3 Jan, ’22

New Year's Game Jams

by Cal

I got an itch.io email promoting some upcoming game jams last week and out of curiosity I popped over to look at them in more detail - mostly because I was really curious what the history-themed one was like, honestly, which is kinda funny because I'm not going to be joining that one at all lol

Anyway two of them in particular jumped out at me as ones I wanna do so I signed up for them and we'll see how it goes.

The first one started on the 1st: Finally Finish Something 2020. It's a super open-ended game jam where the idea is just to help give people a kick in the pants to finish up or even just progress further on a long-term project. I'm doing Soul Scribes for it, since I lost all my momentum on it when my friend died and haven't done more than poke absently at it a couple times in the past two months. I'm hoping this'll help me get it fully into beta. Beta's a major milestone, obv, but most significantly because it means I've got all the features implemented and just need testing and content - and that's the point when we get to start planning and promoting the KickStarter in earnest.

The second one starts on the 6th and is a lot shorter: Virtual Pet Jam. That one's making a virtual pet game in just over 2 weeks and y'all know how much I love virtual pets lol. Fortunately I got 3 more days to figure out what I wanna make because I have too many ideas and none of them are concrete enough to do anything with. I kinda want to make it a web game, since that's what I do, y'know, and also it makes it easy for people to share their pets with each other, right? But on the flip side maybe that'll turn into too big of a project.

But then if I'm making it a single-player offline game what am I gonna make it in? Do I wanna go for a full tiny-retro game feel with PICO-8? Or do I wanna stretch myself and get more practice in with ?

And beyond the architecture entirely, what kind of a pet game do I wanna make? There's the long-term "play and care for your pet every day and watch them grow" type, like Petz and tamagotchi and all that, of course. But then there's also battle-pets, where you train them up to be stronger. But then there's also a Raising Sim-style virtual pet game where you make choices of what to do through a branching game path to increase certain characteristics and face certain challenges that can shape how your pet turns out. And I can think of fun ways to do all of them aaaaaaa