Game Jams - Walking a Week in the Shoes of our Customers

coherence

by coherence

Aug 24, 2022

Demo Reel

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Intro

Tadej Gregorcic, CTO

At coherence, we're building tools that change the way developers make real-time connected experiences.

While our core technology is informed by decades of industry experience and research, we constantly innovate on multiple levels, including the engine, backend systems, SDK, tools, UX as well as documentation.

The best way to verify our assumptions and make sure we're staying on track in terms of usability, reliability and performance, is constantly gathering feedback from real-world projects using coherence – feedback from our customers, our partners, our community, as well as our internal teams.

Most of our colleagues have worked on games before, from indie projects to large-scale AAA franchises, and we're proud to have some really creative individuals working on our platform.

This is why every few sprints, we organize a week-long game jam where everyone can take a break from developing the product and instead use it to build something new. At the end of the week, we all play the resulting games together and gather feedback that is so instrumental to keeping coherence reliable, powerful and easy to use for anyone from game designers to experienced network engineers.

Some of the resulting games have been pretty incredible, and some of them even get selected for further development into demos and showcases that can be shared with our community.

Q&A with Developers

But now let’s hear it from some of our people who took part in the August game jam as well!

Francisco Requena, SDK product owner

Q: Tell us a bit about your game jam project - what is it called, what is the game about, where do you want to take it in the future, etc.?

A: I’m working on Supersoldiers. It’s a run-and-gun shooter. Deathmatch, quick respawns, and tons of bullets. One core idea I explored with this game jam is how far we can push client-side simulation. Although in the future I can see how we can put authoritative servers and client-side prediction to test.

Q: How many coherence game jams have you taken part in before?

A: I lost the count at this point, but I’d say around 10 game jams.

Q: Do you prefer game jamming solo or in a team?

A: Both are fun ways to explore the technology we’re offering. Workflows might be different. But if I had to pick, I’d go with solo, since it gives me a chance to understand how someone would experience coherence on their first interaction.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you learned from the coherence game jam projects?

A: The importance of eating your own dog food. It’s key to keep perspective with the audience you’re trying to target.

Q: How has having game jams helped you in your everyday work?

A: I can get a holistic view of the product, where we’re at, and how it feels to use it. I can get a sense of what we should focus on next.

Q: What game jam result are you most proud about so far?

A: Supersoldiers started months ago. Since its inception, I’ve updated the game each jam with recent features coherence had to offer. It’s been a great experience to uncover missing or poorly designed features. One I recall vividly was commands. We had support for commands on the first iteration of Supersoldiers. However, it was really hard to understand how they were supposed to work, and also, they didn’t cover the most common use cases. It sparked a discussion on commands for days, which ended up in a good set of decisions to bring the feature to a better usability state. We really thought we were done with a first usable iteration on commands, until we hit the ground running and discovered we were far from done!

Miguel Ferradans Valdes, SDK developer

Q: Tell us a bit about your game jam project - what is it called, what is the game about, where do you want to take it in the future, etc.?

A: Hi! Our jam project is called White&Black, because it’s inspired by the old Black&White game from Peter Molyneux. So far we’ve only added the basic leash & eating mechanics. The plan is to keep working on it in other jams.

Q: How many coherence game jams have you taken part in before?

A: None! This is my first.

Q: Do you prefer game jamming solo or in a team?

A: Both have their perks. Jamming solo means you may be able to focus on a particular topic more, but doing it in a team means it's always more fun and collaborative.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you learned from the coherence game jam projects?

A: For me, since this is my first, I’ve used it primarily to familiarize myself more with the SDK.

Q: How has having game jams helped you in your everyday work?

A: Since the team we formed for this jam was composed primarily by the “newbies” of the team. We used it as an opportunity to test the SDK from the perspective of someone new to the product, which is always valuable.

Q: What game jam result are you most proud about so far?

A: This one! Since it is my only one :D

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