Last week GlobalGameJam took place in more than 70 cities all over the world! My team – Galante participated in Warsaw edition of GGJ – PolyJam2015.
The Choice – the game we created won the design award. We want to share our conclusions and knowledge with you after that great event :)
Prior preparation of the project and configuration along with a connection to the code repository allowed us to immediately start relevant work. Moreover, we took with us a power strip, mobile internet and supply of food for the night. All of them turned out to be useful, especially our mobile internet, when the public network got short of breath.
2. Think about the idea
It’s worth taking a few hours to thoroughly think about an idea for a game that will be created. At first we thought that 5h was a lot, but finally we did not regret – it was a good decision.
Think about the game design from the technical side for the next 30-60 minutes. We did not do that, we hoped that the idea itself is enough. We lost a lot of time to solve problems that we could predict at the beginning.
4. Do not kidnap of a wild-goose chase
We know that everyone would like to present at the GGJ at their best, presenting stunning 3D real-time strategy set in space, but this is not the time, not the place. Remember, you have only 48 hours. We wanted to add multiplayer on the two devices, but rightly we gave up on that idea, because we still had trouble finishing our application on time. Remember, presenting a simpler but finished game will bring you more satisfaction than presenting only scraps of broken code.
5. Use the tools you know well
Jam is not the time to experiment (unless you do not think about winning), so testing a new engine to create games for this type of event is not the best idea. We took advantage of the proven Cocos2d-x-js 2.2.6 and have no regrets. No trick is to use the GIT during the jam and create 34 branches for every programmer and then wasting hours on resolving conflicts. Use the tools in such a way as to assist, rather than hindering operation.
Probably the most popular tool to focus on your job ;-) With headphones you can cut off from the prevailing noise in the room, and by the way you can relax with your favorite music too. It greatly helped us in the most difficult moments, when the concentration was necessary.
Productivity and focus on creative work is very important. Sleeping in our own beds for a few hours gave us a lot.
8. Take a break. Get some fresh air
Do not be afraid to spend 30 minutes a day just relaxing. It will give you a shot in the arm and rest your mind from hard work. We took two big breaks: After brainstorming – before coding and Saturday evening. Those breaks definitely helped us.
9. Take with you a good designer
Graphic designer to your development team is like a healer to your RPG team. A game is made of more than code. There is a reason we received the desgin award. Our graphic designer has proven invaluable. :D
10. The team
None of the above tips will be useful if you and your friends don’t make a good team. Many times we were getting into complex problems and situations, with no visible way out. For example, on Saturday evening, we had virtualy no running application. It is important to approach this kind of issues with humor and do not blame each other.
Remember, it’s just a game.
Good luck on the next jams! :)
Quick look on The Choice game