Game Jams have become digital landfills... Cant we do better?

I was never a fan of Game Jams, but ever since i started developing games and using platforms like Itch and, Game Jams have become something i truly detest.

I get the point of a Game Jam, in fact i know where the concept comes from. Time restriction and randomness is something that has been used since the dawn of art to foster creativity.

This concept is more commonly used by writters, they give them selfs something like 5mins and a topic, then try to come up with a short and rich paragraph.

The big difference here is… the writer will probably reuse the piece of paper, throw it in the trash to be recycled… while “games” from a Game Jam get published onto a platform and then stay there untill the person that published decides to “recycle” it… which in most cases is never… quite literally beaming a waste of space.

All Game Jam “games” seem to be doing these days is taking up space in these platforms, essentially using itch and as some sort of digital trash bin, while at the same time taking hold of a title or concept as their “IP” (Intellectual Property) that they will never use or finish… again… quite literally being a waste.

Then theres the concept of “Competition”… i mean… lets say you have 9 days to build your game, who gets to use the most of these 9 days? If you have a 9 to 5 job and a family, then your severely handicapped, if your a student, then being forced to work in such a tight schedual will most likely hinder your studies, so… how is this time schedual fair? If your a YouTuber or something… well your in the clear, all you need is a good idea and you won… you get the point… plenty of other examples i could give, but this is getting long.

I also get that the competition part of it is just to add some flavor to it and a goal… but hey, if your gonna call it a competition, might as well adresse it.

ANYWAYS… i could writte a book on why Game Jams might seem good at the surface but when it comes down to the details… well they kinda suck.

SO… Can we seriously not do better? Why the heck are they so short? Cant people be original and make some cool events?

Why not have 4 Big Competitions a year, where each one has a 3 Month period? That way everyone could plan around their time, work on the conepts durring the week, work like a beaver on the weekend, and so on…

Why not have a Big Yearly competiton where people could just submite their games with no restrictions? No matter if they were working on the game for a week or 10 years, make it a proper game design competiton kind of thing, only rule is that you have had to use GDevelop.

Theres so much cool stuff we can do, Game Jams arent one of them, all they do is fill up website with unfinished projects, that were thrown together in a week to try and grab 50$.

Every time i go trough these platforms it honestly makes me a little sad and for the most part i just give up looking for games… seems like 9/10 i clike on arent games, their just couple lines of code someone threw together and then hit the publish button.

If you write a couple words on a piece of paper and then put a cover on it, it dosent make it a book, its just a paper with a cover… In the same vein, just because you make a character move dosent make it a game, its just a moving character… stop publishing crap and using platforms as your trash bin.

I know im probably gonna make some people upset with this, but its just my opinion, if you dont like it, by all means, prove me wrong, show me how amazing Game Jams are…

Personally, I am more for a list of honorable mentions.
A list of just good games made in year X because they have a good quality etc… without the competition factor, without a placement.

1 Like

This part reminded me of #DecadeJam lol.

Obviously, it is not a generalization; Some games are good.
Also, I am not proving him wrong.

I don’t join game jams very often, I only joined two, both hosted by GDevelop.
The reason is, most of them are too short. I mean 48 hours is a hassle for someone who doesn’t have a team (yet).

I had a fleeting idea to create a 3-month long one but I’m not good at organizing or promoting.
The longer the Game Jam goes on, the less serious it becomes?

Then it won’t be a competition.
You’ll just be someone developing a game, and picking winners will be unfair.

That’s the worst part, I don’t want to say anything bad or make someone upset but these games shouldn’t be published or listed but since sites like is free, you can do nothing unless they are explicitly violate ToS. you may just ignore them.

Regardless of good completed games, I’m against killing the game at the end of Game Jam.
I would very much like developers to continue maintaining their games even after the game jam they participated in ends if they are that good.
If they miss the deadline, I think they should complete the game and publish it without game jam.
For bad games, they won’t get $50.
But hey, just an opinion.