Game Dev Journal Entry 3: First Game Jam Postmortem

“Do a lot of work. Finish a lot of work. Share a lot of work.”

My first game jam game — Make Amaze!

I participated in the Game Dev Field Guide’s 2nd Monthly Game Jam in February. This was the first step in my resolution to dedicate time to game development and publish games.

I consider the project a success because I achieved my primary goals:

  1. Learn the game engine Godot

What Went Well:

  1. Godot: I decided to give Godot a try thinking I could benefit from using a “fully-fledged” game engine (read more about that decision here). Overall, I liked Godot and will continue using it. After just a few hours of tutorials, I was able to jump in and start developing. I’m confident that Godot saved me time, thanks in large part to its animation, mapping, and exporting capabilities. Also I think I’m learning some good programming practices from Godot that I will apply to my job and/or other games I design. Godot forces you to architect your game into a node tree structure that greatly encourages good design patterns such as object composition, modularity, de-coupling, encapsulation, and dependency injection.

What Could’ve Been Better:

  1. More Learning: Sometimes I didn’t want to take the time to research the best way to implement something, so I jumped in and made my best effort to implement it quickly. Often it turned out fine, but there were several instances where it set me down a path that made development more difficult overall.

Going Forward:

  1. More Game Jams: I’m still learning a lot, and I think game jams are still the best way to learn. Game jams provide a start-to-finish experience, and you’re limiting the time you’re investing so you don’t go too far in the wrong direction.

If you’re interested in trying out my game, Make Amaze!, check it out on Itch.io or the Google Play Store

Also, the Game Dev Field Guide has been a great source of learning and community for me. This blog is based on my participation in the February Game Jam, and I am starting work on my entry for April’s Game Jam. I recommend anyone who’s interested in game development check it out!

Previous Journal Entries:
Game Dev Journal Entry 2: Why This Time Will Be Different — Strategies for Finishing a Project
Game Dev Journal Entry 1: Deciding on a Game Engine

http://nathanielmorihara.com/

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