Global Game Jam Retrospective
January 29, 2018
Another Global Game Jam has come and gone but I am still on a high from having made a complete game in less than 48 hours. Global Game Jam is a worldwide (duh!) event where people get together and try to make a game in 48 hours based on a theme which is given out when the event starts. This years theme was transmission.
In this post I will detail what I think went well and not so well for me during the jam. But first, the game itself.
Major League TelthemeBlast is a local multiplayer sports game where players use teleporters that explode upon use to destroy other players and become the last one standing.
The idea came about during the group brainstorming session where someone thought of teleportation as a way of “transmitting” an object or person. Since teleportation is relatively easy to create as a game mechanic and I really enjoy creating local multiplayer games, it didn’t seem like too much of a leap to make it something out of the idea.
What Went Well
Scope and planning
This was the first time I’ve ever managed to not go overboard in scope during a game jam and I think most of it had to do with creating a Trello board to manage my tasks. I made sure that I was always working on something that I had planned to implement and if I took too long on a single component, I shelved it and worked on it later.
Another thing that really helped me was the 4:44 principle coined by Rami Ismail which says spend 4 hours getting the core mechanic of your game done and spend the other 44 polishing it (minus sleep and anything else life throws at you). Although it took me slightly longer than 4 hours to get the core mechanic in, it provided a good guideline for me to know if I was on track.
I really enjoyed the game I produced
For once I was proud to show off something I had worked on; I was still nervous to showcase it but I was still proud of what I produced and people really seemed to enjoy it. I also had a lot of confidence in my core mechanic and it is really a game I enjoy playing with my friends. I don’t think this would have been as evident if I didn’t spend most of my time polishing the game.
What Could Have Gone Better
I didn’t find a team
I went into the weekend hoping to find a team to jam with however a multitude of things happened that meant I decided to work alone.
I couldn’t make it to the keynote and theme reveal because of family reasons. I met a group after the keynote and went for a brainstorming session where we narrowed it down to a couple of ideas, one of them being teleportation. I had to leave them after the brainstorming session to go watch the Australia Day skyworks and by the time I got back, they had split into groups and were both working on separate driving themed games, neither of which really enticed me.
By that time I was dead set on using teleportation and had a pretty decent idea to back it up that I just went it alone.
Where to From Here
Lets Make Games is hosting an after jam event on the 10th of February so my goal is to polish it off and add more to showcase it there. I have gone back to my trusty planning tool Trello to add more tasks and keep on track and I have been trying to show it off to as many people as possible to get their feedback.
I really hope to get this game to a somewhat complete state so I can either sell it on itch.io or possibly even Steam but that seems far off at the moment. In the meantime I will be updating my progress on this blog so please follow me on Twitter to find out when I update.