First Thoughts: Creating a Video Game in 72 Hours

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

The past 48 have granted the opportunity to turn nothing into the beginnings of a small roguelike adventure game. On Friday, a small team composed of my friends and myself began to assemble in order to compete in Ludum Dare, a game jam in which participants have to create a video game in 72 hours that fits under a given theme. As such, a have a couple of thoughts now that I am 2/3 of the way in.

Concept Art for Our Game

Stay Organized

I think that my biggest takeaway from this competition so far is simply that it is highly important to stay organized. While a lot of people recommend trying to work fast rather than efficiently, in my experience life becomes a lot easier when you have a system to manage everything. When working with my team, people were often confused at the function of certain scripts, the location of sprites, and where to put new assets. As such, the project quickly got messier and messier, with people needing more and more time in order to get working on certain features. In order to fix this, about 24 hours in, we took the time to go through the project and find a way the structure the game and needed assets so anyone in the team could quickly get work done. A balance needs to be struck between working quickly but also creating ways to work even quicker.

Communicate

My last group project ended up kind of being a disaster, as nobody was clear on what they were doing. Having learned from my previous mistakes, I made a significant effort to make sure that it was clearly communicated to people what they needed to be working on in order to make work easier and faster. It was not perfect by any sense of the word, but it was leagues better than my previous team effort. While it certainly helped that the time limit forced everyone to be involved, making sure that people were communicating made the project go even smoother.

Be Open to Change

When working in a game jam the time limit makes it important that people are willing to quickly adjust their ideas in order to speed up development. Doing this allows people to quickly begin developing ideas while leaving room for those ideas to improve. When working in a game jam it is better to choose a base for a game and work from there rather than trying to plan everything out from the start.

Overall, this has been a really fun experience but there are still around 24 hours left, so I am going to get back to jamming.

Good Luck Myself.

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👋 My musings here are basically a public stream-of-consciousness journal, so please forgive my writing: it’s getting better, I promise.

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Connor Sparks

Connor Sparks

👋 My musings here are basically a public stream-of-consciousness journal, so please forgive my writing: it’s getting better, I promise.

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