@super2j: I don't know where I first found out about UnityVS, I've known about it since it cost money though. I either stumbled across it on my own or from one of our local game dev meetups. Then Microsoft purchased it and made it free. For those that don't know what it is, it made it so you can use Visual Studio with Unity instead of MonoDevelop (don't even need to install MonoDevelop anymore).
As far as Visual Studio Community Edition, it's a completely free version of Visual Studio. Not in the same way of Express either where they cut out features. Community Edition is equivalent to Professional Edition. I think the rule is it's free unless your company is making over a million dollars a year (or something like that).
I could probably go on for an hour about how horrid MonoDevelop is, I hope it goes away now that Visual Studio is free.
@trowa_s: MonoDevelop is the biggest POS development software I've ever experienced. It is so much of a hassle to use you might as well use Notepad, I have no idea why Unity still includes it when Visual Studio as well as UnityVS are now free.
@icyeyes: I think the best way to help them out is by having more experienced devs team up with them. Something that my indie game studio does every Ludum Dare is get people from the local community that are interested in game development with little or no experience doing it, and make a game with them during the game jam. We always do our best to make sure they program and do useful/important tasks as well so they learn. That's more important to us than doing good in the game jam. We stream it every time as well.
There are many I like that have already been posted, but I think my favorite one is the XM1041 auto-shotty from Counter Strike. It's a cheap gun that is just a lot of fun. Good for when I want a break from the more traditional weapons. The pump shotgun is also a lot of fun, but the auto-shotty is just too silly to not enjoy.
I'm always down for a game jam as long as it doesn't interfere with other events. I try to revolve things around Ludum Dare so I can always take part in that. I typically get a small team together and we stream on Twitch, would probably do the same thing with this one if the final rules allow it.
As far as the length of the jam, I agree with what some other people posted about 2 weeks being too long. I'd much rather it be somewhere between 48 - 96 hours.
Also, here are some other game engines and frameworks you can add to your list:
I would wait on getting a keyboard. A lot of companies are coming out with RGB mechanical keyboards. Right now there are three but there's at least three more that will be out in the next year.
I think these keyboards are very useful, you can control the color of each key allowing you to easily setup schemes for different programs.
I'm also involved in working with different manufacturers on a unified library to allow game developers to take advantage of these keyboards. For example, a music game that does effects on your keyboard. It's currently used in Pixel: ru² (which is a game I've been working on with my partner). You can see a video of the game controlling a RGB keyboard at PAX South here:
We'll also have it setup at PAX East (booth #9165) with a lot more effects and are working with other game developers to add support to more games.
This is something I don't like about the Indie MegaBooth and why I feel PAX South was great without it. Take a look at this map:
The majority of those 10x10 booths is an indie game and so are a good amount of the 10x20 booths. There are 90 10x10 booths outside of the Indie MegaBooth, there's only 43 booths (of all sizes) inside of the MegaBooth (not counting the MiniBooth and Tabletop area). Think about how many indie games are being missed out on because everyone focus on the MegaBooth. It results in the MegaBooth being very crowded with people and all these other games just sitting there desperate for someone to stop by (I've seen booths not be visited for over an hour). The MegaBooth is where the popular indie games that everyone's heard of are with a good amount by big name indie studios. If you want to play unknown indie games, adventure outside of the MegaBooth.