Die Heart Jammin’
January 31, 2013, written by Maxim Projects

This weekend we participated in the Global Game Jam together with our friend and great artist Baartman. The theme was the sound of a beating heart. Yeah literally, they just made us listen to the sound of a beating heart. The game we came up with was Die Heart. It’s a local 2 player game about sharing a heart and beating cute dog-like mobs with defibrillators.



Although the game is funny, it’s not all that interesting. So today I want to talk about what we learned from doing game jams. We actually met and worked together for the first time during the Global Game Jam last year, so we’ve come to expect cool things from this event.

The most important thing to remember is that there’s literally no time at all to make a decent game. Just none… To overcome this rather crucial deficit it is of vital importance to work together and to divide the work intelligently. Everyone should focus on using their strengths and talents to create as much content as possible in this severely limited timeframe.

Planning also comes in handy here. If you can decide early on what you want to make, and more importantly how much you think you actually can make, it makes it easier to focus on what needs to be done.

Although these jams are often a source of great stress and frustration they can also provide space for experimentation. Because it’s just such a small project that you’ll only be tied to for the weekend it’s a great opportunity to try out new things. As an example, Ingmar, who is one of the designers, wanted to try and make the music and sound for this project, which turned out fucking awesome! Similarly we got to see the magic that Baartman could produce and we totally loved working with an actual artist.

Overall we didn’t create the best game out there, but we did manage to come up with an idea we’re pretty excited about revisiting one day. More importantly we learned about new roles we could fulfil and the joy of working with a guy who can draw pretty shit.