Your first Game Jam: Step-by-step guide

For many Game Jams feel like a massive leap to unknown. An epic fight in which you need to prepare yourself for months, or even years.

"The people who have years of experience have joined a game jam back in the days to learn. You can't learn all this without actually making games, so why not start it tonight?"

The fact is that the sooner you join a jam and get your hands dirty, the better. In the end, making games is not a straight forward task to do. It's all about iterating, testing and failing/repeat. There is no single recipe to make a good game, which makes it as fun as it is!

The easy part is to start learning the necessary tools to be able to do this "iteration process". What would be a better way to do this than jumping straight into a game jam and creating your first game?

I will give you six easy steps to guide you through even if you have zero experience


1 Open up itchio

First, you need to find a game jam, which fits into your schedule and has a theme/rules which are OK for you. You can browse different game jams on Itchio and/or Game Jolt. Both having loads of different jams to hop into, just pick one! (In case you're looking for a game jam on November 7th 2019, #JesterJam 3 is happening)

2 Join Discord

Find their Discord channel, and hop in there. Look for a team, or ask someone to help you out. There are A LOT of people who love to help, you just need to ask. (Jestercraft is organizing Game Jams now and then, hop into our Discord channel to stay updated)

Construct

In case you've never created games before, or have a low amount of experience in coding, graphics and such you should definitely start with the Construct 3 game engine. Open up Construct 3 game engine right HERE (Yes, it works in your browser) and hop into Step 4 Tutorial.

Tutorial

You can either browse for Construct 3 tutorials all around the web. There are LOADS of stuff available. At first, you should look for a full tutorial series, which enables you to create a full game by following the tutorial. (We have one free tutorial available on Youtube, which is a full tutorial series for Construct 3. See it HERE)

5 Iterate

Once you've completed a game by following the tutorial step-by-step, it's time to iterate that. You can use the same game as a structure for your game jam game. Just create new levels, create your own fancy (or not that fancy) graphics or just play around with the code. Just remember to make couple of backup saves now and then since you will most likely be destroying the game code several times.

6 Submit

Export your game (in Construct 3 it's HTML5) and hop into the submit page of the game jam, put it out and remember to drop the playable link in several places. (Here below as a comment for example) Just remember, if you find this step hard or impossible, just ask for help. It's not that hard after all!


CONCLUSION

Why I wrote this type of "no brainer" game jam guide? A lot of starting game developers still think that game jams are only for experienced developers. Do not think that people who join game jams have (or should have) years of experience in making games. The people who have years of experience have joined a game jam back in the days to learn. You can't learn all this without actually making games, so why not start it tonight?


SUPPORT JESTERCRAFT

Consider supporting us by pre-ordering our upcoming game Soulrun right here. Pre-orders get the "Supporters Pack (12,99 EUR)" which contains unlock code for in-game content. PRE-ORDER SUPPORTERS PACK HERE 12,99€


Join our community of game developers!

Facebook: https://www-facebook.com/Jestercraft/

Discord: https://discord.gg/N6tajFU

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jestercrafted