A Game Jam That Mattered

A bit more than two weeks ago, I took part in a game jam organized by a french Youtuber (At0mium). For those who don’t know what a game jam is, it’s basically a video game creation contest where you create a game within a short period of time. In my case, I created the game from scratch during a weekend on the theme: “Faire du neuf avec du vieux”. When I enrolled, I thought that it would be a fun experience and a small break from my current project. It happened to be more than that. The community of game creators was amazing. Some of the game makers were streaming the whole process, others were speaking on Discord, but everyone was trying to help each other, giving advice or providing help with the tools, engines, or anything. The experience over the weekend was just amazing. Seeing so much creativity in such a short time was very inspiring, and sharing the passion for game creation with kind people was so beneficial.

I created a game where you program the main character instead of playing it. You can play it for free and read more about on itch.io: Paperboy Droid. However, the most surprising event to me happened during the week after the game jam. I received so much valuable feedback on my game and had conversations with experienced creators that I learned more during this week than in some months. I even saw my game played live by a streamer, and was surprised by the fact that people could have a really entertaining moment playing a game I made in only two days. I like games involving programming very much. It is the intersection of the two main passions of my life. But I didn’t know that others (especially non-programmers) could have fun playing it two, even if the game was not polished at all. This gave me a desire to go on making such games. Especially games with real gameplay that can or must be played by programming, unlike games where programming is the actual gameplay.

I was also very happy to test games from others and was surprised by the quality of many games and the innovative concepts they were built on. My favorite ones are: Reminder, PO, Patience and Don’t play break out.

One week after the jam ended, we got the results. This is how Paperboy Droid performed:

Results

I ended up at the 10th place (over 163 submitted games), and was ranked #2 in the gameplay category. I was very pleased because the gameplay was what I focused on the most. It was a big achievement for me and a great satisfaction. I’m grateful to all the voters for their support and all the feedback.

The game jam gave me a lot of motivation and the need to become more serious about my video game development story. However, making games is above all a passion for me and I must do it as such. And I should also share it as such. I will keep these principles in mind when choosing my future projects and how to plan them. For these reasons, I will stop the project I was working on and start making a project I’m really passionate about, a game with real gameplay and programming elements.

Author Pierre-Nicolas