How I screw myself on LubJam 2021

This year I organized the seventh edition of LubJam – Lublin’s Global Game Jam site. Besides organizing, I was also actively participating in it. ?

Is it hard? Is it time-consuming? But most importantly, is it fun to participate?

Let me summarize this year’s LubJam. ?

What I planned to do this year? ?

To start, let’s talk about my plans this year.

This year I wanted to play quite a lot with shaders. I didn’t know if I want to use Unity’s Shader graph or Unreal’s Material Editor.

They are almost the same, so it doesn’t really matter to me.

And to be honest, I wasn’t planning much more. LubJam takes only 48 hours, so it wasn’t a good idea to be over-ambitious.

Ready to start!

This year’s theme ?

The theme for this year’s Global Game Jam was “Lost and Found”.

Global Game Jam 2021 theme

Surprisingly, I was really happy with this year’s theme. I felt that I could come up with something cool, but I didn’t know what yet.

At the start of each LubJam, we are giving ourselves an hour to think about ideas and later present them to others. This is our way of matching people in the teams.

How it actually when? ?

Pitch session on discord

During the “pitch” session, I decided that I want to make a racing/exploring type of game. I recently watched many videos from the Dakar Rally, so I decided that this may be the way to go this year.

Unfortunately, no-one shared my vision so, this year, I went solo! (First red flag… ?)

I’ve also decided that why shouldn’t I use Unreal for this jam? It’ll definitely work great! (Second red flag… ?)

Making a game

I’ve started by looking for available assets for Unreal. There weren’t many, but I got what I needed.

The next step was to make a car driving. This wasn’t too hard, but I decided that I need to code it in C++ for some reason. That wasn’t so bad after all, but without assisting IDE, this is a huge pain.

Driving car in my playground

I wanted to make the main mechanic the first day, so the next day I can focus on adding and finishing things in the game.

I made just one big mistake here… I went sleep way too late that night (third red flag ?), and this screw my schedule “a bit”. Note to future myself: never do this again!

But at this point, I have a base on which I could work further the next day.

Adding content

The next day I started to look around to make a desert in Unreal. I started with making a landmass, but because I’m not an environmental artist, it looks crappy… ?

So again, I went back to Unreal’s Marketplace to find some free assets I could use. It didn’t take me long to find what I wanted.

Well… Sort of… I had to make a few tweaks, and I decided it would be good enough for the game jam.

We are at the desert! ?

Rest of the day I spent on understanding Unreal’s Gameplay Framework. Or trying to use it as I would do it in Unity… ?

This turned out to be something completely different from what I wanted to achieve here. Official tutorials were helpful, but they were mentally exhausting… ?

It took me a few hours to get back to the mood to finish the game. Again, I made the same mistake staying late and trying to do something… ?

Luckily, I’ve finished working on UI that night.

Finish line

The last day I’ve spent trying to finish the gameplay and the flow of the game. I had to do it quickly as there was not much time left before the deadline. ?

It didn’t take me long but, I could do a better job. Sleep deprivation took a toll on me… ? And I also needed to prepare a package to upload!

That was the worst part. After adding only 2 packages, my project weight 3GB! ?

I needed to delete some files. Otherwise, I might have a problem uploading it to the GGJ page. I removed some assets I didn’t use, but this doesn’t help that much, but I had no time left, and I started uploading what I got.

And that’s how I made Lost in the desert. ?

Lost in the desert – LubJam 2021

What I learned at LubJam?

During this year’s LubJam, I learned a few important lessons.

First – you need to sleep! Or I’m just getting old. ?‍?

Second – never stay up late. This will throw your schedule out the window. ?

Third – working solo on the project isn’t bad. You need to prepare yourself much better. ?‍?

Fourth – Unreal Engine, I love the tool, but sometimes it throws you a curveball you won’t expect ?

Oh, yeah… Do you remember I had plans for making cool materials? It didn’t happen this time… ?

But other than that, LubJam 2021 was fun! I just need to come out with a better plan for the next game jam… ?

What to do next time?

I hope you take something valuable from my failure this year… ?

It was a great experience, and I’ll do it again! Even in my last post, I wrote about “why you should attend game jams“, and I still recommend reading it.

But maybe enough about me, now you share your story from the game jam! In not from this year’s edition of Global Game Jam, then maybe you took part in another?

Put it down in the comment section below! Of course, don’t forget to share what you’ve made!

In a mean-time, sign up for the newsletter to be notified about my next posts!

Hope to see you next time! ?

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