Monochrome Heights Devlog #14 – Taking a Game Jam Approach for the Summer

My name is Patrick and I’m making a tough-as-nails 2D platformer called Monochrome Heights.

I’ve been stuck at a sort of roadblock with the game lately. I haven’t made much forward progress. This is, in part, due to outside obligations, but also because of I’ve been feeling uncertain. Uncertain about what exactly I should work on, and how it should be done. On top of all of that, it’s now summer, and with a child home from school the little free time I have is often occupied by paid work.

As a result, I’ve come to a decision that I hope helps me meet some goals and keep forward momentum during a busy time. This summer I’m going to take a game jam approach to finishing as much of the game as I can. I’m hoping that by proclaiming it here, I will stick with it.

Happy the robot pauses on a block of spikes, between two conveyor belts. IMAGE CREDIT: One Frog Games.

I feel determined to make the most the summer, and make as much progress as possible. Because of the circumstances, I’m breaking the summer into smaller sprints and treating them as game jams, with specific subsections of the game to finish, or move on. I’m still working out the exact nature of what each sprint, or game jam, will be, although I have a plan for the first game two or so game jam periods.

I’m leaving some room for flexibility and trying to be as realistic as possible, so I’m not aiming to plan too far ahead or be overly ambitious. But I want to push myself a bit to get back in the habit of making levels and finishing code needed for various aspects of the game, namely the story segments. The levels and code may end up being rough or simple first drafts, but getting my hands dirty and finishing some work is just what I need to do right now. I can polish and clean up through iteration and playtesting later.

The next several of these devlogs should revolve around the progress I’ve made and keeping myself accountable. So check in next week to see how it’s going. If you’re interested in following along in more detail, sign up for the Monochrome Heights mailing list here. You’ll get exclusive access to early demos and additional short updates. Until next time. Thanks for reading! 

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