12 Days of Sketchmas Game Jam is a short game jam that takes place during the holiday period. The goal is to produce some form of small game during the 12 days of Christmas between the 25th December and the 5th of January. Think of it like an early New Year’s Resolution for budding and established game developers to bring some momentum into the new year with their creations.
The holiday season can be hectic with travelling, spending time
with friends and family and eating too much. However it can be nice
to keep a small goal in mind and keep up with some form of structured
work/learning to help relieve the stress and keep you sane. If you're a passive traveller, by which I mean taking the train or a plane, back seat of a car where you can possibly whip out a laptop this may be the perfect opportunity to crack out a small game. Otherwise, how about making something on the sofa while everyone's watching TV. Heck, get the whole family involved, work out ideas together or design mechanics for a board/card game.
The rules are simple. Create a small game/sketch every day from Christmas day
until the 5th of January (the 12 days of Christmas). You are free to use whatever engine
you see fit, bonus points for an open source engine like Godot or Amethyst. If you'd rather create a small print-and-playable tabletop game, that's also acceptable.
There are at least two ways you can tackle this. The first and simplest is to create a new mechanic for your game each day. By the end of it you will havea game with 12 simple mechanics.
The second way is to create 1 small game each day. By the end of the jam you will have 12 teeny tiny games.
Another way to tackle this might be to create 1 doodle sized game on day 1, 2 doodle sized games on day 2,
all the way to 12 on day 12. This is probably the hardest
method and I fully expect no one to be mad enough to try it.
Remember, the goal of the jam is to give you something productive and fun to do in any downtime you might have. You shouldn't take it too seriously and don't worry if you get behind or have to drop out. Most importantly don't make your games too complicated! (Something I'm always guilty of in game jams).
Because of the limited time you are free to use any art/sound assets you have the right to use. This could be assets from an existing game you've made to Creative Commons/CC0 assets on sites like OpenGameArt.org. The idea of the jam is to put something theme-related together in a short space of time each day. You are of course also free to create everything from scratch each day.
If you want to get involved we now have an official Discord for the 12 Days of Sketchmas game and art jams.
Hey, you said the jam ends on the 5th, why are submissions open until the 12th?
This may seems strange, normally game jams limit submissions to maybe a few hours after the official deadline however I want this jam to be as stress-free and productive as possible and I recognise that life is VERY likely to get in the way during this jam. As such I wanted to give people until the end of the next weekend, when things might be a bit more settled, to finish working on whatever they've made so they don't feel disheartened and abandon whatever they've made.
If people really don't like this style of submission deadline I'm open to change it for any future iterations.
If you are going to create a lot of small games you are free to submit each day's creation as a separate file or more preferably create a single game with a main menu that has a list of each entry, somewhat like those old anthology cartridges you'd get on consoles like the Mega Drive/NES.
Of course, if you're making one game for the whole jam, this isn't a concern, just upload it as normal.
Bonus points if you treat your submission as a gift to the game development community, 'tis the season after all. You are free to release your games under any license you see fit but if you feel able, a permissive open source license would be great so people can see how you did stuff and learn cool new techniques.
Prompts will be released 24 hours before the jam starts so you can plan how you want to tackle the jam.
The general theme for the jam is Christmas/New Year. Each prompt is an abstract representation of that day in the holiday period with a hope that it will provide some inspiration for the jam.
I'm also running a similar style art jam which you may find easier to schedule during the holiday period at https://sketchmas.drentsoft.com. The prompts will be different and are released at the start of the art jam. Submissions will be through Twitter using the hashtag provided.
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