Post Mortem / Lessons learned Global Game Jam 2018

Go there in time (16:00 start)
Listen to the theme announcement (17:00 – 18:00)
Wait at least for the nice discussions after the announcement (20:00)
Check your participation status on Saturday (best before 15:00)
Create your game page early on sunday. It’s not possible to resubmit / edit the game after XX:YY
Know your tools and the Unity environment
Update your Environment
Select some nice CC Sounds and Music upfront + Create a Credits Template in the Asset folder and the blog
Make yourself familiar with the Unity Game Jam Template (the menu)
Test and setup the unity team functionality upfront
Prepare for fun and nice people

Long Version:

This was my first “Global Game Jam” and I was surprised by the event. I really liked the real live gathering and the atmosphere at my location. But let’s start with first things first…

I planned some days upfront my weekend and how many time I really have for the jam. And to be honest I was 90% sure, that I will go there but leave after my deadline which was 19:00 – some minutes after the announcement of the theme. Why 90%? Because I was really sure, that there is no time to code a game and I was not sure about the people at the event.

Surprisingly I liked the people. Very open minded girls and guys with good technical knowledge. It was also very easy to get in touch and speak with them.
So I stayed until the keynote – listened to there ideas and finally decided to create a world demo with a tech / dev / code / Unity guy I meet.

Some others wanted to code in Godot. I was the opposite and wanted Unity to get more knowledge there… But anyway some nice ideas.

That’s enough smalltalk 😉 Let’s get to some technical things…

At 16:00 the event started with a gathering of people.
At 17:00 the first keynote videos had been shown. Afterwards (It guess it took 30 something minutes) we discussed the theme which was “transmission”.
I do not know why… But my feeling after the announcement of the theme was much better than after the Ludum Dare announcements. Maybe because I was prepared to leave the event… Maybe it was the inspiring atmosphere and the good ideas from the other participants… I don’t know… It was nice… Not like the last Ludum Dare theme 😉

Ok – technically… Let’s try again…
Some had big ideas… The first thing was to filter out the “not possible” ideas and teams with persons who wanted to create something and not just find coders for there projects…

It was a good idea to stop the discussions at some point and sit down with Joo to prototype a world. The next hours until 2am have been… Productive is the wrong word… We had to find a Style (2D, isometric, 3D) and how and which assets. We decided to create a 3D Low Poly game at the end… And we had some troubles with the Unity “Team” functionality… However… At the end of the day we had a real nice demo world.

(Ok – that was 99% due to the wonderful Asset we found but anyway… the creation process and the discussion had been very interesting)

On day 2 I started at 11 AM. I searched and recreated the game menu and again the orbit cam. I also selected some CC game sounds and I read through the game jam rules and checked our assets for compliance. Again… Do this stuff upfront the jam. It’s a waste of time during the jam.

I also created the waypoints aka quest place prototypes. Then Joo arrived and I guess we wasted a lot of time not understanding each other / what we wanted to create. (Planned was… To reunite with the people with the ideas at this time… But I don’t know why… At the end we did not join them / did not show our world to them and focused on the quests and the crafting scripts)

Mario also joined for some time… and we had some nice talks with the other people at the place… Time went bye… At the end of the day we had the fire waypoint script – some issues with Models imported int Unity and a lot of fun.

At 11PM Joo was kind of nervous. I guess he had some other plans with friends and the Saturday night… But I asked him several times and he said he is fine?!
1AM we stopped coding. Spoke some more hours?! And again I was at 3 am in my bed.

Sunday I started aprox. at noon. Heavily fighting and finishing the Quest Points… (FBX import did not work) I created workarounds and workarounds… It was functioning… But yes… Quick and really dirty…

We had some “stress” to finish… But it was very good to work with Joo… At the end we created the entry for the game (like discussed with the local team) and made a presentation.
However… The site is not ready to update until today… I guess something went wrong…
As an update and one of the most important things learned... The game page was NOT enough. I was not able to edit the game on the next 2 days because I had some other things to do –
but now it’s not possible to change anything on the official site. No image and no links to the sourcecode… That’s a real pity.