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Thoughts from the Dev: should you enter a game jam?


(Image credit: Photo by Lucie Liz from Pexels)

I finally took the plunge and entered my first game jam recently. Two to be precise. First I entered one of my hyper casual projects in the My.Games Hyper-Casual Game Jam and then I took part in the 'So Bad it's Good ' Jam 2020 with Flappy Soup

Both proved to be quite different experiences. The hyper casual game was a little stressful to begin with as the 3D project I wanted to demo didn't work with the model I imported and I was getting frustrated. I tried other ideas and nothing grabbed me. I decided to go back to basics and created a demo of a very simple 2D avoidance game using only a blue and white colour palette (hence the name Blue vs White). 

The second one, on the other hand, was a lot of fun. I wanted to create something playable but still worthy of the theme. I went back to the Flappy Bird idea and created Flappy Soup. It's about a flying bowl soup who has to navigate baguettes and toast for some reason. It's pretty terrible but plays okay. 

What can game jams teach us?


Game jams can be fun learning experiences if, like me, you are starting out in game development and want to understand more about creating games. The planning aspect, especially learning how to plan a game quickly and efficiently, is important. 

The atmosphere of a game jam can also be extremely beneficial. I loved going on the Discord server for the 'So Bad it's Good' jam and reading posts from other participants. There was an amazing energy and enthusiasm. 

Smaller game jams found on sites such as Itch.io can be a great place to meet potential collaborators. While I ended up working alone on my two submissions, I will definitely think about joining a group in future. 

I would also recommend looking at some useful videos on YouTube to learn more about game jams. Brackeys has this wonderful video, for example:


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