Our annual Game Jam is organised by the BA Games Design course team at the University of Cumbria. It's an exciting, fast-paced creative competition where participants create a game within 72 hours based on a given theme. The event aims to inspire creativity, experimentation, learning, collaboration, and most importantly have fun! Suki Shek was the winner of the 'Concept Art' category award in the Game Jam 23. Read about her experience here.

What was the game you made? What was the concept and gameplay like?

I decided to go with the concept art category and produced a few ideas for the theme, 'Stretched Yellow Ninjas.' What I envisioned were these cool-looking ninjas who can stretch themselves and wear unified uniforms to represent their business.

How did you allocate your time during Game Jam?

With the time limited to three days to produce something, I separated each day into different sections that I wanted to focus on. On the first day, I allowed myself to brainstorm and gather necessary inspirations to create a mood board. This included things like clothing, colours, art styles, and items, among others. Then, I created rough sketches that took 5 minutes to produce. With those sketches, I narrow it down to producing quick silhouettes.

On the second day, it was all about choosing where I want to go, cleaning up the silhouettes, and trying out different colour palettes. Everything at this stage was focused on simplifying the art.

I wanted to allow myself more time to produce the final render on the third day, right before the deadline. So, I woke up early to do the cleanups and was able to finish the work in time. 

What was some of the challenges you faced during Game Jam and how did you overcome them?

The challenge I had to face was timing. I am a slow drawer and sometimes get distracted. To overcome this, I turned off anything that could distract me and selected song playlists or podcasts that were over 1 hour and related to the topic I am drawing.

What was your highlight of the Game Jam?

I personally think that seeing everyone’s hard work is the highlight of the Game Jam for me. You simply want to dissect how they created the game or concept, and it just empowers me with so many inspirations.

What were some of the most valuable skills or knowledge you gained from participating in the Game Jam?

What I gained from participating in Game Jam is the ability to develop ideas using simple shapes. I learned that using silhouettes to convey the overall idea is quicker and more efficient. With this method, you focus on the shape, and you can add the details later.

What feedback did you get during the Game Jam event?

The feedback that I've received was very positive, and the idea I had represented the theme in a creative way.

Overall, how did you feel about the overall experience of participating in Game Jam?

Overall, I had fun producing what I made, and it's amazing to see different ideas coming to life. I do hope to see more people joining and showcasing their hidden talents.

What advice would you give other students taking part in our next Game Jam?

My advice is to prepare yourself in advance, allocate your time, and have fun as well. Use this chance to create something new and challenge yourself. Don't focus too much on the details; keep it simple and not too ambitious.

Will you be looking to take part in this year’s Game Jam?

Depending on how busy I am, I may consider participating in Game Jam to see how much I've improved since the last one!


Day 1 - Finding the perfect idea silhouette(s)

Day 1 - Finding the perfect idea silhouette(s)

Day 2 - Experimenting with colour

Day 2 - Experimenting with colour

Day 3 - The final render. With extra time I added simple sketches and text

Day 3 - The final render. With extra time I added simple sketches and text

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