What are jams for?
So recently, I finished another game for another game jam (actually two): Eddie calls Johny to play their favorite MMO. And I started thinking “I constantly take part in those jams but none of the games is satisfying enough”. Moreover, I cannot stand doing them in a rush of a week - I barely pay attention for 3h a day at most.
However, it’s not the first time. I had the same issue when I was rebuilding Hydrogen, 3 years ago. I had those ambitious plans to implement this and that. But after two weeks I felt nausea when launching Android Studio. I just wanted to push it out as fast as I could, hence the game is lacking a lot of polish.
But it turns out this problem is quite frequent in the game dev community. Check for example videos by David from Game Dev Unlocked, Jabrils and Tim from Game Dev Underground, where all of them touch the subject.
So, I went over and watched another suggested video from Miziziziz and came to a conclusion: why am I repeating this? I am already past that phase! I made some one, two day projects in high school. I took part in some jams throughout the years. I commited (even though barely) to remaking Hydrogen in 2 weeks. Should I finally design something I would fall in love with and do it consistently?
Yet, I found the jams helping me try out some ideas despite these games were far from perfect. For LD46, I made Save Ivee where I experimented with color mixing. For 101-Hour Jam I tried to recreate a swinging sword mechanic imitating Zelda series. For Mini Jam 54 and 101-Hour Jam #2, I made all the graphics completely on paper (and this was my most favorite idea so far!) trying to make Don Hertzfeldt and Ed, Edd n Eddy a game. And for the last Brackeys and LOWREZ jams I made the forementioned game where I implemented: wall generation depending on the floors instead of placing them by hand, variable speed depending on the floor type, actors/mobs following other actors and dialogues I recorded myself (because I like to goof around with my voice lol).
So, where am I going with that? Jams rarely produce releases. But sometimes it’s an opportunity if you have zero ideas. Even though, I suggest to always try something new during the jam if the theme doesn’t fit you. Just think of any crazy idea, of anything you would like to try out what you have seen in some other game.
Does this sound familiar to you? Tweet me @foorfel or DM me on Discord: furfel#4585.