I think I wouldn’t normally write here about a review, but this one has me excited, because in addition to being a really positive review, this one was done by Google Developer Advocates, and could get the game a featured spot on the Google Play Store, which could be really good for the game. Video embedded below. :)
I just finished reading The Game Jam Survival Guide, by Christer Kaitila. I’m a big fan of game jams, and I believe this is the first book written on the subject. The book is a great introduction to game jams, and contains lots of tips on how to make the most of a game jam. I think most of the advice is also very applicable to rapid prototyping. It covers preparation, brainstorming, getting started, polishing, and even what to do with your game once the jam is done. Be aware though, that this book does not go into any technical details of programming or art creation beyond broad strokes. There’s not a single line of code in the book. It does have a list of game engines and tools you might want to try though. I recommend this book for anyone interested in game jams, although even more than that, I recommend you join and do a game jam yourself. :)
Disclosure: Christer interviewed me for the book, and there is a small section in the book entitled “What the experts say: Pekka Kujansuu”, which is essentially written by me. Christer is also a friend, so I’m in no way unbiased about this book. I’m really excited about being a part of the book.
… and here’s the game I made. I call it Pirate Space Program. It is about being a pirate, sailing on the high seas, and upgrading your ship with jet engines and laser cannons. Honestly, I think it needs some more work, but I think it’s pretty fun in its current form after 48 hours of work put into it.
The event itself was lots of fun, but unsurprisingly it was also pretty exhausting. Working all day and barely sleeping does that. I am super glad we did it though. In addition to just the fun of game jamming, we made over $4000 from the jam game bundle, and that number is still going up! We’re thinking about doing a similar event again in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. :)
I intend to work on Pirate Space Program further, but after finishing it I also had an idea for making a 2D sidescroller version of this same concept. It would be kind of like a mix between Pirate Space Program and Trip on the Funny Boat, a game I made for PyWeek about six years ago. I might make that first, and include it in the bundle for people.
If you want to play Pirate Space Program or any of the four other games produced by us last weekend, head over to the Indie Buskers website at http://indiebuskers.net/ . It’s a pay-what-you-want model, so you can pay as low as $1.00, or if you want to support us, you can try to beat the highest tip, which at the time of writing is $250.00 for the bundle.
I’m doing a live performance game jam this weekend with a bunch of indie friends. It’s Sos Sosowski, Sophie Houlden, Ido Yehieli, Rat King Entertainment (Friedrich Hanisch and Jana Reinhardt), and I, Pekka Kujansuu. You can still vote for the game ideas that we’ll use, and we’ll have live screencasts running throughout the weekend. As “buskers”, we are also asking for donations. A donation will get you access to the games.
This means some good visibility on the App Store. The sales for the game have been pretty modest since the first couple of days, but it looks like this visibility is already helping, as Thursday’s sales were already up about 260% from Wednesday. That’s still actually just 22 copies sold, but it’s a boost nevertheless.
I’m working on an update for the game, and this news has given my motivation a nice boost. :)