Game Jam Resource List

The best programming thing I found in 2013 was game jams. They are so much fun, a great way to get better at programming, and stretch my artistic chops. They also really makes you focus on finishing the game, which (for me) is the hardest part.

There are downsides: jams take up the entire weekend and, when Monday rolls around, my hands are Friday-level tired.

Anyway, since It’s been such an amazing hobby, I thought I’d share some of the resources I’ve found in case anyone is interested in trying it out.

Finding Gamejams

CompoHub has a calendar of all (or at least most—sometimes it’s a little behind) upcoming jams. Ludlum Dare is the biggest game jam, it’s held once every 4 months.

If you’re looking to “roll your own,” New Year Game Jam has a great idea generator.

Programming

I like using JavaScript because then everyone can run my games: they’re not dependent on having the Java SDK or .NET or something. I use LimeJs as a game engine. It’s pretty basic, but it is flexible and uses Google Closure, which provides a JavaScript API that’s really nice.

Art

I do all of my art with Sprite Something, which is only iOS and costs a couple bucks but works great.

TexturePacker seems to be the de facto standard for spritesheets, and it’s worked great for me so far.

Music

This totally amazes me, but this guy Per Nyblom made an automatic music generator that will create “random” music for your game with a click. He doesn’t have any plans to open source it (yet), but http://rml.pernyblom.com/ is open source.

For sound effects, there’s cfxr/sfxr.

TODO

Next year, I’d like to do at least one of: a game with a server backend, release some of the general libraries I’ve created to work with LimeJs, or integrate a game with Facebook/a chat service/something else.

Also, my goal is to keep updating this as I find more useful resources. Hope this helps someone!

  • http://georgeanderson.com.br George Anderson

    Hi Kristina, thanks for sharing, this is great information. Where did you learn JS and what do you use as a reference?

  • kristina1

    I don’t recommend learning JS the way I did (I was writing a compiler from JS->Java and learned it from reading the ECMAScript specification). If you want a class, https://www.khanacademy.org/ seems good, for videos I hear http://www.yuiblog.com/crockford/ is inspirational (although I haven’t watched it myself) and Crockford wrote the best book out there on JS (although it’s not for beginners): http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596517748.do.

    I tend to just use Google for reference.

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