This is our first Podcast! We basically introduce ourselves, tell you a bit about ourselves, and talk about some past and upcoming game jams! All feedback is welcome.
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’
The Monster Mash! 2014 was a frightful game jam where monsters are our friends.
The Monster Mash! 2014 was a game jam that I was really excited to play. The jam itself has amazingly beautiful graphics! The object of this jam was to make a game that showed our inner love for monsters by making them the protagonist of the games. For a bit of an added challenge, this game jam had “multipliers” which came in the form of beautiful shield graphics. These nine multipliers were not required to be in each game, but were funny and added a bit of challenge. I have had the chance to play all of these games and have picked a few of my favorite, in a random order below.
MM Racing 2014 is a game that will make you smile. Surprisingly, this game is the developers first published game. Although it does not have a lot of game play, the game itself is entertaining to watch. The player has been invited to an annual race, narrated by a cute but slightly robotic voice with subtitles so one can understand. Running in the race are 8 cute and well drawn monsters. Each time I have played this game, I have gotten different monsters. Plain ghosts, to skeleton horses, to giant salamanders, and even an anibus. The narrator gives the player a funny yet short description of each monster before the player is to place a bet on who will win. Then, the player gets to watch and continue reading the funny narration. This game literally put a smile on my face. I love it.
Duke’s Domo has the player playing a character named Duke who is domovoi. He has an issue with a child whose birthday happens to be today. So, Duke must scare the child at his party as much as possible without getting noticed by any of the parents at the party. Duke can find and read letters from the six year old boy, Wally. These talk about Wally’s upcoming birthday and his excitement as well as a friend who lives in the basement. Duke is able to light fires to the parents if behind them and scare the children at the party. Check out this awesome story.
Arctic Escape is a cute game with a monster made of fire. This monster lives in the Arctic, however, which is quite the problem. This game is strangely addicting! The player must get to a flag at the end of the level, as fast as possible, and with as little deaths as possible. Along the way, the player will melt the ice around him or herself. As the ice melts, a fuel bar will lower. Once the fuel bar empties, the player has to restart the level or start back at a checkpoint, a fire, if it has been lite. There are also many little coals that the player can collect to gain more fuel! I really loved the graphics of this game, as well as the music.
Monster Tower is another super cute monster game. The graphics are white, with added color, and super well done. The player plays as a monster with antlers, whom is catching other cute monsters to build a sort of tower off of himself. The player can control where the first monster is moving too, as well as the tilt of the monster tower. If the player fails to catch a monster, it ends up falling onto the ground and being in the way. Once the tower is knocked over the game is over.
Devil’s Night is also another game with great graphics. The player plays as a monster that is being hunted by men with moustaches. The monster needs to ram into these men wielding guns to kill them off and protect their eggs. However, when these flying monster’s lives get low, the monster is able to eat an egg from one of the three nests that are being guarded. The monster can also eat apples out of a tree to gain more lives. This game is super challenging, but very fun.
Those were all of my favorite games, but there were so many awesome games in this jam! Check them all out here.
The Epic Game Jam is a wacky game jam with many, many themes.
The Epic Game Jam was a game jam with no winners or losers, but instead one made to be funny and get people jamming together! This jam started off with one main theme; First Time, but had more themes added throughout the time the jam was up. Heres a list of them all, so you can understand just how wacky and fun this game jam is to play: poison, grey areas, a rare and splendid delicacy, 2=infinity+yellow, one-legged pony, alcoholic carrot, pacifists attack again, yotta bytes, izakaya, right part – left part of the brain, speed limit: 0km/h, silly robot sounds, pineapple pudding, infinite indigestion, tentacles, hadouken!, don’t drink beers after midnight, backsliding turkey, conversations, rainbow duck, polymorphism, red-haired turtles, mayonnaise physics, serendipity, super bacon, and my personal favorite, ass to ass teleportation. These themes were submitted be the general public to the game jam during the course of the jam. The game developers do not have to use all these themes, but are encouraged to use as many as possible. I have had the chance to play all of these epic games! Below are a few of my favorites in no real order.
*Unknown Voice* is a very amazing looking game. This game starts off with some dialog between the unknown voice and the main character of the game. This conversation is sort of random and includes many themes. Then, the game starts. The player is a man who can punch things and is looking to save the princess from the castle. The graphics, though there is not much color, are simply amazing. Who knew this much grey could look good? This game is not quite finished as there is no way to go inside the castle, but grey turtles with red hair lurk around to be punched. There are also huge squares of text that tell you what would have been their given the time. Hopefully, we see more done with this game. I would love to play the finished product, but until then, I love killing off those turtles.
Porku Piggu Adventure is a pretty short game but there is something oddly charming about it. The player plays as a pig who is going to Cherry Blossom Land. This land is very small, but quite a few themes are seen in this game. The pig is teleported, ass-to-ass if you will, and is taken to get ready to go into the land. One must not go in there without some splendid clothes or covered in mud! Once in the land, the pig is to try some carrot cocktails, but the ending really surprised me…
This game has three parts to it, three different bits of it that have the themes in them. The question asks “Have you ever…” but the end of that question is then put in a level. All of the levels have the same platformed layout, with different themes and monsters. The first level has our player, a girl with some sort of wind gun, fighting two giant pigs with huge butts. These pigs harm the player by farting. They also float in the air instead of walking. One of the two pigs always has a bubble around it, whereas the other is free to hit. Next, the player battles a pair of polymorphic red-haired turtles. The first turtle is small and rather easy. He blows bubbles that can push the player back into some waving tentacles, but can easily be avoided by crouching. The turtle can also go into his shell and slide back and forth, trying to hit the player. The second turtle only appears after the first turtle is killed. This one is way bigger, blows more bubbles, and drops shells from the sky onto the player. The last level is my personal favorite. The player is now fighting a giant rainbow duck who shoots at the player. There is also some rainbow spaceships that can fly in and attempt to attack the player. This whole level is in space, on an alien saucer. In the middle of the ship is none other than a giant pineapple pudding that the character can bounce on. Original Freak Battle Ex is a great game!
This game was completely in french. I do not quite know what the game is about, what is going on, or really what to do, however, the graphics are the best I have seen in a long time so I had to include it in my favorites. Just look at those pictures!! The graphics are simply amazing.
Super First Class is about a teenagers first wacky day of school. Each “class” has a different theme to avoid, first being super bacon, followed by a rubber ducky leaking a rainbow goo to slow the player down. Backsliding turkeys take over the next room, then red-haired turtles that slide around. Grey statues throwing air balls are in another room… the player must keep avoiding these themes, jumping over holes in the schools, and getting to the next class. It is very fun.
This game was so random and fun to play with! Check out all the games here.