I’m thinking of running something fun for the Summer here at the Odeck...a Game Jam! I’ll put up a prompt at the end of the month and anyone wanting to take part has the whole of August to make a game!

...but I have no idea how to code or anything.

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That’s ok (join the club!) you don’t need to know how to code, you can make any kind of game you like, a board game, a pen and paper game, or a choose your own adventure Twine, none of which involve needing to learn code.

A choose-your-own what now?

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Don’t worry, I’ll give you a little run down for this one, it should appeal to those of us who write fiction (which I think is a fair few!). Twine is a small free program aimed, primarily, at creating text adventures (it has broader applications if you really get into it, but we’ll keep it simple for now) it allows you to simply plot out a branching story using an overview not unlike a mind-map.

Left is TWINE version 1.4.2, right is version 2.0.11. I would advise the older version, but for very simple games they’re both good.

This lesson can get you started:

You are in the hallway

[[Open the left door]]

[[Open the right door]]

Those double brackets make a new passage (think of them as book pages, I find that helps) which will then have that name. If you want the text of the link to be different to the name of the passage you’re linking to (which is useful if you want to double back on yourself) just do this.

You enter the left door…the room is filled with spiders!

[[Flee!|Open the right door]]

Obviously there are many, many more things you can do but this is all you need to make something like the choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a kid, if you want to do something more complicated I can help or point you to resources.

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Do I have to use Twine or non-code things?

Nope! I’ve made this post to encourage people who don’t code to take part, but if you can or are familiar with any other game design tools (Unity, Gamemaker, RPG maker...etc) you’re free to use those.

You can make anything, from a game like this...
...to a game like this.

How long does my game need to be?

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Anything between 30 seconds and 8 hours should do ;) (seriously, it can be as long or as short as you like, although short is obviously more doable in the time-frame so that’s something to consider).

I’ll post a prompt and some other details on August 1st

Then it’ll be time to get down to some serious jam action.

If anyone has questions just let me know!