is anyone else 'burnt' on gamejams?

I get that gamejams are kind of this cornerstone for the indie games scene - but the past year or so I have been feeling pretty burnt out on the concept, and I wonder if anyone else feels like that too? It seems pretty odd to me that gamejams are essentially the only major sort of event/activity available in the space. There must be some other way to get developers to organize and do something fun and productive.

It also feels like they are pretty commodified now? It’s really easy to set up a jam page on itch these days so there are literally hundreds at any time now. The ludum dare used to be something people really rallied around and it kind of seems to have lost traction. and while I do like the general move away from competition-centric jamming I wonder what other motivational elements could be incorporated.

A lot of my hesitation with gamejams comes from my own mentality about making games, though. When I come up with ideas I tend to commit to them pretty hard. I also tend to work solo which usually means over-scoping for the time that I have. So while I see a ton of gamejams out there these days I just don’t feel great about throwing another unfinished thing onto my backlog to worry over. I’d much rather just keep obsessing over my extant unfinished projects, hahaha.

Anyways I’m curious what people’s hot takes on game jams are partly so I can think about types of events that would be good for a site like this. In part gamejams are just so traditional now it feels kind of boring, and I also think it would be too early to run one that would really get enough traction to have good results.

Yes. I have released four jam games (and one jam-sized game that I made on my own), and while these were excellent opportunities that I learned a lot from, I don’t feel like doing any more of them. I started my current project because I really wanted to do something bigger and more involved, and to spend more time iterating and polishing, rather than just throwing things together. The most important thing I learned from game jams is how to scope and finish a project, and I felt like I was ready to apply those lessons.

After Minerva Labyrinth is finished, it’s possible that I might do another jam or two before I start another big project, maybe as an opportunity to prototype, but we’ll see. In the mean time I haven’t really felt the need to jump into any more of them.

Ran into this today (Actually I had seen it once before but I didn’t really give it a close inspection then):

I feel like this is sort of in the direction I’m thinking where the goal seems to be to do a jam, but work towards a sum that is greater than the whole of its parts. I was a little confused what they meant by the jams being ‘anonymous’ - basically the games are uploaded to the itch account OF the jam rather than your own. And I suppose you send in a pseudonym to use too. It looks like it’s up to you if you want to announce or reveal yourself later on. There are some obvious downsides to not having the completed game under your name (for portfolio/visibility reasons at least) ~ but I kind of assume the point of the anonymity is to give yourself a reason to make a game where you simply don’t care how well it does, or if it matches up well with your ‘extant brand’

And of course in the end the product does feel to me at least a little like something where there is curation going into it (even if there isn’t) and all the games have a purpose juxtaposed together - which is one of the things I think is severely lacking in most huge, publicly available jams on itch.

Anyone else run into stuff like this before? I think it’s way way way too early for this site to do anything of the sort, but it leans more towards the direction where I think it would be actually worthwhile to jam

We usually don’t participate in jams. I do games for fun, and for the reason to make good games; I reject this, since I don’t need or want artificial deadlines, rules, or themes that reduce me in my possibilities and creativity.

I play many truly independent video games (guess I check out 3 in an average week), so I have a good base for comparison. Most games that were developed for jams have a not only under-average, but outright lousy quality - you can’t expect people to play this. People search for games that are creative, worthwhile, and fun; we should search for concepts that encourage people to realize projects they believe in.