˚· ʚ₍•ᄋ̫•₎ɞ .⊹

this past weekend i participated in a 48 hour game jam for the first time and developed a game called 『the unstoppable miss pip』. it was an interesting experience and i feel i learnt a lot about making art and myself so i felt it worth talking about.

my sister suggested we both enter the gmtk game jam, which i found out is a huge yearly game jam operated by a famous youtuber. initially i was extremely anxious - overwhelmed by both the number of contestants and also feeling my skills were not suited to finishing a full game in only 48 hours. ive only competed in a few jams before and often found myself barely able to finish before the limit, and had heard many stories from other angels that often the first few 48 hour jams they competed in didnt end in a finished game. this anxiety compounded after the jam started and the theme was immediately a very challenging one - but between us both we created what i feel is a strong gameplay concept that fit the theme of the jam in a strong and non-obvious way, which gave me confidence moving foreward in the next 48 hours.

the first day of the jam i managed to finish all of the main sprites for the base functioning of the game which included all the character sprites, all the weapons, and all of the enemies. i was really surprised i was able to produce so much in just one day, although the quality i think is lower than the standard i would normally strive for, but in this case with only 48 hours i found it acceptable. the next morning i decided to redraw all of the sprites in a new, more limited palette to give the game more visual cohesion and then finished all of the other graphics including a title screen, and also designed an attractive looking itch.io page. my ability to work under pressure of a deadline was really tested but i think that i performed really well, and im really proud that the game released in what i feel is a very polished state with a title screen, many unique sprites, and an inviting page. looking at other jam entries i feel our entry gives the impression of a finished and uploaded game on the level of a 2000s newgrounds flash game, while most other uploads feel more like prototypes.

of course sis was responsible for the programming, but designing the actual gameplay concepts like enemies, weapons, mechanics, damage numbers, etc, was shared between both of us and i think for a 48 hour game it is surprisingly fun. i have very little experience designing traditional games - usually i make narrative heavy games - but i think again that when compared to other games submitted to the jam there is a level of polish in how the game plays and feels that i am really proud of.

i definitely feel ive learnt that if im supported by someone else that i work well with i can actually achieve really great results within such a strict time limit and theme, which has increased my confidence substantially. however i have continued to find the massive size of the jam overwhelming, feeling lost in a sea of others which is a feeling i really dislike, so i dont think i would ever enter a jam of this scale again. would like to limit myself to jams of a few hundred entries at most rather than 6000+. i am also noting that i have released 2 games in fewer than 28 days, which is an output im extremely proud of and wish to maintain. it really feels like validation that my output is heavily dictated by the winds of fate but when they blow in my direction that i actually can produce art in a quantity that satisfies me.


the unstoppable miss pip

【wren】