APRIL 1ST - APRIL 30TH 2023
WHAT IS GAME DEVELOP MONTH?
Game Develop Month is a month-long game development challenge, where each participant is tasked with building a game during the month of April. In similar style to a game jam, it’s an event where you are given one month, a theme to inspire you, and challenged to build a game from scratch during that month. Game Develop Month is designed as a fun way to focus your game development skills and challenge yourself to see exactly what you can produce!
For this first ever Game Develop Month, it is being hosted as a jam on itch.io, where you will be able to upload and submit your games to the jam for others to play. You can stay up to date and chat with other participants of the challenge on our GDM discord server at discord.gg/qrFdTuWqxv to share your progress and see what everyone else is working on!
As the host of the event I (James Doyle) also want to challenge myself to build and release a game, but as an extra challenge I’ll be releasing the game I make as a full Steam release, to help take you through how some of that process works too! I’ll be showing some of this process over at youtube.com/gamesplusjames to demonstrate some of the things that go into this too! Everyone who submits a game to the challenge will receive a free steam key for the game I make during the challenge. This is, of course, something that requires a little extra preparation time, so if you are interested in doing something similar, let us know in the discord so we can discuss some of the things that Steam requires to get your game released in time!
Some of the community’s favourite games from the month will also be featured in a video on the gamesplusjames youtube channel during the month after the challenge has ended!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the theme for the event?
The theme to help inspire your game is...
And with the theme announced you can now begin planning what kind of game you will start making on April 1st! The theme is meant as something to inspire you for what you will work on during the month and is not a restriction, feel free to use it or ignore it completely!
You can interpret the theme in any way you like, maybe you make a 3D platformer where you have to gather collectibles, a rhythm game where you are putting on a rock show and have to gather a crowd, gathering customers into your taxi as you race around city streets or maybe you’re collecting a bunch of little creatures and making them fight. Gotta gather ‘em all!
We’re revealing the theme a week early to give everyone some extra time to plan out what you want to build during the month, and to start putting a plan in place for how you will get it done starting on the 1st. Remember not to let your scope get out of control, and plan to get a minimum basic game done and polished. You can always add more things in later, but it’s much harder when you have to cut things out you thought you would be able to do.
The theme for the Game Develop Month is meant as an inspirational kicking off point for your projects. As such, it is completely up to you how much you include the theme in your project. If you’ve had a desire to create a particular game and want to do it in one month, you should absolutely do it. It can be a lot of fun integrating a theme with a pre-existing idea, and is something I have done in many game jams before! Creating something fun and interesting is far more important than being too rigidly stuck to the theme!
Are there Prizes?
Game Develop Month is intended as a way to inspire the community to work on a game that they can be proud of in a fixed length of time and that they can polish to be fun and complete. With that in mind the greatest prize of all is the feeling of building and completing a game yourself! As an extra motivation I will be challenging myself to create and release a game on Steam during the month, and everyone who submits an entry will receive a steam key for my game.
Do I have to use the full month?
No, of course not. Everyone has busy lives, and especially as ingdie gamedev’s many of us have other commitments like jobs, family and friends that we can’t just abandon. One of the many reasons this is a month long event is to give you time over multiple weekends or evenings to squeeze in time to make your game.
Remember there is no set target for how long your game should be to play, so even if you spend an hour or two for a few evenings a week working on your entry, you should still be able to produce a 5 to 10 minute long entry that will be fun, no matter your skill level!
Will entries be judged?
Submissions to the challenge will be judged by the community! After the challenge is completed there will be a two-week period where everyone can play and vote on each other’s games, to help decide what are the community's favourite games. If anyone else decides to take up the challenge of releasing their game on Steam during the month and not entering the itch.io portion of the challenge, we will have a separate voting system for those games. To remove any biases, as the host of the challenge, my own entry will not be included in this voting too!
Categories for voting will also be revealed soon!
What programs can I use to make the game?
Anything you want! Use Unity, Unreal, GameMaker, Construct, Flash, Godot, your own engine or whatever other software system you want to use. You can make a real physical tabletop or card game too, just as long as there is a way for everyone to play! It doesn’t matter what you build it in, just make a game!
How can I submit my game?
First of all, make sure the game is in a format other participants can play. The majority of people playing, including me, will be playing on Windows machines so make sure you target that platform if possible. Another advantage is creating a version of your game that people can play in their browser (for Unity, this would be a WebGL build). This makes it easier for people to play your games quickly without downloading.
Once your game is ready, to submit your game to the itch.io jam, once you've hit the Join Jam button on the itch.io page, and the challenge has started, it'll be replaced by a "Submit Entry" button. From here you'll be either able to create a new project for your entry, or, if you created the project page already before submitting, it'll give you the option to add your game to the jam. Then just make sure you have the correct files uploaded to itch!
Games will not be hosted here on this site :)
Can I use existing assets?
Yes! The whole point of this event is to help inspire to build a complete game in a month. Whatever gets you to that point is allowed. There’s plenty of full released games that use asset packs so there is no reason you shouldn’t in your game. The only real guideline is that the game should be something you start actively developing on the 1st of April.
However, if you do use any assets you should make clear which assets you used in your game’s submission page for the challenge.