What are indie game jams and how do they work?
Before we go into the specifics of indie game jams, it’s first important to highlight what game jams themselves are. Simply put, these are events in which the participants of the jam are game developers who attempt to put together an entire game from scratch within a very limited period of time and this is usually made interesting by the fact that there’s a specific theme that most developers have to design their game according to. While this limited amount of time might not seem like all that much for designing a truly exceptional game from the very beginning, this is actually far from the case because these game jams have led to a variety of exciting developments before and, even if a full-fledged game doesn’t come from them, developers are usually able to come up with some pretty creative concepts that can be followed up on later.
As for indie game jams, they’re essentially the same as game jams in which independent developers brainstorm new ideas for games and attempt to make a finished product as soon as possible. Indie game jams have been around for several years now and their results keep on improving with each new year as developers keep on getting better at what they do.
The Global Game Jam is one of the prime examples of these events as it usually has thousands of participants and these creative minds are able to pull off some incredible designs. This game jam usually consists of both newcomers who are first-timers to these game jams as well as seasoned developers who are looking to create an entirely new project from scratch. There are even student game jams that are growing in popularity in which students who are aspiring game developers try to bring their ideas to life as they race against the clock.
It’s important to remember the fact that, while there’s certainly a massive competitive element to these game jams, the primary reason for their existence is to give developers a way to have fun and share their ideas with the world so the competitive aspect isn’t really emphasized on all that much and all developers are encouraged to put their creative skills to the test to create anything they can, even if the final product might not be as polished as what they initially envisioned. The enjoyable nature of these game jams is evident by a survey in which participants of the Ludum Dare game jam were asked whether or not they’d join again and an overwhelming majority said that they absolutely would.
Keeping all this in mind, it’s fair to say that game jams, and indie game jams, in particular, are a significant part of this industry as a whole and we’re certainly excited to see the direction they take moving forward.