Global Game Jam is next weekend! OMG!
Yes, next week Global Game Jam is happening! Starting at 5pm on Friday at the U of A we’ll be making a game in just 48 hours! If you haven’t RSVP’ed please do so, as we are filling up!
If have any questions please join your friendly neighborhood Discord! Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparing for a Game Jam
A common question is: ‘Do i need to do anything before the jam?’. The answer to this is quite personal, and really depends on what you want to do! But here are a couple tips:
Tip #1: Download and install software before the jam.
If you have any specific software that you’ll be using, make sure its installed before the jam. If you think you’ll be working in Unity, download it the night before. Need Aseprite? Download it. Making sure your computer is prepped for the event will save you downtime on Friday. Also check out these great resources courtesy of the GGJ’s sponsors.
Tip #2: Prep for ‘a’ game, not ‘your’ game.
Everyone has types of games they want to make. Maybe you’re into RPGs, shooters, or romance simulations. The spirit of the event is to create a game as a team and build it together. It wouldn’t be in the spirit to create a design document before the event and try to convince others to join the cause. Being open to other’s ideas, and having new game ideas emerge by bouncing ideas around is one of the highlights of the weekend!
Tip #3: Using unfamiliar technology? Try not to go in blind.
As an experienced jammer, I frequently use jams to try out specific ideas or learn new technology. For example this year I may be using lighting as a game mechanic, and so I’m taking time out to explore dynamic lighting and deferred rendering. I recently did a Ludum Dare and we decided to use Game Maker. I had never used Game Maker before and so I spent an hour or so each day learning Game Maker in the days leading up to the event. This can make the experience much smoother. Want to make a physics based game but don’t know much about physics? Take some time out to learn about colliders and rigid bodies!
Tip #4: Be prepared to not be prepared!
Sometimes things don’t work out like you expected. That Ludum Dare with Game Maker? We didn’t end up using Game Maker! Going with the flow is important. 😀
Tip #5: Leverage your team.
Preparing doesn’t mean you need to know everything before a jam starts. If you’re new to jamming, then get on a team with someone with experience who can show you the ropes. If you’re an artist you don’t need to learn how to code. Use the knowledge of your team and focus on what you are interested in.
And of course, preparing is optional.
Its important to have a good time, and enjoy the event. Preparing is NOT essential to a game jam. The experience of jamming is what matters most!