that Vasilaki still works on Toilet Skibidi at home together with his sister, a talented 3D artist.

Conversely, of being the last to submit the game, Vasilaki brought the best from the day. From lending a helping hand to volunteers to networking with new people, this GJ was a lifetime experience for him. The creative mindset and the way the game turned out led Skibidi Toilet to be a candidate for “The Best Game Award.” It was a challenging but rewarding experience that he will never forget.

Team CBT - Laughing Stock

Next on this list is Tomislav Ignjatov, who attended Game Jam for the fifth time. Tomislav has a standard team for this event, so together with his gang, they nurture this tradition and consider it very important. They even attend similar events to GGJ, and their main goal is always the creativity and the fun times during the event, but most importantly, the ideas that are a great start to be developed in the future.

As mentioned earlier, although attending for the 5th time, Tomislav has never seen such an atmosphere as this year. The place was crowded, but it was tremendous and cozy. Enough about the atmosphere; let’s talk about the game that CBT created.

Laughing Stock is an auto-shooter-inspired game where the main character, an evil Demon Clown, converts the local villagers into minions by throwing balloons at them. In the left corner, you can see the health bar, which shows the status of the balloons, and also you can see the score in the other corner.

The CBT team used different technologies for this game, such as Wave Function Collapse, an algorithm that can generate procedural patterns from a sample image - in this case, a different map - and Godot - an open-source game engine and art by PixelArt. One key takeaway for Tomislav from this event was the importance of borrowing wisdom from other jammers, sharing experiences and techniques to overcome challenges more effectively, and elevating the quality of each game.

Team Clumsy Coders - The Last Laugh

The last team with the “Last Laugh” in this blog post is Clumsy Coders, where our engineers Angel Stojanov and Stefan Ivanovski created a 2D game together with other game designers and artists. Their team was also randomly chosen, but everyone had a specific role, and for them, the planning of the game and the idea were the driving force of this event.

The game interface perfectly pictures the story behind it. So, let’s get into this incredible narrative. To be fair, I really liked how Clumsy Coders put together this storyline, so I decided to borrow it! 😊 👇

“In a medieval kingdom very far away, a king has been betrayed and murdered by his heir. The former king's ghost is back and attempts to possess the body of the court jester to spread malicious rumors about the new king and have him "canceled.”

The Last Laugh is an exciting game where two players compete against each other. The game aims to see who will come out on top. One player is a jester trying to navigate away from a ghostly presence while keeping his head on his shoulders and controlling his bodily functions. The other player is the ghost trying to succeed in his evil plan. The jester must outmaneuver the ghost to win the game.

Stefan and Angel worked on a new game with other team members, including talented designers and artists. Collaborating with Angel, they utilized cutting-edge technologies in C# and Unity to create stunning animations, bringing their vision to life. Things got even more exciting when Stefan and Angel both worked on Unity simultaneously, something they had never done before. They both enjoyed the competitiveness and the freedom to experiment with new ideas during the 48-hour game development process.

Final Thoughts

Despite the challenges and constraints, the journey of participating in a Game Jam, as our engineers said, is incredibly rewarding. Whether a student, amateur, hobbyist, or professional, engaging in game jams fosters creativity skills and provides a platform for experimentation and innovation. As everyone mentioned in this blog post aptly puts it, jamming is one of the most worthwhile activities an engineer can undertake, regardless of their skill level.

In conclusion, the Global Game Jam 2024 was a testament to the power of collaboration, creativity, and community in game development. Participants walked away with awards, newfound skills, valuable connections, and a passion for doing more. Each year, as the event ends, innovation inspires game developers worldwide to take on new challenges and push the boundaries of what's possible in game development. It’s an icebreaker for everyone who feels joy in the gaming world.

As we look back on the incredible games developed by talented jammers behind them, we can't help but be amazed by the gaming community!