If you've been following the Spooktober jam, you've probably dropped into TundraFlame's Twitch stream at some point. One of the unique elements to this game jam has been the incentives for streamers to participate, allowing the entirety of October for streamers to get a slot on the official streaming schedule or to submit a recording for one of the many prizes. Tundraflame, having streamed Spooktober jam games every day in October so far, has become a beloved member of the community and an expert at bringing creepy visual novels to life.
I caught up with TundraFlame to chat about his participation in the jam and to look back at the many games he's played so far.
How did you get involved with the Spooktober VN jam?
My manager happens to be personal friends with a developer participating in the jam and wanted to get me in to stream the games once he found out about the streamer portion of the jam. I read up on it and jumped at the chance to be a part of the event.
When and why did you decide to stream all of the jam games?
At first it was sort of a pipe dream. 28 games in 30 days. Then the deadline was extended and the number of games jumped to 45. At that point I realized it would be difficult, but possible to still do and my doubt showed a little but I wanted to rise to the challenge. Then I played Fishy on day 2. I was hooked. How could such an amazing game be made in 30 days? Then it became a "need" rather than a want or a challenge.
What has surprised you the most about the jam games you've played so far?
Almost all of them have the polish and feel of games that took months, yet they all took less than 30 days. It's one thing to make a good visual novel, it's another to make a great visual novel, with deep themes and story elements, original music, and sometimes even voice acting, all from the ground up, in such a short time limit.
Having played a significant portion of the games, what advice would you offer to future Spooktober jam developers?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. The only games I've found that I had issues getting through were games that could have easily been fixed with a quick once or twice over by a second pair of eyes to check for simple bugs and/or grammar spelling mistakes. Even if you want to challenge yourself to make the entire game by yourself, you should really consider an editor for spelling and grammar. Even the best authors on the planet have them, and there's a reason for that.
What has been the most rewarding part of streaming for the Spooktober VN jam?
Meeting and interacting with others who share a love for the visual novel medium. I'd even go so far as to count some among my list of friends. Maybe during the next game jam that DevTalk runs I can participate as more than just a streamer after the fact. I'd love that opportunity.
What are your streaming plans for the future?
I stream every single night at 8pm eastern, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. November will be a full month since Robotics;Notes and its sequel just released, plus I still have to finish the Heaven's Feel route in Fate Stay/Night, so those three will keep me preoccupied, probably into the new year.