3 min read

Global Game Jam 2019

EldoranDev

This is my post mortem of the Global Game Jam 2019. The result of my participation can be found here: Getting in Trouble.

I participated together with Viktor like in 2018. This time around we did not have a dedicated designer and our third team member canceled one day before the jam started. Nevertheless I would say that this GameJam was the best I've ever attended.

After we watched the opening keynote we quickly decided on creating a 3D Game as we knew where we could get assets for that. So we started a Brainstorming Session in that we not just went trough game ideas but also quickly scanned if we would have access to fitting assets for the idea.

After the brainstorming and presentation of the result we did setup a basic unity project and unity teams for vcs and collaboration, and instead of programming away we did the first thing that will be in my planing for all future jams/hackathons. Additionally to the Unity project we did setup a trello board and filled it while taking our time to eat something.

We then started to program away until around 3am the next day. This is the point we decided that getting some sleep would be a good idea. This is the second thing that will be part of all my future game jams as well.

As we did setup alarms for 9.00am we both woke up the same time and started the second day with a little brainstorming/planing session on what we did and what we want to do on that day. And as I was fully rested I allowed myself another break and went to do some sport and getting a shower (the shower is something that maybe all of us jammers should get while jamming).

After this longer break we started to code away until dinner time. At this point I already realized that compared to 2018 I felt way more energy and made less mistakes while programming. Our break for dinner ended up in just getting some fresh air and ordering sushi afterwards. After our again longer sushi break wie programmed away until we again went to bed at around 2am. Like the morning before we stood up at 9am and started with a short brainstorming session on what we actually want to finish in the last hours.

We agreed on finishing up at 16.00 as we did not want to miss our uploading window. So when we hit the "build game" button the first time at 16.10 we both realized that we did not build the game until there. Luckily it worked and we could fix some stuff until we finally uploaded our game at 16.55 with 5 minutes left on the clock.

Learnings

I think, the thing that will stay in my head the most is that you should sleep. When people told me that I should sleep while doing jams/hackathons, I thought that they are crazy. But now that I actually slept and made breaks I know that this is actually the best thing you can do.

The second thing is, that you should not go to a jam with the expectation that you will create a game. You should not expect to finish or get as far as you want. The only goal of the jam should be having fun, meeting people and try stuff.

Also you should not focus on things that only create trouble in the beginning, I got stuck on a simple import of an model at the beginning of the jam. This nearly killed all my motivation and frustrated me like hell. I did not need that import on that point, I could've just moved on but I did not, the next time I'll hopefully remember this and just go on with the stuff I planed to do.

And lastly, even if the jam is only 48h like the GGJ, do some sort of project planing and talk with your team mates. Do short breaks for planing and updating each other how far you've come and where you could need help. Also do not hesitate on cutting back features when you realize that you can not finish them in time.

Timeline

Day 01

17:00 - Opening Keynote
17:30 - Brainstorming session
18:20 - Presentation of brainstorming results
19:00 - First start of the Unity Editor
19:41 - Eating/Planing break
02:46 - Sleeping break

Day 02

09:00 - Brainstorming session
09:35 - Sport Break
12:15 - Go !!!
17:45 - Half Time Break (Eating, Fresh Air)
18:25 - Sushi Order
20:00 - Sushi Break
20:50 - Go !!!!
02:00 - Sleep

Day 03

09:00 - Go !!!!
16:10 - First time we hit "build game"
16:55 - Upload