Jalloo 2015

Earlier this month, I attended the Jalloo Festival of Animation and Games in Miramichi, New Brunswick, for the first time.

I had heard of this annual event before, but figured it was more of an animation and game art thing. Lucky for me, a few Fredericton game dev friends suggested that I attend. When I saw how many interesting talks were on the schedule, I just had to sign up.

from jalloo.net

The first day was busy. The event started with a keynote by Belinda Van Sickle, CEO of Women in Games International. There were awesome talks and workshops throughout the rest of the day. Lots of talented artists from NBCC Miramichi were showcasing their work in the gym. Oh, I also got to try Oculus Rift for the first time!

After a busy day of games-related fun, the lobster supper was a welcomed break. Free drink tickets were a nice bonus, and the karaoke night at Dooly’s was a hoot.

The second day started with more talks on animation and games. After a barbecue lunch of massive hot dogs (seriously, they were huge), the animation festival screenings began. We got to vote for an audience’s choice award. There are lots of creative animation projects happening in the Maritimes (like this and that).

Game Jam

At the end of the second day, participants gathered in the auditorium for the 24-hour game jam. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a game jam is an event where teams of friends or strangers collaborate to make a game in a set amount of time.

The theme of the jam was then unveiled: “Is this legal?” Next, there were a few ice breaker activities to get participants talking and sharing ideas.

I joined forces with the kind folks from UNB for the game jam:

From left to right: me, Jeff Mundee, Rebecca Goodine,
Lauren Cruikshank, Nicholas Polchies, Nathan Thompson, Jade Yahp

We quickly came up with a weird concept while brainstorming. I like weird games, so I was completely on board. Our game is called Crime is Sexy. Click that link for more info and to download the game!

The game jam was an absolute blast. The team worked really well together, and I’m proud of what we accomplished. I don’t collaborate very often when making games, so it was great to be able to work with so many creative people on a collective project.

So Jalloo was really cool.

I was surprised at how awesome the event was, from the wide range of speakers and topics to the talent shown at the student showcase, the animation festival and the game jam.

I'm definitely glad I went. I had the chance to meet so many cool people! Thanks to everyone for making Jalloo an amazing couple of days.

10/10, would Jalloo again.