Game Jam Pep Talks
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, DECK NINE GAMES
Two years ago, I joined a game jam in Philadelphia to get closer to the local game development community. I’d been working as a writer and designer at a small studio in the area for a few years, but I wasn’t sure where my journey in the game industry was headed.
My team and I created a co-op nest defense game (you can play it here: https://itch.io/e/779368/markblack-published-the-nest-generation) and ended up winning first place! That game jam sparked in me an understanding of what I would call ‘passionate action’.
I saw what twenty-four hours of focused dedication to a vision could produce, and wondered what I could do if I harnessed that same drive and paired it with a little more time. Could everything I felt passionate about be approached like a series of tiny game jams?
I became ferociously involved in the Philadelphia game development scene, joining the leadership of the local IGDA chapter, running classes, and helping to organize game jams. I found that putting this passionate action into what I did reaped massive rewards. I gained a large network of talented developer friends who constantly inspired me, learned difficult lessons, and was offered opportunities to work with groups like Global Game Jam.
And hey, you’ve definitely made at least one step toward harnessing passionate action! Game jams are a place for developers like you to challenge yourself, take risks, and learn, in the words of Shia LaBeouf, to just do it. Just participating is a sign that passionate action is inside of you. Imagine what could happen if you took the energy that is driving you through this game jam and the passion for creation that led you to join and applied it nearly everywhere else.
In the meantime, though, I can’t wait to see what you all create!