Tomorrow, I will be participating for my 4th time in the Montreal Global Game Jam, this year, I given myself 2 core objectives:
1. I will complete the Game Jam with zero crunch time.
2. I will do the entire jam by myself on location.
Here's the reasons I have given myself those specific goals:
I'm not making a game, I'm making a prototype!
Game Jams is about RIP (rapid iteration prototyping) not about making a complete product. And there's a huge difference between a prototype and a game (product). If you make games like you make prototypes, will be surely find yourself having a very long & costly production.
Crunch is dead!
My number one beef with Game Jams is that it promotes the idea that the only way to make games is by crunching them out. I believe the industry as arrived to a point of maturity that we should be a shame about this aspect instead of propagating it thru Game Jammin'.
Each day of the jam, I will sleep a minimum of 8 hours and work a max of 8-10 hours with leisure time in between, be ex.: taking the time to actually play other jammers games.
Scoping it like a sniper!
Because I know that I'm doing a prototype & not a game, I understand I have to be precise in what I will include in my "final" version. I will have to isolate the core ingredients, mechanics & assets that will be necessary to validate my main design intentions.
Prototyping is a validation process with the goal of isolating valuable ideas. I don't need to build 4 levels, 5 variations of enemy types & a complete menu navigation flow to validate if my overall concept as potential.
Just having two contrasting variations of any assets, a first pass core mechanic in two separate contexts will surely showcase the potential of most game prototypes.
In other words, just keep it simple, you will learn more by being lean & methodological than rushing to the finish line blinded, by sleep deprivation.