Thoughts on the Game Jam

So last week’s 3 day game hackathon was quite fun! Even though our final result didn’t quite match our initial expectations, this in itself was to be expected. In review, I just wanted to leave some thoughts on how it went and what we might want to consider for future hackathons.

1. We certainly suffered from Hofstadter’s Law! (No surprise here.)

2. From the technical side of things, I believe our biggest issue was really just the engine we were trying to use. We hadn’t ever really used it before, and some of the…er….interesting….design decisions they went (such as profane variable names and error messages…and their abuse of the word “scene”…) caused the majority of our initial time to be spent frustratedly fighting the engine tooth and nail to try and get it to do what we needed. (Retrospective kudos to Ed for having tried to convince us to use Game Maker instead!)

3. Kudos to Chris for letting us work at his house for a good 6 hours longer than he was expecting on our second day!

4. Kudos to everyone for their delicious food contributions!

5. I think the overall design ideas we had for the game were excellent. It has the makings for a good (and very unique) game, and I think if we continue to periodically work on it, it’s gonna be pretty cool!

I think the biggest thing we should consider for next time is that it’s really important for the developers to already know the tools we’ll be using. I have sufficiently discovered that attempting to correctly learn and utilize an entire engine within 3 days is not feasible! This doesn’t mean we should already have content ideas going into the hackathon, but we should really determine potential tools to use beforehand (and learn them if they’re new), and then when we come up with ideas at the start, they can be filtered to what we can do using the tools that we know.

Happy new year’s everyone!

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