GMC Jam Discussion GMC Jam 40 - 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL 🎉

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kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Looking forward to playing through all entries together with couple of friends. Might stream it as well, it's always been a blast. Thank you everyone for a birthday gift that came a day early 💚
If you do stream, I would LOVE to watch live(if I'm at home and available) when/if you play my Escape of the Clowns game. Do you think you could @ me or PM me if/when you plan on it. If nothing else, if you record your stream I can just watch after the fact. I REALLY want to watch people trying my game, just to see reactions and the like(it's a learning thing for me).
 

Pixel-Team

Member
For anyone interested, I made a post Jam Director's Cut of Adventures of Robot X and updated it at itch.io. This version fixes a hole in the wall bug in level 3, the sound bug after you beat the game, refined the script a little bit, and I gave the game the ending I wanted to have but didn't have the time. You can grab it HERE. Thank you all for the kind comments!
 

Fanatrick

Member
If you do stream, I would LOVE to watch live(if I'm at home and available) when/if you play my Escape of the Clowns game. Do you think you could @ me or PM me if/when you plan on it. If nothing else, if you record your stream I can just watch after the fact. I REALLY want to watch people trying my game, just to see reactions and the like(it's a learning thing for me).
I'm going to use the randomizer provided by Dan. I'll hit you up before I start.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I'm going to use the randomizer provided by Dan. I'll hit you up before I start.
I appreciate...but I don't really want to watch the other games...I don't want to "corrupt" my future playing of people's games to be honest. If you happen to remember, you can let me know maybe when you are about to play mine, just so possibly I can hop on and see. I'd highly appreciate it. Otherwise, are you timemarking your recordings? If so, I could just check out the replay .
 

Micah_DS

Member
Since I didn't get to put a devlog for RpgING (probably the worst name I've come up with in a while) on my game post, I'll just do some devloggy thing here.

DEVELOPMENT TIME-LAPSE (made by using a combination of GM48TT and VirtualDUB):

DEVLOG:
THURSDAY
  • Worked all day and was unable to think about my game to any useful depth.
    Thankfully, the early theme reveal allowed me to brainstorm a bit last weekend.
FRIDAY
  • Had a little free time at night, so I knocked out the code for the party formation data.
    It went pretty quickly because I had brainstormed the concept and I had a good idea on what parameters I'd need.
  • Once I had a bunch of dots spinning around another dot in formation, it was time to add in the actual party members with some real movement and collisions.
    But first, a small break was in order.
  • This is where development truly begins! ... annnnnnd I forgot to record in GM48TT for the first bit.
  • Created 2D height map array which will later be used for collision checks as well as for level generation.
  • Added in actual party members and threw in a PRE-JAM ASSET I made for basic movement and collisions., which I then had to modify and add in z movement/collisions to meet my needs.
  • Once I got the party member AI 'seemingly' working (I was still working in 2D at this point), I made and posted an unsightly GIF and called it a night shortly thereafter.
SATURDAY
  • I started the day off by playtesting my current build, and this happened:
    "Whoops! Going out of bounds on my map tries to read outside the array and thus crashes the game. Wow, I should fix that r e a l l y soon!"
    ( proceeds to code new things and finally fixes it on Sunday, after I had crashed the game for the 40th time, by going out of bounds )
  • Started making the party member models.
    • The concept I initially intended was cyberpunk/magic, so I was going for cyberpunk mages, but due to the camera needing to be zoomed out so much, I had to go very simple in detail / low pixel density, which basically got me generic mages. Oh well.
  • Converted game to 3D: Camera code, model loading scripts, etc.
  • PRE-JAM ASSET: Pasted in my map vertex generation script that I made for Jam 38. Of course, it needed to be changed a bit to work in this project. Tiles are not perfect cubes in this project and the UVs were off as well.
    "Oops! Vertices for walls have UVs mapped upside down....hmm, having a brainless moment, so I'm just gonna leave that and probably fix my script post-jam."
  • At this point, I got my basic lighting in place, because the lack of depth was too strange to playtest in.
    I just made z fog for lava and to make higher elevations become darker.
    • Note: I had planned to add in point lights later, but the fixed fog style of shading did enough that I felt point lights would only be needed to make the game more pretty, so they weren't necessary.
  • WEIRD EXPERIMENT TIME -- Shadow mapping via vertex model layer and a surface:
    I wanted to give the guys shadows, but there are 25 guys (not counting other entities), so I was afraid of my current method of shadows via shaders being bad with such a high number of shadows needed, so I decided instead to make a 2048x2048 surface and a shadow map vertex layer that hovers slightly above the main terrain. I referenced my prior vertex map generation code to create this, modifying the vertex and UV code accordingly.
    When it was done, all I had to do was draw shadows at the positions of each shadow caster and the shadows would appear on the terrain in proper placements.
    I think the result is 'fair', but certainly not something I'd want to use in a normal situation. But with my limited time and experience, it was good enough.
  • At this point, I posted a new progress GIF.
  • Next up, I improved the party member model, mapping UVs more properly, updating the look, and creating one of each party member color.
  • After a few miscellaneous tweaks, I called it a night.
SUNDAY
  • Up till this point, my map data was generated randomly, and I wasn't sure what kind of custom map editor I needed. All I knew is that I had far too little time to do much. Then I finally realized I could literally just use a tileset and read the data from that. I mean duh. So my 2D terrain array became redundant, but in my defense, usually a 3D level needs more data than a simple tileset, so I went into this thinking I needed more, and I wasn't expecting to be able to literally make my levels in the room editor, but now I could! Huge time save! Yay!
    So with the terrain mapping via tile data, I left behind the randomly created maps and began testing some map design stuff.
  • Made/added in crystals.
  • PRE-JAM ASSET: Pasted in my 'glow' shader which is a heavily modified/refactored version of THIS bloom shader (and DukeSoft's shader was based off of THIS shader).
  • Made crystals cast fake light by drawing a white glow spot on the shadow map surface.
  • Tweaked my shaders and spent a long time playtesting, making various tweaks to improve party AI for handling jumping at edges to avoid falling, etc.
  • Added in some bounce animation with my good friend "sin/cos (current_time/n)" on the matrix translations.
    Using both sin and cos, I got a pretty satisfactory squish and stretch deform animation with little time/effort.
  • Added coyote time for the player (5 frames seemed good to me - inb4 all your complaints)
  • Updated my map textures to go from a generic grass & dirt to generic rock/stone-ish & lava. Noice.
    • Actually, here I converted my terrain texture to be draw to a surface, so I could make transparent bits as cracks in the stone to animate lava in them.... except I ended up scrapping any animation I had for a static color, AND I forgot to un-tick the separate texture page on my texture which was now being used as a sprite draw to a surface texture, sooooo I ended up leaving a pointless texture swap in the game and with nothing gained...... *slow claps*
  • Starting making music... not that it matters, by the time I was done making the game play as desired, I had no time to finish it and add it anyway.
  • I made some kind-skull-shaped enemies!
    • First, I just made them static and worked on getting the collision boxes acceptable.
    • Second, I worked on their AI, and OH BOY was that fun (not actually fun, because I had issues with them not jumping proper heights or not jumping at all, and it was a huge time sink).
    • As for AI, I just went with a simple method where each enemy sets a target x and y which can only be within a certain distance from their origin x and y. When they reach the point, they simply make a new target. This keeps them moving while also ensuring they don't go off too far with their random behavior, creating problems for the player (like going off into the lava, unable to be killed).
  • Someplace in here I made it so the player and party members could die via lava or enemies, and the enemies could be killed by hitting them with a matching colored party member.
  • In the last stretch, I rushed in making a few levels.
  • Finally, I tried to add in info messages for the player by drawing text onto the shadow map surface layer.
    It didn't work out so great though, because the party covers up a lot of the text, making it a bit of a pain to read. Unfortunately, I was failing the crunch so hard at this point that I couldn't think of how I could do it better and quickly enough, so I just stuck with it.
So that's the gist. Certainly not my best jam, but not my worst either.
I'm a little sad that I didn't get any audio in, but more importantly, I didn't even include options for mouse sensitivity or resolution changes, so I'm really hoping it's properly playable.
 
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SoapSud39

Member
For those who have played or will be playing my game, "Forty; or the Modern Big Brother"
If you like the music, do you think you could put in a good word in the reviews (lol)? (for the first two tracks in particular)
I really like it, but my friend who wrote those still thinks she didn't help me all that much. I think she could do with a confidence boost haha.
 

HayManMarc

Member
I'm very fortunate to have watched @EvanSki play my entry, Survival Party, already in his first stream recording of Let's Play reviews. Seeing him struggle with how to play the game is completely understandable since I included nearly nothing to help the player out in this regard. So in an effort to rectify that problem, I'm just dropping this here...

HOW TO PLAY "SURVIVAL PARTY" BY HAYMANMARC

HOW THE GAME WORKS:
  • Each party favor adds to your fun factor. The more party favors you have IN YOUR INVENTORY, the higher your fun factor.
  • People joining your party add to your fun factor (bigger parties are more fun, right?). The more people in your party, the higher the fun factor.
  • HOWEVER, party people want stuff and they consume/use up your party favors. Every few seconds (actual time), a person following you (follower) makes a check against the Fun Factor (percentile check of 100, like a saving throw in D&D). If they fail that, they check the inventory for a party favor and pull one at random. If that fails because you're out of party favors, they call you "lame" and leave the party.
So it's really important to always have party favors.
Speaking of party favors, some are better than others. They have different weights and stats.
  • Balloons - Each pickup gives you 4 balloons to your inventory. Balloons satisfy your peeps a little longer, prolonging the time they check against fun factor. Balloons disappear from the map the fastest.
  • Cake and Ice Cream - About the same as each other, but I think cake is slightly better. They provide 5 items to your inventory per pickup. These have a standard fun-factor-check reset time.
  • Soda - You get 6 of these per pickup (like getting a 6-pack). Soda provides the shortest reset time for the fun-factor check. These last the longest on the map before disappearing.
GAME PLAY STRATEGY HINTS:
Once you meet your quota, you can start the house party (end the level by pressing space on your red house). The sooner you do, the higher your time bonus at the end of the level.

This is a game where you are trying to get the High Score (tho, I didn't have time to implement the high score table).
Notice all the bonuses -- (Party Size * Fun Factor) is BONUS POINTS (Party Bonus). Number of items remaining in inventory is BONUS POINTS (Collection Bonus). Time remaining in the level is BONUS POINTS (Time Bonus).

Best thing to do is try to get every pickup you see. They're the priority over the people. You should have enough time to get people, especially if you space it out nicely. ((Like, get two or three items, then a person, then a few more items, then another person. Keep an eye on your time tho. At the higher levels (level 4 and up), it gets extremely hard.)) But I'm afraid all of this will only hold true for these first few levels, since the game balancing numbers are off.

It gets really hard to win at the 3rd level unless you are using this strategy. I didn't have time to balance the numbers any more. Believe me, I had already tried balancing them as I incrementally created the system, probably on day two. And day three. Day four left no time for anything but getting the non-game screens into the game to make it feel like you were accomplishing something, and add music and sounds.

DEVELOPER'S CHALLENGE:
I just played through it a couple times (finally, after the jam was over), and I managed to make it to Level 5 with a final score of 35157! So, there's a benchmark from the developer. :)


Thanks for taking the time to read this! I almost have the zip downloaded and I'll start playing and reviewing all of yours. Should be done downloading here... about next week sometime. (just kidding, but it is pretty big)
 

GVmG

Raechel
@EvanSki thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed my entry :)

Maybe these can help other players:

The game gets faster but I may have derped the difficulty curve. It fails if you miss 3 items. "Missing an item" means the earliest one you had to get gets erased cause there are 6 more items to get, when a new one is requested. The game "ends" when it gets too fast for you to keep up with. You can force the gameover by pressing backspace 3 times cause i forgot to remove that before release. I was actually unsure if I wanted to have more visual cues since it's supposed to turn into a rage game where memorizing where the items are becomes important, and even an option to turn On or Off certain reference points (wanna play 100% off memory? turn off highlights and arrow!), but time was limited so I got the basics in.

Minor details:
- WASD vs KEYS, I was gonna change this last minute but I was too sleepy :p
- the music was muffled on purpose, to make it sound like it's being played in a store/mall in the background. The background buzzing might have been too much tho, and I agree that the execution wasn't too good. I wanted to have it be stereo based on some Speakers in the store as well but again, limited time.
- not sure what the typo in the link is, it works for me. Doesn't say anything in particular on the manual either. Maybe it depends on your browser, or GM does something weird depending on the machine it opens the link on?
- The Boy's Taste is supposed to be a condiment ,and it's a reference to a podcast titled Trash Taste, where the presenters call themselves The Boys.
- technically you were invited to the party, you just got forced to stay at the store to buy stuff :p

green gang go!
 
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Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
@EvanSki Thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed my entry :3

To answer your questions:
  • The level takes a really long time to load, I added that text just to hide it (the text instantly starts fading out the first step, the rest of the time it's on-screen is loading)
  • There's 13 balloons in total, I just lowered the requirement to 5 so people would actually be able to finish the game
  • The diary page is the end, I probably should've added some final fadeout there but I wanted to give people time to read everything and let it sink in (it's supposed to be one of those "all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy" scary repeated mantras)
  • The controls are a bit floaty since the game's supposed to run at 60fps but I changed it to 30fps last second to make sure everyone could actually RUN it, but without changing any of the physics (to make sure I didn't make any collectible inaccessible)
  • The crystals are just therre to guide you, they don't do anything
  • The water goes on literally forever
  • I actually made three entries, not two :p I guess it added to the spook factor seeing a completely different game when trying to look Happy Birthday up?
 

Xor

@XorDev
Welp. I crunched pretty hard to get our game out in time and had to make some sacrifices in the process. I plan to write a longer post about my process and the behind-the-scenes, but it's late so I'll leave that for tomorrow.

For now, I present to you my post-jam version: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxlg4a4wysk8gph/ThreeMiceInATrenchcoat.zip?dl=0

It's much closer to what we envisioned and uses more of the assets that we didn't get to use. Shout out to my brother who spent hours making levels.
It was fun to expand the challenge to 5 days and was able to wrap things up properly. Hope you all enjoy it!
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
So having seen @SilentxxBunny 's stream, and having the wonderful @matharoo message me,
I am now aware of a bug in my game that I didnt have :(
So when you pick teams/ start the game, the room creation code runs but for some reason, it boots you back to the main menu, There was a level with basic AI.

This happens because I left an object in the room, with its first line to be to send you to the title.



Here let me fix it.


okay fine because I cant live with myself not having anything 100 not playable
Fixed patch
I uploaded a post jam version that actually allows you to play the only level


Im sorry, also there was a read me @GameDevDan why wasnt my read me put in?, its with all the game files!

Edit: oh also @SilentxxBunny
its gets your name from the enviroment_variable "username"
so it asks windows what your username is and just uses that
 
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GameDevDan

Former Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Im sorry, also there was a read me @GameDevDan why wasnt my read me put in?, its with all the game files!
Your read me file is present in the jam zip folder if you go digging into the actual files. I'm not sure how the jam player does the automatic search for these since I didn't make it (I don't add these manually).

Also I do test every single game by clicking the play button, but I don't go digging through the files before I upload so I tend not to catch stuff like readmes or afterwords being missed by the player.
 

Poizen

Member
Noooo! I just checked @SilentxxBunny's stream vod. My game crashes right at the start because a settings file doesn't exist yet, and I never thought to test it without temp data already being there. I'm an idiot.

The bug can be fixed by placing this text file (globalstatsio.dat) in C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\matoparty

I also added a fixed version to the itch.io page while keeping the original version also available. I hope that's ok!
 

Mightyjor

Member
For those who have played or will be playing my game, "Forty; or the Modern Big Brother"
If you like the music, do you think you could put in a good word in the reviews (lol)? (for the first two tracks in particular)
I really like it, but my friend who wrote those still thinks she didn't help me all that much. I think she could do with a confidence boost haha.
This was a solid entry with some great music! Fits the mood of the game perfectly
 
Hey guys! Pleased to see folks are enjoying Wastoid Rodney so far!
I think the primary criticisms so far would be that it is too difficult, and the camera controls.

I wanted to draw everyone's attention to the options menu which includes
- An option to disable the weird camera entirely. (And yeah I'll tweak the camera in the post-jam version).
- Option to make the game a little easier by keeping your powerups when getting hit.
Also, fullscreen and gamepad support is available.

I'll be playing the games in my free time over the next few weeks and doing short written reviews.
 

Mightyjor

Member
Hey guys! Pleased to see folks are enjoying Wastoid Rodney so far!
I think the primary criticisms so far would be that it is too difficult, and the camera controls.

I wanted to draw everyone's attention to the options menu which includes
- An option to disable the weird camera entirely. (And yeah I'll tweak the camera in the post-jam version).
- Option to make the game a little easier by keeping your powerups when getting hit.
Also, fullscreen and gamepad support is available.
Difficulty was great for me. I think the biggest issue I had was the camera but it sounds like there’s a fix that I missed. I’ll take another look. Game was a blast though! Great job
 

Bearman_18

Member
@Mightyjor That was a damn fine review you wrote! It actually didn't occur to me that people might not know that you damage people by running into them, and I just straight up forgot to communicate what the sheet metal was for. XD
I'm glad you like the inventory system. An insane amount of work went into it. You made a really good point when you said that it should just be visual. While you can equip a gun as armour, that really isn't something any player would want to do, so it might as well go straight into the player's arms. Hell, the system could even automatically replace weaker guns with stronger ones. This is exactly the kind of stuff you can only learn from a player, so thank you for again for your thoughtful review. It was extremely valuable. (Plus, being able to visually see all of your arms would be so cool, and really add to the feel I think).

To clarify some things: Everything has an offense and defense stat. Sheet metal offers 1 defense or 1 offense, so yes it is mainly meant to be armour. Also, every two arms gets you another armour slot.

Sadly, the game crashes if you get 2 arms and manage to kill somebody, because when the AI drops its loot, it references the number of armour slots the player has when looping through the enemy's inventory. Luckily, I fixed that in the post jam version which I will be doing extra work on (including additional bug fixes, balance overhauls, and the ability to hear the story by chatting with NPC's), so if you're interested in beating the game, I highly recommend anyone check it out.

PS (If you enjoyed scouring the area for loot, then traditional roguelikes might be something you enjoy. I highly recommend Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup.)
 

SoapSud39

Member
@Mightyjor I'm glad you enjoyed my game! and thanks for the lengthy review.
I really hope you get to finish it at some point: the ending's really great (I think, personally). In case you play it again:
(this also serves as a general clarification for relevant parts of the game, I guess)
1) I really love the presentation. The whole big brother thing is extremely well done and the way you edit documents is both creepy and fun. I did find myself just randomly hitting words though when I got to a certain point and couldn't think of anything else to change.
For the documents minigame, you should keep in mind the three edicts (which are (un)subtle hints for how the story plays out).
For the third document in particular, recall that the present era is 'jammo de ludum' (which doesn't really 'jam of game', but it might) (also the first answer on the first doc). i.e. the third document focuses on books, but it should be on games.
2) Connections to real life characters are fun. I don't know Dan or Mark all that well but I'm sure they enjoyed seeing the wonderful pixel art of themselves. This is definitely something to be more appreciated by those well established in the GMC community.
It's not really a portrait of Nocturne haha, I just used his name (just to clarify). To be clear, I'm also just another stranger on the GMC.
3) I ended up having some issues around the password section and stopped playing around there. I went into the local app data following the instructions and found the password, and my thought was that I had to put it in the game and that something would pop up. It didn't do that when I went in and I kept getting the same pop up. I fiddled around a bit and tried a few more things and kept trying to start and stop the game to get to a place to enter the password. At some point I think I hit the button to not load the save because I was trying out what I could. I'm assuming this deletes the save file because just after this I realized I probably needed to enter the password in the save data file and the save data was now completely gone. So I guess I would say the directions should be a little more clear that you have to enter it in the save file would be option number one, but if you don't want to spoil that mystery, I don't think the player should have the option to delete the save file at this point of the game.
The game should create a file called "Input_Node.txt", and you follow the instructions on there. It tells you to put the password between the brackets in there, and then save and close. After you do that, the game will continue when you click 'okay' on the popup. The save file shouldn't be edited at all (which is why I used *.sav for that one instead of *.txt).

While we're at it, when you get there, the "Secret Place" is local appdata, and the "Sacred Text" is another file that's created there.

ALSO if you want to continue where you left off, at the note scene, simply make a text file in local appdata, call it "save.sav", and put "8" on the first line. You should get the continue-game pop-up and be taken to the note scene.
I have no idea how you get these games (this one and your last one) done in such a short time. They seem like they should take weeks. Great job!
I have no clue how I do it either. Probably just reckless perseverance. Maybe it's because I'm still just a college student with a lot of free time.

Again, I'm glad you enjoyed the first part, but the second part's almost even better. So look forward to that if/when you get there.
 

Mightyjor

Member
I've had a chance to play through them, and here are the reviews!

1. Hero Huddle - Really took me by surprise, I liked the different types of enemy and the general mechanic was pretty cool
2. Quickly! Dispensegifts - The UI and general presentation made me take note, I didn't think this could be done in GMS
3. The Golden Balloon - Short and sweet, but it has an overall charm which is very endearing

4 - 9: in no particular order:

Wastoid Rooney - The polish was great
Snake Dance - Takes a simple idea and really follows through, very well done
One Big Party - Was really impressed with the graphics and overall responsiveness
Hero Huddle - I'm not one for bullet hells but this was very well done.
3 Mice in a Trenchcoat - Can tell a lot of effort went into it, nicely done for such a short time!

10 - 15 in no particular order:

Party Mountain - Nice idea and was executed well.
Jam Defenders - Simple idea done well.
Emmy and Sal - I really liked it, a nice puzzle game with good character.
Party Animal - The aesthetic and gameplay was great =)
Candles Have Feelings Too - Engaging and good fun, I liked the art style.

16 - 20 in no particular order:

Adventures of Robot X - Can tell a lot of time and effort went into it, and it was good fun to play =) Couple of collision issues but nothing that wouldn't be an easy fix!
Party Animal - The aesthetic and gameplay was great =)
Fiesta Down - Had a really nice retro feel :D
Florida Man - General theme was wicked, especially liked the gator. I accidentally kicked the gator which crashed the game, but still I liked it.
Forty or the Modern Big Brother - Really liked the art style

18 - 21 in no particular order:

Jaguar Pogo - I liked it. I got stuck on an edge but it had a nice art style and was good fun.
Me pARRty - The 3d was nice and it was very smooth.
The Matchmaker - I liked the pixel art and it was quite engaging.

These are just my ratings, I enjoyed all of them and each and every game had something that stood out =) I am new to GMS so there's probably a lot of stuff which I didn't pick up on, but I enjoyed playing through them and am grateful for the opportunity =) If i get the chance to update this with more games then I will!
@Steelegms2 you listed Hero Huddle and Party Animal both twice on your list in 2 different spots lol


@Mightyjor I'm glad you enjoyed my game! and thanks for the lengthy review.
I really hope you get to finish it at some point: the ending's really great (I think, personally). In case you play it again:
(this also serves as a general clarification for relevant parts of the game, I guess)

For the documents minigame, you should keep in mind the three edicts (which are (un)subtle hints for how the story plays out).
For the third document in particular, recall that the present era is 'jammo de ludum' (which doesn't really 'jam of game', but it might) (also the first answer on the first doc). i.e. the third document focuses on books, but it should be on games.

It's not really a portrait of Nocturne haha, I just used his name (just to clarify). To be clear, I'm also just another stranger on the GMC.

The game should create a file called "Input_Node.txt", and you follow the instructions on there. It tells you to put the password between the brackets in there, and then save and close. After you do that, the game will continue when you click 'okay' on the popup. The save file shouldn't be edited at all (which is why I used *.sav for that one instead of *.txt).

While we're at it, when you get there, the "Secret Place" is local appdata, and the "Sacred Text" is another file that's created there.

ALSO if you want to continue where you left off, at the note scene, simply make a text file in local appdata, call it "save.sav", and put "8" on the first line. You should get the continue-game pop-up and be taken to the note scene.

I have no clue how I do it either. Probably just reckless perseverance. Maybe it's because I'm still just a college student with a lot of free time.

Again, I'm glad you enjoyed the first part, but the second part's almost even better. So look forward to that if/when you get there.
@SoapSud39 thanks for the instructions on getting to the save area again! The main reason I stopped was just because I didn’t want to repeat everything immediately after doing it. Your game has too much polish in it for me to not give it a fair shake
 

The M

Member
@EvanSki Now I'm sad. You got through the whole tower and then came across a mean game-stopping bug. Fortunately, you don't have to complete each area, but it sucks because you get new abilities and a health boost if you do. I also seem to have made the game a little too hard, and the game soft-locking in the end was awful (and I thought I had fixed that!). Thanks for playing though!
 

Ninety

Member
In case anyone cares: I fixed a couple bugs in my game, one that showed the incorrect ending if you ran out of time, and one that prevented the game interacting with Alice's Crimson Festival. I also fixed up the stars on the main menu being at the wrong depth, and made the sprite a little more interesting.

For reviewing, please use the original version, but if you're interested in the Crimson Guild metagame funtimes, I suggest downloading the update.

 

Toque

Member
I'm very fortunate to have watched @EvanSki play my entry, Survival Party, already in his first stream recording of Let's Play reviews. Seeing him struggle with how to play the game is completely understandable since I included nearly nothing to help the player out in this regard. So in an effort to rectify that problem, I'm just dropping this here...

HOW TO PLAY "SURVIVAL PARTY" BY HAYMANMARC

HOW THE GAME WORKS:
  • Each party favor adds to your fun factor. The more party favors you have IN YOUR INVENTORY, the higher your fun factor.
  • People joining your party add to your fun factor (bigger parties are more fun, right?). The more people in your party, the higher the fun factor.
  • HOWEVER, party people want stuff and they consume/use up your party favors. Every few seconds (actual time), a person following you (follower) makes a check against the Fun Factor (percentile check of 100, like a saving throw in D&D). If they fail that, they check the inventory for a party favor and pull one at random. If that fails because you're out of party favors, they call you "lame" and leave the party.
So it's really important to always have party favors.
Speaking of party favors, some are better than others. They have different weights and stats.
  • Balloons - Each pickup gives you 4 balloons to your inventory. Balloons satisfy your peeps a little longer, prolonging the time they check against fun factor. Balloons disappear from the map the fastest.
  • Cake and Ice Cream - About the same as each other, but I think cake is slightly better. They provide 5 items to your inventory per pickup. These have a standard fun-factor-check reset time.
  • Soda - You get 6 of these per pickup (like getting a 6-pack). Soda provides the shortest reset time for the fun-factor check. These last the longest on the map before disappearing.
GAME PLAY STRATEGY HINTS:
Once you meet your quota, you can start the house party (end the level by pressing space on your red house). The sooner you do, the higher your time bonus at the end of the level.

This is a game where you are trying to get the High Score (tho, I didn't have time to implement the high score table).
Notice all the bonuses -- (Party Size * Fun Factor) is BONUS POINTS (Party Bonus). Number of items remaining in inventory is BONUS POINTS (Collection Bonus). Time remaining in the level is BONUS POINTS (Time Bonus).

Best thing to do is try to get every pickup you see. They're the priority over the people. You should have enough time to get people, especially if you space it out nicely. ((Like, get two or three items, then a person, then a few more items, then another person. Keep an eye on your time tho. At the higher levels (level 4 and up), it gets extremely hard.)) But I'm afraid all of this will only hold true for these first few levels, since the game balancing numbers are off.

It gets really hard to win at the 3rd level unless you are using this strategy. I didn't have time to balance the numbers any more. Believe me, I had already tried balancing them as I incrementally created the system, probably on day two. And day three. Day four left no time for anything but getting the non-game screens into the game to make it feel like you were accomplishing something, and add music and sounds.

DEVELOPER'S CHALLENGE:
I just played through it a couple times (finally, after the jam was over), and I managed to make it to Level 5 with a final score of 35157! So, there's a benchmark from the developer. :)


Thanks for taking the time to read this! I almost have the zip downloaded and I'll start playing and reviewing all of yours. Should be done downloading here... about next week sometime. (just kidding, but it is pretty big)
I think the basics of the game were pretty easy to figure out.
 

Toque

Member
I already know in two weeks I won't be able to remember all these different party games. So I make a bit of screenshot reminder that I can flip through if I need to refresh my memory. Its not done as I haven't played all the game yet but if anyone will find it useful here it is...


jam40 copy 2.png
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Got some review feedback on my other two entries so here's some clarifications / tips for them:

GMC Fruit Salad Surfer
  • Yes, "diving" is listed in the "how to play" menu because you're supposed to use it to avoid obstacles :p
  • Diving basically is a downwards jump, so you get the most dive time if you use it from a wave "valley" instead of right at the peak of a wave. Likewise, jumping from the peak of a wave gives you the most airtime.
  • To unlock upgrades faster you should do runs with the magnet / amulet to grab more coins (the end-of-run bonus also goes up quadratically with the run length)
  • Different fruits have slightly different stats (Carrot has a very fast dive for instance)
  • Once eagles start spawning you've pretty much seen all the content the game has to offer
  • The screen effects get stronger if you stay underwater for longer, since the water canonically contains drugs

Dr. Smiley's Brain Jam Party
  • Different types of blocks match in different ways.
    • Drinks matches like Bejeweled gems (straight lines in any direction)
    • Balloons matches like puyos (blobs that can stick together in any shape).
    • Fruits don't match.
    • Bombs color-match with both drinks and balloons, and explode when matched (even in a line match)
    • Presents are wildcards that count as every other type of block.
  • Fruits don't fall down, so be careful where you place them.
  • Don't forget you can hold a block for later, it can be useful to get rid of the current block if you can't put it down in a good spot.
 

Gizmo199

Member
Dang @EvanSki Sorry the game was so laggy for you! We tested it a bunch and were getting 200+fps still. I think it might have been the blurring on the 'shadows' under the models that slowed it down. Probably should have added in an option to turn those off. :( Well thanks for playing either way! Sorry, you didn't get the full experience! :/

*edit just got to the part where you talked about the CPU. Yeah, I think it has something to do what that shadow shader. :(. This is soooo painful to watch. 😬

**edit 2. Just finished and it is most definitely gotta be our blur shader. The 3d rendering itself is well optimized (as you can see in the chicken game) but when the blur pops up (results screen/fake AO) it tanks hard. Need to switch it over to @Xor s dual kawase blur instead.

Sorry you had a rough time @EvanSki . :( was great to see though! Can definitely help us in optimize it even more!
 
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EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
Dang @EvanSki Sorry the game was so laggy for you! We tested it a bunch and were getting 200+fps still. I think it might have been the blurring on the 'shadows' under the models that slowed it down. Probably should have added in an option to turn those off. :( Well thanks for playing either way! Sorry, you didn't get the full experience! :/

*edit just got to the part where you talked about the CPU. Yeah, I think it has something to do what that shadow shader. :(. This is soooo painful to watch. 😬

**edit 2. Just finished and it is most definitely gotta be our blur shader. The 3d rendering itself is well optimized (as you can see in the chicken game) but when the blur pops up (results screen/fake AO) it tanks hard. Need to switch it over to @Xor s dual kawase blur instead.

Sorry you had a rough time @EvanSki . :( was great to see though! Can definitely help us in optimize it even more!
It was a very fun game despite the lag! :)
 

Gizmo199

Member
Lol @Toque ! Thank you for the review, Jam nemesis! 🤣 yeah we are trying to hunt down why exactly that game in particular is so slow. @EvanSki was having similar issues. What's weird is that there isn't really anything particularly different between any of the game rooms. If you and @EvanSki wouldn't mind could you guys DM me your specs? Not sure what the issue is but we definitely want to figure it out!!! :p

Anyway thank you again! And sorry you couldn't get the full experience. :(
 

Toque

Member
Lol @Toque ! Thank you for the review, Jam nemesis! 🤣 yeah we are trying to hunt down why exactly that game in particular is so slow. @EvanSki was having similar issues. What's weird is that there isn't really anything particularly different between any of the game rooms. If you and @EvanSki wouldn't mind could you guys DM me your specs? Not sure what the issue is but we definitely want to figure it out!!! :p

Anyway thank you again! And sorry you couldn't get the full experience. :(
My computer is a laptop and is old. The lag was so slight I shouldn’t have even have mentioned it. Your games are so beyond me I just play in a stunned state anyways.
 

Gizmo199

Member
My computer is a laptop and is old. The lag was so slight I shouldn’t have even have mentioned it. Your games are so beyond me I just play in a stunned state anyways.
Haha. Flattery will get you everywhere! lol. :p Yeah, idk. We are trying to figure it out, but it's been a real head-scratcher thus far for us. We were so proud of the performance too...ugh. Gotta love it! haha. :p
 

Poizen

Member
Thank you, @Mightyjor, for giving my game a shot! I understand disqualifying it (though the error can be fixed without downloading a new executable).

Yeah, the combo thing is not very sophisticated. If you keep collecting the same fruit you get 100, 200, 300, 100, 200, 300 etc. points respectively. The whole point system is something I would tweak a lot.
 

The M

Member
@GameDevDan It doesn't really matter when you play the game because there will have been someone before you who set the meta. You're not missing out by playing early, or late for that matter.

By the way, you can see how many players have come before you (and who beat the game) on the stone tablet in-game. If you called yourself Dan, there seem to have been 20 people before you :)
 

Xor

@XorDev
A few days ago I said I was going to write about the process of making our game, "Three Mice In a Trenchcoat". I personally put about 70 hours of work in during the jam and an additional 10-15 for the post-jam version! So here's how that went:

Day by day devlog from my point of view (long):
Day 0: I started at 7 am by importing Snidr's ColMesh system which we would use for the collisions/physics. I've never used it before so I didn't touch it much. Instead, I got right to implementing a deferred renderer into the demo. Since our target platform is exclusively Windows, I used HLSL 11 for all shaders. That way I can take advantage of multiple surface outputs (MRTs) and had consistent code for all shaders. It didn't take me long to set up (~30 minutes) and then I got right to implementing the SSAO. I was able to get a quick and dirty implementation up within 1.5 hours and it looked something like this. Bart made a bunch of building piece models while I focused on improving the graphics. 5 hours in, I had hard shadows, rough AO, and Bart's models, which looked like this:

For the next 3.5 hours, I worked on an AO/shadow softening filter. Ended up with this:

I tried adding vertex shader point lighting but wasn't happy with the implementation. Instead, I went for post-process point lighting that takes advantage of the deferred renderer.
Wrapped up by midnight.

Day 1:
When I woke up, Snidr had swooped in and made a mouse model, textured it, and animated it. Then he set up the mouse movement and trailing system. So I worked on translating his animation system (SMF) into my deferred renderer.
By 11:30, we had an animated mouse character and trail of mice behind him. I added shadow support to animated models and improved my soften filter. It looked something like at this point, it looked like this:

Unlimited mice! Bart made the tunnels, ramps, and ladders. Snidr made Owl and Pug character models, while I adjust lighting and fixed bugs. I started work on a basic enemy movement and sight system. I had no idea how Snidr's ColMesh system worked at this point, so it had no collisions. The owls had a wide view angle and a sight range value so you could sneak behind them, but if you go too far to the side, they'd see you. I made them jump around when they saw you so that I can see the exact moment easier.
Then I added the pug, that used the same system, but with a different view angle, sight radius, attention span, and speed. At this point, there was an artifact with the SSAO shader that caused flat surfaces to be shaded and edges to be lighter (it can be seen in the images above). I knew it had to do with correcting it for the FOV, but I could for the life of me figure out the formula. I think it's 1/darctan(fov_y/2), but couldn't make it work (hit me up if you know). So I just plugged in a magic number (9/16 or 0.5625) which mostly fixed it and I'm still using it. Finally, I set up a basic main menu and called it a night at 1:40.

Day 2: Snidr finished the Pug/owl guard models and added the pug king. I experimented with different z-clipping techniques but didn't end up using them. Added some graphics settings for lower-end PCs. Snidr added a pushable in-game button that would be used for activating doors and traps. Bart added walls and tunnel blocks as shifted over to using a grid system for levels. Snidr made a level generation system that allowed us to place building pieces with the room editor. He used 3 layers + a floor layer which allowed us to build multi-floor levels. At this point, we started debating whether or not we could finish with our original idea. We still needed to implement the ending, add an item collection system, add an objective system to tell you what to do, add some interactive level objects and make all the levels. On top of that Snidr was unavailable for the last day, but we decided to push on anyway and see how far we could take it. I implemented collisions for the enemies and worked on their behavior. Then I implemented trapdoors, pick-up items, and an exit/entrance system. Also made a basic lose screen and implemented Spud's music before calling it a night at about 1:20 AM.

Day 3: Snidr improved the level editor, adding more block types, while Bart made models for ladders, barrels, spikes, and more. Then Snidr made functional exit/entrance ladders for passing through levels. I added a sort of fog fade effect for the blocks extending downward. Snidr made a death screen with 45-degree pixel art and text, while I worked on an enemy path-follow system. It stumped me for quite a while, but turns out, I forgot one simple line. Lack of sleep probably didn't help. Spud made a bunch of sound effects for enemies and game objects, which I worked on implementing. Snidr added dancing owls and pugs for the party room. After fixing some things, Snidr finished up.
I fixed a bunch of issues with the enemy AI, added more item objects. For 4 hours, Spud helped me make levels, with only about and a half left. This part was kind of a blur. It was 5:30 am and I had been working on this since 9 am. I focused on fixing all the bugs I could and adding the final king fight mechanics. I pushed my last change at 6:55, 5 minutes before the deadline where Bart compiled it and uploaded it.
Honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I worked almost non-stop for around 22 hours, but the game still felt quite unfinished. I wasn't able to add a dialogue system that would tell you how to play or what to do and there were many assets we weren't able to use (hand-drawn pug picture for instance). The project time logged over 3 days, 3 hours:

Went to bed at 7:30.

Day 4, Post-jam: Woke up at 11 and played the game again. I discovered that in my rush of last-minute testing, I had moved the party room behind the final level (I did this to skip playing through the whole thing), effectively removing the "party" part from the game. I was pretty upset. I didn't want all that hard work to go to waste, so I decided to make a post-jam version to wrap it all up. I'll spare you the details, but I ended up pulling another all-nighter to wrap it up in one extra day, post-jam. I've since updated some small things and fixed some small issues, but haven't changed anything major yet. All in all, I probably logged about 90 hours of work in 5 and half days.

Here's a quick montage of successes and failures, during the development:

I have to say, everyone did a great job. Snidr made some awesome models/animations and helped a ton in general coding along with some design. I'm also now addicted to his SMF and ColMesh systems which are amazing to work with (again, never used them before)! Bart did a great job with all types of modeling. When we needed something in a pinch, he was on it and he made so much, some that we, unfortunately, didn't have time to implement. He also helped fix some last-minute bugs which was a big help. Spud made all the music from scratch for this game. He made two of the main songs in the first two days and helped with all the sound effects after. When I was pretty exhausted, he built all the levels and did a fantastic job (especially with more time in the post-jam version). To summarize, these guys were a pleasure to work with and I learned a lot in such a short time!
Every asset used in the game was made from scratch. The music, the graphics, the models, the lighting system. The only resources we used were Snidr's ColMesh and SMF.

We have agreed to release the source code on GitHub so you can poke at it if you like.
I've also made a topic dedicated to the post-jam version. You can probably expect to see more updates in the near future!

I might do a follow-up post on what I've learned from this project, but this is all the writing I have time for today.
Thanks for reading!
 
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Gizmo199

Member
Thanks @Tristan for the review!! Yeah we discovered that well after the jam. :/ sorry that happened to you! I would love your overall thoughts, critiques, and suggestions if you have the time! :p
 
The GMC Jam games get better every jam. It always blows my mind. My first submission ever got 12th place, and my 8th submission 2-3 years later was at least 10 times better and still only got 10th place. We're all constantly getting better all the time it's hard to keep up!
 
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