Global Game Jam Presents: The Community Spotlight: Tim Buhrs

Tim Buhrs: "I have learned an incredible amount from the couple of games that I have created during Jams, more than any tutorial series, course or any form of education I did. During a Jam you absorb so much practical information through tutorials and documentation which you then apply directly for practical purposes!"

Tim participated May Day Mental Health Game Jam 2022. This is his story and greetings to the Global Game Jam Community.

"Hey hey! My name is Tim Buhrs and I'm a 22 year old Game Developer from the Netherlands! I enjoy doing things like thrift shopping, collecting vintage artbooks, watching old rock musicals and drawing but my main passion is creating games!

While I've been an artist for most of my life, I started to learn how to code and develop games about 2 years ago. Since then I've participated in multiple game jams and created a couple smaller games

And now I’m working together with my roommate and friend Jordy de Waal on a larger scale wholesome life-sim game called “GardenBuddies” which is set to release on Steam and Switch next year! I’m trying to create art that brings a smile to people’s faces, whether that's by writing a comforting bit of dialogue, designing adorable little characters or trying to make a fun and relaxing gameplay loop! My main goal is always to make the player as joyful as possible! <3 

Tim Buhrs

Mental Health Game Jam was a total blast

We participated during the May Day Mental Health Game Jam during May of this year and we had a total blast! The discord server was incredibly kind and motivating, the organizers responded to all the questions we asked and the community as a whole was just incredibly supportive to us! And although making a game can definitely be a stressful task to undertake, we felt like it was definitely worth it due to the incredible amount of positive reactions we received during development as well as after release!

During this jam we even became a finalist which was a huge accomplishment for us! especially compared to all the other incredible games that came out of that Jam.
So overall it was a lovely experience to partake in and I will without a doubt join another GGJ in the future!

Creating a safe space for players to play, talk, create, play and learn

GardenBuddies is a relaxing life simulator where you help Mutsy (a small apple buddy) to get friends, party hard, create a lush garden, build a community, and find inner peace!

Have comforting conversations with a wild variety of kind and fun characters, plant flowers and build structures to make this empty garden feel like a home while learning techniques to battle stress and anxiety!

In GardenBuddies we teach the player techniques like box breathing, grounding and discussing emotions while still keeping the game entertaining and cute! The game is inspired by other games such as the Sonic Adventure 2 Chao Garden and Viva Pinata, with additional inspirations such as the Moomins books and Animal Crossing!

We attempted to make GardenBuddies as positive as possible, and to create a safe space for players to play, talk, create, play and learn! If this sounds interesting to you, you can play the Game Jam version right now on Itch! And I would love to see your final garden and hear your thoughts on the game!

GardenBuddies

Game Jams helped me to become a better collaborator

Personally I have learned an incredible amount from the couple of games that I have created during Jams, more than any tutorial series, course or any form of education I did. During a Jam you absorb so much practical information through tutorials and documentation which you then apply directly for practical purposes! During Jams I have learned how to create menus, make better character design, do system design, create core game loops and a LOAD of other useful skills for gamedev all from making small game jam games!

I think Game Jams are especially important for solo devs or indie studios with small teams, making a game highlights everyone's strengths and weaknesses and shows you how much you could achieve in a small period of time! And after the jam is done you have an actual prototype of a game which you could then expand upon, pitch to a publisher or just showcase as a portfolio piece!

Game Jams are also extremely helpful with motivation for me, seeing other peoples work, getting compliments and feedback from other devs and just being in the presence of other hard working people is incredibly motivating for me and pushes me to outdo myself and create bigger and better games!

It also helps that tight deadlines are a huge motivator for me! It’s incredibly easy to work on a passion project for months without making any significant improvement, but with jams you have a clock that’s always ticking and forcing you to push through and create your game!

Long story short, Game Jams helped me to become a better collaborator, a more motivated artist and generally a better game developer! And I think a lot of people would have the same experience!

GardenBuddies

I believe in you <3

Thank you so much to the Global Game Jam for giving me a platform to talk about our game GardenBuddies and tell my story! And also for assembling a lovely community of insanely kind and talented individuals through your platform!

And to all the developers, artists and creators reading this, you got this. I believe in you <3 Making games can be incredibly hard and though, try not to get lost in the numbers and just keep in mind all the people that you will be making happy with the art you create! you got this!!

PS: Take enough screen breaks, drink some water and make sure to catch enough sunlight XOXO"

You can find Tim and GardenBuddies at:
Itch.io: Jam version of Gardenbuddies / Tim Buhrs
Twitter: @TimBuhrs
Linktree: TimBuhrs

GardenBuddies