The 48 Hour Game Making Challenge - By Sean Warton

The first weekend of October, for me, marks the most wonderful time of the year because it heralds the annual 48 Hour Game Making Challenge colloquially known in hashtags as the #Fab48Hr.

The 48 Hour Game Making Challenge is a local Brisbane based Game Jam in which hordes of local game developers (and some not local!) all come together for a full weekend of non-stop, high octane game development. For the uninitiated, this involves receiving three random keywords on the Friday afternoon and over the course of the next two days, creating games based around these words, from scratch, to be shown off to friends, family and the general public on Sunday evening.

It’s an incredible time. Being in the space, surrounded by teams of enthusiastic and brilliant developers both professional and up-and-coming, seeing such an outpouring of creativity is inspiring and overwhelming in the best way.

This year in particular, the 48 Hour Game Making Challenge’s 10th anniversary, was special. The big one-oh. 480 hours of Jam. And we made it the biggest one yet with a total of 120 game developers racing the clock.

At 4pm on Friday the event kicked off and this year’s secret keywords were revealed: Power, Love and Surprise. They certainly got some gears turning and there’s an almost palpable energy in the air as each team rushes off to brainstorm ways to turn those words into a game.

The time flies by all too quickly until Sunday afternoon when the countdown begins and team’s games are hurriedly placed on USB sticks and run to the submission desk before the clock strikes 4pm.

Finally, after displaying the fruits of their hard work to earn votes towards the audience choice award, everyone makes their way into the main hall, The Block, for the award ceremony. Of course, the real challenge is the one against the clock and just completing the development of a game inside of a weekend is a true accomplishment.

A handful of teams however also receive branded mugs full of jellybeans as a token of their accomplishments, such as best audio, best graphics, and the coveted Who Dares Wins for that team that tried something wild.

A huge congratulations to teams Tinyframe Games, Meme Machine and the Freelance Police for winning their categories of Indie League, Newly Pro and Pro League respectively.


This was first published in the November 2016 issue of Brisbane Byte magazine. Subscribe below to get future issues delivered straight to your inbox.