Game Jam Winner Spotlight: ~THE GREAT GATSBY~

from the gaming-like-it's-1925 dept

This week, we announced the winners of Gaming Like It’s 1925, our third annual game jam celebrating works that entered the public domain in the US this year. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the winning games from the six categories (in no particular order), starting today with the winner of Best Visuals: ~THE GREAT GATSBY~ by Floatingtable Games.

The first thing that strikes you about ~THE GREAT GATSBY~ is just how robust the graphics are for a game jam entry. It’s a platformer presented in a retro pixel-art style — the designer explains that it has the same screen resolution as a Nintendo Game Boy, but one more color in its palette. The player is immediately presented with a beautiful title screen depicting one of the most iconic pieces of imagery from the novel:

From there, the game reveals itself to be more than just the mechanical prototype one might expect from a platformer in a game jam — rather, it’s a fully-formed (albeit very short) experience that includes an opening “cinematic”, some RPG-style interactions with NPC characters including simple dialogue choices, two main platforming levels (the first of which requires you to retrace your steps, finding the path more challenging in reverse — a classic level design technique — and the second of which feels distinctly different and introduces a new kind of obstacle), and a clear conclusion. In other words, there’s some genuine thought put into the game design here, and an effort to make the game “complete” that really paid off. But it’s still the graphics that stand out the most, from the detailed cityscapes with parallax-animated skylines in the background and pixelated haze drifting through the air…

…to the interior scene with its own set of unique sprites, the stylish character portraits, and the simple, easily-understood interface elements:

Note the attention to detail — it would have been easy and perfectly acceptable to slap the same simple window graphic from the outdoor scenes onto the interior wall, but instead we get a brand new custom sprite that includes the skyline visible outside in the distance. That kind of extra effort is apparent all throughout the graphics of the game, and that’s why it was an easy pick for the Best Visuals award.

Play ~THE GREAT GATSBY~ in your browser on Itch, and check out the other jam entries too. Congratulations to Floatingtable Games for the win! We’ll be back next week with another game jam winner spotlight.

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Comments on “Game Jam Winner Spotlight: ~THE GREAT GATSBY~”

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Who truly needs to get a life? The “nerds” off on their own enjoying their thing and not bothering anyone? Or the ones who feel the need to butt in on something they claim to have no interest in just to tell those “nerds” that “no one cares” or to “get a life”?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What’s sad is that you’re too dumb and obsessive to understand that spending your weekend going "waaah! I don’t like what this website writes about" is vastly more pointless than having a bit of creative fun with making new games. You probably think that by writing this it’s others who look foolish, and for that I wish you had something better to do with your life.

GHB (profile) says:

First game no longer subject to licensing?

Is this the first game that is based on copyrightable media (movies/tv shows/ comic books/etc.) no longer subject to licensing schemes because the media it was based on went into the PD?

Lots of video games based on movies/tv shows/comic books/etc. are often end up having their license terminating and cause them to become abandonware.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: First game no longer subject to licensing?

No, it’s nowhere near the first – there’s been plenty of adaptations of Dracula, Frankenstein, for example. It is an example of the creativity allowed by a robust and well populated public domain and hopefully illustrates why constantly changing the delay before works enter the public domain (or even retroactively removing works) is a very bad idea in violation of the original deal made with the author at the time of publication.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: First game no longer subject to licensing?

Well, that was indeed heavily inspired by Stoker’s novel but I was thinking more toward direct adaptations – I remember text adventure games based on both novels in the mid 80s. Either way, it’s certainly not a new thing for public domain sources to be the basis for videogames.

Christenson says:


The whole point of techdirt’s (what, third annual?) game jam is to use material that has now entered the public domain to create new, fun games. There’s no licensing required anymore. Stay tuned for more fun.

Now have you been paying attention to what in-copyright material does to games? Search techdirt for "Nintendo", as in Nintendo hates you, or have a look at this article from this week about a James Bond 007 game:

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