Global Game Jam Notes

The Global Game Jam begins today! Game developers are convening in major cities around the world to spend the next 48 hours collectively cranking out some intriguing new games. That's the idea, at least. Sadly, I won't have the time to participate in this exciting event, let alone journey to some far-off city for this purpose.

However, there is one consolation for us who must watch from the sidelines. That is, the most excellent keynote presentation video by Kyle Gabler of World of Goo and Experimental Gameplay Project fame, with seven tips on How to Make a Game in 48 Hours. It was awesome. You must watch it.

I wrote up some notes on it. I did it more to help myself remember and process the information than for anything else, but I thought I'd post them here as well. Maybe glance over them before and after watching the video. Or better yet, write up your own. :)

My notes on
Kyle Gabler's 7 easy tricks on
How to Make a Game in 48 Hours

7. "Adjust Expectations"
  • Don't compete with big-budget games.
  • Create a new category and excel in it.
  • Introduce one new idea quickly and clearly.
6. "Create a Low Barrier of Entry"
  • Make it fun in the first fifteen seconds.
  • Title screen, one sentence instructions, then play.
  • Or combine two of those. Or have all three at once.
5. "Feel Something"
  • Find a song that inspires an emotion in you.
  • Choose graphics, sound, and design to reflect it.
  • Use the mechanics to present a deeper theme.
4. "Make the TOY First"
  • Find out whether your idea is actually fun.
  • First test the mechanics with placeholder art.
  • If it's fun, then add graphics and sound.
3. "shhh..."
  • Make use of sound as much as graphics.
  • It can be just as effective, with less effort.
2. "harmony"
  • Don't create a lot of graphics and sound.
  • Use few elements that work well together.
1. "Never Fall in Love"
  • Embrace the possibility of failure.
  • Feel free to mangle and transform your original idea.
Kyle Gabler's 2nd Theorem of DESTRUCTION

"as love and effort INCREASE,
the probability of SELF DESTRUCTION approaches 1"

There you have it. I've tried to rephrase his advice into direct, concrete actions that you can easily begin to put into practice. I'm definitely eager to see how I might apply these to my own projects. :) I'd say I'm already pretty good with tips 2 and 5, but I'm still struggling with that number 1... :p

How about you?


Oliver Snyders said...

Thanks for the summary! Great stuff!

axcho said...

You're very welcome! :) I'm glad you found it helpful.