The Game Jam Survival Guide

More Information
Learn
  • Preparing for the jam: conquer the theme, pick design aids, prototype quickly, choose the right tools for the job, and cut the right corners.
  • Bombastic brainstorming: power up your idea generator and run with a theme, gain more votes and please the masses.
  • Building a game jam entry: pick your weapons, follow your plan, cut the bells-n-whistles, scramble over “the wall”, submit a game on time, and with a little luck, attain fame and fortune.
  • Why Mike “PoV” Kasprzak (Ludum Dare administrator) thinks game jams are a good introduction to the realities of the game industry.
  • The reasons why Dr. Mike Reddy (organizer of the Global Game Jam) thinks designing on paper is essential.
  • The best ways to find creative inspiration and develop an idea to fit a theme according to Eric McQuiggan (founding member of The Dirty Rectangles) and Chevy Ray Johnston (author of the FlashPunk engine).
  • What Foaad Khosmood (director of the Global Game Jam) suggests you do to ensure you finish before the deadline.
  • The worst way to prepare according to Pekka “pekuja” Kujansuu and the best way according to Phil Hassey (Ludum Dare administrators)
  • What one piece of advice Jason P. Kaplan (founder of the Game Prototype Challenge) would give to newcomers.
About

Game jams are fun. They are a creative, exciting, social experience. The goal of a game jam is to design a video game, either alone or in teams, as fast as is humanly possible; usually in a single weekend.

The Game Jam Survival Guide, written to help you have more fun and achieve greater results at your next game jam by building a successful game without burning out, leads readers through each 12-hour phase of a 48-hour weekend game jam.

Weekend warriors: dominate your next game jam! If you follow the system shared in this book, you will be able to build an amazing game that you're proud of and will entertain players, all in just one crazy 48-hour game jam weekend … and survive to tell the tale!

Embrace the best practices and techniques of past game jam winners and avoid common pitfalls along the way to the finish line. You too can survive a 48-hour game development marathon with your mind intact and an amazing game to show off to friends and family!

With The Game Jam Survival Guide you will learn the secret techniques that master game jammers use to create winning entries. It starts by showing you great ways to brainstorm and design a game based on a theme. It then moves on to highlight the best tools and techniques to finish a game in a weekend of coding. Anecdotes and advice from past winners and losers combined with humorous words of encouragement are sure to help you on your way. The author presents a list of game jams around the world, online communities worth checking out, fantastic game engines, and art resources. Finally, learn how to monetize your game by gaining sponsorship from big gaming websites. It's the fun way to make your own video game in one weekend!

Features
  • Enthusiastic and light-hearted, glimpse the excitement and frantic creativity of game jams.
  • Motivating, encouraging and infectious, it is sure to help you reach the finish line.
  • Follow this handbook from brainstorming an idea, over bitter obstacles and on to the sweet finish line: a complete, playable, fun game.
  • Each stage of game jams is described with task lists and anecdotes relating common experiences, the trials and the tribulations of past game jam champions and losers.
  • Packed with interviews, tips, tricks and wise words from Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam organisers among other well-known game jammers.
Page Count 114
Course Length 3 hours 25 minutes
ISBN 9781849692502
Date Of Publication 1 Apr 2012

Authors

Christer Kaitila

The author of this book, Christer Kaitila, B.Sc. is a veteran video game developer with 17 years of professional experience. A hardcore gamer, dad, dungeon master, artist and musician, he never takes himself too seriously and loves what he does for a living: making games! A child of the arcade scene, he programmed his first videogame in the eighties, long before the internet or hard drives existed. The first programming language he ever learned was 6809 assembly language, followed by BASIC, Turbo Pascal, VB, C++, Lingo, PHP, Javascript, and finally ActionScript. He grew up as an elite BBS sysop in the MS-DOS era and was an active member of the demoscene in his teens. He put himself through university by providing freelance software programming services for clients. Since then, he has been an active member of the indie game development community and is known by his fellow indies as Breakdance McFunkypants.

Christer frequently joins game jams to keep his skills sharp. Over the years, he has programmed puzzle games, multiplayer RPGs, action titles, shooters, racing games, chat-rooms, persistent online worlds, browser games, and many business applications for clients ranging from 3D displays for industrial devices to simulations made for engineers.

He is the author of the book “Adobe Flash 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming Beginner's Guide” and is the curator of a popular news website called http://www.videogamecoder.com which boasts over 30,000 articles and zero ads. He is one of the administrators of Ludum Dare, and has hosted a mini weekend jam with the theme of “all talk: dialogue and conversation”. He also created the keynote lecture for Ludum Dare 21, an 8 minute video filled with words of encouragement and advice. His client work portfolio is available at http://www.orangeview.net and his personal game development blog is http://www.mcfunkypants.com where you can read more about the indie game community and his recent projects. He lives in Victoria, Canada with his beloved wife and the cutest baby son you've ever seen.