The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is a world wide gathering of student game developers and professionals alike. The participants form groups and have 48 hours to develop a playable game from initial concept to playable. Of course with only 48 hours that means that there is very little sleep involved and basically just pure crunch. Unfortunately not all games make it to playable but luckily the team I came to be on was solid.
The theme of this years GGJ was “Extinction”, the theme is just an idea that teams can loosely incorporate into their planning process. What we ended up deciding upon was a Flash based platformer with a more artistic flare. Our team really seemed to click and there were no disagreements on the team with everyone behaving professionally. I feel this is the main reason our game was more completed than a lot of the others.
During the GGJ I had to quickly learn new technologies like ActionScript 3 and distributed version control with Mercurial. I also met some really cool people some being from the industry which in itself is absolutely priceless. I also learned what I’m gonna do differently at the next jam first being to actually get some sleep even if its just short naps every few hours. Also communication with the team is very important and is very much needed with such a short development cycle. Really the only other thing I’d do different is to make sure I have some business cards to hand out.
In the end I wouldn’t of traded the experience I gained last weekend for anything and am really proud of what we produced. The team plans on continuing development on the game and hopefully we can release it to larger sites.