I've been going to the Manchester Game Jam ever since the awesome Dan Hett started it up over a year ago at MadLab in Manchester's northern quarter. It's so much fun to turn up with a laptop, blast out a game idea over the course of a weekend and see how it turns out. Most of the time, what seems like a great idea on paper turns out to be a terrible idea in practice, once you can see it moving in the form of a prototype. Occasionally though, an idea will work, and at the last-but-one game jam this happened to me.
We had a bunch of themes to work with for inspiration, and these were climbing, inversion, robots, stealing and hats. Immediately my brain went straight to the gentlemanly insult of having one's hat stolen straight off one's head. I'd brought a couple of XBox controllers with me, so I'd already decided that I was making a local multiplayer game. I also had a vague idea that having the characters' arms stretch out would be kind of funny, so I started to throw something together.
Several hours later I had a couple of character sprites running around a tile map, extending out their long, unnecessarily creepy arms like something from Monty Python. I, for one, was giggling like a schoolgirl at this. With about 90 minutes 'til deadline, OddballDave pulled another pair of XBox controllers and a USB hub from his bag, and said I had no excuse not to make it support 4 players. I hacked in 4-player support at the last minute, and the result was pretty sweet for a day's work.
In the month since then I've spent a few hours here and there ironing out some of the creases, improving the sounds and controls, and adding luxuries that a jam deadline simply doesn't allow for, such as a title screen. So here it is, a little 4-player local multiplayer game called "Hear! Hear! Sneaking Hat Get".
Plug in some gamepads, grab some friends / people off the street / the cat, download it and have fun. I'd love to hear your feedback!