Jump to content
  • entries
    10
  • comments
    7
  • views
    1218

Grassroots Game Jam

Timmmmmmmmmm.. T

541 views

Last weekend was the first ever Game Jam at Marshall University.  

The Game Design Guild (club) has been planning to have one for months, but we're a new organization, still trying to get our feet on the ground.
Lucky for us, and awesome doctor at our University had recently started a Digital Humanities program.  She also wanted to hold a game jam, so we teamed up.

2 Game Developers + 2 English Professors = 1 Game Jam Admin Team!
I also asked a guy from Dakota State how they run game jams, since he has run far bigger ones than this.  He had a lot of good advice

We advertised as best we could, and had no clue how many people would show up.  It could have been five, it could have been thirty...

Fortunately, we got a sweet number: 12 participants.
Surprisingly, none were above college age, and many were high school, or even younger.  There was an 8-year old in attendance.

However, most of them weren't too social.  I followed some advice I had received, and mixed the people around with each other while they came up with ideas.
I'm not sure if it backfired or not: Everyone amalgamed into one GIANT group.
They also decided to use Unity.  

glC28_HQAzua02-H-dmvdIsSHQDPU4dGByRiADAXPFmB4lCLpvKBHVzxR5pQBjm0ck5EIS2eM1FB9C5ddR0fNnHwTVXgJFs4PbAAImic6Fo4ZaLwp6zDZAwu2DSoiqrtT2Qhtn3evfPUUj8-iDbA5iwjyivX7ETgMv2WcHIagydVmcA9E6nBB3cKULfHGAeoyq5biv7O2_wghBGSPZCnJ5MyMPBC9IXvHw8mVds0R2grIKDc0suLo-PJo08nyqR50wswN2VkgupGeYNkH_sRlxwDA4tubUk6sIZ_GJpJR7YqYRq3ZSWUksreEil9aR04NlavJ9tiv8aZZbC_0ZSCPXWwDbQikwBftOXw_HYMmUf_Ro0MshdJTnsh-fMFhVE1STkPp2SEYsjVa92YYgz---NpbXFg-3gs0rrJUqAwuvek5yV_v_lic2fgQGG158P6IQ1ghSkWmrZrhu8B09HTff0c3Yb1HPj-SZ2mLzRJAmRgXIRsN0-e1tviwg49prGjc0VnHDEr_lyq2hxpDBwUCNpumBhG3qN9GHfcRCBaH7vOTWaZ19kGajG6g_lbu9f8fwzDAEzW8yo3I-n9CPP4iNbnJ_oVJh5wc9sFU29l=w1251-h704-no

So it began.  Thanks to Piskel, everyone could easily make pixel art.  One person found SFX, and a couple guys made music.  

It's amazing how many web-based tools there are.  We showed these to our participants before getting started:

However, programmers were short.  One was experienced, and could only stay for half the project.  Another 2 were low experience.

In the end, one of them took on a team management role.  With 12 people, team management is a full-time role!

To pull it all together, I ended up programming about half of the game.

We had more art than we could use, and it all came together in 18 hours.  The final product is playable in-browser:  https://mugameguild.itch.io/60-second-hero

image.png.1a0661ace78bba3263be9c8248d4c1ed.png

Before getting sucked into the main jam team, I also pitched to our admins that the four of us make a simple game.  I tapped them for art and writing, and them implemented it in ~3-4 hours with a dialogue system I had already made:
https://mugameguild.itch.io/game-jam-admin-2018

 

One weekend, two games.  Monday was a showcase day, so that anyone interested could see the final product.  There are five endings depending on what items you collect in the game, and people enjoyed trying to find all five :)

Overall: SUCCESS.   (Not how I expected, but it worked)

XoT-78vE_Z0fXlPwwAlk5GulASVIFvw6LKBiVharcyad5OznntzInBJaq29aHs89Pi3RwRv_2kjRj6IMw2QwDNdjfzFxH1aguAHNEIfYgPK4ZcBTeidMgooaJACiFbtgfW27GWBQB-TNtBnn7D4fovZAMhnRZ1StuZG8SwctuuU68189JbL1_dxJAakit98-kxBJVIuWT5JnS9wizk8jJV28LUtoHu0Rgp6IRwJwnWVLd5f1aQ9gpvBWjcGPIw5CGwQOs4MPjf3flSfzEsfiYLYC6kouoBwQuwwIpUuOeABrKX-cPCF9sglheMDbwImEPNh4-VaKMn5Sabw2MUd90Ew5FyI1KMa3FHZNsLW4wKQKdcaK2_DutkCuDYFJgwVPsopjpCWpBAF-YBvcAZRyiNMYtCDbIyOasemKwSm-58FvVcmdbNRNgZt6VSJJl3JNn1HQOyIoep-9HIl_U_otTKvqIhVRElxmDSfTjqpLuUJwdMAZsXXXfo62ZE3lvH0RpxsAeAgVNP2Zc0yjAiYjRIgeoVHXVsWgro1Hx0Uq0dYbtu-2PebR-sDvAJNCSBs1i1frMeH8hOnU-ED9eixT7-Wg8Ym9Pi1sOOsl4eQj=w1251-h704-no

Experience Points:

  • Never underestimate the time overhead when you coordinate multiple people.  Working in a team is not like working alone, and it's easy to end up with duplicate work and "idle villagers."
  • ALWAYS have a sign-up or registration, even if it's not required.  It takes a LOT of guesswork out of planning.
  • You can never have too much non-perishable food.  Or pizza.
  • Instead of reinventing the wheel, talk to people who have done it before.
  • Pizza
  • Be flexible and run your event based on who comes.  Having 3-person teams working in Unity when nobody has used Unity makes no sense.

ANY GAME JAM:

  • Only try to make a game that you know you can pull off.  If you don't know  how to do it, you probably can't do it well in a day.
  • Choose your team wisely, LIMIT THAT SCOPE
  • If you have two days, get a working prototype after ONE day.  That way, you have a whole day to make it fun.
  • This is just a game.  Seriously, take care of yourself, exercise, go to church, etc., no game jam is worth your health.

 

Peace!

MU 2018 JAM.jpg



0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Blog Entries

  • Similar Content

    • By Amperian
      Hello everyone. I have recently been applying for various entry level game programming jobs, but have not so much as heard back from most of the companies. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my resume and programming portfolio, in case they are the reason I'm not hearing back from companies. 
      My resume can be found on my linkedin profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonah-brooks-16b49159/ (I've also attached it to this post)
      And my portfolio can be found at https://amperian.itch.io with source code at https://github.com/JonahBrooks
      I've searched the forums for other people asking for portfolio feedback and incorporated most of the suggestions they were given. Would it be significantly better if I made a website with code snippets and videos, or is my current approach more of what employers are looking for? Also, judging by my resume and portfolio, do I even have enough experience for an entry level position, or should I wait until I've made a few more games on my own? Finally, should I aim for self-publishing something on Google Play and/or Steam, or just stick with itch.io demos for my portfolio?
      Thank you for your time in reading this and for any feedback you may give. 
      Jonah_Brooks_Resume.pdf
    • By 3dmodelerguy
      For reference I am use Unity as my game engine and the A* Pathfinding Project for path finding as there is no chance I would be able to create anything close to as performant as that in any reasonable amount of time.
      So I am looking to build a game that is going to have a very similar style as Prison Architect / Rim World / SimAirport / etc. One of the things that I assume is going to effect performance is path finding. Decisions about the game I have already made that I think relate to this are:
      1. While I am going to be using Colliders, all of them will be trigger colliders so everything can pass through each other and I will not be use physics for anything else as it has no relevance for my game
      2. I am going to want to have a soft cap at the map size being 300x300 (90,000 tiles), I might allow bigger sizes but do something like Rim World does in warning the player about possible side effect (whether it be performance or gameplay)
      3. The map will be somewhat dynamic in that the user will be able to build / gather stuff from the map but outside of that, it should not change very much
      Now I am going to build my game around the idea that users would be in control of no more than 50 pawns at any given time (which is something I can probably enforce through the game play) but I am also going to want to have number other pawns that are AI controlled on the map (NPCs, animals, etc.) that would also need path finding enabled. Now I did a basic test in which I have X number of pawns pick a random location in the 300 x 300 map. move towards it, and then change the location every 3-5 seconds. My initial test was pretty slow (not surprising as I was calculating the path every frame for each pawn) so I decided to cache the calculated path results and only update it ever 2 seconds which got me:
      100 pawns: 250 - 450 FPS
      150 pawns: 160 - 300 FPS
      200 pawns: 90 - 150 FPS
      250 pawns: 50 - 100 FPS
      There is very little extra happening in the game outside of rendering the tilemap.
      I would imagine the most pawns on the map at a given time that need path finding might be a 1000 (and I would probably be able to make due with like 500 - 600). Now obviously I would not need all the pawn to be calculation paths every 2 seconds nor would they need to be calculating paths that are so long but even at a 5 second path refresh rate and paths that are up to 10 tiles long, I am still only able to get to about 400 pawns before I start to see some big performance issues. The issue with reducing the refresh rate is that there are going to be cases where maybe a wall is built before the pawns path is refreshed having them walk through the wall but not sure if there is a clean way to update the path only when needed.
      I am sure when I don't run the game in the Unity editor I will see increase performance but I am just trying to figure out what things I could be doing to make sure path finding is as smaller of a performance hit as possible as there is a lot of other simulation stuff I am going to want to run on top of the path finding.
    • By Gas Lantern Games
      Hello!

      I have spent the last year and a half developing a game in my spare time in Unity! I am releasing it soon on Steam. Ant Empire is a strategic remake of some older games. It is influenced by games such as Ant Empire and Civilization.

      I am currently doing a kickstarter to help fund an AI before launch.

      I have attached some images (tried some gifs but they were too large) to show the current stage of Ant Empire, which is nearly completed.







    • By Shaarigan
      Hey,
      I'm currently starting next iteration on my engine project and have some points I'm completely fine with and some other points and/or code parts that need refactoring so this is a refactoring step before starting to add new features. As I want my code to be modular to have features optional installed for certain projects while others have to stay out of sight, I designed a framework that starting from a core component or module, spreads features to several project files that are merged together to a single project solution (in Visual Studio) by our tooling.
      This works great for some parts of the code, naming the Crypto or Input module for example but other parts seem to be at the wrong place and need to be moved. Some features are in the core component that may belong into an own module while I feel uncomfortable splitting those parts and determine what stays in core and what should get it's own module. An example is Math stuff. When using the framework to write a game (engine), I need access to algebra like Vector, Quaternion and Matrix objects but when writing some kind of match-making server, I wouldn't need it so put it into an own module with own directory, build script and package description or just stay in core and take the size and ammount of files as a treat in this case?
      What about naimng? When cleaning the folder structure I want to collect some files together that stay seperated currently. This files are foir example basic type definitions, utility macros and parts of my Reflection/RTTI/Meta system (which is intended to get ipartially t's own module as well because I just need it for editor code currently but supports conditional building to some kind of C# like attributes also).
      I already looked at several projects and they seem to don't care that much about that but growing the code means also grow breaking changes when refactoring in the future. So what are your suggestions/ oppinions to this topic? Do I overcomplicate things and overengeneer modularity or could it even be more modular? Where is the line between usefull and chaotic?
      Thanks in advance!
    • By PlanetExp
      I've been trying to organise a small-medium sized toy game project to supports macOS, iOS and Windows simultaneously in a clean way. But I always get stuck when I cross over to the target platform. I'll try to explain,
      I have organised my project in modules like so:
       
      1. core c++ engine, platform agnostic, has a public c++ api
      2. c api bindings for the c++ api, also platform agnostic, this is actually part of 1 because its such a small project
      3. target platform bindings, on iOS and macOS this is in swift. Basically wraps the c api
      4. target platform code. This part just calls the api. Also in swift.
       
      So in all I have 4 modules going simultaneously, all compiled into a separate static libraries and imported into the next phase/layer. Am I even remotely close to something functional? I seem to getting stuck somewhere between 2 and 3 when I cross over to the target platform. In theory I would just need to call the game loop, but I always end up writing some logic up there anyway.
       
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!