Weekend hackaton for game development

Working long hours, from morning to deep night. During weekend! Sounds fun? Then you are a good party member for a hackaton. Recently popularized by Facebook and it’s all-nighters or coding 24-hours in row. Now widely spread also as marketing event. It is easy to see why – promotes that the team can work hard, and is not ashamed to show it.

Now the question is – Can also a game developing team have (or even enjoy) a hackaton? In short: Yes! And here is why in our case:

  • Game hackatons are great opportunity to meet (and talk). Not every team works together all the time or in one office space. We, for example, work remotely most of the time. Though it works great for us, meeting from time to time is still a good idea. We discuss all about the game and still have time for small talk or hobbies.
  • Have a meal together. It can be a pizza, 3 course menu or any delivery. Eating together is probably one of the best team bounding times.
  • Get things done. Probably the most important one. Finish all the work that has been in your to-do list, get to tasks when you need to collaborate physically with others (e.g. motion capture, go through movements of characters)

And some hints & tips or our lessons learned from two of our recent weekend ‘hackatons’:

  • Plan! Have all points you want to achieve during the weekend listed down. Have some more points in reserve. Share this document to all team members way in advance so they can set their expectations.
  • Have fun! Don’t be afraid to share funny pictures from 9gag.com or hilarious songs from Youtube with team. Caution, don’t ruin the focus of others. It’s great stress reliever and you should remember the whole weekend as both fun and huge working progress.

If you have been on any similar event, let us know your thoughts.