GameJams.... is it good practice?

June 17, 2019, at 03:24 PM by mgarcia in 2019, Industry, 3DS, Pics, GameDev, Blog (2 comments)

Title: GameJams.... is it good practice? Author: mgarcia Date: 2019-06-17 23:24 +1000 Tags: 2019, Industry, 3DS, Pics, GameDev, Blog Comments: Open

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Practice vs GameJams

Practice, is the repetitive process in which we learn. GameJams, is really about finishing a (small) project. Both are good, but two completely different things!

GameJams, are great for reinforce something already learnt and working under pressure, like a test. But I wouldn't say GameJams are great for learning.

Mike Acton at HandmadeCon 2015, gives great advice on practice!

"throw away everything after every practice... so you have to get better".
  Handmade Hero - HandmadeCon 2015 - Mike Acton 

Handmade Hero - HandmadeCon 2015 - Mike Acton

Jonathan Blow, also at HandmadeCon 2015, talks about the same thing, saying that due to hardware limitations, performance was an iterative process.

  Handmade Hero - HandmadeCon 2015 - Jonathan Blow 

Handmade Hero - HandmadeCon 2015 - Jonathan Blow

My little 3DS engine update

I haven't updated this blog in a while... but I'm still playing with the 3DS and 3D!
The advice above, I guess is old fashioned in today's instant world, but it's still very important in master a craft.
I've iterated a lot on different game engines, for different reasons and every time starting new, it becomes a small stack of software knowledge in my mind.

Anyway, here is an image of the engine rendering pseudo lighting, simply changing the quad RGB value based on distance.
The bar is a billboarded image, with normal RBG values (1.0).
There's also collision detection.. well ground detection anyway!

Image: Blog.2019-06-17-GameJams-is-it-good-practice

Find the ground's height

As a math noob, I find math to be magic!
Maybe that's why I like the 3D pipeline, objects in local space, the transformation (scale, rotation and translation) into world space, culling in view space and the rendering in screen space and all the fun stuff in between XD.

The ground (height) testing took me a while to figure out, it's basically linear math using the polygon's center and it's unit normal (a direction vector that's perpendicular with values ranging 0.0 to 1.0).

Basically calculate the difference from the X and Z center and multiply it by the normal, add it together then add the multiplication of the center's Y by the normal's Y, add it all together then divide it by the normal's Y value. Magic!

f32 height = ( (posZ-centerZ )* nNormalZ + (posX-centerX)*nNormalX + centerY*nNormalY )/ nNormalY;

2 comments on "GameJams.... is it good practice?"

  • Levi D. Smith @GaTechGrad: 2019-06-20 14:40 +1000
    I think game jams are great because it forces you to complete something in a limited amount of time. On the other hand, I've been doing game jams for over 6 years and I just have a bunch of half finished game projects. I'm really focusing more now on making more complete and polished games. Game jams are also a great way to get exposure as well. Put a game up on Itch and you'll be lucky to get more than a handfull of downloads, but if it's a part of a jam then you'll usually get a few plays from the other jam participants.
    I know a lot of people say that jams are a good way to get feedback, but I usually don't find it helpful. Most of the comments are usually how someone else thinks your game should be made, or things that are obviously missing due to it being created under time constraints.
  • mgarcia: 2019-06-23 10:47 +1000
    Good words man!
    You're a gamejam pro for sure ;)

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