The GMC Jam Suggestions Topic

Discussion in 'GMC Jam' started by Alice, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    This thread will be used from gathering general feedback and suggestions related to GMC Jam, to make it even better.

    To keep things organised, this thread might go through various phases, such as:
    • general discussion (people discuss and post various suggestions freely)
    • suggestions debate (specific suggestions or areas are the focus, and there should be no discussion unrelated to them)
    • voting (when there are multiple options to choose from, and it's up to community to decide which of them works best)
    The topic title should indicate which issue is discussed at the moment.

    If you have a clear idea about Jam improvement and want to share it, please do mark it with unspoilered [Suggestion] phrase (including the brackets), so that I can easily look for suggestions with basic search feature. Using the following template would be appreciated as well:
    Code:
    [size=5][Suggestion] <suggestion title>[/size]
    
    <detailed description; make it as clear and precise as possible, so that people won't need to ask for details>
    
    Pros:
    [list][*]<item1>
    [*]<item2>
    [*]<etc.>[/list]
    (basically, what's good about the suggestion and what it improves compared to the current state)
    
    Cons:
    [list][*]<item1>
    [*]<item2>
    [*]<etc.>[/list]
    (what are inherent or possible drawbacks of the suggestion, especially compared to the current state)
    You can post multiple suggestions in a single post; in such case, just use the template multiple times. Please keep single suggestions as simple as possible (in particular, don't mix things that can be discussed independently). It'll make discussing things easier.

    It's not necessary to use the template or even use the [Suggestion] header. However, without [Suggestion] header I might miss the suggestion when gathering ideas for in-depth discussion.

    The first post will be updated to reflect the current state of the thread, and include essential information for the ongoing discussion.
     
  2. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    Base upon what Iv've notice during the jam period, there have been a major reduction on participation. According to most commentaries by other members I have contacted with, they seem to not have the right time or dedication for the jams. However, that is something we cannot change or fix because it depends on the user's responsibility in that case. Although, the voting phase became a huge stress according to those several people I contacted and perhaps it would be great if we change a bit the formating

    [SUGGESTION]
    We remove the formatting and replace it so that everyone just evaluate an entry by their most favourite (or best use of Theme only) and select the first 10 that best suits that and rank those only.

    I mostly would prefer having to rank all entries and accomplish reviews for all as well but noticing lot of you don't have the time or dedication or motivation to do so since either many of you are only in for the game making process or you guys just dont find any time to do so.
     
  3. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    What do you mean by "formatting"? Do you mean a voting post template? I'd rather keep the template as it removes the need to think of own voting post format (and is optional, anyway). Plus, a basic ordered list is really easy to copy a voting info from, which I then feed to a votes-counting program. Not to mention, the template does include "best ofs", but aside from that has no guidelines about how people should rate games or anything. And if someone just wants to rank top 10, they rank top 10 and leave all the other games unranked.

    Overall, I don't really see what the suggestion is trying to accomplish nor how it should be applied, exactly. Does it mean removing all "best of" categories except for use of theme altogether? Does it mean people would be limited to ranking top 10 games? They already can rank top 10 games only if they don't want to rank more, and I don't see why those who do want to rank more should be limited to top 10...
     
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  4. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    I am thinking of putting less work on voting. I mostly participate in the jam just for making games. Voting is something I like to do (and I don't really mind at all since I love it) and many people here like voting phase as a way to understand other people's point of views and be constructive. However, doing the votes is another thing and some of us just don't have the time to do so or at least very few just don't want to in general play several entries for voting.
    I saying this as an ironic point of view because I am against this idea but I realize that base upon other user's feedback and opinions on voting phase, its all a matter of dedication and most everyone here lack that. I believe if there is a way to reduce the voting template or way of how voting system works for everyone, it can help participation a little. Although I dont think this helps bring any user back in general but its a small improvement for the voting phase.

    Now getting people to come back is all depends on lack of interest or lack of time for dedication.
    We need to know what can help improve this.
     
  5. ghandpivot

    ghandpivot Member

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    My suggestions:

    1
    . Dedicate more of the forum to the jam. This includes a banner in the <header> and forum alerts to get the regular users to know about the upcoming jam, as well as an email to reach the tons of game maker users who do not use the forums regularly and who have no idea about the jam.
    2. Remove the voting for themes. The winner selects the 3 themes he/she wants to use for the next jam and ranks them 1-3. The winner sends these to the host who goes through the list and selects the top theme that would work well enough for a jam. Currently the hype is split between the revealing of the choices and the later revealing of the actual theme, I think this is bad. I also think it's weird that you get an extra day to think of ideas for your game during voting (ideas for each theme) which people who come for the start of the jam do not, though that's not the main issue.
    3. Voting needs to be rewarded. Give score to everyone who votes, maybe even as much as a first place score. At the moment you are "rewarded" for not voting, that is the opposite of what we want.

    I think the main reason why a lot of people are losing interest in the jams is due to putting a lot of hours into a game that only a few people end up playing and even fewer give feedback on. I've put a play count into a lot of my recent jam entries and it's not even one playthrough per hour of work (and when it's bad it's about 1 review/ranking per 6 hours of work). This kills the spirit, and more rewards for voting would help relieve this.

    Oh, and in my opinion you should not be allowed to vote unless you've played all games. That's just weird and it skews the results. Giving points for voting should allow us to raise the bar for the votes. You don't have to rank all games, but you'll have to indicate that you've played them in some way. Perhaps the jamplayer could be used for this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  6. Sinaz20

    Sinaz20 Member GMC Elder

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    I actually liked having a day of voting for the themes. We (FF and I) used that time to brainstorm ideas... though, we daren't start on any given idea until the actual theme was decided. I thought that was a decent tactic.

    One thing I wish I had was a screenshot of each game in the voting app.

    Also, with the voting app, might I suggest instead of the poor/good/excellent or whatever buttons, that you just put some very gradual sliders in there so that A.) we can be more subjective and nuanced when grading the game, and B.) you might consider aggregating those scores into a helper score for each entry to help us vote. For instance, imagine I play through all 37 some odd games and have done a nice bit of grading on sliders... if I had a button to then arrange games in the order I have apparently graded them, then that would give me a good foundation to refine from.

    As it stands, I found using the app to rank and sort was kind of a juggling exercise. It's a cool app, and well done, I just felt like I was spinning plates often when trying to keep a game in my mind to compare it to how I felt about any other game.

    I also agree that maybe every entrant should get an auto-first-place vote just to encourage voting, or simply allow us to be honest with how we felt our game stacked against the competition.

    ^^ For reals. One of the things that FF and I are considering for the next jam is to premake some modules for things like input and dialogs. It was rather annoying to spend so much time debugging these simple components rather than building the core gameplay. I doubt we'd be adverse to releasing these modules for use in other people's games.
     
  7. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Ah, I suppose the voting app could use some revamping, yes. I actually planned to make it possible to define own voting criteria and templates, but it's quite a feature to add, and I had trouble finding time for that.

    When it comes to dedicate more forum space to Jams, I suppose it's something to discuss with high admins. Maybe something can be done about that, maybe not, I guess I will poke @Nocturne about that...?

    I guess the Jam variables (currently the themes, earlier we had handicaps and hype words and secret words and whatnot) is one of the large topics of discussion, in and of itself. I'd like to hear about ideas. Possible options to consider:
    • top 3 themed winners pick 3 themes revealed a day before Jam, one of them is chosen through voting (current)
    • the overall themed winner picks the next Jam theme revealed at the Jam day, people stick to that theme, 2nd and 3rd place pick nothing (like in old, old times); has risk of poor theme being chosen, but aside from that is pretty straightforward
    • top 3 themed winners pick 3 themes revealed at the Jam day, participants can pick either; as long as at least one theme is used, the entry is "themed" (we kinda had something like that in DAY AND NIGHT/SACRIFICE Jam); reduces the poor theme risk, and allows greater variety

    Another random thought I had: blanks theme. Basically, before the Jam letters are gradually revealed, and at the Jam day... the theme is revealed, but it's still letters with blanks, like "-E-O---S" or something. Then, participants make their own themes to match the blanks (using letters, digits and spaces), and mention the theme in their game post, or game title, or in some readme file or something (it should be something known from the beginning, though). So, themes like MELODIES or MEMORIES or DEMONESS or RECOLORS or even ZERO GAS are all valid. The upside is, it's pretty original and clearly stands out among other game Jams, and additionally, it can lead to insane games variety. On the downside, it might be a bit confusing? o_O'

    (alternately, there would be 3 fill-in themes, and participant should use all 3 of them to make their entry "themed", though not necessarily make the game revolve around each of them; it should still allow lots and lots of possibilities)

    -----------

    Also, alluding to idea mentioned in this post...

    [Suggestion] 3 Jams a year, Ludum Dare counter-aligned

    Instead of having Jams 4 times a year, in January, April (Ludum Dare month!), July and October, they would be on February, June and October.

    Pros:
    • more time for participants to take a breath between Jams
    • not as extreme as only 2 Jams a year, which gives people far fewer opportunities to participate
    • no collisions with Ludum Dare nor Global Game Jam
    • October still remains a Jam month, and we all (i.e. I) know it's the best month
    • I get more time to rest in general, I might be more dedicated to other Jams

    Cons:
    • it's still fewer opportunities to participate compared to the current setup
    • it'd make a 5 months gap between the last Jam and the next one; it's a one-time thing, though
     
  8. Mercerenies

    Mercerenies Member

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    I like the idea of three Jams a year.

    I'm wary of any idea that results in having multiple "final" themes. I worry that if we start letting people choose which theme to implement at an individual level, we'll end up with two or three different "categories" of games and it will feel like there are two or three different Jams going on with different themes, rather than one.
     
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  9. Diptoman

    Diptoman Member

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    I think "bad themes" per se are fine, since it's subjective. I mean honestly I personally think any theme that's too specific or too vague is a comparatively weaker theme (and I don't think that changes with a voting system - seeing as we just voted for a rather restrictive time loop), but the fun is coming up with interpretations even for themes which you don't like and/or don't allow for much room.
    I would prefer reverting the 3 theme-voting system though to what it was. Like I mentioned in a previous post, this effectively extends jam time by a day, when people can start brainstorming about 3 themes, and sustaining this much concentration for 4 days is pretty hard. It works for LD because there's 10 themes up for votes and no one is going to brainstorm 10 themes.

    I like the 3 non-overlapping jams a year idea. Don't want LDs or GGJs eating up GMC Jam time.
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Member

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    I say jams once a week. My life is meaningless without game jams.
     
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  11. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    I like the idea of the 3 day jam and also, thanks to Sinaz20, I just came up with a brilliant idea that can. The thing is that the voting app is what truely many people use for evaluating an entry but I dont use it because it does not come with the same range that I usually use for evaluating a game. The type of formats that I use are the following:

    - Theme Usage
    - Concept (idea)
    - Gameplay (if concept and mechanics work well)
    - Graphics
    - Sound
    - Story
    *Usually Graphics and Sound are considered Presentation but just divided into two*
    ^^^ I use those to evaluate all entries every jam but the Voting app comes with a different options that does not fit with my standards.

    What if... we could apply in the voting app an advance settings so that players can customize the evaluation sheet to the way they are more satisfied with (of course those settings saved into an ini file). And have the feature to export the ranks and scores into a text file and sort out the entries base on their rank for you. Makes voting more easier for us and quicker.
     
  12. ghandpivot

    ghandpivot Member

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    I agree that the amount of people who'd rank all games would drastically increase if it could be done automatically by scoring each game with a tool which then ranks them by their total score and exports that as a text document. There are already people using their own apps for that when ranking all games if the hosts don't have time to make one from scratch or convert the current player into such a tool.
     
  13. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    In case Alice does not have time to apply the idea or has her hands too full, I could actually make a new Jam Player with same features plus with all those new features as well to improve our jam experience. I am taking the volunteer on this for you all. I only hope she does not mind at all. Do you think it is a good idea, @Alice ?
     
  14. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Hmmm, I appreciate the initiative, but I don't know if it'll be necessary, especially if we decide on February/June/October scheme (which people here seem to like so far); that should give me plenty of time to revamp the player. While we're at that, I considered a while back (but couldn't find much time between other tasks) to make the Jam Player open-sourced, so that others could contribute, rather than spawning own versions.

    Aside from that, to decide whether the alternate player is a good idea or not, I'd need to know more details. Having a functionality is one thing, giving a functionality in a convenient way is another. Some voting application I had made earlier allowed custom criteria, but it required editing some criteria file by hand and loading the criteria file every time; not exactly optimal user experience.

    Those are actually very valid questions:
    How do you people imagine defining custom criteria?
    What sort of criteria you would like to define? What would be available types (e.g. short text, long text, number, boolean, dropdown selection... anything else?)
    Given your criteria, how would you order the entries? How do you imagine defining the ordering algorithm?


    At the same time, if the custom criteria + automatic ordering were implemented, would you be fine with sticking to the current format? (3 to all entries ranked + best-ofs)
    I mean, if during the discussion we would decide to use a completely different voting scheme altogether, it could tremendously change the way player would work.

    @Sinaz20: Oh, I just remembered the suggestion about having a screenshot for each game. I agree it'd be useful, though rather tricky to execute. The thing is, you can't capture a screenshot before you play the game, and I don't exactly have time to play all Jam entries before sending the ZIPs to capture the most relevant screenshots. I wonder if I could allow some sort of hotkey (and/or intercept Print-Screen) to capture the currently running game screenshot. Tricky, but very likely possible to do with a bunch of Stack Overflow searches...
     
  15. Mercerenies

    Mercerenies Member

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    You'll want to check with Nocturne to make sure it's not against some GMC policy, but you could always write a bot to crawl the Jam topic for screenshots. Pretty much every game post has a screenshot of an important part of their game in the post. Looking at the Jam 3 games topic, about 31 of the 47 posts have an image relevant to the game in them. That's 65%, and you could easily get that number higher by strongly encouraging people to post screenshots.
     
  16. Shawn Basnett

    Shawn Basnett Discount Dev

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    [SUGGESTION]

    Someone on the Discord was talking about how on the old forum, the jams would have certain limitations, decided by whoever came in second or something. The only one I can think of currently was "There must be a train in your game". Would it be possible to start doing that again?
     
  17. ghandpivot

    ghandpivot Member

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    Or, you know, encourage people to add a screenshot to their game folder before uploading and have the jam player show that. Tons of people started having READMEs after we "asked" for them. A crawler will end up picking bad screenshots a lot of the time, and it just seems like a bigger mess to fix than it's worth.
     
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  18. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    That's actually a very fair point, ghandpivot, about those README files! I guess recommending a screenshot might work! So, if the game would include screenshot/thumbnail in the folder, that screenshot would be used; if absent, the first non-spoiled game post picture would be used instead, and if it's not available, either, a placeholder would be used.

    (that aside, I might very well add screenshots functionality to Jam player, anyway, as it can be useful sometimes; especially if advanced version for dedicated reviewers would allow exporting the pictures or something... we'll see...)
     
  19. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    Just a quick 2 cents;

    1. Personally would prefer the old Theme system of 1st place winner chooses it. (So no last minute disappointment about the Theme).
    2. Personally would prefer the old Handicap system of 2nd place winner chooses it. (So 2nd Place is still a great position to get).
    3. The Jam Player is amazing and would love to see all improvements (like screens). (Great work Alice).
    4. Rewarding people who play all games and vote fully in some way sounds like a good idea. (Giving them a bonus point/position up whatever).
     
  20. Ragarnak

    Ragarnak Not Ragnarök Forum Staff Moderator

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    A minor one. But we could use this topic to mention when the next Jam starts. (Apparently, it's stuck in the first Jam phase.) Could be useful for new members who might not have signed up for the news feed, since the topic is linked to in the forum description.

    A calendar depicting the time period of different phases of upcoming Jams would be great as well. Perhaps @Shadow Link might be able to help you by putting one on their website. Not really important, but could prove to be handy.
     
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  21. Wraithious

    Wraithious Member

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    Hi, regarding the game jams and voting, which I'm sorry I didn't have time this time to vote, I think when you vote you should definitely play all the entries to be fair, but I'm wondering about a small feature we can all put in our jam games allowing the user to access cheat codes or keypress for invincibility... to be able to see all of the entry's points that you think will win your game and make it easier and faster for the voters to play more or all of your game. it could be a simple script you create when first starting the jam project.
     
  22. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    I setup a poll where you can vote how often GMC Jam should be carried out (2, 3, or 4 times a year). You can vote for 1 or 2 options, so if you particularly dislike some option compared to the others, you can vote for the other two. Once the poll closes (after a week from now on) the date of the next Jam will be decided. Until then, please don't discuss matters other than GMC Jam frequency.
     
  23. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    Just like to quickly say...
    1. I do not think anyone wants there to be only 2 jams a year - it just doesnt make sense to halve the number like that.
    2. I still like the idea of rearranging the jams to be as far from the dates of known other major jams as possible... but I do not like the idea of reducing the number of Jams ran per year...

    Sooo I vote we stick with 4 Jams a year (and hope that a clever solution can be found for the placement of the 4th Jam if we do rearrange).

    Tho to be completely honest, just 3 Jams a year, as suggested, positioned properly, if it comes to that, is better than the current situation.

    EDIT:
    Suggestion: We do the 3 Jams rearranged thing because it is better in the long run, and we sneak in some kind of smaller/mini-Jam (24 hours?) in April to break up that initial 5 month gap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  24. TehPilot

    TehPilot Member

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    I like having more chances per year to enter. The current months aren't super favorable to my participation, but knowing when they come around helps me plan around them. I'm in favor of keeping the current schedule, but possibly shifting it a month or two forward (or even moving them all around without regard for equidistant spacing) to avoid collisions with other major jams.
     
  25. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    No one seems to like the idea of 2 Jams a year, and somehow I'm not surprised.

    When it comes to 4 times a year schedule, the trouble is that Ludum Dare happens 3 times a year, and it lasts roughly a month (if theme voting, contest itself and entries rating is counted). So, if we assume Ludum Dare months to be April, August and December, it means you can't spread 4 GMC Jams evenly across the year in a way that no GMC Jam collides with Ludum Dare (and I don't even count GGJ here). Technically, we could play around with placing the Jams non-evenly, in order to avoid Global Game Jam and Ludum Dare (it seems these two are the most prominent), but I feel that would needlessly complicate the schedule. I'm not sure having one additional Jam a year is worth all that shifting around; especially if with fewer Jams people will cherish them more (and not drop out so easily).

    I wonder about that mini-Jam to fill the 5 months gap thing. If it were to be carried out, I suppose beginning of April could work, so that it would end up roughly in the middle and wouldn't happen right after Ludum Dare...? What do you people think? Would you like such a small Jam?
     
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  26. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    Silly question, what about the betajam ? (with ShaunJS moving on are there still one planified some time near?)

    for me the time period that are critical are of course the jam days, next the post jam phase (voting or testing games). Theme voting is mostly irrelevant, because it takes me much less time to vote for 40 themes for LD, than for testing only one game without even any vote/feedback)


    and for the idea of a mini-jam , I prefer 3 days over 1, but I'm sure there are some people who prefer shorter gamejam, they would appreciate to have the opportunity to get a 1-day gmc jam.
     
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  27. squarebit

    squarebit Member

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    I haven't participated in a good while because I never find time for it as I generally work weekends.. if the jam was less frequent, I'd be more comfortable taking the weekend off to participate, and put some real effort in. Now it's more like "the jams are all the time.. I'll think about participating next time" on an infinite loop :)
     
  28. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    I'm not very fond of 1-day Jams -- if that's what is meant by a "small Jam". Three days is the minimum for me. So having either 3 Jams or 4 Jams is fine with me. If we have 4 Jams, and one of them happens to coincide with Ludum Dare, that's fine too.

    However, I like the idea of having more programming "challenges". Like the one-script challenge that @rui.rosario hosted last September. But I'm not sure that's relevant to this discussion.
     
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  29. rui.rosario

    rui.rosario Member

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    @chance that reminds me I should organize another one :p
     
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  30. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

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    Not a silly question to me. With the last GMC jam, the beta jam came too soon after. IIRC, the GMC jam voting phase was going on for all or most of the beta jam. I definitely hope there is at least one more beta jam, because I really want a stab at it, but I also want to participate in all the GMC jams as well, so I hope the GMC jam can be flexible to avoid clashing with it.

    IMHO, as first priority, I think we should avoid having the GMC jam be too close to either GM48 jams or GMS2 beta jams. Then we prioritize avoiding Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam. TBH, I don't care about those nearly as much as GameMaker-exclusive jams, though I might be in the minority here. In any case, I vote for at least 3 jams per year (though I prefer 4), and I'm all for them being flexible on the dates to avoid other jams.

    I don't like the idea of having any jams less than 3 days, but it's only because I expect it would be on the weekend and the days would likely be a Friday and/or a Saturday, meaning I couldn't participate, due to work. With the 3 days, I at least get some time to do something, even if it does land on my most work-heavy days. Honestly, I'd love to see an occasional more laid back jam which lasted for a week, but I don't know if anyone else wants this. Just throwing it out there.
     
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  31. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    I too have always liked the idea of a more casual 1 week GMC Jam... would feel very different.
    Yeah, that might be a better idea than 24 hours for the "gap filler" (and possibly could become a once yearly thing).

    EDIT:
    Another thought: Since it is clear that people voting for just 2 Jams a year are in a tiny minority (and not going to happen) and because of the ability to change your vote, I suggest that those 2 people who voted for just 2 Jams a year recast their votes for one of the other options, so that their votes count for something and we have a better feel for the direction this should go in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  32. GameDevDan

    GameDevDan Your Next Jam Host Moderator GMC Elder

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    IMO the jam needs to be de-complicated (that's a word, shhh) get back to basics:
    • Jam once every 3 months is best. Could shift it slightly if it's a problem, but the traditional timetable has always seemed cool to me.
    • Winner picks the theme, or there's no point winning.
    • 2nd place picks a handicap as before. Also allow handicaps to repeat. They're a little different to themes and a handicap like "no text" or "2D only" can be happily reused over and over so long as it's not twice in a row.
    • Reform voting so that everyone knows their vote is equal. Fiddling with the power of a single person's votes (on any criteria) complicates things and punishes either the voter or the entrant depending on your point of view.
     
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  33. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    Yeah, simplifying is definitely a good idea imo.
    I kind of feel like we've lost our way by adding too much to what was once such a simple formula.
    Pressing "reset" seems like a good way to get the numbers back up.

    I agree 100% with Dan on these points (and have said much the same things before):
    • Winner picks the theme, or there's no point winning.
    • 2nd place picks a handicap as before. Also allow handicaps to repeat. They're a little different to themes and a handicap like "no text" or "2D only" can be happily reused over and over so long as it's not twice in a row.
    Because they simplify and streamline the whole process.
    *And* because they properly and more satisfyingly reward the winners.

    However, I think concerning the Jam number and scheduling, it is best to shift the dates around to not overlap (or keep overlap to a minimim with) other major Jams.
    Simply because I feel we are losing quite a few people to those other Jams.
    Whether this means 3 or 4 Jams a year is less important than shifting the dates imo, assuming we are trying to get the numbers back up.

    About vote reform... meh, we've been down various roads for voting systems before and I feel like we just go in circles anytime it comes up...
    so I'll just say I am fine with the current system, (heck I was fine with the very first system!) tho Dan does have a point about "punishing" if we go ahead with a modifier for reviewing/voting for example. Maybe there is some other way to encourage reviewing/voting?

    Aaand I will just add one more time for good luck...
    I feel we need to push/advertise the Jam more and further in advance.
    • If high profile GMCers could tweet about it 2 weeks and 1 week before start that would help.
    • If we could somehow get a stickied announcement or stickied banner or something visible and noticeable to all GMCers on these boards that would help.
     
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  34. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    I thought we were already doing most things you guys (@dadio and @GameDevDan) mentioned -- i.e., four Jams per year, winner picks next theme etc.

    I thought the only recent change is the voting scheme. Or maybe I'm really out of touch...
     
  35. Ragarnak

    Ragarnak Not Ragnarök Forum Staff Moderator

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    I guess Dan is talking about letting the winner (the person/team holding the first position) choose the theme for the next Jam. Currently, top three participants submit one theme each, then voting is conducted and the winning theme is announced. I believe Dan wants it so that the winner decides what the theme for the next Jam will be without involving the community. Second and third place holders would affect the Jam in a different way. Perhaps like the Jams on the legacy forums.
     
    chance likes this.
  36. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    First of all, please do remember that right now the focus of the topic is timing of the Jam. When the time comes, we might discuss other topics, such as themes/handicaps/whatever, reviewing incentives, voting systems etc.

    Alright, given that 2 times a year Jam option wasn't really chosen by anyone, I decided to scrap the poll so far and make the options clearer. Hopefully it's not too much of an inconvenience to re-cast your votes... ^^'

    When choosing months to put the Jam into, I took into account Global Game Jam (once a year, end of January), Ludum Dare (3 times a year, around the half of April/August/December) and GM48 (4 times a year, around the half of January/April/July/October). I didn't take into account beta Jams, because GM:S 2 is out of beta, and the YYG-side jams don't have regularity.

    Given that, I narrowed things down to two clear choices, with specific months (so you can't e.g. vote for 4 times a year, but actually imagine different months than the ones planned).

    If Jam was to happen 4 times a year, it would be shiften to the end of February/May/August/November. This is perfectly counter-aligned to GM48 and doesn't collide with Global Game Jam. It overlaps with August Ludum Dare and, to an extent, with December Ludum Dare (when the Jam voting ends, Ludum Dare is about to get started). You might want to pick it if you want to participate in GM-related Jams as much as possible.

    If Jam was to happen 3 times a year instead, it would be at the end of February/June/October. This is counter-aligned to Ludum Dare and doesn't collide with Global Game Jam, either. It overlaps with October GM48, but aside from that it's pretty clear. You might want to pick it if you prefer a large-scale event such as Ludum Dare, or just want some more rest between Jamming. Plus, October is the best month because Halloween.

    I'd rather not keep the current schedule, because it collides with GGJ on January, with Ludum Dare on April and with pretty much any GM48. Taking these factors into account, the timing is really unfortunate...
     
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  37. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    Good work on the re-poll.
    Either of those options is much better than current. :)
     
  38. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    The Jam is definitely too complicated. I mean, come on, it's a non-profit, fun community event. Nobody can figure out the voting system (which means nobody really understands how much their votes actually count) and to be perfectly honest, I've never had more fun in a Jam than I had in Jam 1. Pancakes was an amazing theme. People got so darn creative with it because it was so simple.

    4 times a year gets my vote. Not because it's going to increase turn out, just that you shouldn't care about the turn out. It's a free, non-profit, fun, community event, so who really cares? 4 times a years gives people more chances to get involved, probably with a lower turn out but again, nobody cares.

    Bring back the simple themes, bring back the simple theme selection, hell, bring back the handicaps, bring back a voting system we understand. I don't see why it ever needed to be this complicated. I spend most my time these days either working on contracts, working on my project and when I do have the time to enter an event, I usually opt for an event that I understand. When I do enter the GMC Jams (I have the previous 2) I tend to stray away from the actual Jam topics and such because I simply don't have the time or effort to pretend to understand how this works or what you're doing with it. If this isn't a competitive challenge with a cash prize then navigating the rules maze really isn't worth the time.

    1st Place Vote = 10 Points
    2nd Place Vote = 5 Points
    3rd Place Vote = 1 Point

    Shout out to @Shadow Link for the clock. It's about the only part of the GMC Jam I truly understand anymore.

    Edit:
    Actually, why not just make the GMC Jam voting system a poll?

    Nominate games, the games with the top three/five nominations go into a poll, the community then gets a second chance to vote on these games, putting them in an order everybody is relatively happy with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
    dadio likes this.
  39. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Hmm, with the votes being heavily in favour of more frequent Jams, I'll wait ~2 more days, and if it keeps like that, I guess the shifted quarterly Jam will become official.

    Well, excuse me, but I do care. Being the one who runs the non-profit community event and puts lots of time and effort into it, I'd rather have, say, 50-80 people enjoying it rather than 10-20. It makes me feel like my effort was better spent that way...

    -----------

    After Jam timeframe is decided, the discussion will move onto the format of Jam itself (specifically: themes, handicaps, whatnot; which winner gets to pick what), and only after that we might discuss the voting format (i.e. what the voting posts consists of in the first place), and then tallying method (i.e. how N+1 votes are turned into final results). Just for the reference, right now I'm personally inclined to one theme, picked by the winner, and that's it. No handicap, no other Jam-format rewards for places 2 and 3 (like secret word or hype word), just one theme to rule them all and so on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  40. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    Then nominate somebody else to run it. If you feel like the enjoyment of 10-20 people is a waste of your time then that's entirely on you.

    This is a free, for-fun-only, community event. It doesn't matter if 10 or 1,000 members are enjoying it, as long as somebody is. It doesn't matter if it's 10 or 1,000 because nothing is being invested into it so no return is expected. Again, this is a small, for-fun-only, totally free and practically prizeless community event, it shouldn't be that difficult to organize. I think 4 smaller turn out events per year is generally better because more people will get to enjoy participating, which is the entire point of small community events like this.

    You post the topic, they reply to the topic, everybody has fun, they vote, you count, event over. You should be spending more effort in preparing your own breakfast than into this. If it is taking more effort than required to organize then you need to take a step back and ask yourself what is going wrong because this shouldn't be difficult at all.
     
  41. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    This is a classic illustration of that old adage "no good deed goes unpunished". ;)

    @Alice: I agree with you. Making the Jam fun for more people is a good thing. Larger turnouts indicate that more people enjoy the Jam. So that's a reasonable goal.

    I think you're doing the right thing here.. You're asking for Community input about Jam frequency and timing. And next, you have plans to get Community input about themes and voting. So we can have a Jam that is truly community-driven.
     
    ParodyKnaveBob, Alice and dadio like this.
  42. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    I've been in a fair few Jams and I've seen them both big and small and for what it's worth I've enjoyed them at all sizes. Jam 1 had 23 entries, Jam 5 had 65, I played and reviewed them all too (and won the first Best Reviewer title (not relevant, just a brag)). If organizing a low turn out Jam is problem for anybody, then nominate somebody else to do it. It's not always going to be rocking 65 entries but that doesn't mean events should be cancelled either and deny the willing 23 their chance to have a little fun.

    The GMC Jam is a community event about the community coming together and having a little fun. Not about how appreciated the organizer feels. I do appreciate @Alice for taking over and organizing the Jams for us, thank you for that, but if the appreciation of me and 9 other members isn't enough to validate the effort, then please nominate somebody else.

    Just because we've had big jams in the past doesn't mean we will again and nothing says they have to have a minimum number of entrants because this is a free, for fun, event. If you've made 10 people happy then the event was a success and you've won.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  43. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    Not sure how you interpret @Alice's efforts to reach out to the Community, as a lack of appreciation of you. Or as self-aggrandizing. But I can assure you neither is the case. I'm sure Alice appreciates you, and her motives are not selfish.

    Your opinion (and vote) on these matters will count the same as every other GMC member.
     
  44. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    My problem is only literally with this line:
    Reaching out to a wider portion of the community is completely fine, but to say that her effort is "worse spent" because less members are involved is a little self-aggrandizing, yes.

    @Alice has been around for as long as I can remember, and I know her to be generally well meaning and practically devote to improvement. I'm literally only scolding the quote. A community event shouldn't take that much effort to organize and it shouldn't matter how many people are involved. It's about fun. If you're working on it then you're working too hard and if you're expecting anything back from it then you're expecting too much.
     
  45. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    Good. Then we all agree. :) I feel Alice's efforts to improve the Jam are great. Never complains about the work, and never seeks any reward, other than wanting more people to enjoy it.

    And she didn't even complain when we named a button after her (previously known as the mute button). OK, maybe she complained a little.
     
  46. Shadow Link

    Shadow Link Member

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    Firstly, just want to say I'm not trying to derail the conversation here. I'll stay on topic, but just wanted to respond to my mentions. I'll spoiler them if it helps :)

    Sorry for not responding sooner. I saw your post when you made it, but forgot to come back to it. I've thought of a few improvements before. If I knew exact Jam dates/phases, I could certainly do something like that. I've also toyed with the idea of revamping the clock a bit to be a little more interesting - things like a changing progress bars (sort of like an installer), more emphasis on the clock by making it bigger, etc. I recently revamped it to work better for mobile, but didn't do much after that. Also, I just finished up a nice couple of string parsing functions a few days ago that I'll integrate soon. The current method of extracting the theme is not perfect. I'll see what I can do!


    Thanks! Seeing as how you've been around since Jam 1, you know why it was necessary to make. :p


    Frequency doesn't matter much to me. As long as I get a heads up to update the clock's settings, it's all good. I've learned in the past that there almost can't be enough jams. @Zeddy and I used to host the RDC (Rapid Dev Competition) in the GMC IRC a long while back. They were meant for jam junkies to get their fix between the long 3 months, and if I recall correctly, were held weekly. The only difference is they were 3 hours long, and I think we explicitly didn't allow prizes (or didn't manage any of it, don't remember). It was pretty successful and kept people busy enough, but it eventually thinned out to the point that nobody participated much anymore - so I guess it did the job well? Also, we chewed through themes like crazy.

    Now, I'm not saying we should do weekly Jams. I'm just trying to make a point that maybe there's not enough. I think a good balance could be 5 or 6. It would be frequent enough that they might not overlap with other jams, but not enough that people will get burnt out. Of course, this all depends on the complexity of the Jam itself, which is more for general discussion. I have plenty of things to say about that, so I won't in this post.
     
    Rusty likes this.
  47. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Hmmm, 5 or 6 Jams a year seems a bit excessive. However, for those who simply can't get enough of jamming, I decided to create a topic where various game development events and competitions, GM-specific or not, are announced. Watch it to stay up to date with recent events~!
    (also, if it's still not enough for you guys, I guess you might try to make some sort of rapid development circle or something, or maybe even try talking Discord group into channel for that?)

    Also, voting results clearly show you people prefer 4 Jams a year rather than 3, so I'm taking down the poll. Thus, the next GMC Jam will be carried out between May 26th, 12:00 UTC and May 29th, 12:00 UTC.

    --------------------

    With that decided, we can proceed onto Jam format, i.e. things that relate to the Jam itself, rather than pre-Jam hype and post-Jam voting/awards.

    In particular, there seems to be discussion about handling Jam themes and other Jam variables. As far as I know, there are three options considered at the moment:
    • top 3 pick 3 themes for the next Jam, one is voted on a day before the Jam (current option)
    • winner picks one theme for the next Jam, that's it (like during the very first Jams)
    • winner picks one theme, 2nd place picks handicap (like during later Jams)

      Feel free to discuss these options, or maybe other ideas you have for that, or other issues related to Jam format. I'd prefer if you didn't discuss voting format, awards and voting systems just yet; let's focus on Jam format for now.
     
    dadio likes this.
  48. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    For the next few Jams, I'd prefer the old system (option 3) where the previous winner picks the theme, and 2nd place picks handicap. Giving the previous winner that privilege is a nice prize.

    The "3 theme vote off" worked fine the last few Jams. And we can always go back to it after a few Jams. Change is good.
     
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  49. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    I like the idea alterning the option 1 & option 3
     
  50. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    My only issue with the handicap is that handicaps that were picked weren't really handicaps, just requests for additional game features like local multiplayer. I'd prefer handicaps to be actual handicaps (like no sprites allowed, game in one object or all colours must have red=0).

    I don't really see the point, or any benefit, to voting on the theme. I don't really think it added anything to the Jam experience, it just confused the hell out for me for no apparent reason, I spent the entire pre-Jam hype thinking "who the hell picks a 8 word theme?". If you want to take theme from all three winners (for the purposes of stopping the previous winner from knowing in advance (which is the only real benefit I can think of, still seems unnecesary)) then just pick one of the three at random and go from there.

    Another option would be for the organizer (@Alice) pick the theme flat out. Just grab whatever meme Roy and company are currently fanning in Off-Topic or whatever agenda YoYoGames is pushing. I think GameConvetions, Marketing, Duck Cults and Wizard Wars would all make great themes. I think more people might actually get involved and play the results if the theme actually meant anything to them.
     

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