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The Pen & Paper Game Jam Ditches Modern Technology In Favor of Old-School Creativity

Once upon a time, people made games without the use of fancy tech like… well, computers. No really! I’m being quite serious, and now the time is upon us to revisit that age. An age long gone, brought back – somewhat – with The Pen & Paper Game Jam. For those willing to put pen to paper, mess with cardboard, cut with scissors and measure with an actual ruler. “Archaic” stuff like that.

In this day and age, I suspect most people have long forgotten about the likes of Battleship and Hangman; childhood favorites that required little more than a pen (or two, in the case of Battleship) and a piece of paper. Such might also be the case for whatever participants in this particular game jam come up with, as the sky really is the limit, once you put your mind to it. Yes, even with such limited tools as those mentioned prior. We’re much too spoiled by the likes of Photoshop and Unity these days anyway, so here’s a chance to prove we can still be creative without them.

Do you remember playing tag or duck, duck, goose with your friends? Have you ever read a choose-your-own-adventure book or tried to find your way in a maze at the back of a cereal box? Do you know things like The Game (you just lost, by the way)?

That said, there are a few restrictions as to what’s acceptable for The Pen & Paper Game Jam, including. For starters, whatever you make has to be easily recreatable by others, so keep that in mind when creating the board/pieces. Ideas – from the jam website – have been listed below, for those needing additional inspiration. As for the dates, from June 26th to July 2nd is when this one will run its course, and hey, why not incorporate the optional ‘weather’ theme while you’re brainstorming anyway?

  • A maze, a crossword puzzle, or anything that can be printed and played on a sheet of paper.
  • A boardgame with printable cards, tokens or board, complete with a rulebook.
  • A variation on something you know: a jigsaw puzzle where each piece is a comic panel; a reinterpretation of your favourite videogame with cards and cardboard coins; a modern, more complex take on a classic dice game…
  • A folk game: a game without much props needed, but players who want to have fun (think about duck duck goose, hide and seek…)
  • Or something entirely fresh, that you want to come up with.

The Pen & Paper Game Jam

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