Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking a lot about how to make a game this year. All over the indie scene and across the game industry writ large, people are getting more and more excited over the prospect of full-blown garage development--the idea that anyone can make a game without having to invest in a whole lot of equipment or software. Besides being, like, really cool, garage devs could also have a huge impact on the business and art form of video games.
But c 'mon, right? I can aready hear the cries from the proverbial rafters: "Get real, bro." Making a game can't be that easy. Right?
Turns out it isn’t. But making a game is also really, really fun. Sure, you're likely going to need to gain a certain amount of experience before you'll be able to create something coherent. And while the tools I outlined are approachable and fun to experiment with, it’s going to take some time before you can turn your vision into a working game. But don’t let that stop you—Rome wasn’t built in a day.
However, Amsterdam was built in a week. That’s the game I made with a group of people who have had little to no experience making games. You can play the prototype here. (Safe plug-in available for free here.)
Amsterdam takes place entirely in a bar full of washed-up video-game characters.
As you may already know, a game jam is a sort of flash conference, typically spanning only 48 hours, in which people come together to make a game. The game jam we participated in, CREATE, was 10 days long. The game had to be done by the end of January 23rd; we didn’t begin to participate until January 1st. And since there was no theme for the jam, we decided to develop a concept I had been toying with.
To be fair, we were all pretty familiar with video games. Most of us had even made some in the past, including a few top-tier mass-marketed titles. But it was just us, this time around. We weren’t working cogs in a grand machine. It was just our teeth and code and sound and vision making this a real-live thing.