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Tips for GameJams

A topic by Liven created Aug 27, 2018 Views: 463 Replies: 1
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I can't make game this week, but I wanted to join the party in some way, so I offer some "easy" tips (to late for advanced ones) I learned while making and playing GameJam games.


Controls :

If you don't use mouse, don't forget the right hand (duplicate WASD on Arrows for example)

If your game's controls are not intuitives, make sure the game starts easyly.

For exemple for a top-down on witch the control are relative to the avatar direction, you should start your level by encouraging the player moving from down to up. If you do the opposite, the right/left controls will be reverse and this is not a good start point for the player.


Gameplay :

Don't hide your gameplay key informations in wall texts. If you can explain your gameplay without texte, do it. During rating periode, each player test lot of games, so those have to be easy to understand (at least easy to interact with).

Don't underestimate balance, it is a huge pitfall in GameJams (!avoid feelings of unfair!). Maybe consider a "difficulty barre" accessible to the player somewhere to make sure your game can be played by many people.


Before submit :

  • Play your game fully to check bugs and balance.
  • Of course tackle Big Bad Bugs (those prevent playing)
  • But do not leave the Bad Bugs (those mess the experience).
  • Be careful about a possible server congestion if you submit late.
  • Be Careful with late modifications / updates ! Test !


Other :

  • Don't forget to hide your cursor in build if you don't need it to play.
  • Provide a way to exit the game (esc for exemple).
  • Build in 32bit if your game don't need +4Go Ram
  • Time to time, build your game. Make sure it launch.
  • If you are on, use the application and make sure your game work on it (!webGL don't work on it yet!).


Unity related Tips :

  • If you don't need unity launch window, desactivate it. (especialy if you have an ambiance game with a beautiful page)
  • Use cinemachine (especially in 2D). With a couple of click you can have a smooth camera (and a lot more if you dig).
  • Have a look on profiler time to time (just for big issues, don't look for performances!)
  • Left stick have common axis for all gamepad (contrary to other axis and buttons) so you can easily use gamepad when you only need one stick.


To conclude

When you doubt, remember that at the end there is the immense satisfaction of having finished a game.

I'm sure there is lot more to say.

Feel free to complete.


Bonus :

An open source tool to update your unity project on

Once configured, you update only what was modified on your project with one click :)

Save the link and but don't waste time looking at this now if your game is not finish.

Jam Judge

Really cool, thanks for sharing! :)