Over the last weekend(25-27 Jan 2019), we were busy on a mission for building a game in just 48 Hours. There was a lot of brainstorming, late night coding, planning, replanning, execution & off course tons of food and fun. All of this was for a special reason called Global Game Jam(GGJ).
In case you don't know already, Global Game Jam is a global event which happens once in a year at the same time on different locations throughout the world. The theme is common for all which is announced on the spot every year.
Here are some official figures for this year which I got from their site:
- Total Jammers around the world - 47044
- Total jam sites - 860
- Countries participating - 113*
Off course I was one of them :)
For me the Game Jam was special for a few reasons, first I was going to develop a game for the first time in my life & secondly the event was happening at my office(Tradebyte Software). Here is our jam site page.
A sneak peek to our game before we go ahead:
I will try summarizing my experience in a timeline format & try keeping it short:
Day 1 (5 P.M.) [The theme]:
All jammers from different part were gathered at around 5 PM at the site. Then there was a short introduction about the event & theme was announced at around 6 p.m.
This years theme was What home means to you. The theme seems to be simple but it was pretty tough to come up with an Idea around it.
As soon as the theme was announced, people started discussing their idea & teaming up with the groups. Within half an hour all teams had to announce their idea & make it open for others to join their team if someone interested(I like this open team building concept :)).
Day 1 (7 P.M.) [The Start]:
We six developers teamed up together for an idea of building a multiplayer war game. The idea was to save your home from another home & make it the last standing home & we named it Homeageddon. Then we started with actual game development at around 7 p.m. We did a little brainstorming in the beginning & started with the goals. I was also understanding how to use Phaser-3 first time.
Day 1 (10 P.M.) [First Sync]:
We did our first sync meeting since we started and defined the targets for the day for each member. I was doing mainly involved in the frontend part.
Day 2 (01:30 A.M.) [Second Sync & sleep call]:
After defining the UI, basic backend & much plannings we decided to take some rest because we had two big days ahead to work on.
Day 2 (08:00 A.M.) [Heavy breakfast & big plans]:
Everyone gathered early in the morning because a lot of work was pending on the game. After having heavy breakfast we did sync & divided tasks & priority to take on. Everyone was doing his part to make a game better.
Day 2 (12:00 A.M.) [Backend has done, sync again]:
By now most of the important part from the backend was done so we did a little sync on how we can move ahead with the frontend building.
Day 2 (03:00 P.M.) [Thing are shaping up]:
Things are started to shaping up & most of the part from the UI was done by now. Now the backend frontend connections & building actual game logic was the most important part. It was fun to take small quick breaks from your desk & discuss the ideas of other teams & how they are doing it.
Day 2 (04:00 P.M.) [Cakes & Cakes]:
Now was the time for some yummy-yummy cakes from Tradebyte.
Day 2 (07:00 P.M.) [Doners & Discussions]:
By the time of dinner, we were at the stage where our game allows to start a game with multiple players in. We were a bit casual because of the overall progress we made during the day. We had nice doners for dinner.
Day 2 (10:00 P.M.) [Getting serious]:
We started with building actual game logic multiplayer fight/collision/fire & much more. Basic things were done easily but there were multiple corner cases to fix & time was moving fast.
Day 2(02:20 A.M.) [Getting better, time to sleep]:
Collision detection between bullets & players was too much of work. Also, it was much difficult to make it sync for all the players. The goal was not to have a lag(At least not much so we can actually play a game). With some important things open on the logic we decided to take some sleep. Almost everyone from our team was leaving nearby so we went home like the previous day.
Day 3(09:30 A.M.) [Late Start with open topics]:
After 5 day week, it was already too much exhausting weekend for me so far. So I was a little lazy in the morning. By the time I went to the office my teammates were already gathered & started doing their bit. I had to fix important logic about movement & counting health of the players. I was busy with that for the next few hours. Then added some music for the game.
Day 3(02:00 P.M.) [Testing & improving, testing & improving, testing & improving....]:
The game was ready for testing. We did multiple rounds of a test, fixing things, again & again testing. It was tricky because we always needed multiple team members for testing & feedback. Testing tool quite some time & finally we reached close to the release level.
Day 3(04:00 P.M.) [The presentation & happy ending]:
Martin submitted the game one the GGJ website & we did a little presentation of the game. Also, a live demo where a live audience also participated. Everyone liked the game(Which off course made us happy)! That was the ending of the GGJ. Everyone went home with exhaustion & happiness
I was so grateful to be a part of a nice team. Finally, I would like to take a moment to say thanks to my team, our sponsors & the host(Tradebyte Software).
Hope you will join next year!