Jan 31, 2013
A variety of indie game developers are making a concerted effort to do something cool this year: 12 games in 12 months. It’s called “One Game a Month” and it’s a long-term game jam project. Game jams are events where developers try to make a game – often just rough prototypes – in a short period of time, and One Game A Month is attempting to make this a concerted effort for developers. As the end of the month has rolled around, the first wave of titles is releasing, and thanks to Android allowing developers to release their apps freely without having to go through official storefronts, many of the 1GAM titles are available to be played on your phone, tablet, or oven.
Most of the games are simple demos with interesting hooks: <em>Black Holes has players deflecting missiles by placing black holes, for example. Square Jam is a single-device multiplayer game that has players trying to rapidly tap squares on the screen. One of the more interesting games, Where Is Love? has players trying to track down the person they’re dating by following the sound of their heartbeat. Wear headphones. Some of the games are available on Google Play, though many are just available as APKs. Some of the games are rough, whether they be from novice programmers or just hastily-assembled apps, but that’s the point of a game jam: to put something together quickly and to explore ideas.
While there will be some full-fledged releases as part of the program, such as Orangepixel’s Gunslugs, expect to see many prototypes and game jam products released with the program. It’s a way for developers to test and promote interesting ideas they have, and who knows – maybe some great full-fledged ideas will be born from these prototypes or short-form projects. Velocispider was born from a concerted short effort from Retro Dreamer, and other developers on Twitter talk about how they can use this to explore game concepts they haven’t yet done. If you see a concept that’s particularly interesting, let the developer know! Feedback is great and may help spur on the development of future titles.
One Game A Month can be followed from its official website – search the page for Android to find some of the releases, and on Twitter by tracking the #1GAM and #onegameamonth hashtags that developers frequently share info and screens with.