Burns Lake local Finn Elliott stood second in a global game-creation competition called The Flowjam 2020 Summer Jam, organized by Flowlab.
Elliott, 13, recently graduated from Grade 7 at Francois Lake Elementary. He found out about the competition when the first official Flowjam started earlier this year. He was however unable to put together anything in time for that competition.
“I knew I would try to participate if there was another one. I’ve been really improving faster because of being at home, I usually have school most of the year, and in the summer, my family usually goes on a trip somewhere. So I’ve had a lot more time to improve my skills of visual coding, pixel art, and making music,” he said.
“We are so proud!” said Elliott’s father, Barry Elliott.
The two-week long competition that is open to anyone interested in games and gaming, and access to a computer and internet connection, saw participants from world over, with a total of 44 games entered.
”Finn worked really hard on it for the whole two weeks. I work from home, so he had to jump on the computer whenever he could when I wasn’t using it,” said the father, adding that he called his game A Stitch In Time based on the saying “a stitch in time saves the nine”, an idea he got from his grandma.
Elliott’s father also told Lakes District News the concept of the game.
“You are on a mission to save nine robotic inhabitants of a small island, by stitching up a “time wound” before the island is destroyed. You have 60 seconds to complete the task, but you can gain time by destroying glowing barrels, and there are “time bandits” that will steal your time if you get too close to them.”
This was the second game jam hosted by Flowlab. The first such game jam they hosted was in January. Ken Riley, the founder of Flowlab which organizes the Flowjam, mentioned that the next game jam would happen either in December or early next year in January.
“It is a game jam, so basically it is a set amount of time where the theme is announced in the beginning; anyone is welcome to enter it, it doesn’t cost anything. More importantly, it is geared towards non-programmers, non-coding people, and there are tools built into the program using which you can build a game,” said Riley adding that the participants were a mix of teams, individuals, hobbyists and even professional developers.
As part of game jam the first winner won a Nintendo Switch, and the second and the third place winners won T-shirts from the company’s store.
Elliot, whose screen name was F3Art, scored a total of 3.61 for his game that has the options to build entire new worlds, has interesting characters and was much adored by reviewers.
”Something that’s really interesting to me in games is how they can tell stories without really telling you the story. I know lots of games where the story is based on hidden things inside of the game’s world,” said Elliott, adding that he already has plans on making more games with Flowlab.
“I have ideas for a few projects I want to work on soon.”