GGJ 2014: The Aftermath

Global Game Jam was fun. My team did not actually have a game to show but we had a lot of individual parts. Our team consisted of 2 programmers, an artist, a musician, and a designer. Each of us came out of the weekend with stuff but we didn’t get it put all together. There are probably multiple reasons why we didn’t have an actual game but here is a list of what I learned from this weekend’s GameJam. By the way the theme for this year was

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

1. Making puzzles is hard.

The basic idea for our game was that the player would be able to manipulate items in one time period to make changes happen in another time period. For example for the tutorial level the player is a baby in their crib which is locked. They wanted to get their bottle which is on a nightstand outside the crib. The player would start in the night, they would switch over to the day when the crib is unlocked. The player would get out of the crib, get the bottle on the nightstand, go back into their crib, switch back to night, then go to sleep. We planned to have about 7 levels and our designer and I only got 4 levels done because designing levels is hard. We didn’t know how many steps it should take for the player to complete each level. We didn’t know if each level would be too simple or too complex. Lots of other stuff. It’s probably possible to design good levels for this game, just probably not possible in less than 48 hours.

2. Sleep is actually important.

The day the GameJam started (this Friday) I had to wake up really early (6:45 am) to travel to Providence for a doctors appointment. Therefore by the time the GameJam started (5:00 pm) I had already been up for almost 12 hours. I left the event to get some sleep at 9:15 am Saturday morning and actually got to bed at around 9:30 am. If you are keeping track I was up for 26.5 hours already. The next best part was that my team needed me so I went back around 11:30 am which means I got around 90 minutes of sleep. I also randomly got somewhat sick this weekend which never happens to me. My immune system is made of lasers, not white blood cells, so if I get sick it is clearly a sign of the apocalypse.

Anyway since I was feeling like shit I went back to get to sleep at some point in the afternoon. I don’t really remember…also I have a project to do during all of this so I was slightly freaking out (or not freaking out because I was so tired). I got some work in on my project at some point too…actually after going back through Saturday in my head I actually don’t really remember most of the day…too much coding, too little sleep (also my roommates don’t really remember but they suck anyway). I then finally tried to get to bed at around midnight but it took a little while for me to get to bed because my roommates had people over…AND THEY PLAYED CLUSTERFUCK WITH OUT ME. THOSE FUCKERS.

Today I woke up at 10 am. Went back to the event and kept working there until 3 when we had to turn stuff in. Then I went to work on my project for 4 hours. Between 12 am Saturday and 11:59 pm Sunday (48 hours) I have coded for about 24 hours and 15 minutes.

3. I don’t actually have a three. This is a really bad list.

What I really learned was that there needs to be more hours in a day so I can do more shit or I shouldn’t do GameJams when real life is slightly more important. What I did make this weekend was a tile map editor available here.