Welcome Extra Jammers!
As December arrives, we're ready to, once again, talk about the goodness that games have brought to our lives... so let's make EVEN MORE games that bring good to the world!
Never jammed before? No worries. A game jam is a learning experience--push yourself to try something new, learn something unexpected, and practice the art of completing a project (always the hardest step in any creative endeavor). And the good news is, other Extra Jammers are friendly and helpful. Discord community here: https://discord.gg/27QvyZg
If you participated in our first spontaneous game jam in August--welcome back! Thanks to your feedback (and all this extra prep time!) we've got some new features and activities and prizes coming up that we'll be announcing soon.
On Dec. 18, the day after the game jam ends, we will host a virtual celebratory "let's-play" party from 4pm-8pm Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8) on the same Twitch channel and play as many games as we can (within 4 hours, at the very least).
Roughly 6-8 weeks after the game jam ends, we will run an episode of "Games You Might Not Have Tried" composed entirely of game jam entries!
Most important rules
-No plagiarizing; give credit where it is due, and also use common sense and use Creative Commons-licensed or public domain assets unless you have obtained permission from the original creator of the asset.
-The game must make use of the theme (PRESENT); however, there is no single, correct interpretation of the theme. The main thing is, don't start working on your game in advance and then warp it to fit the theme, instead of allowing your game design path to be inspired by the theme.
-For this particular jam, the Extra Credits team only has a standard Windows PC available for playing and testing out the games that are submitted (and of course, if you submit an analog/IRL game we can print that out and play it as well). If you want to make a game that is mobile-only, Mac-only, etc. that's allowed, but just know that we won't be able to access it unless other versions of the file are uploaded. Some game dev programs will let you export the game to be playable in-browser, and most programs will let you export the game to be accessible to Mac, Windows, and Linux OSes.
-DO NOT CRUNCH! What this means is--the jam period has been extended so that everyone has more time to work on their games, not because we are expecting anyone to work 4.5 days straight (life still needs to happen after all), or that the games will look better or be bigger games, etc. It is better to work on your game a little bit every day instead of spending 10 hours last-minute rushing something together.
What is the theme?
THE THEME IS PRESENT.
The only other thing to know is that there will be no restriction on game genre/mechanics. We're most interested in seeing how you choose to interpret and apply the theme in whatever way you wish.
How can I stay updated on game jam news?
If you "join" the jam using the button at the top of this page, you'll get any emails we send out with major announcements. We don't spam (and we won't even know your email addresses since it's all managed through itch.io itself).
Can I make a video game if I'm not great at coding? Or know how to do art? etc.
Absolutely! As far as game design lessons go: check out our playlist on how to make your first game which includes tips that are very relevant for game jams.
Extra Credits gets a lot of questions about which software program to get started with and the truth is, it doesn't really matter since (1) nowadays there are dozens of choices, (2) many are completely free, and (3) different tools are suited to making different types of games. If you already have a specific type of game in mind that you want to make (e.g. a 2D platformer, a visual novel, etc.) but don't know where to start, you should check out this interactive quiz which will help you choose the best software to start learning.
Another option: you can join a team (or multiple teams) by contributing specific skills you have to someone else's design idea! Because game jams usually run very short, the "design role" is best shared between everyone on the team.
So, should I have a team?
Working solo vs. with a team is mostly up to your personality style and comfort level. If you'd like to work solo, definitely visit the quiz link above for some examples of how you can make a complete game without needing to be an expert in every aspect of development.
For virtual/online game jams, we recommend no more than 3 people to a team, because it can be hard to coordinate work with a bigger team when multiple time zones might be involved. If you're working with friends locally, 4 people is a safe maximum.
Regardless of what you choose to do, we will have an online community available soon to enable coordination and provide support and resources to all jammers!