The #FFSjam is Complete
<- Back to blog | Posted on 13 February 2017 by Adam Summerton
The Finally Finish Something jam came to a close last week, the game jam we ran over on the itch.io website. The main purpose of the jam was to give people a reason to finish long running projects, or to get a game done for the very first time. Below is a little run down of how it all went, with some melodramatic chapter titles.
We always enter a few game jams throughout the year, and we'd been looking for a jam to motivate us to finish some old projects. The problem is that they always call for a new game based on a theme, and as we always like to respect the rules we couldn't really use any old projects. This led to the idea for running our own game jam, and #FFSjam was born. We wanted to run it in January and sell it as a New Year's Resolution game jam, as January is a great time to get a creative endeavour finished and set you up for the year. I think it can be especially gratifying to get something done in January if you've struggled to finish it for a long time - our hope was that those who finished something would keep that motivation going and make more stuff.
We put some effort in up-front to make the jam site look professional, including some nice little bits of art from James and some semi-competent writing from myself. This worked pretty well, and combined with a solid game jam idea, all came together nicely into something we were fairly pleased with. It seemed to work as we got quite a big wave of initial interest, with over 250 people signing up to take part.
The Jam Itself
As the general philosophy of the jam was to help people out, we also wanted to get a nice little community going, and I think that was a success too. The jam forum was a nice place to be, which is pretty rare on the Internet in 2017. The hashtag was a success on Twitter as well, and again it was just full of nice people talking about their games. As the main web contributor for Second Dimension games, I tried to take my hosting duties seriously and get involved whenever I could, and I even went so far as to setup a Twitter account for the jam. So in conclusion, a huge thank you to everyone who dropped in to say hello or contributed something on the forums, or to anyone who joined in on Twitter - you were all awesome.
The Jam Ends
The 250 people who expressed an interest translated into around 60 entries. This is a fairly modest number, but seemed to be consistent with the other jams on itch.io (in terms of % of interested people who submitted something). Even though 60 is not a massive number, it was still a lot more than we expected and a great result for a first time game jam. During the rating phase we committed to rating and commenting on every single game - due to errors and compatibility we fell slightly short, but managed about 95% of them! Again the trend continued and the ratings feedback were all good natured and constructive.
We would really like to run #FFSjam again next January, hopefully with an existing jam under our belts we can get a bit of a larger audience and help out even more people. Having said that, it doesn't really matter if we get 60 entries again next year, or even if we get 6. There's no end game of fame or world domination, it's just a game jam to help people get motivated and feel good about game dev - as long as it's fulfilling that goal we'll keep on doing it .