Be a Supporter!

Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:.

  • 4,276 Views
  • 103 Replies
New Topic
4urentertainment
4urentertainment
  • Member since: Aug. 1, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 13
Game Developer
Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 03:03 PM

First of all, what?

NG Game Jam 7 has been announced

So I've decided to make this (unofficial) pre-discussion thread perhaps as a means to discuss the preparations everyone is doing, share game jamy experiences, but what mainly irked me to make this thread was a comment made by someone on Austin's newspost:
I like how your game jams continuously keep on proving that videogames done hastily end up like shit most of the time and as a waste of potential. No, seriously. Stop doing these.

And I thought it would be nice to re-iterate over what the point of game jams are and perhaps get more people interested.

So what is a game jam?
As the book definition reads: it is community project to rapidly create video game designs and inject new ideas into the industry.

What that means is that it is not a competition to see who makes the best game, but rather, an event that gives people the opportunity to try out new game concepts. There are no losers, or the only losers are the ones that just make something they've made before, but even then, hey, you have a game!

My point is, the ENTIRE reason game jams were made in the first place was as a means for developers to see if their ideas for games work or not, so that they know whether or not to develop those ideas.

  • Depict1
    Depict1 by mirosurabu

    Do NOT play this game!

    Score
    4.43 / 5.00
    Type
    Game
    Popularity
    840,517 Views
    Rated
    Everyone

You might have come across this game before. It's an amazingly successful game, but what you might be surprised to hear is that this game was originally made in 48 hours for The Global Game Jam.

This game is also another example of a game made in 48 hours in the Ludum Dare game jam, which is now being sold on the iOS Appstore.

There are many more examples like this, and the beauty of it is that, even if your new idea fails horribly, you'll know *exactly* why it failed and how to improve it so that it's actually ready to be implemented!

Judging

So with that said, I wanted to pose my ideas/suggestions for the judging and see if the community and Austin would agree/disagree and perhaps strike a discussion.

First, let me start off by saying that I think the judging process has improved dramatically over the course of these jams. Starting with being simply community voted to being judged by experienced veterans of the game industry; I think we're heading in the right direction.

The only note I'd like to stress is that I think the judging should put as little emphasis on the portal score of the entries as possible. More often than not, average flash gamers will simply choose the tried and memorized genre over something new, promising, but perhaps not quite there yet.

With this in mind, developers can feel more comfortable trying out new or different things without having to cater too much to the average gamer's thirst for polish.

In the end our goal is to have fun, and create something awesome over the course of a weekend.

And I leave you with this inspiring example:

In the last LudumDare game jam, the theme was "Tiny World". One man made an entire game inside a favicon. Now that's creativity!

Aaaand discuss!

3D-xelu
3D-xelu
  • Member since: Apr. 22, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 33
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 03:10 PM

I agree on the topic of judging.
Games should be definitely judged by quality and innovation rather than portal score which is determined by regular NG players... As you said... they will probably rate games on how polished they are.. rather than paying atention to the core idea\mechanic

At 6/9/12 03:03 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: The only note I'd like to stress is that I think the judging should put as little emphasis on the portal score of the entries as possible. More often than not, average flash gamers will simply choose the tried and memorized genre over something new, promising, but perhaps not quite there yet.
AustinBreed
AustinBreed
  • Member since: Jul. 6, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 26
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 06:20 PM

How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.


BBS Signature
CrazyRock
CrazyRock
  • Member since: May. 13, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 12
Movie Buff
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 06:54 PM

At 6/9/12 06:20 PM, AustinBreed wrote: How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.

That would probably be the best way


Thanks Chdonga for the signature. <3

BBS Signature
3D-xelu
3D-xelu
  • Member since: Apr. 22, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 33
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 07:20 PM

At 6/9/12 06:20 PM, AustinBreed wrote: How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.

Well yeah that could work... but you'd need to either set up a webpage that would SOMEHOW only let the participants vote.. or manually go through their PM's

either that or unbiased judges that grade the games based on certain aspects.. including "Polish" and "Innovation"

Wallross
Wallross
  • Member since: Jan. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 9th, 2012 @ 08:28 PM

At 6/9/12 07:20 PM, 3D-xelu wrote:
At 6/9/12 06:20 PM, AustinBreed wrote: How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.
Well yeah that could work... but you'd need to either set up a webpage that would SOMEHOW only let the participants vote.. or manually go through their PM's

either that or unbiased judges that grade the games based on certain aspects.. including "Polish" and "Innovation"

I was one of the few that were slightly unhappy with the official judging of the last jam, and I apologise if I came off as a bit of an ass. I guess I was a little unhappy that none of the judges really stuck to their criteria, and gave scores that didn't match what they'd gotten across in their review. Or maybe I was just feeling a little too entitled.

Judging aside, I'd like to address the kickball system of choosing team-mates. It seems like it'll favour people who get in early, and teams could become unbalanced because the 'super members' of the last jams who are extremely dedicated, will get better people first.

I think we should try out the system, but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't work.
Can't wait to jam with you all.

PSvils
PSvils
  • Member since: Feb. 3, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 10th, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

Random teams <<< Do it up.

JoSilver
JoSilver
  • Member since: Sep. 21, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 16
Melancholy
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 10th, 2012 @ 05:04 PM

At 6/10/12 11:34 AM, PSvils wrote: Random teams <<< Do it up.

That's always fun...

Glaiel-Gamer
Glaiel-Gamer
  • Member since: Dec. 28, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 28
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 10th, 2012 @ 09:09 PM

At 6/9/12 08:28 PM, Wallross wrote: Judging aside, I'd like to address the kickball system of choosing team-mates. It seems like it'll favour people who get in early, and teams could become unbalanced because the 'super members' of the last jams who are extremely dedicated, will get better people first.

let the artists vote on programmers, and the programmers with the most votes get to choose first

Wallross
Wallross
  • Member since: Jan. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 10th, 2012 @ 09:18 PM

At 6/10/12 09:09 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: let the artists vote on programmers, and the programmers with the most votes get to choose first

That wouldn't really work, because then the best programmers would get the best team. I guess it might just have to be first in, best dressed.

Gimmick
Gimmick
  • Member since: Aug. 20, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 27
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 10th, 2012 @ 11:18 PM

At 6/10/12 11:34 AM, PSvils wrote: Random teams <<< Do it up.

Do you mean that random teams should be used or abolished?


Slint approves of me! | "This is Newgrounds.com, not Disney.com" - WadeFulp
"Sit look rub panda" - Alan Davies

BBS Signature
Tyler
Tyler
  • Member since: Sep. 28, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 15
Animator
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 11th, 2012 @ 03:25 AM

At 6/9/12 06:20 PM, AustinBreed wrote: How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.

I'd like to be judged by a panel of established people who know what they're doing/ familiar with jams. Similar to how the tank awards were conducted in the past

4urentertainment
4urentertainment
  • Member since: Aug. 1, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 13
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 11th, 2012 @ 05:49 AM

At 6/11/12 03:25 AM, Tyler wrote:
At 6/9/12 06:20 PM, AustinBreed wrote: How would you guys like the Jams to be judged? As of now, I'm just intending to let people who participated send in votes.
I'd like to be judged by a panel of established people who know what they're doing/ familiar with jams. Similar to how the tank awards were conducted in the past

I concur here. Someone who can judge games based on their potential, application of the theme, etc..

I think the only reason having people who participated vote worked for Ludum Dare is because of the *huge* amount of people that participated. There were over 1,400 games submitted last time.

At 6/10/12 11:18 PM, Gimmick wrote:
At 6/10/12 11:34 AM, PSvils wrote: Random teams <<< Do it up.
Do you mean that random teams should be used or abolished?

I think he's in favor of random teams, and I have to say, I am as well.

It'd be pretty awesome if we go with random teams again, it really forces people to be creative, and encourages collaboration. If you get teamed up with someone who isn't very skilled, that could possibly be much more of a help than a hindrance as it will force you to make a game that's genuinely fun or creative and not rely on flashy art for example to get a high score.

With that said, I'm not against trying out new ways to pick teams. The kickball system might be fun.

ShadowGamer2
ShadowGamer2
  • Member since: Apr. 23, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 12
Blank Slate
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 11th, 2012 @ 02:30 PM

At 6/11/12 05:49 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: It'd be pretty awesome if we go with random teams again, it really forces people to be creative, and encourages collaboration. If you get teamed up with someone who isn't very skilled, that could possibly be much more of a help than a hindrance as it will force you to make a game that's genuinely fun or creative and not rely on flashy art for example to get a high score.

With that said, I'm not against trying out new ways to pick teams. The kickball system might be fun.

I agree with 4urentertainment on this one Random teams are the best way.It prevents powerhouse teams, and encourages members of the community to meet new people. It also allows people who are brand new to see how pros do it. I hate to sound like a dick, but I think the kickball style of picking is gonna do exactly what it does for little kids- makes the people who get picked last feel shitty and groups the best with the best (and people who have met before). Random teaming sometimes screws a few people cause they may get stuck with someone who doesn't bother to get on, but its still the best way to do it.

Either way, I'm entering. It should be a blast. As for judging, Tank Award style is preferred, but I don't really care about winning as much as playing.

TharosTheDragon
TharosTheDragon
  • Member since: Jul. 1, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 28
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 11th, 2012 @ 08:44 PM

At 6/11/12 02:30 PM, ShadowGamer2 wrote: I agree with 4urentertainment on this one Random teams are the best way.It prevents powerhouse teams, and encourages members of the community to meet new people. It also allows people who are brand new to see how pros do it. I hate to sound like a dick, but I think the kickball style of picking is gonna do exactly what it does for little kids- makes the people who get picked last feel shitty and groups the best with the best (and people who have met before). Random teaming sometimes screws a few people cause they may get stuck with someone who doesn't bother to get on, but its still the best way to do it.

I agree. Random teams make the most sense to me. Although I can still see the wisdom of making programmers pick because it ensures that the programmers are actually people who show up.

Also, I made a news post about my experience with the last game jam in case anyone's interested. The OP in this thread may give people some pretty high hopes and big expectations and while it's good to be enthusiastic it's also good to have perspective.


I got Flash CS4 in case you need something converted to CS3.

AustinBreed
AustinBreed
  • Member since: Jul. 6, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 26
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 12:54 AM

I wanted to try the Kickball System for two reasons: to ensure that the programmers who signed up will actually show up, and to leave the choice of who to invite to a team in the hands of the participants, instead of me. But yeah, if you guys would rather have random teams, just say the word and we'll do random teams.

During the first two jams I had the help of Nathan Milburn and a couple other dudes to help me filter out jokesters and balance out teams. Since then, I'd just stick the names in a random generator and hope it works out! If we decide on switching to random teams, I could use a couple volunteers to help me put teams together.


BBS Signature
MintPaw
MintPaw
  • Member since: Jun. 11, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 01:38 AM

I for one wouldn't not like random teams. . .


If ya have something to say, PM me. I have a lot of time to spare.
Also never PM egg82.

BBS Signature
Buzzwerd
Buzzwerd
  • Member since: Apr. 25, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 01:39 AM

At 6/12/12 12:54 AM, AustinBreed wrote: I wanted to try the Kickball System for two reasons: to ensure that the programmers who signed up will actually show up, and to leave the choice of who to invite to a team in the hands of the participants, instead of me. But yeah, if you guys would rather have random teams, just say the word and we'll do random teams.

During the first two jams I had the help of Nathan Milburn and a couple other dudes to help me filter out jokesters and balance out teams. Since then, I'd just stick the names in a random generator and hope it works out! If we decide on switching to random teams, I could use a couple volunteers to help me put teams together.

Could people that end up with a no-show programmer/artist get tacked onto another team maybe? It really sucks to get picked with someone who doesn't make it and then not be able to participate.


BBS Signature
Wallross
Wallross
  • Member since: Jan. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 01:53 AM

At 6/12/12 12:54 AM, AustinBreed wrote: I could use a couple volunteers to help me put teams together.

I'm free pretty much the entire week before the game jam, so I can help in any capacity if needed.

4urentertainment
4urentertainment
  • Member since: Aug. 1, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 13
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 04:09 AM

At 6/12/12 12:54 AM, AustinBreed wrote: During the first two jams I had the help of Nathan Milburn and a couple other dudes to help me filter out jokesters and balance out teams. Since then, I'd just stick the names in a random generator and hope it works out! If we decide on switching to random teams, I could use a couple volunteers to help me put teams together.

I wouldn't mind volunteering as well. I don't know if you were doing this before or not but people with more experience and NG submissions should get higher priority to be put in.

Also I think I got a way to assign teams without leaving anyone out *and* without having overpowered teams as in the kickball system.

How about we go the normal random team way, except this time, announce the teams a day early. While the surprise of seeing your team and theme is awesome, announcing the teams a day early would give people the chance to see if their team members are present or not, *and* for those that we couldn't find a spot for, they have a day to find someone or collab with others who didn't get in.

Thoughts everyone?

At 6/12/12 01:38 AM, MintPaw wrote: I for one wouldn't not like random teams. . .

You're the only person against random teams so far, could you elaborate why? Perhaps you could convince us not to do so.

At 6/11/12 08:44 PM, TharosTheDragon wrote: Also, I made a news post about my experience with the last game jam in case anyone's interested. The OP in this thread may give people some pretty high hopes and big expectations and while it's good to be enthusiastic it's also good to have perspective.

I'm not sure if I implied otherwise but I do very much agree with your point about making your game at a tiny size in order to be able to finish it! But just because a game has an innovative mechanic doesn't mean it can't be programmed in an hour. It's all about creativity within limitations. Limitations of time, limitations of one's own skills and limitations of teammates' skills (and of course limitations of sanity over the 72 hour period)

Sandremss128
Sandremss128
  • Member since: Aug. 22, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 11
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 05:50 AM

At 6/12/12 04:09 AM, 4urentertainment wrote:
At 6/12/12 01:38 AM, MintPaw wrote: I for one wouldn't not like random teams. . .
You're the only person against random teams so far, could you elaborate why? Perhaps you could convince us not to do so.

He says he would not not like random teams.. which means he would like random teams!

4urentertainment
4urentertainment
  • Member since: Aug. 1, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 13
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 06:10 AM

At 6/12/12 05:50 AM, Sandremss128 wrote: He says he would not not like random teams.. which means he would like random teams!

I just noticed the double negative...was that intentional?

NoLanLabs
NoLanLabs
  • Member since: May. 27, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 14
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

Personally, I'd rather try the Kickball system, it sounds like fun. but maybe that's just because I'm a programmer.

Me and a friend made this for game jam 5 - which was pick your own teams. i'd like to try something new though.


Robots! Aliens! Upgrades! #1 game of Robot Day 2012! S.R.A.G. Resurrection

MintPaw
MintPaw
  • Member since: Jun. 11, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 06:08 PM

At 6/12/12 06:10 AM, 4urentertainment wrote:
At 6/12/12 05:50 AM, Sandremss128 wrote: He says he would not not like random teams.. which means he would like random teams!
I just noticed the double negative...was that intentional?

No damnit that wasn't intentional. >.<

I just don't want to get stuck with a no show or a complete noob. . . I don't have anyone lined up right now. I'll probably be choosing just about randomly, but I'll take a look at the person's Flashes or something first to see if they know what they're doing.

But it seems like I'm the 1%, random teams it is.


If ya have something to say, PM me. I have a lot of time to spare.
Also never PM egg82.

BBS Signature
Wallross
Wallross
  • Member since: Jan. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 06:21 PM

At 6/12/12 06:08 PM, MintPaw wrote: I just don't want to get stuck with a no show or a complete noob. . . I don't have anyone lined up right now. I'll probably be choosing just about randomly, but I'll take a look at the person's Flashes or something first to see if they know what they're doing.

The problem I foresee with the kickball system is everyone will just choose people they've already worked with.
I'm willing to try out the kickball method, just to see what the results are like. If there are any serious balance issues, then perhaps the teams could be balanced, and a few people could get moved around.

MintPaw
MintPaw
  • Member since: Jun. 11, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 12th, 2012 @ 09:35 PM

At 6/12/12 06:21 PM, Wallross wrote: I'm willing to try out the kickball method, just to see what the results are like. If there are any serious balance issues, then perhaps the teams could be balanced, and a few people could get moved around.

This^


If ya have something to say, PM me. I have a lot of time to spare.
Also never PM egg82.

BBS Signature
Grent
Grent
  • Member since: Aug. 9, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 21
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 04:38 AM

At 6/12/12 06:21 PM, Wallross wrote: The problem I foresee with the kickball system is everyone will just choose people they've already worked with.

How is this in any way a problem? If you've already worked with someone, you will normally end up with a more polished product by the end because you know what the other person can do and how fast they can do it. I think the kickball system is actually the best of both worlds because it allows people who have a set group they want to work with work together, but it doesn't screw over the little guys who don't know anyone, because they can pick from anyone in the list.

Also I say let's not take team members away from teams if there's any balance issues. I, for one, would get super pissed if a team member was taken away from me and replaced with a terrible one. Maybe if teams are unbalanced we just figure out a new way next time?

Wallross
Wallross
  • Member since: Jan. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Programmer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:38 AM

At 6/13/12 04:38 AM, Grent wrote:
At 6/12/12 06:21 PM, Wallross wrote: The problem I foresee with the kickball system is everyone will just choose people they've already worked with.
How is this in any way a problem?

Well, you can work with destructin again if you want. No one will stop you, but a large amount of the fun of these game jams is not knowing who you're about to work with, and getting to know new people. I mean, every one in this discussion has basically agreed with the point that things like polish shouldn't matter, and that things like innovation and creativity under restraints should, but you seem to be of an entirely different opinion. Working with the same people over and over again, must get boring, even if you come out with a better finished product.

Grent
Grent
  • Member since: Aug. 9, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 21
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 11:47 AM

At 6/13/12 05:38 AM, Wallross wrote: Working with the same people over and over again, must get boring, even if you come out with a better finished product.

Only the bad partnerships are exciting. Good partnerships are boring because you know what to expect. In a bad partnership it's always exciting to see if, say, your partner is going to show up today.

And for the record, 4-member teams seem to be required in this jam, so I will be working with someone new (probably, though I suppose there are a few musicians who I've worked with in the past despite not finishing anything with them yet). I'm not saying I'd rather work with no one new, just that the element of stability helps us produce a better game.

And don't try to act like creativity is the only thing that matters. I don't think I'm being particularly bold by saying that Super Morse Code RPG was one of the more creative entries in Jam 4, but we lost because it wasn't particularly good when we first submitted it (it was hard as balls, bordering on impossible). Creativity does matter a lot in that it helps get your game noticed, but I'd rather have a game that's where I want it to be than a great idea with mediocre execution.

mr-johnson22
mr-johnson22
  • Member since: Jul. 16, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 24
Game Developer
Response to Pre-Game Jam 7 .:Discussion:. Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 01:42 PM

At 6/13/12 11:47 AM, Grent wrote: Creativity does matter a lot in that it helps get your game noticed, but I'd rather have a game that's where I want it to be than a great idea with mediocre execution.

To be honest, if you want to make a better-quality game with people you know, you don't need a Jam to do it. I'm under the impression that the whole purpose of a Jam is to provide a ton of constraints for people to work against, and to make the best product they can under such conditions. As much as I agree that being stuck with eventual dropouts is a critical issue, the kickball system has the potential of giving teams more unfair advantages than random grouping could, and seems to undermine the kind of environment a Jam tries to create.

But there should definately be some kind of fail-safe regarding people who won't commit. The idea of announcing group members a day beforehand is a great idea, but maybe it could be done even earlier? If anyone doesn't respond to the day-before notice, there'd still be a scramble to find replacements so close to the start date, if you ask me.