How to ace game jams

Our game design mentor, William Mabin, shares his tips and best practices on how to ace game jams and why they are important. 

Posted by Mastered on Nov 14, 2022
Session recorded on 9 Nov, 2022


Game jams are an exciting way to get your game going. They can be an effective way to discover new techniques and improve your skills, or they can help you hone in on something specific that you know is important to you. Either way, game jams are a fun way to spend time with other developers and learn from each other while making games!

But if you are new, they can be intimidating. In this video, our mentor, William Mabin, shares his tips to make the most of your experience.


How to ace game jams

1) Make jank

2) Come prepared

3) Remember the team 

4) Have FUN!


1) Making jank

The purpose of game jams is to finish making something fun, functional, and hopefully unique. 

Focus on gameplay value

Try to tell a unique story or make unique gameplay rather than focus on graphics and polish- this can always be done later. Plenty of successful games use stylisation nowadays anyhow.

Don't overscope

It is better to finish making something janky or in prototype form, than nothing at all.


2) Come prepared

That being said - find your focus and bring what you can:


Focus on making assets that can easily be churned out and repurposed while still having a coherent and interesting style.


Focus on logic and making a smooth, fun experience.

Use version control

Bring you Github A game


3) TEAM (without an "I")

A big part of Game Jams is delegation, time management, and pushing through to the end.

Avoid handing out too much work or dictating

Only give manageable loads of work to your teammates that can actually be completed in the timeframe.

Don't drop the ball

Don't let others make the entire game, while you do nothing. This isn't going to help develop your rep or help complete the project on time. Just do what you can. Mistakes happen but try.


4) Have FUN!

Remember to play other games and give feedback

Part of the experience is about community. We need to learn what fun is and how we can make our own games more fun.

Fun as a core mechanic

It's easy to get bogged down with the technical side of making games, but at the end of the day taking breaks and remembering why we do this is super important!!


You can follow William on his LinkedIn.



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