Top 10 Tips for Taking Part in Game Jams

We interviewed a bunch of game developers from all over the world about their experiences and lessons learned from taking part in game jams. We collected top tips from their interviews to help you navigate the challenging but fun process of making a game during a game jam. Check out the tips below!

You can read the full developer interviews in our blog.

Tip #1
Experiment and design freely! Don't limit yourself and go off charts. Just do what you feel like and don't overthink it.

Tip #2
Be open to the idea of meeting new people. It's a great environment to socialize with people interested in the same things as you.

Tip #3
Finish your game and release it. Even if half of your planned features are missing, it doesn't matter. Wrap it and release it.

Tip #4
Communication is key to success. Being on the same wavelength with your teammates is crucial to the project. Be ready to work in a team, often with people you don't know beforehand and remember to keep an open mind to new perspectives.

Tip #5
Find a working pace that works for you! Some developers don't need any breaks, but instead find they work best when pushing themselves hard through the whole jam without any breaks. Meanwhile others need regular breaks to cooldown and refocus their concentration, and it's all ok. Do what best suits you to stay productive!

Tip #6
Don't forget marketing your game! Importance of marketing has become an increasingly important part of Game Jams and is pretty much required to get attention to your game. Learn how to promote your game, even if it's a small, short, and free game.

Tip #7
Focus to keep up an ideal environment for creative thinking. Prevent stress at all costs. Having enough breaks, good nutrition and sleep also increases your productivity and prevents loss of focus.

Tip #8
Be realistic with your game's scope! Having a feasible, simple idea that can be expanded upon is a basis to work from. A simple game can be made and given a great amount of polish in even the shortest time frames, allowing it to appear very complete and professional.

Tip #9
Balance learning and doing what you know! Game Jams are a great place to learn new techniques, experiment, and push yourself to develop your skills. However, this can come at the expense of the project itself, so if you truly want to be efficient, focus on doing what you know best. So decide what you focus on during the jam early on.

Tip #10
Manage your time! Time management is one of, if not the most, important things to handle. With proper time management skills and tools you can make sure you focus on the correct things and get everything you want and need done in time.

BONUS TIP #1
Remember to have fun! :)

BONUS TIP #2
And remember to submit your game to the GDWC Game Jam category! It's open to any games made during a game jam, it's free, and you get a chance to win cool prizes!

We want to send our thanks to all the developers who took part in our interview series. It was a blast to do, and to get so many different perspectives about Game Jams. We hope this has helped our audience to pick up some advice and encouragement for taking part in Game Jams in the future!

Thanks go out to:
Digital Monster Collective / Jason (JBo) / Altay Sava┼čan / 89o / Yazeed Sabil / CatoTheBasterd / Ethan Jennings / Chaz Carter / Ahmad Arzaha / Constantin Lietard / Sami "espirier" Sezgin / Marcelo Alonso / puffy.jelly / Extrys from Squirrel Bytes / Jari Hanski / AsgCreativos / Choi Je Hyun / Isaac Lopes (isaaclopinho) / Bohdan Taraba / ALPHA / Lans Marah / Pradip Khatri / Thomas of twobitadder

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bonus stage

{ Game Jam }

What is this bonus stage?

Bonus stages are additional challenges for game developers, giving them a chance to win prizes that are not part of the two main categories. For the Game Jam category, this means participating with games made during game jams.

How do I participate in this bonus stage?

Register for the Game Development World Championship normally. Find out a Game Jam you want to participate in, and develop your game during that game jam according to their rules, if any. Afterwards, submit your game into the GDWC as you would any other game.

Prizes

  • Visibility on the GDWC website
  • GDWC Finland-themed "care package"
  • Valco ANC Headphones to Winning Team (2 pairs)
  • Houdini Indie one year license to each of the top 3 teams!
  • More to come...

Rules

All the rules of the GDWC competition apply. In addition, the following apply for section 4. Judgement criteria:
  • The game for the submission must have been done entirely during a game jam, which must be specified while submitting the game.
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bonus stage

{ Fan Favourite }

What is this bonus stage?

Bonus stages are additional challenges for game developers, giving them a chance to win prizes that are not part of the two main categories. For the Fan Favourite category, there are no additional limits, it's simply a bonus!

How do I participate in this bonus stage?

Register for the Game Development World Championship normally. We will pick awesome games from those submitted into the competition weekly. During this week, our audience can vote for their favourite game of the week, which will then be a nominee in the final Fan Favourite vote.

Prizes

  • Visibility on the GDWC website
  • GDWC Finland-themed "care package"
  • Valco ANC Headphones to Winning Team (2 pairs)
  • Houdini Indie one year license to each of the top 3 teams!
  • More to come...

Rules

All the rules of the GDWC competition apply. In addition, the following apply for section 4. Judgement criteria:
  • Instead of the GDWC judges, the winner will be chosen by an open vote. Schedule to be determined later.
Close