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The Game Jam Survival Guide > 5. Hours 37-48:Getting to the Finish Line!

5. Hours 37-48:Getting to the Finish Line!

Chapter 5. Hours 37-48:Getting to the Finish Line!TipHere comes the fun part!Embrace your inner hacker. Cut out any weak parts. Drop features. Work on gameplay and polish. Do one thing well and trim the fat.The Amaze Festival Game JamIn this chapter we will explore the final stage of a Game Jam: the most exciting part. Not only can you see the light at the end of the tunnel but your game is most likely almost done. You may be completely exhausted, but by breaking through the wall and making it to the end you will feel a new surge of energy as the finish line draws nearer. Scrambling to submit your game on time, you will start to work faster and faster, frantically racing toward the final product. Topics we will cover include:How to finish your game on timeAvoiding headaches and hasslesWhat to do when in danger of missing the deadlineAllowing for imperfectionCutting features and ignoring bugsCommon features of winning gamesAdding polish and testing the gamePackaging and submitting your gameThe importance of the name, description and icon"Captain's log"—diary of a winning entry"We had all these grandiose plans. We initially had a twenty page design document, filled with sketches. We thought this would save us some time. Instead of finishing the game as designed, the only way we were able to pull anything off within the time limit at all was to throw out 90% of what we'd planned and focus on the one mechanic that we'd gotten to work. All that work we did in the middle of the project was buggy and broken and we didn't have time to fix it.""Instead of giving up and simply not submitting anything, we realized that the basic 'shooter' mechanic that we'd implemented in the first couple hours of the Game Jam were enough to feel 'fun' all on their own. We pared down the game to its most basic essence.""We threw virtually everything out: all the boss battles, all the puzzle elements, and what we had left was a simple, fun area shooter. Nothing more. The amazing thing is that in so doing, we had extra time on our hands to polish this one mechanic and really make it fun. We had time to tweak the movement speeds and firing rates and made the game so much better by doing one thing and doing it well. Everything else that we'd planned was just noise. It was just fat that had to be trimmed."

  

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