Sumo has proudly supported SpecialEffect for over a decade and whether it’s Twin Town adventures in Le Touquet, sunrise walks in Brighton or visiting studios around the world – our teams are always looking for fun and unique ways to support SpecialEffect and the fantastic work they do.
In 2021 Sumo Group, decided to level up the way it supports SpecialEffect and its annual One Special Day campaign with the creation of its One Button Game Jam.
The premise for Sumo’s One Button Game Jam is simple: teams from Sumo’s global studios work together and collaborate to create a game with a single button input.
Business Development Manager (and long-time supporter of SpecialEffect) David Dino – known as just ‘Dino’ - launched the original One Button Game Jam, here he shares the story of how the idea became a reality, how the teams are supporting SpecialEffect, and how more folks than ever are actively getting involved.
“I’d always wanted to do some kind of game jam with SpecialEffect” says Dino. “I’ve been a SpecialEffect supporter for a long time having seen first-hand the incredible they work they do to enable everyone to have the same gaming experiences that we take for granted every day. Raising money and awareness was something Sumo has been doing with SpecialEffect for over a decade, but I wanted to set up some event that could really get people engaged and thinking about accessibility as a starting point.
[Spindle. Made by John Newberry at The Chinese Room for the 2022 One Button Game Jam.]
“When the world changed in 2020 and we all began working remotely, the idea of an event to bring people together and have them collaborate not only across teams but across studios was more appealing than ever. In the summer of 2021, we’d been looking at setting up the Sumo Sheffield Game Jam but with One Special Day on the horizon in October, we wanted to create an event that could tie the two together with accessibility at the centre.”
And so, the One Button Game Jam was born!
Dino explains: “Each summer, we ask our teams from around the globe to sign up and in September they have three weeks to bring their idea to life with the instruction that it has to revolve around ‘one button’. The results can be anything from a fully realised and playable game to an idea deck or even another art form inspired by the brief – we’ve had short films, poems and even kids’ books in the past!
[Single Button Slot Race. Made by Barry Soilleux at Sumo Sheffield for the 2022 One Button Game Jam]
“Then, on One Special Day, myself and people across Sumo get to play the games, review the decks and check out what people have been up to on a live stream which anyone can tune into, donate to SpecialEffect and find out more about the amazing work they do. We usually find ourselves joined by streamers from within Sumo Group, and end on a quiz for all of our people to compete for some great prizes.
“Over the last three years, it’s continued to grow with more people each year signing up to get involved. Obviously, them getting creative is a huge benefit, but a hidden surprise has been the cross-studio collaboration between our people as they meet new people, learn new things and really push the boundaries of what they can do.
“For us, it’s all about raising awareness and funds for SpecialEffect so they can continue to do the great work of ensuring everyone gets to play games. We truly don’t realise how lucky we are to be able to enjoy games, and everyone deserves the same experience. I’ve visited SpecialEffect HQ a few times and seeing first-hand how the work they do and the people they support is incredible. Knowing that we’re able to play a small role in creating slight quality of life changes for people is really special, and we’re so proud to be SpecialEffect supporters.”
[Vacations2Die4. Made by Kevin Miles Junas, Maximiliano Viñas Craba, Ryan Connor, Saul Bookey at Red Kite Games for 2022 One Button Game Jam.]
As for this year’s One Button Game Jam, Sumo saw a record number of teams signing up to get involved who are all currently hard at work on their 2023 creations. Dino said: “It’s blossomed into something greater than I ever could have imagined!”
SpecialEffect is a charity which is close to all of our hearts at Sumo and we love getting to take on bigger and more engaging events every year.
Polly Ord, Charity Partnerships Manager at Sumo Group added: “This year alone, our studios have joined forces for Football 5s and One Big Game, celebrated classic games at British Racing Greats, cleaned the beaches of Brighton and so much more. We can’t wait to see what our teams are cooking up for this year’s One Button Game Jam and look forward to sharing them with everyone on One Special Day!”
One Special Day is coming up on Friday the 6th of October and you can find the full schedule of SpecialEffect events happening here.
If you’re keen to check out the results of this year’s One Button Game Jam, you can tune into the Sumo Group One Special Day stream at: https://www.twitch.tv/sumodigital