This past week I had the pleasure of participating in the 2022.1 Bracley's Game Jam, which you can read more about here: https://itch.io/jam/brackeys-7. I decided to try to make a real 3D experience this time, and I think I was successful! I did cut some corners, like missing most of the audio, but that is to be expected in a game-jam scenario when you are a solo indie-dev with a full time job.
The game I made for this jame is called LampLighter. The premise of this game is that you need to light all of the lamps in the campsite after it has gotten dark. Once you light all of the lamps you return to your tent to realize that you were dreaming the entire time and that it is actually time to wake up now!
Here is the screenshot I used on my itch.io page:
What Did I Learn, What Were My Lessons?
So I actually learned several things during this jam process - or more appropriately I learned several things not to do!
I learned that designing, or at least creating, large areas with repetitive shapes or features is extremely time consuming and, more importantly, boring. This feeling mainly happened when I was placing so many trees down to create the forest that surrounds the campsite. While I did add scripting to the trees to randomize their size and rotation (to give the illusion of different assets) I now fully understand why procedural generation is so important in game development these days - even if your game does not rely on it for a mechanic.
In the future I may want to develop a level editor for my games and have that level editor save files as .tscn files so that Godot can import them that way. That would be for larger scale projects though, not just one-level-wonders like this one.
Coming up with Mechanics Early
I have learned that adding features later into development can be a pain in the butt. Now it is perfectly normal for the creative process to diverge at different times - and in such an instance if your inspiration is wonderful then it is totally ok to go into a different direction. However...if you want an inventory or quest items as part of the game plan that from the start so you do not need to cobble together a franken-script.
I had a great time during this jam, but I was a little burned out by the end. It also did not help that Elden Ring released the day before the Jam deadline, sooooooo :)
My timetracking spreadsheet says I spend 13.67 hours on this game, give or take a few. I look forward to working on my next one, and continuing my work on Unqualified!
I hope in the future I can have a team for a jam, though.