Rapid Prototyping & Stuff or Why I Love Game Jams
>Huuuge Game Jam at Gamedec.UKW HQ is on! After Global Game Jams 2015 and 2016, it's the third jam we've hosted. I've co-organised all three, never been a regular jammer (this must change). With the next GGJ coming on 20-22 January 2017, let me say why this is so-damn-worth-trying.
Source: Huuuge Game Jam fanpage
People come here to create games - and more. It's less about the product, more about immersion in the creative process together with everyone around. It's a confrontation and connection of diverse talents: programming, design, writing, visual art, sound, all in a friendly co-creative social environment. It's like an art festival, with costumes, acting improvs, songwriting and live music which may have nothing to do whatsoever with the games which are being developed. Yes, some really bring musical instruments and are not afraid to use them! Just have a look at the non-game jam session >video (courtesy of Karczma Geeka).
Test Your Limits
It is also a tough challenge: stay productive and creative over the period of 24 or 48 h of intense work under constant time pressure. Where else will you find a better way of testing your readiness for the dreaded crunch time, which is a common plague in video game dev? Don't get me wrong: I say crunch is bad. Bad for health, bad for quality, and in the long run also bad for business. But for all its flaws, it is still widespread (check >IGDA Dev Satisfaction Survey) and, well, expected from game dev professionals. And when you listen to dev veterans, you'll hear they talk about past crunches just like soldiers about frontline experience: we were there, we survived, we succeeded. Crunching is not something you should look forward to, but you should be able to face it when it comes.
Last week at College of Extraordinary Experiences, we practiced the design of transformative experiences through the three-fold framework of rapid prototyping, co-creation, and flexible focus. When you look at game jams, you'll see all these things incarnate. It is damn rapid. It is collaborative. It is flexible like hell, until the concept gets well-formed. And the point of all that is designing powerful experiences for players. So if you are experience designers ready for some extraordinary practice, go and try rapid game design. Book the date: 20-22nd of January 2017, Global Game Jam. Will you be close to Bydgoszcz? Check our >GGJ2017 site!