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• It is an event that allows a team of developers to
realize prototypes of games in a limited time span.
• It involves game designers, artists, musicians,
• Dozens of Jams are organized each year
• Ludum Dare
• One Game a Month
• Experimental Game Play
• Paper Jam Game Jam!
WHAT IS A GAME JAM?
• At the beginning of the Jam, a theme is announced (a
word, an image, a concept)
• The teams are then given limited time to develop an
original game able to interpret at best the theme of the jam
• For instance:
You Get Only
HOW DOES IT WORK?
THE GLOBAL GAME JAM
» The Global Game Jam 2015 was a 48 hour Game Jam during 23-25 January 2015
• 28800 Participants
• 97% surveyed would participate again
• 5438 games
» 518 locations
• 25 of which streamed the event LIVE via ustream.tv
» 78 countries
• 14 time zones
«As long as we have each other,
we will never run out of problems»
1. Team Building
2. Brainstorming Setup
4. Finishing Touches
THE 5 PHASES OF JAMMING
You will need
– Audio & graphics artists*
– Game/level designers
The last two roles can be
fullfilled by anyone
– Coding dark arts
– Need to split up tasks among them
• Graphics, Controls, Physics, UI, ...
– The less code overlap, the
– Need to teach/instruct artists
on what formats they need
– Need to deﬁne how game/
level designer creates content
Graphics & Audio Artists
– Wizards of the senses
– Need to split up tasks
• UI, background, characters,
– Need to agree on an art
– May need to create
placeholder art early on
– Does the content bits
– Needs to deﬁne
– Needs to deﬁne
– Needs to
– Needs to
playtest and give
to devs and artists
• Makes sure everyone knows
what to do
• Keeps track of things to be
• Keeps track of dependencies
between team members
• Keep track of Time
• Keeps track of human needs
– If you have no developers, look into Construct 2
– If you have no artists, use preexisting art or
– If you have no game designer, everybody
becomes a game designer
– If you have no coordinator, pick one person
– If you are alone, you get to do all the things :P
• Get a high level understading of your
Setting & Story
• Take time limits into account
FPS, MMORPG, RTS are probably not
your best bets
• Think outside the box!
1. Gather ideas from everyone
2. Pick most promising ones via note
3. Define genre & game mechanics
• Use pen & paper!
4. Define setting & story
5. Define art style
• Let artsists draw quick mockups
be afraid to throw things away
be afraid to iterate, take your
Technology AestheticsMechanics Story
C. Turn based
3. Oculus Rift
4. Wii controller
7. Mouse and
8. Leap Motion
9. Board game
b) Low poly
c) Cell shaded
e) 8 bit
h) Art Nouveau
i. Rescue the
iii. Rise to power
vi. You are the villain!
vii. Hero’s Journey
viii. Rescuing yourself
x. Narrative gratia
xii. American Fat Fast
Wikipedia stands to knowledge as
BoardGameGeek stands to games.
Possible, meaningful game mechanics:
• Get a detailed understanding of your game
What will the developers have to do?
What will the artists have to do?
What the game designers have to do?
• Define interfaces between all team members
How do developers work with each other?
How do artists get their art into the game?
How do game designers create game content?
• Define tasks and their order for every team member!
The coordinator is responsible for keeping track of tasks
1. Developers agree on platform & tools
2. Artists agree on artstyle
3. Developers and artists agree on how
to get art into the game
4. Developers and game designer
agree on how to create content
5. Each subteam defines their initial
6. Coordinator keeps track of things
Scrum-like boards are a plus
– Get the damned game done!
– Ensure to have a playable prototype
• Prioritize tasks accordingly
• Game mechanics ﬁrst to see if they are
– Realize you‘ll likely not get everything done!
• Which is why you should have something playable
almost all times
• Cut corners, kill features, focus on the core of your
Tips for Developers
• Use source control (git, SVN), do NOT use
ZIP ﬁles, e‐mail!
Don‘t code for re‐use
Don‘t optimize – you have no time for that!
Try to create a modular‐design so people don‘t depend on
each other to much
• One person responsible for graphics, one for UI, one for AI, one for
• Make sure
game designer can create content as early as
• Make sure artists export to easy to use formats
• Make sure artists work for some standard resolution!
• Make sure artists & game designer understand limitations
Tips for Artists
– Make it easy to export your art to the proper format
– Make sure everyone uses the same coordinate
– Use descriptive names for ﬁles
• Good: badguy-‐walk-‐left.png , Bad: w_1_2.png
– Have one shared folder (Dropbox, Google Drive)
containing assets ready for the game designer/
developers to integrate
• Don‘t put multiple versions of the same thing there!
• Have whatever local folder structure for work in progress
Tips for Game Designers
– Talk to the developers about what‘s
– Focus on simple mechanics but try to put in a
– If you
simple level-design over "brainy" complex
– they take to long to design!
have down‐time help/be the coordinator!
Tips for Coordinators
– Ensure that everyone can stay busy
• Gather the team to discuss new tasks or
– Check on progress regularly
• If something takes to long, as the team to reprioritize/
– Make sure everybody is reminded they are human
• Make everyone take breaks
• Make people go to sleep
• Make people eat and drink
– If you have down-time, take on a task you can do!
– Submit a playable game before the deadline :D
1. Feature freeze 2‐3 hours
before the deadline
Create a build for
Get team together and
decide what to polish in
4. If polishing works out, create
a new build for submission
– Eat & Drink!
– Take breaks!
– Make new friends!
– Do i know it already?
– Do my teammates know it?
– Is it the tool i‘m fastest with
– Does it
– Does it
ﬁt my budget?
export to HTML5?
If you didn‘t use it before the jam, don‘t use it
during the jam!
HOW TO PICK?