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reflections on my first Jam

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 9:15 pm

I just spent 3 days trying to get a working game out there and I wanted to talk about my first impressions as soon as possible.

– Not doing Graphics
– Using an engine that I know well (melonJS, javascript engine)
– Trying to keep it simple

– redoing things
– wasting time in configuration files
– not looking at other dev’s impressions and suggestions + not being physically surrounded by other people

More detailed impression:
I am not really able to quickly make decent-looking characters in 72 hours, so I ended up reusing the graphics that I bought a long time ago. I love working with these assets because I have all the information that I need, and I know the limitations of what I have. I guess this will become complicated once I attempt to add animations in later Jams, but for this one I am glad I did not have to think about graphics.

In the same light, I am so glad that I used melonJS. Things went butter smooth with the engine. PhaserJS would have been a nice choice too. I guess relatively simple javascript games don’t demand too many modifications of the source engine.

Finally, I am glad that I was able to keep it simple towards the end (at the beginning I had too many bonus features that I wanted to add).

As for negative things, I guess the biggest one was redoing things during the second day. More specifically, I was thinking about throwing things (apples) and I decided to modify melonJS’ particle emitter to do it. Bad idea.
I ended up wasting a couple of hours redoing things, but it wasn’t that bad. I am glad that I got to talk to people that advice me to stop wasting time making particles collide, etc and just use other sane defaults, which brings me to the next point: community.
For this jam, I was alone in my room, and I didn’t really get the sense of being at a Jam. I hope I can attend an event in the future, if I ever try to make a game again.

ps: tweaking configuration files feels really weird. I spent so much time thinking about, for example, what wolves eat, which wasn’t really that important in the end

bottom-line: MAKING games is HARD.

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