Game Jams are serious business

So I participated in another Game Jam on this weekend and I am exhausted.

Check it out:

My game was suppose to be simple and somehow it just grew and grew. There are so many things I had to scrap as the deadline grew near.... and I still missed the deadline, by only a few minutes though. I'm definitely making the next game on my desktop; the compile time on my laptop was too long. If it were a minute faster I would have hit the deadline.

Alternatively, I should try to wrap up things sooner instead of waiting until the last minute.

The issue with this game jam is that I did not have a solid idea starting out, but I knew I needed to get started soon so I took what little idea I had and made up more as I went along. I want to get noticed so bad, that I can't bring myself to put out any old thing. Even for a small meaningless game, I'd like it to have some level of quality. I struggle with deadlines at my day job for the same reason. I spend so much time trying to make things perfect, when they aren't really that bad as it is.

Oh well.

I'm going to take a break for a few weekends. I have been getting very little sleep lately.

Plus my birthday is coming up in less than 2 week! Cheers!

Comments 8

  • I played the game and I really enjoyed it, great job! Having played it for just a few minutes I understand where your ambition comes in. There are so many things you could add there to make it more playable. From obvious things such as more ingredients and more recipes to some changes to how orders work (a timer showing when the order is up, for example). This would move the game dangerously into Overcooked territory but that game is great and it's no wonder that the mind tends to gravitate to the ideas they had.

    Romi mentioned extra polish in her post and I see you had fun sound effects, music and particle effects for the pot and it really adds to the experience.

  • I totally understand where you are coming from, have the same problem. Only way to help keep your scope small, is too create a quick, one page GDD and keep to the goals you have set out for yourself in the GDD (keeping in mind it is a game jam and you have a limited set of time when you create your GDD)

    PS Particle systems, interesting fonts, sound effects and music can quickly make a game look and sound good. Plan that for last, for the polish stage of your game jam.

    • I've never participated in a game jam before and those pointers sure are worth considering in case this ever happens, thanks ;)

    • Another article to check out with very helpful hints and guidelines, is this one by Dume Arts:

      My Creative Process For GameJam Competitions

    • I definitely always think about music and sound effects last. In fact, some of my games have no sound. When I was nearing the end of Monster Chef, I questioned whether it would be interesting enough to play. Then I added sound and was quite surprised at how much better it made the game!

    • People do not realise what a big difference sound and music make to a game.

    • Definitely want to use a GDD... You can always swag together an AGDD to for Jams. I have a few templates that I use for quick knock-togethers of game ideas.

      game looks very cool though! I've been checking it out... keep up the good work!