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Global game challenge reveals depth of Wellington talent

2 Feb 2016

Over 80 Wellington creatives converged over the weekend to take up the Global Game Jam 2016 challenge, creating 24 games over 48 hours.

global game jam

A smorgasbord of narratives, art styles and mediums were showcased, with titles of created games ranging from "A Day in the Loaf of Toast" to "Just Wool With It", with.

Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world's largest game jam, taking place in 632 sites across 93 cities in 2016. All sites are challenged to make games based upon a theme, this year’s being 'Ritual'.

Event organiser Andrew Lamb, who co-organises Game Developers of Wellington, said the Wellington event, held at Victoria University, had sold out.

“It was an amazing turnout considering this was the first year there's been an event in Wellington. From amateurs to professional developers working at the cutting edge of digital entertainment, everyone who attended improved their skills in a fun, supportive environment.”

"We're really impressed with how much games talent there is in Wellington and look forward to an even bigger and better jam next year."

Wellington is home to a thriving game development scene, with around 100 full time game developers living in the region. PikPok is the largest games publisher in Wellington with international successes such as Into the Dead, Turbo Fast and Flick Kick Football Legends. There is also a thriving indie scene in the region, that includes companies such as Camshaft Software, Gamefroot, Aurora44, Dinosaur Polo Club, Nyuk Nyuk and Dry Cactus.

The Game Developers of Wellington meetup group is very active and has grown to 669 members since its inception two years ago- it is one of the largest meetup groups in Wellington.

Chris Whelan, Chief Executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agencysaid the Global Game Jam offered international exposure for this valuable part of our digital sector.

“It’s a great way of showcasing Wellington’s digital creative strength.”

New Zealand’s video game studios created 134 new high-tech creative jobs in the 2015 financial year, according to an independent survey by the New Zealand Game Developers Association. The sector now employs 568 fulltime employees and earned $78.7m in FY2015, up 3% on the previous year. 82% of revenue came from digital exports.

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