Last month, Koreans saw the launch of the G-Next Gamejam festival take place at the Global Startup Campus in Pangyo, South Korea. The event lasted for three days (August 12th-14th) and gave developers the opportunity to use cutting edge technology to develop new games on the spot. Having been sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, as well as Unity Korea, and the Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), the festival was a huge success, with more than 130 developers in attendance. Overall there were 23 teams competing to create the best game. G-NEXT recently announced that the second annual Gamejam will be held next year, although an exact date has not yet been decided on.

Something to Look Forward To

South Korean game developers looking to expand their global reputation and network with like minds should be on the lookout for the date of the next Gamejam, as it is expected to become one of the areas leading Indie developer conferences within the next five years. The event consists of a 3-day challenge, during which time each team will race to outdo each other with innovative game concepts. This year the Horoller steam stole the show with their VR rendition of a spooky mansion called ‘Someone in the Hallway’. One of the group’s members, Hyung-Joo Kim, stated that this was the first time him and his team had created a virtual reality game, and that they were thankful for the opportunity to use the festival’s tools and equipment to create a VR environment.

An Epic Event to Remember

There’s no doubt that the majority of the developers who attended this year’s G-NEXT Gamejam will probably be returning next year. There were plenty of activities and refreshments on-site and the atmosphere was fun and festive, with developers teaming up to design games that turned out to be rather commendable for stuff that was produced in a 72-hour period. There’s a school of thought that says creativity comes out when there’s pressure to perform, so although the teams didn’t take months or weeks to work on their games as they would in a conventional setting, the rush seemed to bring out the best in everybody.

Anticipating Next Year’s Theme

The theme of this year’s Gamejam was “Summer Story” but we’ve not yet learned what next year’s theme will be. It’s possible that it could be held later in the year and have a winter theme, but it seems that the organizers are reluctant to give too much info for fear that developers would be able to prepare and gain an unfair advantage in advance. After all, the whole point of the event is to participate in a live game development session, so it wouldn’t be right if teams were showing up with content in-hand.

A World of Opportunities

As we look forward to next year’s G-NEXT Gamejam we can expect that plenty of up and coming developers in South Korea will see this is as a major opportunity to meet others in the industry and showcase their skills on a professional platform.