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Game Jams, when can I participate?

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I'm interested in getting involved with other people who are also interested in game development. What level of knowledge is required before participating in social coding events like Game Jams or Code Jams? I consider myself an Advanced Beginner or Beginner Intermediate with Python and Pygame. I could probably participate in an event with other beginners, hacking around with programs or making basic beginner level game clones, but I wouldn't be much use on a full blown game created in a couple of days.

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Overall, I would say there is no level of knowledge *required*. You might even learn something new. (i.e. I got started with Unity at a jam). But I think it's important to communicate this to potential teammates. Usually there's a bit of mingling that happens during the first 30-60 minutes of a jam, and you can use that time to find a team in which you fit in.

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I didn't participate in a gamejam for some time for various reasons, but one of them when I just started programming was because I wasn't sure of my skill level. I participated in one 2 years ago when I had one year of experience in C++ programming, but we decided to use unity3D with C#, I learned a lot during this time and I had a blast doing so.

 

At my location with the Global Game Jam I also noticed that people weren't really bothered with low skilled people and they were mainly there for the fun of it, being with friends, making friends and generally have a good time.

 

I'd say go for it. If you don't have a team to go with, you will always meet up with people there and learn a lot from them. It's an experience you will probably not forget and I personally think everyone should at least attend one if you like making games. :)

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Sounds like it's a go then. I'll look out for the next one. Thanks guys.

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Basically, what Rld_ said!

I went to my first game jam just under a year ago and it completely changed how I go about making games and how I interact with the local community. I was worried about my skill level as well, I thought that I might detract from the experience of the other people. That was never a problem.

During my first jam I made a game in five hours, I didn't know what I was doing, but everyone loved it. Getting feedback like that, from people who might have years of industry experience, will boost your moral extremely.

Since then I have been to around ten other game jams, including the Global Game Jam in January and never had a bad experience. Everyone's just so nice! We get a lot of new people coming in all the time. People who often don't know anything about coding at all, but that doesn't matter. As long as you are passionate about making games you'll find a place and make great friends along the way.

 

Edit: If you wanna check out what kinda games are made during game jams and get an idea what you can expect check out the Berlin Mini Game Jam blog (8 hour jams) or Ludum Dare which is actually going on right now (online, 48 (?) hours).

Edited by bonus.2113

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