I did end up going to the game jam, and that link is my group's game. Our code has a README file if you scroll down, explaining the game concept. The last three photos in this album show different stages of development of the game, over the course of three days - and yes the levels can be generated randomly.
The game jam (I'm still here) is pretty awesome. It's held outside st. louis at Simutronics, an MMORPG game company. I'm in a creatively decorated large room with a high ceiling, perfect for hanging awesome stuff. There are sculptures of game characters and replica items from famous games. For instance I saw a Diablo 2 assassin's katar. The color scheme is really invigorating scapes of blues and oranges for the building and furnishings. It reminds me of the facebook developers room from Social Network.
I'm sure there are about 50 people here, split into many groups each making a game. Some groups plan to earn fair money from their game, especially if it hits the mobile market. I hitched a ride the first day with a guy working for League of Legends, and got some good swag which I'll bring back for people. Last night I rode back with my teammate Dave who works at a company using Humane Genome Project data. This morning I rode up with Nick, and talked about physics and 3D graphics engines - we're pretty excited for quantum computing, except for the ease with which passwords will be cracked using quantum computers.
The theme of this game jam is 'twice upon a time', so most of the games revolve around time control (bullet-time, reverse time, etc), and/or fairy tales. My group's game incorporates both. I feel more comfortable working in programming teams with foreign code now that I've been to this and worked at the Genome Project for 2 weeks. I should pick a high profile open source project and start contributing back to the community regularly. Google Chrome anyone?
I think the funniest moment of this game jam was when people started flocking to taco bell down the street. It was like 100 degrees out and I wish I had a video of some of the nerdiest people dressed in the geekiest cloths storming taco bell for lunch/dinner, on what otherwise might have been a boring day at the restaurant. I got a picture of a taco bell sign where the perspective on the bell looks like the eye of a velociraptor.
In an hour or two I'll be back at 5345 Pershing, maybe planing a bike ride around Forest Park or something. That will be after all the game demo's that start in about 3 minutes!
Also, here are some of the more interesting species that the Human Genome Project has sequenced, in case you're curious.
Do'svidanya ! Russian for until we meet again.