Ostara: Games for Spring 2020
What started out as another last ditch effort to expand our game jam offerings into the spring, ended up smack dab in the middle of an epidemic bringing the world to its knees. But, given that spring is all about transformation and growth, we went with it, and tried running the entire thing online via zoom and discord. If the COVID-19 situation shakes out through the summer, we may have to use this model to keep things moving forward anyway!
Thankfully, the dev community in Omaha is bright and happy to work remotely. The sense of community and togetherness is always important, and getting to share a video cup-o-joe helps with the isolation of working at home for the second straight week.
This year's theme was put together by Jaymeson Pon, and is fittingly musical:
"The (sp)Rites of Spring"
Based on Stravinsky's "Rites of Spring" (and using a bit of the suite in our announcement video!), but tilted just a bit towards the pixel art fans out there. So far, the conversation has proven that this might be a challenging theme for some. Still, the brainstorming has resulted in a wonderful mix of out-there ideas and quality humanistic thought.
A change up for this event was announcing the challenges AFTER the theme, rather than before. These ones were, even more so than in the past, utterly dependent on the theme itself and...actually gave it away a bit. 'Mutators' felt a bit too heavy duty for this, so they have been re-dubbed as "Growth Modifiers" for Ostara, but serve the same desire of adding an extra layer of crunch to the games being made. This time around they really took a turn on guiding folks to work alongside or within the theme in a more robust manner.
With all this comes a minor revisit to how the site posts games that get made, and we'll see how that shakes out. Simplicity and all that, right?
We hope this offers up a sliver of fun from our little human work-caves. Enjoy!