A Game Jam Diary (part 1)
A Game Jam Diary (part 2)
A Game Jam Diary (part 3)
There it is: the 3rd and last part of our game jam diary! The first and second part were written while we were doing the challenge. I think they provide some interesting insight about what we were living at the moment. This post will be in retrospective since we completed the challenge Saturday at 4PM, and we’re currently Monday.
There are a lot of distractions during such an event. People come to see your game all the time. Family visits you, other contestants want to chat a little, etc. We’re also in a huge room with a lot of people in it, so it can get quite loud sometimes. We’re also often interrupted by the organisation who needs our attention. On top of that, there was a League of Legends tournament at the same time, in the same room. The strategy of using the Pomodoro Timer served us quite well to fight those distractions. For those unfamiliar with the concept: you start a timer of 25 minutes and do as much work as you can during this time period. Then, you start a break of 5 minutes to relax. You repeat until you need to eat or sleep. We synchronized our timers, so we were working at the same moments. During the 25 minutes time period, we both had our headset on, so we could be focused. People usually don’t disturb you when you look focused (and we were). During the 5 minutes break, we would chat about the game concept and the improvements we could make during the next 25 minutes. I think that we achieved an incredible amount of work for a team of 2 in 46 hours, and this technique helped us a lot to do that.
I participated in game jams before, and I didn’t sleep much. The lack of sleep is a mortal enemy in such competition. When you’re tired, you constantly make mistakes because you can’t be focused anymore. Also, I was the only one capable of coding, so we couldn’t afford too many careless mistakes. Therefore, we decided to get some good nights of sleep. The first night we slept about 7 hours and 5 hours the next one. I believe it was a smart strategy since I didn’t make that many avoidable mistakes. And when I did some, I fixed them quite fast. Overall, the Pomodoro Timer and our sleep schedule made us a really efficient team. I definitely intend to participate again in such events, and we’ll use this strategy again.
There’s the game we made. It’s a 6 player competitive game that plays with a controller. You need to use a cart to carry 3 gems to your ship in order to win. You can bump your enemies to throw them in the water or steal their carts! If you would like to try out the game, there’s a link to download it [Mac, Windows]. Note that you need a controller to play the game.