Javoscript -- Programming, technology and more...

Lessons learned at my first game jam

4 minute read Published: 2018-12-20

A few months ago, me and two fellow indie hackers went to a local game jam, in which the only requirement was to make a game with the motto: “it wasn’t designed for this”.

We already knew we wanted to make a mobile game (iOS/Android), so we rapidly thought the game mechanics, sketched our game and went on to code it. Since we already had experience with these technologies (and they suited our needs), we decided we were using HTML5 + JavaScript for making the game and then port it to the different platforms (iOS and Android) using Cordova. As a game engine, we used Phaser.io, a pretty simple JavaScript game development framework / engine, which served us really well.

We ended up with a game in which you use a clock to waste time (it clearly isn’t designed for that), and by the end of the game jam, we already had published it to the Android Play Store (and a few days later to the Apple App Store).

Here are some things I learned from this first-time experience in making a game and attending a game jam:

You need an MVP: before the game jam ends you need to, at least, have the first iteration of your game working, with full mechanics and playability. It’s important to leave the event with a solid foundation of your game. Having a finished playable and fun prototype will give you future motivation to keep working on it, to optimize all those rough edges you left unpolished, to show your game to other people and ask them what they think of it. If you leave without a working prototype, you’ll probably never engage again with the idea of investing your time into it.

We are always looking for some more inputs and traction, after all our relatives and friends have tried it, with pretty much good feedback. Obviously, the game is still not complete, and we have many ideas of things we want to add to it, and bug fixes we have to make, like improving the graphics and sound effects, adding more power ups, etc.

I’d really appreciate if anyone is willing to try it and give some more feedback. The game is in Spanish (we are from Argentina), but it's definitely not language dependent.

The links to the app stores are: