Video games can take years to develop, even with a large studio involved, but indie game jams have been coaxing games out of developers in much shorter time spans — sometimes in just hours.
Train Jam attendees, for example, have as long as it takes Amtrak's California Zephyr to make it from Chicago's Union Station to Emeryville, California to make a video game from scratch. The journey is an estimated 52 hours, but this year a snowstorm in Nevada delayed the train by two hours. It's a nightmare for a passenger with a destination in mind, but turned out to be a godsend for developers cramming in their final hours to finish their projects.
Train Jam sets itself apart from other indie game jams, and not just because it's on a train. There's no Wi-Fi, and traveling through remote locations like the Colorado Rockys means there's often no cell reception either — which means no Google to quickly solve a programing question.
VICE News met two developers, Rasheed Abueideh, from Palestine, and Alex Clay, from Syria, who teamed up to make a video game about fake news.
A version of this segment originally aired on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.