How To Survive AdventureJam

A quick guide to getting the most out of your game jam experience without smashing yourself or your team (if you have one).

Scroll or press Space to continue...

1. Working With Constraints

Game jams are about creating or prototyping games within short timeframes. Some jams have additional rules, but the primary constraint, and possibly the constraint that provides the most interesting creative pressures is the time limit.

As developers, we pursue creative solutions to problems. Even though abusing your body to artificially extend available time is a default choice for many, it is a brute force approach for working around a limitation that instead should really be embraced.

1. Working With Constraints

The question to ask yourself is not "How much can I crunch in two weeks?" It's "How can I use the skills and tools I have available to comfortably create something interesting in two weeks?"

The answer, of course is "Through planning, prioritisation and understanding what is (and isn't) achievable."

2. Looking After Yourself

If you feel you do need to pull all nighters (you don't), try to make sure you do the following:

2. Looking After Yourself

Also, if you do go ahead with an all-nighter (don't), be sure to take these points into account:

3. Planning

The best thing you can do to help yourself through a jam is to understand what you're going to be doing. You'll have less you have to worry about and be able to make quicker decisions mid-project.

4. Prioritisation

Prioritising the right things can let you be more efficient with your efforts and give you a more complete project if you do run out of time.

5. Tools

Make use of planning tools (diagrams, charts, etc.)...

P.S. You don't need expensive project management software to get use out of these - scrap paper and sticky notes are just as good!

5. Tools

... but don't be afraid to deviate!

6. Disaster Avoidance

Reduce the impact of the crashes/hardware failure/power outages/accidents. Use alarms as reminders if you need.

7. Outcomes

Things that matter (things that will lead you towards having a more-good experience if you focus on them) are:

7. Outcomes

Things that don't matter (things that will lead you towards having a less-good experience if you fixate on them) are:

7. Outcomes

... and more than anything else, HAVE FUN!

More information on AdventureJam can be found at

For details on AdventureJam's history, visit Cheese Talks

This presentation was created using Stack