Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

One Game A Month?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 13, 2012

Christer Kaitila, a fellow who’s name I am terrible at spelling, and the author of The Game Jam Survival Guide, tried something different this year.  He made a New Year’s Resolution to make 12 games in as many months, and while December’s project (a game jam) isn’t complete, he’s pulled it off.

Besides completing twelve non-commercial games, which is worth bragging rights, what were the benefits of this year-long exercise?

In his blog post, 12 Games in 12 Months, he states: “Like daily workouts, each game project made me stronger. Faster. Better.” How much better? In a reply to a comment, he says, “What used to take 5 hours now takes 3 hours and the quality is higher.”

So he’s offered a challenge to other game developers to do the same – one game every month, for a year.  Now, there are very few rules, and so little “game jam” projects are allowed. So a game doesn’t have to take an entire month to build. Sequels, game jam entries, and team entries are allowed. The point is to get practice finishing and releasing games – a skill that doesn’t get practiced much by game jammers and pure hobbyists. We start a lot of projects, but finish very few.

Due to the time commitments with Frayed Knights 2, I don’t think I’ll be participating, but even as a “seasoned vet” I can see how this would be beneficial. The “Zero Hour” game I worked on a few weeks ago was a breath of fresh air and a worthy 5-hour break, but I don’t know that I could commit to that on a monthly basis. But I felt even something as tiny and simple as that was of benefit to me as a developer, and I do intend to spend more time this year doing that kind of thing. As soon as the day job relents… 😉  (It will, any day now…)  I’m not sure it’ll be a game a month, but I’ll definitely be making an effort to produce more “micro-games” as exercises this year.

This is a Good Thing. For pretty much anybody, but especially for devs that have had trouble getting off the ground. EVERY game studio – big or small – struggles with things like scope (everyone thinks too big), polish, and schedule. Practicing on a regular basis may very well be the ticket we could all use to help improve our processes, skills, and strategies for development.

Filed Under: Indie Evangelism - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • McFunkypants said,

    Thanks so much for spreading the word! No matter how many games you make, I’d love it if you share them next year on http://www.onegameamonth.com just to celebrate that fantastic feeling of reaching the finish line. Good luck, have fun, and thanks in advance for all the wonderful articles I know I’ll enjoy reading next year!

    Kind regards,
    Christer Kaitila

  • Armaan said,

    Practice, Practice, Practice!