The theme of the January 2019 Kajam is Hyper-casual gaming. As usual, you'll have about one month to make a game exploring the topic, with submissions due for Sunday 27th! Will follow a week of ratings on how addictive your game is, with the results out on Sunday 3rd February.
About "hyper-casual" games
I discovered this new term pretty recently, thanks to Bitslap sharing an interesting article about the trend. We're interested here in a particular niche inside the world of mobile gaming. It's been years now since casual games have taken over the world of app stores, from match threes to strategy games to puzzles. But now, the idea behind "hyper"-casual is that there's a growing number of successful apps that are actually very small games, focused on a single simple mechanic.
The obvious examples would be Flappy Bird of course, or 2048. Both were made in 3 days or less. An older one would be Doodle Jump. There's been a lot of games like this now that have been successful, even commercially successful, while at the same time seeming like they did not take that much time to develop. Studios like Ketchapp have outright specialized in such games ; their recent success Stack is a good exemple.
It seems like the overall hyper-casual recipe is as follows:
- Rely on a very simple but fun mechanic
- Make it require lots of practice to master (either by getting timing and precision right, or by perfecting strategic decisions)
- Make the game infinite, having the player aim for a high score
- Balance the difficulty right (to avoid boring or frustrating the player)
While I can't promise you this will make your game a success, it's certainly a type of games worth exploring. For me it will be a nice change to finetune a simple gameplay rather than cramming as much features & contents I can in a limited time :)
Bonus: One Hour Game Jam meetup!
Because those games are super easy to prototype, let's try something special and join the One Hour Game Jam to get our games started! OHGJ is a weekly event, and completely informal (no prizes nor enforcing any rules, ie. it's ok to submit late, reuse existing art etc.) so it's perfect to get your Kajam entry started.
I'm proposing either of the next two events for us to gather and give a try at a hyper-casual game!
- Saturday 5th January, 8pm UTC
- Saturday 12th January, 8pm UTC
See you there maybe! And even if you don't, have fun making a minimal but addictive game!