The game development community knows him as McFunkyPants, but on the cover of his newly published book, he’s Christer Kaitila, B.Sc., from Victoria BC. As many of you know, Christer is one of the administrators for the very popular game jam group Ludum Dare, which, by the way, has a game jam event coming up on April 20th – 23rd. But, I digress – back to his new book, The Game Jam Survival Guide from Packt Publishing, available now for purchase.
Here is a quick overview of the book from its information page:
- Enthusiastic and light-hearted, glimpse the excitement and frantic creativity of game jams.
- Motivating, encouraging and infectious, it is sure to help you reach the finish line.
- Follow this handbook from brainstorming an idea, getting over bitter obstacles and on to the sweet finish line: a complete, playable, fun game.
- Each stage of game jams is described with task lists and anecdotes relating common experiences, the trials and the tribulations of past game jam champions and losers.
- Packed with interviews, tips, tricks and wise words from Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam organisers among other well-known game jammers.
Christer wrote the 114-page Game Jam Survival Guide to help readers have more fun and achieve greater results at game jams by building a successful game without burning out by breaking the 48 hour jam into manageable 12 hour segments. He invites you to embrace these recommended best practices and techniques of past game jam winners and avoid common pitfalls along the way to the finish line. You too can survive a 48-hour game development marathon with your mind intact and an amazing game to show off to friends and family.
With The Game Jam Survival Guide you will learn the secret techniques that master game jammers use to create winning entries. It starts by showing you great ways to brainstorm and design a game based on a theme. The book then moves on to highlight the best tools and techniques to finish a game in a weekend of coding, with anecdotes and advice from past winners and losers combined with humorous words of encouragement to help you on your way.
Christer also presents a list of game jams around the world, online communities worth checking out, fantastic game engines, and art resources. Finally, learn how to monetize your game by gaining sponsorship from big gaming websites.
Here are some of the people quoted in The Game Jam Survival Guide – many of whom you will be familiar with, as well as some of the learning points covered in the book:
- Preparing for the jam: conquer the theme, pick design aids, prototype quickly, choose the right tools for the job, and cut the right corners.
- Bombastic brainstorming: power up your idea generator and run with a theme, gain more votes and please the masses.
- Building a game jam entry: pick your weapons, follow your plan, cut the bells-n-whistles, scramble over “the wall”, submit a game on time, and with a little luck, attain fame and fortune.
- Why Mike “PoV” Kasprzak (Ludum Dare administrator) thinks game jams are a good introduction to the realities of the game industry.
- The reasons why Dr. Mike Reddy (organizer of the Global Game Jam) thinks designing on paper is essential.
- The best ways to find creative inspiration and develop an idea to fit a theme according to Eric McQuiggan (founding member of The Dirty Rectangles) and Chevy Ray Johnston (author of the FlashPunk engine).
- What Foaad Khosmood (director of the Global Game Jam) suggests you do to ensure you finish before the deadline.
- The worst way to prepare according to Pekka “pekuja” Kujansuu and the best way according to Phil Hassey (Ludum Dare administrators)
- What one piece of advice Jason P. Kaplan (founder of the Game Prototype Challenge) would give to newcomers.
You can get a chapters preview of The Game Jam Survival Guide on the publisher’s site as well take a look at the full table of contents. This book is available in either paper format or as an ebook either directly from the publisher. It is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble as well as Safari. You can also save by ordering the paper/ebook bundle.