We Be Jammin'


Yo. I thought we could use a thread to share interesting game jams, whether we’re participating or not. We can also share what we be jammin’ out.

I don’t like it when topic posts contain content, so I’ll post the first one in the next post!


I started this because I want y’all to know about the one week left on both the Emotional Mecha Jam (for analog games) and the Emotional (Digital) Mecha Jam.

My fellow giant robot/Gundam dorks might be interested in this. (My saying on Twitter that I wanted to do something like the analog jam but digital may have been directly responsible for the creation of the digital jam.)

So, yeah, I’m a few days deep into my development. I’ve got a combination shooter/visual novel thing happening that I’m making in Game Maker. I’m working at breakneck pace for my development habits of late. I still have to finish designing characters and then generate the in-game portraits. I’ve got an outline but I’ve got a few hundred more lines of dialog to actually write and then script. Here’s a glimpse at my shooting engine in action:

I’m pretty happy with how I’ve smashed together the VN and STG segments to work together. The focus is on the story, so it’s not the deepest of systems. I’m expecting the game takes about 45 min. to play.


That’s pretty huge. I’ve been working on a visual novel for over a year and don’t even know if people will get 45 minutes out of it lol

Then again I didn’t work on it for probably 6 months out of that year and I had to learn everything I needed from zero.

I’m kind of interested in doing a game jam but I wouldn’t want to do one alone at this time. I’d like some team work. I don’t know how much use I’d be in that setting but I think it would be a tremendous learning experience for me. Soooo if anyone is interested to have me help with something…


Depending on the jam and scheduling, I’d be willing to help.


That’s awesome! You’ve got some real experience so I’d be honored to learn from you. I’m thinking 4 people would be ideal. Maybe? Let’s see if we can get that together. And then find a schedule that works.


I really don’t have enough discretionary time to do game jams and also I love sleeping and hate collaborating, so.


That said, Corpse Wizard started out (kinda) as a 7DRL.


I wanna do a selectjam


Lets do a jam based on uh
“In a world covered by endless water…”


A game jam based on the four universal metrics: Vanity, Gun, Investigation, and Revelation.


Plus an elemental magic system based on the periodic table

I always wondered if anyone ever did that. I think I’d have a good laugh if I saw that


On SelectButton 1.0 we used to do Bakedowns, where people would spend January just committing to making a game. My first really major game project Caverns of Khron came out of that. I make a lot more games now, so that doesn’t feel as necessary,

I actually have a hard time with jams in general. Big events like Ludum Dare and GGJ can be exciting, but I rarely like the announced themes, can usually not set aside a full weekend for crunching out something, and I tend to work alone so those aren’t my bag. I might change my mind if I ever find a team to work with in-person (48-hour film projects have been fun for me in the past that way, with intense collaboration).

So I find myself much more attracted to jams like the ones I posted, or the Chess or Tomb Raider jams hosted by Sophie Houlden (or, ahem, the Wumpus Jam I hosted last summer). Ones where I know the theme in advance, can meditate on whether I want to make something, and have a little bit of leeway in scope and time to refine my idea, with a very broad theme to riff on.

Anyway, I’m into the idea of a SelectJam.


This belongs in random game ideas or whatevs, but I have been thinking about a magic system based on different varieties of agriculture for a while.

But I also don’t usually make games with magic systems so idk.


Everybody get up it’s time to select jam!

I don’t even know what that means. I mean, I’m super intrigued but I don’t know anything about agriculture. What would that look like? Also, did you think of something with hydroponics? I just love that word. Hydroponics!


Re-reading my post, I realize that what probably attracts a lot of people to jams is the novelty of making something quickly they might never make anyway. As someone who pursues a lot of my weird mechanical ideas in shortform experiments anyway, I look at jams more as an opportunity to give myself a deadline to focus some stray thoughts into making something that belongs to a shared body of work with other developers.


I know nothing about agriculture and hydroponics either! But it came from being bored with standard elemental magic types and pondering something that would be like, idk, corn-based magic, wheat-based magic, rice-based magic, squash-based magic… something like that.


Ohh okay, I misunderstood. You mean like varieties if agricultural crops. That’s actually pretty genius!


I definitely prefer in-person jams, especially when working with others, because being in a physical place with other people doing similar work is strangely motivating (I also like coworking spaces for the same reason).

I really should try getting into one of Sophie’s jams one of these days. I just never feel like I’m up to the task proposed by the themes. I do appreciate more time to mull on the theme, however, so if we do a SelectJam, I think setting a theme well in advance would be great.


Game jam theme: Unusual magic.

Foodmancers who summon giant fighting hot dogs to take their place in battle, cook delicious meals to distract enemies, and are pretty handy with that Single-Edged Spatula

Duct Tapers who combine items in unusual janky ways. Swords with fireworks attached that explode upon first use, dismembering enemies but destroying the sword. I put a sword on your axe on your sword, dawg. Why are there wheels on the back of my armor? Who the fuck knows!

Grass Elementals who are absolutely not druggies, and just control the natural grass around them. Form a ladder, smack someone in the face, bind them to the ground, or just make a really well manicured lawn.

Hat Whisperer. Use their hats…against them.

Etc. etc. etc.


I feel like I opened a can of worms here, I don’t even like magic in games :laughing:

I loved materia in FF7 but that’s about it. Something about magic always feels so disconnected from the gameplay. Like it’s just some ephemeral stuff that comes out of thin air and that feels sucky somehow. Give me a stick to hit things with or a gun to reach out and touch stuff with. I do like The Force though, probably because you could do everything you can do with it if you had absolute control over electromagnetism. Even the mind control stuff would be possible with that