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October 21, 2011 10:29 AM   Subscribe

48 hours. 120 developers. One winning game. Take a peek inside the madness of a 48-hour game development contest, where ramen and caffeine rule the day.
posted by kethonna (10 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
See also the IGF Pirate Kart for another 300 games submitted as one big bundle. Further from Rock Paper Shotgun.
posted by cortex at 10:32 AM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've been programming long enough that a two-day, sleep-deprived code sprint seems like just about the furthest thing from fun that there is. The 24 Hours of Inform contest is much more my speed; you have only 24 hours to complete your entry, but they can be non-consecutive over a period of a month or so. I did it once 5 or 6 years ago and the challenge/commitment ratio was perfect.
posted by usonian at 11:21 AM on October 21, 2011

Nice, I read part I the other day, and was eager to see the next part. My wife is out of town for the weekend, and I've been going back and forth on whether to work on creating an Android game from one of many ideas bouncing around in my head or just going out and buying Batman: Arkham City. Given my propensity for not finishing projects that span multiple sessions, it would be in a 48-hour "jam" if at all. I once created a Tetris clone in a day, so I know that it is not completely outside my capabilities, though. I was rooting for Ash along with the author, and even though he didn't get as far as he wanted, reading articles like this are always inspiring to me.
posted by mysterpigg at 12:10 PM on October 21, 2011

The 16-year-old me thinks 48 hour game development contests are an excellent idea.
The 16-year-old me also had religious feelings towards Jolt Cola and Kick Cola.
posted by Theta States at 12:35 PM on October 21, 2011

And the prize for all the tears, sweat, and possibly bloodshed? No cash. No game developer job. A mug of jellybeans.

Okay, I've had a bad day at work, and some of this is going to be the stress talking, I'll admit. But I hear my higher-ups praising my colleagues for working until midnight, and I hear about brilliant people creating brilliant things that everyone likes but no one actually wants to pay for, and I hear about unpaid internships and creative opportunities "for your portfolio" and... you know, just throw me in the woods and make me fight to the death already. I guess the people who participate in crazy-ass game jams do it for fun and not for profit, but jellybeans, man you have got to be shitting me. Your ideas, your work, your sleep are worth more than jellybeans. You're just going to be picking out all the licorice ones anyway.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:00 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

I first heard of these game jams with notch live streaming his ludumdare entry. I can't wait for their next game jam to burn away a weekend and have been pouring free time into learning how games work from the ground up.

I was really annoyed with ars technica for these articles, more than anything I want them on one page so I can instapaper this into storage for the next three hour train journey. It's really annoying to have to page through an article online, it's even worse to have to do this to store away a really interested article. Sorry for the rant.
posted by adventureloop at 2:58 PM on October 21, 2011

Your ideas, your work, your sleep are worth more than jellybeans.

Think about it like mountain climbing, or skiing, etc. etc. Are the mountain climbers efforts equally wasteful?
posted by symbollocks at 3:48 PM on October 21, 2011

adventureloop: PageZipper.
posted by ostranenie at 4:14 PM on October 21, 2011

Nobody should be made to do this as part of their job - but they're doing it because it's a challenge, it's a crazy endeavour, it's creative, it's productive - it's a totally different thing. If I did games dev, and I did it well, I'd definitely be interested in doing something like this once every year or two.
posted by dickasso at 3:14 PM on October 22, 2011

Music Hack Day only gives you half the time, but there's beer and free food even if you don't win.
posted by mkb at 7:34 PM on October 22, 2011

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