The Game Jam Strategy Guide

Lane Davis, Ryan Blaha

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What makes a great game jam?

At their best, jams are an exhilarating race against time. The air crackles with creative genius as you and your team take risks — and ownership — that you’d never dare in your day to day.

At their worst, you’ve lost a weekend to arguments, broken code, frustration, and art that won’t import.

How do we get more of the good and less of the bad?

In this talk, Lane Davis and Ryan Blaha dig deep into years of online jam data — and a lot of personal experience — to answer that question. Whether you jam to teach, to learn, to have fun, or to win the next Ludum Dare, this talk has something for you.

Lane is a game developer and game jam fanatic. He’s brought over fifty friends, co-workers, and students through their first complete game via various jams, and has placed twice in the top 1% in Ludum Dare. He’s brought a jam culture to his company, and has used jams to train co-workers on Unity and to prototype features. While AFK, Lane climbs, runs, and listens to way too much about history.

Ryan is a Minneapolis-based Software Engineer and aspiring video game developer. Looking to build his own path, he started working on Emery during what free time he could find during college and has continued to expand it to what it is today. Outside of all that development work, Ryan loves gaming and following various sports teams, and getting out to see the beautiful Minnesota outdoors when the screen time runs too high.

Newt One DLC

Dev Jana

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Newt One is a nonviolent 3D musical platformer developed here in the Twin Cities by two-person team DevNAri. Released on all platforms in 2019 and after 5+ years of development, we are sunsetting the project by releasing our last DLC - the Speed Run Edition - this year. We’ll discuss the process of developing & releasing a DLC, the genesis of the idea of doing a Speed Run Edition, and sunsetting a project that your team adores during a global pandemic.

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