Did you know video games could be created using the most loathed piece of Microsoft’s suite of office software? Not only can PowerPoint (with some additional coding) run a sensible adventure or visual novel, but one of its champions is hosting a game jam on Itch.io specifically challenging others to create their own. The PowerPoint Game Jam started accepting submissions today and will remain open through December 31st.
Jam organisere Rebelzimv, who has made a number of PointPoint games, describes the slideshow program as an “awesome game engine.” I not sure how much irony we should pick up there because the promotional video might be the best sales pitch for this entire project. Complete with stock art and duty free music, it explains why intrepid game devs should saddle themselves with an, uh… engine best known for putting coworkers to sleep during bi-weekly compulsory meetings.
As of time of writing, the jam has amassed 127 interested parties. Thirty days does seem long enough to cobble together something worth sharing, but I’ve never attempted to bend a program meant for showing stockholders a series of flagrantly erroneous graphs and arrows to my own devices.
The fairly simple rules ask that you only use PowerPoint or similar programs. Beyond that, the slide-based world is your oyster. Categories include things like best story and best graphics but also best use of the jam’s optional visual novel theme.
Interested parties can check out the host’s Itch.io page for a few examples of what’s apparently possible and chat with fellow Powerpointers (Pointheads? #PPTGang?) in their official Discord. And if you’re still scratching your head over the question of why anyone would want to do this, RebelzimV perhaps said it best: “Why not?”