1. KNOW YOUR TOOLS
– Don’t try out new tools – use engines, frameworks and things you know (or even invented).
– Use programs like GameMaker and Unity or frameworks like FlashPunk and LÖVE2D which were built to make games.
– There are several tools to make your life easier, like sprite editors, level editors, etc.
2. THINK SIMPLE
– Try not to make a whole game, instead experiment with ONE gameplay feature.
-> Or: Remake a simple game, but with a new twist or a different style.
– Also graphics should be a simple as possible.
-> Think also about drawing footage on paper and scan it. Be creative!
3. WORK IN TEAMS
– Try to not work alone, shared fun is double fun!
– Communicate to others what you can do best (programming, graphics, etc. – or even subsets: pathfinding algorithms, pixel art animation, etc.). Team up with like minded people with other skill sets.
– Talk to your team members and find out what they’re interested in.
4. TAKE A BREAK
– Breath, eat, sleep. Go out for a walk. You have three days, use them well, but not only for working.
– Talk to other teams! Look what they are doing. Show your work. Don’t get stuck with yourself!
– Sleep! Ideas and solutions to problems come up better when you are fresh minded!
– Don’t just eat sugary stuff and pizza. Bring also fruits and vegetables with you, and don’t forget to drink much. Or you will just feel full and immobile.
5. MISTAKES ARE OKAY
– Your first idea turns out to be stupid? No problem! Start anew, instead of trying to work around (and painting yourself into a corner). Remember: “If you realise you’re riding a dead horse – dismount!”
– Don’t immediately start with your first idea.
6. DON’T PANIC
– Most important lesson! There are plenty of game jams over the year. This doesn’t need to be the best game you ever did. Just relax and enjoy being part of it!
If there are more suggestions you would like to add, write them in the comments! We would be pleased to hear your experience.