Welcome to the first ever
BUTTERSCOTCH SHENANIJAM, the official game jam of Butterscotch Shenanigans!
The 100th episode of our gamedev comedy podcast, Coffee with Butterscotch, is coming up on May 31st! To celebrate, we are inviting our listeners, fans, players, game dev pals, and even wild internet randos to join us in a 48-hour game jam!
At the start of the jam (May 26, 5pm CST), you will be given a random theme from the titles of our podcast episodes. We have over 40 themes, so we should get a pretty good variety of games coming out of this thing! We'll provide the theme generator at our podcast website, podcast.bscotch.net, for you to retrieve your theme once the jam starts.
Do you want a SOCIAL jam experience? Hop on into the Butterscotch Community Discord to showcase your progress and chat with other BscotchJammers while you crank out your UNRULY MASTERPIECE! It's open 24/7, and you don't even need shoes to get in. You can join the Discord any time, even long before the Jam starts, and you can stay as long as you like afterwards, too!
PREPARE TO BE JUDGED! Getting feedback on your work is a great way to know where you need to improve. Games submitted to the Shenanijam will be scored by other participants of the jam. Scoring categories for the Shenanijam are:
After scoring ends, the Bscotch crew will pull down a handful of the top rated games and put together a gameplay video (with commentary) for the WHOLE WORLD TO ENJOY!
Submit your game in whatever format you think provides the best end-user experience. There's a huge variety of hardware out there, so it's always a good idea to target whatever is the most common configuration. In our experience, your game will get the most plays if it has a Windows version and uses a simple mouse + keyboard combo, without requiring the use of peripherals (like gamepads). But if you have a crazy game idea that only works with 15.3 players using DDR pads and pool noodles with Oculus Rift on your own custom Linux kernel, hey, that's your prerogative! We definitely won't play it, though (and neither will anyone else). But ehhh... you do your thing!
However, all participants will need to provide a sub-2-minute Youtube video to showcase their games. (We recommend using Fraps or Xsplit to record video.) This way, even if someone doesn't have the time or the hardware to download and play your game, they can still experience the magic you created!
How big should my team be? Can I go solo?
You can make a game on a team of any size, though we have found that teams any larger than 3 people tend to get bogged down and have a hard time getting things done. You can also go solo if you like! We call that "Hardcore Mode." Also, if you die while making a game in hardcore mode, you do not respawn and we are not liable. We said it here, so it's legally binding.
What if I've never made a game before?
No problem! There's no time like the present!
How do you even MAKE A GAME?
We recommend Game Maker Studio 2 for all things 2d, though if you are already a decent programmer and are looking to make something in 3D, Unity will be more up your alley. Game Maker in particular is very friendly to newbies -- even people who don't know how to program at all! It also comes bundled with a bunch of tutorials, so you can run through some how-to's before the jam starts.
We use Inkscape for all of our in-game art needs, and we highly recommend it. It's free! Sam, our artist, has a bunch of Inkscape tutorials on our Youtube channel, so that should help you get an idea of how to use the tool.
For sound, you can use bfxr to generate 8-bit style sound effects, and you can find free music all over on the web. Our go-to site for jam music is freemusicarchive.org. But that brings us to the next point...
Do I have to make everything from scratch?
You do not. However, as always, ethics are IMPORTANT! It is your responsibility to ensure that everything in your game is legal for you to use. That means you need to check the licenses on fonts, music, audio, code, or any other assets that end up in your game that you didn't create yourself. Be careful!