Learning to Code

Hello. I’ve been lurking without an account for a good year or two, but decided to make an account for the upcoming lo-cal gain jam. I’ve never looked into what’s required for those events, so it would be helpful to get some direction on what happens and how I can potentially participate.

I’m also wondering if the upcoming gain jam is beginner friendly, as I’m currently learning C++. I’ve got some programming basics (up to OOP related topics), but I’m unsure if the knowledge I’ve got so far is enough to contribute in groups. Whether or not I can participate, I’d like to find out what’s necessary in order to contribute towards people’s projects.


There are no real prerequisites required to participate in the game jams other than uploading your game before the event ends. I’ve only participated in one game jam from this site but I’ve done a few outside of here but the process is really straight forward. You get a team together before hand (that’s if you want to work with others, you can always participate solo) then once the theme is announced and the jam starts then you start working on the project. You upload your project before the event ends and you’re good to go! From there it’s always fun to check out what others have uploaded or if you like what you made you can turn it into a full on project and keep developing it!

It’s honestly a low stress thing, you can upload multiple versions but that last one uploaded before the event ends will be the one being judged.

I’m not 100% sure on how many folks here use C++ but you could probably put a feeler out in the project help section if you want to find people to work with. If you’re confident in your programming, then you could take on all the code work then find an artist or writer to cover the other parts of the project.

Also, I would go ahead an pick out an engine and get comfortable with it before the jam starts though so you’re not learning it during the event.


What @oceanaga said!

Typically what has happened in the past is that before the game jam starts a category for the game jam will be created here and in that there would be a sub-category for creating teams. If this happens that would be the best place for looking for collaborators. It may also happen on the WG Discord server.

Creating a game in a short time frame is not without challenges, so many are likely to work with an existing game engine to do a lot of the donkey-work. The chosen engine usually comes with an implied development language (Twine has Javascript, Ren’Py has Python, the list goes on). Obviously C++ is a a bit of a beast in it’s own right, and I think you can use it with Godot as well as the usual suspects like Unity and Unreal. But the important thing is to realise the skills you are developing can easily be applied to other less-complicated OO and functional languages.


I might then check out Twine or Ren’Py for solo projects when I have the time, and see what happens when the sub-category for the game jam is available. Worst case, I work alone; best case, I’m working in a team. Either case, I’m getting familiar with an engine system and learning how the game jam works.

Thanks to you both! This is enough to get me started, but I’m willing to hear any other advice other users are willing to give if there is any more!

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If this is your first game, remember to keep it simple! Even if you run with a mechanic where all you do is catch falling food you can supplement that with great art, fun quips, and a story to make for an awesome game. Renpy is an excellent engine to start with since python is super easy to pick up (doesn’t mean you’re limited to simple mechanics though) and has LOTS of documentation out there. I can’t speak to twine since I’ve never used it but I hear good things about it.

Just remember to have fun with it, jams are a fun event meant to test your skills and the end results are always a blast to see. Don’t go in expecting to make the next “big” thing, keep it light enjoyable and you should have a great time!

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Mildly off topic (still related to what they asked though.) but is there a subforum somewhere people can go to advertise if they’re interested in joining a team for the lo-cal jam?

Or does that subforum not open until after the jam begins?

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I’m also a fan of C++ and I think your most comfortable choice would be Unity. It allows you to write in C# and you won’t even notice the difference from C++ for a long while. I’ll keep an eye on the groups section and tell you if I notice it open. I’ve wanted to learn to apply my coding to games and I think one of these projects, if it accepts beginners, would be perfect

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