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Don't know where to begin? First game jam? Read this! Sticky

A topic by Ludonaut created Sep 09, 2017 Views: 427 Replies: 1
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Have you never made a game before, or is this your first time participating in a game jam? Here are some links and tips just for you:


(Relatively) Simple (But Great) Game Making Tools

Check out sortingh.at. It's a great interactive resource for zero budget first timers who don't know where to begin.


Here's a bunch of tools I've worked with before and that I can recommend for game jams:


Twine is for text-based choose your own adventure style games that run in your browser. Twine 2 completely runs in your browser as well. Here's their documentation on getting started.

Bitsy is a tiny pixely tile-based game making engine right here on itch.io! It's great for making small exploration based games and simple scenes. You can find all the instructions inside the app itself.

Construct 2 is a HTML5 game engine (that means the games will run in a browser!) that's very beginner-friendly. The documentation is great and there are a lot of tutorials. The editor itself is Windows-only but Construct 3 runs right in your browser and might be worth a try also.

PICO-8 is cool if you already know some programming (it's lua based). Paid, but well thought out and includes a code editor, sprite editor, sequencer, everything you need to make a tiny game. There's a fanzine to get you started.

PuzzleScript is for simple rule-based puzzles. Kinda like Sokoban, but also capable of much more.

Vertex Meadow is a tool that renders 2D images as explorable 3D terrain. It runs right in your browser. And it's based on a lua framework called Amulet, which gives you a PuzzleScript-like interface and tons of more options, if you're into lua.

FlickGame is for tiny vignette games. Think MS Paint meets Powerpoint, but wayyyy simpler.

RPG Maker is for making JRPG-style games. There are a lot of versions and most of them are paid, but the older ones are cheaper.


Also, here are some great audio tools:


General Game Jam Advice

I recommend you read Christer McFunkypants Kaitila's great article (which he wrote with Ludum Dare in mind, but it applies here and to every game jam nonetheless), How to Get the Most Out of a Game Jam. Our friends over at My First Game Jam also wrote this huge thread with a ton of advice and links for getting started.

To keep yourself motivated I recommend keeping the game small as you possibly can (and then expand on that later, if you still have time/energy) and to take care of yourself. Take breaks, don't forget to hydrate and eat well. Stuck on a problem? Take a short walk around the block and the solution might come to you.

You can also try to keep a log of your progress (with the devlog tag right here in our forums), show people in the #show-and-tell channel of our Discord, or post your progress (screenshots, gifs, little videos, whatever) on twitter with the #AGBIC hashtag.


Do you know a simple game making tool that's beginner friendly? Do you want to share some advice for newbies? Tell us in this thread, and don't forget to join our Discord.

Submitted

Twine is a great recommendation. It's easy to underestimate Twine, but its a great prototyping tool and you might be surprised by what you can do with it, especially if you have a background in web dev, CSS, and JavaScript. Here are some links worth checking out if you're thinking to use Twine:

A great intro.

What's possible with some basic JavaScript and CSS.

Our game for the jam is being built in Unity, but was prototyped in Twine, including the finite state machine RPG engine

Twine also looks good on a resume.