Tomorrow is the start of a Game Jam, hosted by my friends in the IGDA here in Chicago. For those that don’t know; a game jam is a challenge to make a game in a short period of time. Sometimes they are 3 hours… sometimes they are 2 weeks. The idea is that you make a game. It’s the closest thing to a marathon game developers have.

I’m announcing here that as part of the Game Jam, I plan to update any working builds we have to the Hat’s website as we work. http://www.hatsproductions.com/ChicagoGameJam2011.html

Go there. Right now. There is already something up.

I may also have some sort of live update feed but I think I’ll probably just spam twitter. @HatsProductions if you aren’t already following us. I’ll use the hashtag #CGJ to mildly organize the posts.

Game Jams are super awesome. The ones I’ve participated in usually last anywhere from 24-36 hours straight, with teams of 3-8. They are a great way to make something tiny and focused, and a great way to push yourself on so many levels. The theme is announced the night beforehand so you can’t really be prepared for it. If you are curious about more of the details. Check out the IGDA’s page http://jam.igdachicago.com/

Game Jams are not about competition, although there is always a thin layer of that to help motivate you. Game Jams, to me, are about the following:

  • Failure
  • Working with a team
  • Designing a game that fits your talent pool
  • Scope
  • Learning something new
  • Giving presentations after being awake for 30 hours
  • Executing on ideas
  • Nimble Design
  • Squeezing mayo onto your programmers arm at 8am due to sleep deprivation
  • Playing “The Final Countdown” during the last two hours
This will be my… 5th Game Jam. I would go into detail but words are boring. So here is an infographic about my previous Game Jams!
This looked cooler in my head.