Insights from Global Gam Jam 2012

This year was my first time at Global Game Jam.

The idea of this event is simple – imagine a traditional game project with developers, designers and artists. Now press the “Fast Forward” button a bunch of times till you hit warp drive.

During the course of the weekend we had roughly 48 hours to come up with an idea for a game, and to actually develop it.

The result was Magic Ring – a (partly) working 2D game.

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Here are some of my insights from the event.

These should assist fellow Global Game Jam noobs like me or any other aspiring developer that attends the event:

What Went Right:

  1. Finished a simple game – There’s nothing more rewarding than working for 2 days with little sleep and getting something done!
  2. Met new people – in such an environment, it is very hard not to hook up with new people and collaborate.
  3. Game Ideas – while we worked on a single game, other game concepts were born, which may actually turn into real projects.
  4. Experienced a real “Jam” – This is a must for anyone who wants to do game development! great atmosphere + great people.

What Went Wrong:

  1. Precious time wasted on getting tools/syncing between team members – internet connection speed is poor. All tools/engines/whatever needed should be brought on a storage device.
  2. We had no detailed “Game plan” – A 48 hour project should be simple enough to breakdown into all fine details upfront. This could’ve helped us spot potential issues that we ran into when it was getting too late.
  3. We did not stay focused enough – We had many ideas for extending and improving the game. Looking back, the most important thing is to create the basic functionality first before moving on to improving/adding new features and complexity.

Overall, it was a great event.

Looking forward for next year!

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