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Time to explore innovation in the FPS genre, game jam style Exclusive
Time to explore innovation in the FPS genre, game jam style
August 2, 2013 | By Mike Rose

Last year's 7 Day First Person Shooter (7DFPS) game jam challenged developers to explore innovation in the tired old first-person shooter genre. Now the initiative is back, and the organizers are looking to expand on the original concept.

The 7 day challenge will run from August 10-17, but there's also a 7 hour challenge that starts tomorrow. This will be used as a warmup for the main jam, allowing devs to fiddle around with FPS possibilities, and perhaps give themselves a clear mind of what they want to achieve during the main jam.

Organizer Jan Willem Nijman, who is also one half of Super Crate Box studio Vlambeer, says that the success of last year's jam spurred him on to revisit the idea. He's hoping that developers will come up with ideas that break from the norm of the FPS genre.

"I think the FPS genre became the main thing for companies to show off how great their engine is," Nijman reasons. "The last decade, the focus in FPS games has mainly been on graphics and tech. Loads of money behind them, loads of marketing. It's hard to take risks if you have so much money weighing down on you."

"I think this whole 'big money showcase' stigma also scared a lot of indie developers away," he adds. "Most indies don't want to be like Call of Duty."

When it comes to the 7 day jam, Nijman suggests that participants think outside the box, and really consider what a first-person shooter can be capable of.

"Look for inspiration outside of first person shooters, outside of games!" he says. "The Vlambeer trick is basically this: 'Make your game in an hour, and spend the rest of your time playing/polishing it and enjoying life.'"

Developers interested in taking part in either the 7HFPS or the 7DFPS can sign up at the official website.

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E McNeill
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It's a pity that this is going on right in the middle of the VR jam.

Gryff David
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This is really exciting. FPS's haven't seen anything really original since Portal came out 6 years ago. It's been pretty much COD4/Gears of War clones and zombie games for 6 years now.

Robert Green
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Here's what I want to see them take inspiration from: Shadow of the Colossus. By which I mean I want to see an FPS where it feels like as big a deal to kill one enemy as it is to kill a platoon in most games. That enemy need not be 10 stories tall, though I won't object if that's what it takes.

Gil Salvado
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Can't wait to read the results!