Global Game Jam is a global marathon, which aims to integrate participants by creating computer games. Its first edition took place in 2009 and each year attracts more and more participants. A year ago there were already tens of thousands of them, which allowed to create several thousand games.
Once again, the Aspire team also took on this challenge and within 48 hours we created our own game from scratch. How did this event go? How to prepare for it and what do you have to face? I encourage you to read the rest of the article.
Before you set off, you must gather a team
The most important stage of preparation is to gather the team. Despite the fact that you can look for them on the spot, most participants come in groups. The key is to have people with different interests and skills in the team.
In the process of creating a computer game, we will definitely need at least one programmer. It will not hurt if we take designers, otherwise, we will have to use ready-made models and textures, which isn’t so easy. Despite the fact that each member of the team can take over each of these roles, it is better to organize yourself so that individual responsibilities fall to different members. Thanks to this, we will avoid confusion. The clear division allows for better management of our project. We must remember that there is not much time and a lot of work to do.
Each Global Game Jam begins with watching a movie prepared by the organizers. Because this event takes place all over the world, this part is the same for everyone. It starts with the introduction and good advice given by the guest. This year it was Chris Avellone, industry legend and co-creator of such games as Fallout 2, Icewind Dale and Pillars of Eternity. Finally, the theme of the game is determined. Of course, it is only a clue as to how our games should look and it is so wide that everyone can easily fit into it their own, even the craziest idea. This year the slogan was “repair”. The introduction itself is long enough to warm up the atmosphere before the start of the actual fun but also short enough not to bore us. The whole can be viewed here:
Once we find out what the theme of the event is, we can think about the idea of our game. You can already have an idea in mind and try to adapt to it, but the greatest fun is to reinvent something completely new. Our team decided on this approach. Apart from the chosen game creation technology, we had absolutely nothing. The most important issue after we know what our game is about and what mechanics we want to include in it is to plan our work. Here it is helpful to divide all ideas into those that must be in the final version and without which the whole would not make sense and those that are optional.
Of course, we must start with the first, and experience from this and previous years suggests that most optional items, however, we will not be able to create. Once we have established and planned everything, we can start the work. The final shape of the game will probably differ from the planned one, however, this is the charm of any IT project. The final result of our work, however, compensates us for all the problems and inconveniences we may face during these emotional and interesting two days. It’s really worth spending one weekend once a year to try it yourself and experience such an adventure.
Global Game Jam is the perfect opportunity to test your skills not only programming but also those responsible for teamwork. Nobody can create a game in 48 hours. If you want to see what our team managed to create, go to https://codingkobold.github.io/ and use spaces, and then you have nothing left but to play the role of a master repairing various, sometimes strange things that customers bring. Have you ever tried to fix a balloon with a hammer? If not, then you have the opportunity to do it here. Because only our imagination limits us.
If you would like to see what games Gdańsk GGJ participants have managed to create, I invite you to watch the video which is a compilation of all created games.
…see you next year!