My first game jam [Post-Mortem]

i took part in my first game jam this weekend. i decided to join the shenanijam hosted by butterscotch studios, mainly because id seen their GDC talk and played their game crashlands (both are awesome btw, you should look into it). ive done enough lurking to have a pretty good idea what to expect so i felt prepared and had set proper expectations for a solo developer.

getting the theme was different than what i expected. most people got a different theme, and the theme was based around the titles of their podcasts which made it pretty...unique to say the least. also we were allowed to pick our own or 'reroll' to whatever we wanted. im not going to lie, i had to reroll 3 times. let me say the first 2 i would have no idea what to do with, and the 3rd theme i got was 'thwup'. luckily im the father of a 2 year old who loves to make crazy noises in an attempt to 'sing' along to songs, and thwup just happens to be the perfect description of one of the noises he makes. thus, monster thwupping was born, the game where you jump around licking your enemies.

picking an engine was simple - i work exclusively with game maker: studio. im lucky that itss great for quickly prototyping games, and likely the main reason i completed as much as i did. i had my theme and a basic idea, let the jams begin!

like the beginning of any project it was off to a great start. i had my blocks and started putting in the basic framework for my objects and movement. seemed like it was going to be smooth sailing for me....

until i got stuck on the art. i was in limbo, trying to ignore the blocks and just finish programming. i finally bit the bullet after 30 minutes of doing nothing, i just couldnt be happy until things started looking better. it made a huge difference and i was able to get back to being productive, if i did it again i wouldnt have fought doing the art so much, and honestly im not sure why i did in the first place.

this was also the first platformer game i tried to make. having never dealt with making perfect jumping collisions it involved a lot more math than i was prepared to deal with. im kind of mixed on whether this is a negative or a positive. my lack of knowledge led to this really bouncy jump, it was REALLY fun to me, but not really great for precision platforming (this affected the small bit of level design choices later on).

i never was much with sound/music when in came to game design, but id done some reading and i have some expereince with some of the software. i ended up using my own voice, audacity, and LMMS for the majority of the sound effects and pulling a music track from for the background tunes. overall i got pretty lucky with how well everything seemed to come together.

overall i spent about 12 hours on this project and ended with 2 levels total, which was less than i aimed for but im still happy with (no victory screen though, oops!). im really pretty happy with what i was able to get done in such a short period of time, and it was intense to feel the deadline slowing slipping closer. anyone who hasnt participated in a game jam yet i highly recommend they do so.

tl;dr: i entered a game jam, made a thing, had fun doing it. 10/10 would recommend.

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