This jam is now over. It ran from 2016-09-23 16:00:00 to 2016-09-26 16:00:00. View 6 entries

Do something you have no clue how

We all spend a lot of time in our comfort zone. It's where we feel secure, where we know our way around. However, when we leave that space we discover new things and learn new skills. Stepping outside your personal boundaries can be very rewarding. And this jam is all about making yourself uncomfortable.

To participate in the No Comfort Jam, each contributor in your team needs to step outside their familiar safe zone along at least one of the following routes, in order of increasing difficulty:

  1. Unfamiliar Content
  2. Unfamiliar Process
  3. Unfamiliar Discipline

Of course, this will make things more difficult than usual jams but that's the point of this one. Here the focus is the process and the things you will learn along the way. It's a great excuse to finally try out that thing you always wanted to, in a limited scope.

And of course this wouldn't be a game jam without a theme. Or rather three, with your choice to pick none, one, two or even all three.

  1. Public Presentation
  2. Foreign Lands
  3. Unfamiliar Cultures

That said, even though this is a game jam, it's not so much about the resulting games. That's why the jam submissions are not ranked and it's also the reason why I highly encourage you to keep a devlog on the community forum. Post to share your process and the things you learn along the way.

So, here's some details on our three routes to discomfort.

1. Unfamiliar Content

If you travel on this route, you work on a type of content that you don't have experience with. This is all about new and unfamiliar genres or styles.

Here's some examples:

  • As a game designer, chose a genre, platform or target audience you're unfamiliar with.
  • As a coder without experience in multiplayer games you might want to give that a try.
  • As an artist you might use a different art style than what you're familiar with.
  • etc.

2. Unfamiliar Process

This route to discomfort means that you're working in a way that you're not familiar with. This mainly refers to tools or technology you have little or no experience with.

Again a few examples:

  • As a coder you might want to use an engine (and/or language) you haven't built a game in before.
  • As an artist you might want to use a different graphics tool, maybe even go completely analogue and then photograph your art.
  • As an audio artist you might want to play an instrument you don't know, or make all your audio by recording real sounds.
  • etc.

3. Unfamiliar Discipline

This means that you're working in a discipline you usually don't work in. This is the toughest one, but the best excuse to try something you've been itching to.

And more examples:

  • As a coder you might try your hand at writing.
  • As an artist why not give game design a try this time.
  • And as a designer, why not try to code.
  • etc.

Some Tips

Finding a concept

Trying to find out what kind of game you want to do might be difficult if everyone involved is going to do something completely different. The best way to start is for everyone to figure out in what way they'd like to leave their comfort zone, and then to use that as your limitations to find a working game concept.

Stay small

The further you move out your comfort zone, the more difficult it will be. So don't try to complete a game in a scope you can usually do during a game jam. Set yourself smaller goals. Try to get something simple done.

Talk to your teammates

Just because you've never done art on a game doesn't mean everyone in your team has no experience with that. If you have someone on the team who knows more than you, talk to them. Be a resource to each other and learn from one another. It's going to make everything a lot smoother.

What's familiar?

So in description above I often mention being familiar with something (content, process, discipline). What does that mean? Well, that's for you to decide. You should feel like you're slightly out of your depth.

Some Resources

Here are some useful resources that will help you leave your comfort zone.

If you have some suggestions, post them in the community and I will amend this list!


Here's some more advanced engines and frameworks you might want to give a try if you've got coding experience:

  • Unity3d
  • Unreal Engine
  • CryEngine
  • Cocos 2d
  • LibGDX
  • LOVE2D
  • Blender

Alternatively here's some simple engines suitable for people with a basic grasp of scripting and coding:

  • Twine
  • Stencyl
  • Construct 2
  • GameMaker
  • Adventure Game Studio
  • Playmaker or NodeCanvas plugin for Unity3d
  • Node-based scripting in Unreal Engine


Here's a bunch of free art tools you can download:

  • GIMP
  • Krita
  • Paint.Net (Windows only)
  • Pixen (Pixel)
  • Inkscape (Vectors)
  • Blender (3d)
  • Sketchup (3d)

And here's a few tools you can use in your browser.


A few helpful web resources:


Useful audio tools:

  • Audacity, a free audio editor
  • LMMS, a free audio workstation
  • Hydrogen (Linux, OS X only)

And some web resources:


All submissions
Browser playable (1)
Windows (3)
Linux (1)

No submissions match your filter

Narrative card game heavily inspired on Calvino's “The Castle of Crossed Destinies”
A short racing game for No Comfort Jam
A really quick RPG
Role Playing
No Comfort Jam - True story platformer - unfinished