Friday, 27 September 2013
Saturday, 20 April 2013
I've recently participated in some recent Game Jams and after a very cool first experience at the Global GJ but I've noticed that my following GJs we're not as fun.
I've compiled a list of things that I could have done to maintain a better & more productive game jamming experience:
1. Try to join a new team at very jam. This will give you a chance to meet new people, learn new skills and add variety to your experiences.
2. Find people that have the same tastes & are into the same style of games as you. If you are in a team that's making a game you are not into because it's not your "thing" then it will start to feel like work very fast and you will have a lot of difficulty in contributing content significantly.
3. If you are a generalist and not a specialist then try to avoid going into a team with specialists, you are never going to code as fast as someone that knows Unity or Flash like the back of his hand. Instead try to find other generalists or become a specialist for the weekend at whatever field you feel you can contribute in.
4. Avoid the "serious" people at all costs! At first I thought Game Jams were like the Open Source scene from a while back, a bunch of "hippies" talking & making new tech without judgement and with a sheer will to share knowledge.
And I can say that from what I've saw, a lot Game Jams are NOT very friendly events, it's a competition!
There's some very serious people at GJs and they will not hesitate to judge you....so avoid them at all costs and so try to find the "long hair dudes" that just don't give a shit and want to make games!
But if you there for the thrill of competition then you should seek out the "serious" people but take in consideration that if you don't perform at they expectation then they will probably criticize you and target your reputation. And a lot of stuff can happen in 48 hours that are out of your control but can be perceived as a lack of skill so be very prepared.
5. Make sure you are in shape for the jam. I've made the great mistake of participating at a Game Jam just after a series of long weeks of crunching at my day job & not having the energy to fully participate to the end. A 5-days of heavy crunch + a cold + a 48h weekend GJ is a very very bad combo, especially if your health is not up to the task.
In resume, making games is fun but it's not done in a vacuum, usually you will have to work with a team. And from experience, it's your teammates that will determine the quality of your experience not the tools, not the concept but the human interactions throughout the creative process.
So the only way you can "protect" your passion for game development from negative experiences, is to choose very wisely with who & how your participate in events like Game Jams and make sure there's compatibility at all levels.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
One thing I've been struggling with recently is how to explain to my family & friends what exactly I do for a living, being a level designer is a very abstract concept to someone that doesn't know how games are made.
But after mediating on the subject, I think have to come to able to explain it by this simple principle that a designer in the game industry main responsibility is crafting the player's experience, whatever it's by balancing systems or building layouts.
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Completed the Montreal Global Game Jam 2013 event successfully, it was an extremely interesting experience.
I will be posting a post-mortem at the end of the week but in meanwhile, you can try out our game at the following link:
- W, A, S, D to move
- E to pick up/drop hearts
- Shift to run
Thursday, 24 January 2013
I highly recommend this talk, especially for anyone interested understanding the link between theatre & video games, especially if you consider that "play acting" & the concept of the player as a "performer" of the narrative shares a common bond.
IGDA-Montreal Nov12 FC3 from IGDA Montreal on Vimeo.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
I'll be participating in the Montreal Game Jam this year, this time in the board game category.
Saturday, 22 December 2012
I hope you get an achievement for this epic body pile.
As a lot of players are noticing, most achievements or trophies are being integrated as static waypoints instead of contextual rewards for players that explore & exploit the game's systems.
And at the end of the day, a good player is like a hacker, he's in a constant search to master the game by finding the subtle weaknesses in a targeted system, this should be rewarded for it's what true gaming is all about.