If this is your first hackathon/game jam then this is a place for you to start.
What is a game jam? or hackathon?
It's a competition to make the best game in a very short amount of time. Mostly 48h. In our hangout game jam it's even shorter - 24h (much less adding that you need to sleep).
This jam is also on-line so everybody joins virtually in their homes. And probably beds. The idea is to chill out and make a simple game while doing so.
What You shoudl prepare
Before the jam starts prepare anything that may (or may not) be useful while making the game. This includes old code, graphics inspirations, some music/sfx banks, software and also fluids and food!
From programing point of view you'll need some game engine. If you do not use one before do it now. Play with it.
- Pico-8 lexaloffle.com
- Godot Engine godotengine.org
- AllegroJS allegrojs.net
- ImpactJS impactjs.com
- Unity 3D unity3d.com
If you do not know what to choose, we (P1X) suggests Godot Engine. It's free, open-source, runs on all platforms (linux!) and it's fast and easy to use.
In the engine of your choosing start a new project. Call it hangover-jam and set up default scene/resolution/etc. Everything that's need to be tweaked so the game will run and render empty (e.g. black) screen.
If you making a web game download icons templates, web templates. Test the default scene in a few browsers. Make sure you have all the tools and resources needed to deploy the game.
And lastly create account on itch.io (if you dont have one yet) and join the jam. It's only for easy uploading (and voting on) all of the games after we made them.
Remember that you don't need to publish your game or any code. It's up to you. It's for fun after all. Just make a game :)
As of 2018 I personaly (w84death) suggests pico-8. It's small, fast and easy to code. And a top of that, it's super fun to use.
Here is my article about pico-8.
Go alone or join a team?
Most of the time the team is better. But as old masters says 'if you want to go a long way take a partner; if you want go fast go alone'. And this jam is very short and depends highly on the time you wake up I hardly suggest to do it solo this time.
But as always it's up to you. If you wake up with a bunch of game developers and you all have some kind of computers then why not make a game together? Sounds like awesome hangover to me! :)
You wake up and what?
Do the game you want or follow the topic that will be posted here (where the count down clock is now). Thing of the game play and overall idea. But what is most important - thing about the short time. Simple but polished game will be better than good one but not working.
Just have fun, play with some one, simple idea. Let it be a proof of concept. One level, one enemy. One puzzle. You get it. For example does not implement map saving/loading. Make the map hardcoded in the code. You don't need all of this right now.
You make good code but don't have graphics skills?
Bullshit. The bad graphic made with hearth is always good. Look at the South Park (first episodes). And you can always make a text game. And remember that shooting to the plain boxes at 60fps is much funnier than fully textured game that hardly runs at all :)
And vice-versa. If you can make awesome sprites but you suck at code just make a dead simple game. But good looking one.
The day is ending!
When the jam cames to an end finish all your work as soon as possible. Test the game few times. If there is a realy big issue that can be fixed easly do this. If not, don't bother. Pack the game. If it's possible test the package on a new computer (or virtual). When all is ok go to the itch.io page and upload the game.
Last important thing!
After reading this it can look complicated with lots of rules and so on. But it is not.
Remember that the one and only important rule is to make a game. You can do whatever you want as long as it's a game related :)