Global Game Jam 2016 with Surface Pro 12016-02-10

Well, I was at a game jam again. This time at the global game jam hosted by InnoGames. I packed my Linux notebook and my Windows tablet and went there on that friday evening. My notebook is a little heavy, so it's always like "do I really need to take it with me?". This time, I maybe could have simply left it at home.

Game Jam on a Surface

Last game jam I attended (InnoGames #9) I started in a team which later decided to use Unity for making their game "banana ritual". But at that game jam it wasn't clear to me, that it is possible to code then simply on my surface. So I went the lonely path and build caldrun jumper with Phaser on my own.

That also worked out pretty well, but maybe, if I had known, how easy it is to set up Unity on my surface, I would have simply worked together with them.

Finding a team and a project

Before the jam even started, I was already in a team of three programmers (including me) and a game designer. So we could think ahead of time already about which technology we wanted to use.

We decided to go with C# or TypeScript - so I knew, Linux would maybe not work. So I tried to install Unity on my Windows Surface Pro 1 and well - it just works. Also I have to say, that Unity had lost a little bit of its quality in my opinion.

When we were at the game jam, we tried to find more team members. Especially for the graphics. We found a Sound Designer, but no graphic artist. This brought us to the decision to make a text adventure (called DETACHED).

Technology problems and workarounds

First we only wanted to stick with C# Mono, but then we had to find out that the including sound library stuff only works for one sound at a time. We wanted to have background music and effects, so we tried out to make a console GUI in Unity. The problem we had to face there was mostly about how Unity works today, because we all were more used to older versions of it.

We went on with developing both versions in parallel and at the end we had two different versions shippable. Both without sound effects and the Unity version has a few less features than the other.

Camera interview

Our team was interviewed on the second day at the game jam. It was something new for me, because I didn't ever do that before. We had to speak freely and each of us made more than one shot. Which is totally ok, because this way, they can simply pick the best shot and everyone is happy with it.

Of course it is easier to make such an interview, if you know exactly what you want to talk about before. But it is also doable if you don't know it before - it maybe just needs some more shots ;)

Conclusion

It was again a weekend full of fun, great people and a tasty self-made salad. We finished our project in time and even got some votes on the InnoGames Game Jam page. And well - after the game jam I made a one-day game jam directly the next day on which I coded a new version of caldrun jumper in C++, which you can find now also on GitHub.

For everybody who is interested in making games, I only can recommend to get out there and to participate at the next jam in your city. Because even if you have only a Surface, you’ll be able to create a game, meet some nice people and have a lot of fun. If there are no jams near you, there are also game jams online, so that you don't have to go anywhere with your sleeping bag. Some of those jams are linked below.

So have fun now and make some games!

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