My Global Game Jam 2012 Experience

My not so great experiences:

Living in my head and getting stuck on an idea: As soon as we found out the theme, what did I do? I went back to a game design idea I had before and tried to figure out how to make it work. Honestly, it wasn’t a bad idea (something about rats in the city being endless, scaring a kid into crying which angers the parent…) and it could have worked. But what defeated the idea was my reticence to put my idea on the board. It wasn’t because I didn’t want people to take it (like some people who put © next to their ideas). No, it was because I guess I felt like the idea would be exposed for its true flaws once it was out in the open and I became increasingly nervous.

My nervousness left me internally struggling to put my idea up on a board, but instead of then seeing what else people were doing, I decided to hold onto my idea as that was the only thing I wanted to work on. When I saw an idea on the board similar to mine I went to find that group, because I figured I could somehow shoehorn my idea into the discussion.

I never found the group because when I went to find them, I didn’t bother to ask who had the idea. I eventually put my idea on the board and did a pretty bad job of it for whatever reason but because I had been living in my head for the better part of the process, it was too late, everyone had broken into groups to further discuss ideas.

Some lack of communication, mostly from me:

There wasn’t a complete lack of it, I just feel in the end we could have talked more. I’m all about talking about projects, I love communication. Granted, you can’t talk forever, but usually discussing things before diving in will avoid having confusion, frustration, etc.

I have a bad habit of being very internal with thoughts and questions, and I needed to break that barrier more. We started off well with me coming in with my devil may care attitude speaking any ideas I was having to get conversation flowing. Before proceeding we would ask everyone about how they felt about going forward and we would encourage ideas when revising to get to our initial game concept down. Eventually, however, the conversation ended up turning into a very silent table with everyone working away.

That was fine for awhile because, well, you need to shut up and start working. From time to time I started to get frustrated because I didn’t know how things were going, I saw issues with file dimensions that bothered me, I noticed an animation issue that confused me, among other things. I didn’t want to bother people or otherwise throw off their process. I took a long time to speak up and ask about things and all that waiting did was hinder my understanding of the situation or leave people without the assets they needed. Because I didn’t ask first, I gave in things that looked wrong or didn’t function correctly and they had to be exported again.