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How to survive not using Unity in a game jam.

Posted by
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 5:30 am

The general consensus when it comes to game jams, is to use Unity. Unity provides for rapid prototyping and rather easy to produce games. But of course, not everyone wants to use it.

I personally have never liked the ‘black box’ nature of Unity, and struggle with control being taken away from me. I feel much more comfortable using something like LibGDX, where I can still control all aspects of the game.

With the control however, comes more work. I need to code all of the entity systems, rendering, AI, and physics. In a game jam, this can be quite a detriment due to the time constraint.

Aside from the usual advice of not aiming for a massive game, and aiming for realistic scopes based on the time available, it’s best to have a basic game structure either as a library or rehearsed so that it can be pumped out depending on the rules of the jam.

If you can pump out a basic game structure quickly from memory, you’ve removed half the hurdle. As for physics, depending on the complexity of the game it can either be very quick to pump out, or incredibly painful. If you’re making a game with complexity it is heavily recommended to use a physics library such as Box2D. If you can’t, make a different game.

Remember, it’s better to have a finished game than a really cool intricate base for a game to be made on. If you don’t want to put in a whole lot of effort, it’s probably best just to use Unity.

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