Jankenstein: A Global Game Jam 2020 Postmortem

Published by Jon on

Last weekend I took part in this year’s Global Game Jam and made a really silly game with some super awesome people. Naturally I figured I should do a short postmortem of it like I did last year.

Jankenstein

GGJ 2020 had the theme of “repair”. This was a very broad theme which meant there were many different games we could make for the jam. Of course we took the obvious choice: make a janky physics game about stitching dead body parts together and then making the resulting body complete levels. The name went through a few changes before we settled on “Jankenstein”. The game sounded hilarious when we talked about it and only got funnier as we implemented it over the jam.

The team breakdown was balanced (as all things should be), with two programmers, two artists and two designers. It was probably just the right size of team for the game we ended up making. If we’d attempted something more ambitious it might not have been completed to the level we managed for Jankenstein.

What Went Right

1. The Concept

Seriously this was a no-brainer. Once myself and the other programmer verified that the two different bits were viable in the time we had it became clear we had chosen something really out there and fun.

2. Assets

The more art (and later sound effects) we added to the game the better it became. This isn’t a groundbreaking discovery but compared to other jams I’ve participated in we packed in a good amount of both audio and visual flair into the game.

3. Sleep and Scope

Everyone got enough sleep and the scope of the game was small enough that we could comfortably make it within the jam’s time. I think this is probably one of the most in-scope projects I’ve worked on.

What Went Wrong

1. Polish

The game isn’t quite as polished as I’d like. This is a bit of a nitpick to be honest, because the game itself is meant to be a wacky, janky kind of thing. Still, a few more levels and a bit more time to fix some edge-case problems would’ve been nice.

Conclusion

I had an absolute blast helping make this. Unsurprisingly, working on a weird and wacky game is very fun. I’m hoping to participate in next year’s jam but we’ll see if that happens. You can play the game here.