Survival guide

ESSENTIAL TIPS

Welcome to a new MalagaJam edition! First time starting a project could be overwhelming, that’s why we bring you a list of essential tips to make your experience as pleasant as possible:

BUT FIRST

  • Make a team with defined roles to be able to distribute tasks.
  • Do not rush at the beginning. Think about the topic carefully, brainstorm with all the different things that appear in your minds and do not hesitate to start. A well-defined development of the idea makes the rest of the work go fluently.
  • You can use any tool to develop your game: Unity, Unreal, Godot… even board games! Any kind of game or form is accepted as long as you respect everyone.
  • Set your basic rules (mechanics) of your game, as well as its visual style in the first place in order to accelerate the process once you’re developing your game.
  • Think out of cultural stereotypes to help yourself creatively or make a unique approach to your game. Not only gender diversity but cultural, functional, social… Do not put the autopilot and think about which message you are transmitting. You can always go with your questions to Gaymer and Femdevs’s mentors about how to implement your ideas.

DURING JAM

  • Better done than perfect. Reward the functionality and focus in your first playable prototype.
  • Organize well your time and do not be scared about shorting any aspect of your game if you are not able to commit to a deadline. If you are overwhelmed about not being able to do it, it is better to rest your mind going for a 20 minutes relaxing walk and think about what to cut. It is better to not overwhelm yourself than not sleeping.
  • Remember to rest, take care of your hygiene and take it easy. Haste was never a good adviser and the most important thing is to enjoy the experience.
  • Game-feel (how the game feels) is a really important aspect. That the player has a proper feedback (e.g.: Screen shaking as visual feedback or sounds) of any action is something to keep in mind for a better result.
  • Do not wait until you have your full game to test things. From the first playable demo try to ask people to test your game in order to adapt the project during it’s development.
  • If you have any question, you can always browse it in internet, but in the case that you’re completely blocked, do not hesitate in asking other participants and staff. It is not a competition and help is always welcome.

DISCIPLINES

PROGRAMMING

  • Any engine or language is valid, use the one you like the most or the one you know best.
  • Don’t leave asset integration to the end, do it throughout the development of the game.
  • Try to use version control, especially if you have several programmers working together. When using them in graphics engines, if you don’t follow specific steps, they can lead to bugs that can cause you to lose work – ask if it’s your first time!
  • What works in the engine editor may not work in the build, so make a build early and test it well!

MUSIC AND AUDIO

  • Analyse the needs of the project, looking for inspirational music will also help you communicate with the team.
  • Build on the interactions in the game to develop a better sound experience.
  • Try to make variations of recurring effects so that they don’t become repetitive.

GRAPHICS

  • Clarify with the programmer the size and format of the resources.
  • Limit your colour palette and colour code the different elements of the game according to their role.
  • Always use references and, when animating, look for the 12 principles of animation.

NARRATIVE

  • Think about the topics you want the game to talk about. Use your experience of those topics to write dialogue or descriptions.
  • If you want to talk about other people’s experiences you may need the mentoring of FemDevs and Gaymer who will be providing support.
  • Few people are willing to read a lot in a jam. Try to say a lot using a few words or convey with other methods: actions, visually, sonically, etc.

UPLOADS

VIDEOTUTORIAL

UPLOAD YOUR BOARD GAME

To upload your board game the same guidelines will be followed as for delivering a video game. The only difference will be what type of files you will upload.

  • Digital board game: you will upload the Tabletop Creator files of the board game in the same way as for a videogame.
  • Physical board game: you will upload photos and rules documentation.

UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO GAME

There are two essential deliverables you will have to make in the jam:

1. Global Game Jam Registration

To participate as a jammer at the MálagaJam Weekend 15 venue in the Global Game Jam 2023 you need to be registered with your personal profile on their website. Once you have created your jammer profile you must join the MálagaJam Weekend 15 venue. Each member of the group must be inside the venue in order to count the total number of participants in our jam before the end of Saturday. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE!

Each group will have a representative jammer who will be the one to upload the game to the Global Game Jam and create the game sheet with all its data: name, genre, some information, images and teaser. The other members will join that game, so it will appear as a member of the development team.

2. Trailer

To prepare the presentation of the games on Sunday and to encourage other participants to come and try your game, you will have to send us a mini-trailer with a maximum length of 45 seconds and a minimum length of 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be anything special! Just a glimpse of the game and a glimpse of the gameplay will be enough. Then you can continue working on it until the time of the final delivery.

The trailer will be delivered on Sunday before 13:00 and you have to send it to the email lucia@malagajam.com in .mp4 or .avi format (you can use WeTransfer). It is essential that you put in the body of the email the name of the group, the name of the game and the name of the room you are working on. The subject of the email should be “Video trailer #MJW15 group_name“.

3. Itchio Game and the Global Game Jam

The game submission must be done by Sunday at 15:00. After that time, the form will close automatically, so keep your eyes open and don’t miss it! We recommend uploading your game ahead of time and updating it with more recent versions until the submission time, so you can make sure you have something uploaded. Once you have your game on Itchio you just have to upload it to the Global Game Jam 2023 website.

IT IS MANDATORY THAT THE GAME IS IN THE GLOBAL GAME JAM.

So, how do I upload the game?

The games are delivered through the itch.io platform. To do this you will need to have an account created, if you don’t have one you can do it through this link for free (https://itch.io/register).

Once you have created your account you must join the jam by clicking on the following link: https://itch.io/jam/malagajam-weekend-15 and pressing the Join Jam button.

You have to create a page for the game and then subscribe to the jam. This can be done before you have the final game – don’t wait until the last minute or it may be too late!

To create a page for your game, select the “Upload new project” option and fill in the required information.

Once you have created a page (you can’t do this the first time), click on Draft at the top:

And change the access to Public so that everyone can enjoy your game:

Once your game has the page created, you can subscribe it to the jam from the jam page (https://itch.io/jam/malagajam-weekend-15) in the same area where Join Jam was (you will see a drop-down menu where you can choose the title by name).

Just one person from the team is enough, but we recommend that you add the whole team to the project as you are all creators of the game. Also note that you can only vote for other games with accounts that are registered in the jam. If you want to vote for all of them, then you will have to add them as contributors by going to the edit page of the game (“Public” button at the top):

In the admin section you can add contributors by their nickname in Itch.