Jam – Not Crushed Fruit
If you are studying game development or just are a hobby programmer, chances are that you have heard about the Nordic Game Jam, which is a gathering of people interested in game development that camp together and create a game around the clock for a few days (usually a weekend) in Europe. The concept is simple and the idea of fast prototyping on a small scale is something appreciated by game developers around the world (see for example the experimental gameplay project). So, it was only a matter of time until a global game jam would be initiated. It took place in locations around the world and finished today. Games created in these game jams are often the starting point to full indie games. After all, fast, iterative prototyping gave us pearls like Braid (my current favorite!), Passage, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Gish, The Marriage, and World of Goo. The developer of the latter, Kyle Gabler, gave a keynote at the Global Game Jam in which he gave seven killer tips for making a game in 48 hours. You can watch the keynote and read the tips below.
The Keynote Video
7 Killer Tips for Making a Game in 48 Hours
- Never Fall in Love. The second theorem of destruction says “as love and effort increase, the probability of self-destruction approaches 1”. Maintain a healthy distance to your game and do not be afraid to fail spectacularly.
- Harmony. Visuals, music, movement. Think economically: Less time means less assets means focus on harmony of what you have.
- Shh… Audio is half the game experience.
- Make The Toy First. Try out your game mechanic first. Once you are convinced that this is fun to play, you can flesh out the game.
- Feel Something. Art games create feelings in the player, they have subtext and theme. If you lack the craftsmanship, at least give your game an artistic name.
- Create a Low Barrier of Entry. A game must be fun within the first 15 seconds. If you are one of the cool kids, you include title and instruction screens in the game (as for example Braid).
- Adjust Expectations. Introduce only ONE new concept to the world of gaming as fast and as clear as you possibly can.