This is a guide on how to make a good GameJam, specifically using the GameJolt Jam System.
Step 1 – Have a Good Idea!
Themes or general ideas for a game jam are where to start. Make sure your idea is unique, enough to make a good game on, and are not used already. This means you should check to see if a game jam with basically the same content is already running. Note: If there are huge game jams like the Ludum Dare running, it might be wise to plan your game jam at a time that does not interfere with huge jams.
Step 2 – Set up Your GameJolt Jam Page!
After you have your unique idea, you should set up a page on gamejolt for your jam! These pages should contain all the information that a developer would need to make a game. There should also be some nice art or logos on the page, to catch the viewers’ eyes. The more fleshed out it is, the better. Make sure that the images or colors you use do not make it hard to read the information on the game jam page. When setting the timer for your game jam (how long the game jam is, etc.) one should keep in mind that people will not know about your game jam if it starts the day you create it. There should be some time before the game jam starts to get word out to others and build hype.
Here is a short video on the general ins and outs of setting up a GameJolt page.
Step 3 – Getting Your Jam Out There
After you have the page all set up, make sure you enable the Twitter hashtag for your game jam’s activity feed. This hashtag is one way to help promote your game jam! Post about it on twitter for all your followers to see. You can also contact various other sites to advertise your jam. Some places that you could easily get your game jam on are as follows: IndieGameJams – CompoHub – GameJamHub – GameJolt Contest Forums – TigSource Jams Fourms
Step 4 – Be Active in Your Game Jam.
Continue to monitor your game jam and advertise here and there to keep hype up. Encourage the developers who have entered the game jam to post updates, live stream, and check out each other’s games! If there are livestreams going on, check them out and interact with those who are holding them. Twitter is also another good place to encourage those who have entered your jam. Provide support to those who are trying to make a game to be entered.
Step 5 – Review the Games
Try to play as many games from your game jam as you can. If the game jam time has ended, but there are still games that are marked as “in development” and do not have a playable version, it might be smart to “hide” those game pages from your jam until the developer adds a game. Sometimes, developers run out of time and never upload a game, leaving an ugly, empty page attached to your jam.
Good luck and Happy Jammin’