Over the last weekend (24th – 26th Jan 2014) was Global Game Jam 2014 which I took part in as BetaJester with my team mate Josh. I meant to blog about the event as it happened, but several occurrences meant I never really had time, so instead I’m writing in reterospect.
The way I’m going to work this is with bullet points about what I learnt from each day and how I will be using those lessons in the future. So to begin:
1. Brainstorms are very useful
Unusually for us, we didn’t go into this jam with a game in mind, so the brain storming was extremely useful for drilling down to the game we wanted to make. We started with everything we could think of that was related to the theme and that allowed multiple off shoots which led us to many good ideas, and also leads to my second bullet point.
2. If you’re getting stuck, back track and start again
We followed one path down a long way, but kept circling around similar ideas without nailing down one that we really wanted to work on. At this point we went back to the start and followed a different path which led us to an idea that was well formed and we absolutely wanted to work on and was probably key to how happy we were with our game at the end.
3. Time spent designing is just as important as coding
Our game would probably not worked half as well if we hadn’t have had a clear idea of what we wanted our game to be when it was finished. All of the design work paid off because we didn’t have to stop and think about where we were heading, only about smaller details or how we would solve a problem.
That’s all for the first day, more on Day 2 next time.