littleBits at the Global Game Jam!

February 3, 2016

Here is a secret you might have already known about us: it consumes our lunch conversation and takes over our Wednesday nights. Some of us are game designers, some of us are game journalists, and most of us are avid gamers. And we don’t discriminate – video games, table-top, RPGs, board games, card games – we love them all.


So when we had the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Global Game Jam last weekend at NYU Game Center, we were errr…somewhat excited about it. Incorporating bits into games, either as components, controllers, or something else, opens opportunities for designers to think about new mechanics and novel social interactions. MakeyMakey was the first tool that made the hardware of a game as much of blank canvas as a software staging area. It’s simple to use for total n00bs, but also scales to the expert who wants to reprogram the Arduino that acts as its brain. With the rise of the alternative controller community, we think bits are another great tool to start exploring unique and custom controllers for your game. Or perhaps you want to create a physical, escape-the-room style game? Or an interactive board game?

Below are two of the games that emerged from the jam. The theme? Ritual.

L Train Commute Ritual
By Maria Mishurenko & Gordey Chernyy
“Commute Ritual is a hybrid game made with LittleBits during Global Game Jam 2016. Players have to make conductive circle and clap the given rhythm together to move the train on the screen.”

Very Superstitious
By Corey Jeffers, Wayne James, Blake Balick-Schreiber, Jordan Riley, Okwudili Udeh and Jasmine Francois
Hecate, Ruler of the Three Witches, and her underlings are brewing a spell for the ages! Read her commands, perform superstitious acts, and be the first to curse the world!

After a weekend of mashing games and bits, we made a bunch of new friends, tried a ton of fun games, and left feeling energized by playful possibilities ahead 🙂