Why Every Game Developer should take part in Game Jams
If you have been a game developer for some stretch of time, you most likely know what a “game jam” is. Game Jams are the game developer’s hack-a-thon — you are given a time constraint, and usually a thematic or mechanics constraint, and you must create a game, prototype, tool, or other misc. interactive component. Occasionally the games are rated, and winners receive a small prize. Entry to game jams is almost always free!
One of the biggest game jams is the Global Game Jam. Every year during the early weeks of the year, developers around the world spend one weekend developing a game against a short prompt. In 2019, Global Game Jam had 47,009 participants in 113 countries. 9,010 games were made at 860 locations — its quite an amazing result!
What teams create in game jams is often spectacular, especially given the short time frame (most game jams last a week, some last as long as a few months, and as short as a few hours). If this is the case, why do gamers rarely hear about these excellent games? Due to the lack of volume boosting for game jams, it’s hard to convince professional and freelance developers to take time from their ongoing projects to compete in game jams.
So there it is — I will explain why you should enter the next game jam. Whether you are a professional, freelance, hobbyist, or complete beginner! If you have stumbled on this article, you have enough interest to compete!
Learning the Ropes
For beginners, a game jam could be the very first experience designing, developing, creating art and music for a game. Learning all the tools and producing something great from it is an amazing experience to have. If you are a developer, you can work on art or music; if you are creative you can try designing levels and mechanics. Game jams are perfect opportunities to exercise other muscles in a stress-free environment.
Along with that, jams can teach you plenty of skills that come in handy during a development cycle. Organizational skills, working with others, brainstorming, and prototyping. All of these are necessary during larger projects. Although I say it is a stress-free…