The GMC Jam Suggestions Topic

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

  1. Lt. Farfetch'd

    Lt. Farfetch'd Member

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    I’ll also throw in my two cents, because if the suggestions on this topic are ever collated then I think a variety of voices is important.

    I attempted to whip up a game for the 10-day jam with a team. It almost worked out, but my finding was that Parkinson’s law was ever-present. My efficiency in most jams (whether online or otherwise) matches the allowed time. For me this explains why greater time did not mean greater quality or ‘more game’, so-to-speak.

    These days I’m not too sure of the demographic split among the more regular members of the forums. But for those who work or study during the week, I can see a clear incentive to maintain weekend jams.

    As raised by some others, the short format is pretty standard. At least from my experience lurking in these forums over the past ~6 years, game jams can vary a great deal, but the timeframe is a factor that is reasonably constant. Personally I appreciate that predictability, though I don’t think its loss would be any sort of dealbreaker.

    Everybody before me has raised good points, and at the end of the day jams are a beautiful thing for me because they are facilitated, judged and run by the community. Bearing these things in mind, I would say @dadio hit the nail on the head. The jam format can be a bit experimental, and there can be some variance. Be it 1, 4, 7 or 10 days - we won’t truly know the outcome until we give it a crack. And if the endgame is to have fun and learn then I’m sure both can be achieved irrespective of length. :)
     
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  2. curato

    curato Member

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    More time would have helped me this time. I am not sure about every time. I got about half way through the jam and realized I didn't have time to do all the artwork myself in time. Another day or two would have made the difference there. I had half a mind to advertise for an artist, but it seemed like there were several people that were programmers looking for artist at the last moment and not artist.
     
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  3. Misty

    Misty Member

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    The voice of reason.
     
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  4. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Just a thought - if we were to try a 4-days Jam, I'd rather have it extend 24 hours before the current timeframe rather than some other setup (e.g. adding 24 hours after, or 12 hours before and 12 hours after). In other words, it'd be Thursday noon UTC - Monday noon UTC instead of the current Friday noon UTC - Monday noon UTC.

    Why such a setup? First it should be noted that the Jam timing is meant to save as much weekend for development time as possible - around 1st/2nd day for Eastern timezones and around 2nd/3rd day for Western timezones (with UTC weekend last from late day 1 to early day 3). So wherever we add the extra day, we don't get extra weekend time for pretty much anyone, but a workday time instead. Another thing worth mentioning is how Jam development is spread. It may vary across people and teams, but usually the first Jam phase involves brainstorming, while the last one has all these fixes, polish, putting the whole thing together and so on. In other words, the first phase isn't anywhere near as densely packed with development as the last one.

    So if we'd be adding extra workday 24 hours, we better have them at the first (brainstorming) phase - letting the ideas flow during the workday - instead of the final development phase, when most of the extra time would be "wasted" on work (or studies or whatever).
     
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  5. Misty

    Misty Member

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    Seems reasonable to me.
     
  6. Relic

    Relic Member

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    Very good argument there.
     
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  7. curato

    curato Member

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    I could see that if we had the theme the day before so we could think about how it needed to be set up so you could go full tilt when it started wouldn't be a bad idea. I was like 100% sure it was contrast it kind of blew my idea when I found out conquest. (not that was a big fan of conquest)
     
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  8. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    In spite of many people being quick to rain on Misty's parade about the 4 day thing...
    I think (for exactly the reason Alice pointed out) 4 days would be a good idea and really worth trying.
    I suspect with that extra "brainstorming day" we would see a general quality bump in entries...
    and we would possibly get a higher turnout as people had more of a chance to realise the Jam was running, before the "main chunk of dev time Sat/Sun" had already begun.
    So Dan, what do you think?
    Worth a whirl for the next Jam?
     
  9. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Well, I can tell that if we (me and Siolfor) had that idea Friday afternoon (UTC), rather than Saturday afternoon as we did, we would probably have more time to polish our entry (specifically, I'd have the bullets prettified, clean up the HUD and particle effect the hell out of things). So, the first day having no idea what to make in the first place and actual development starting as late as the second day probably took some significant impact on our entry quality compared to if we had the idea ready at Friday afternoon.

    (the fact that the theme was neither CONTRAST nor CONSTANT completely throw my initial concept out of the window, and then when I glanced at Games Topic and found Dan's game titled "ALPS", I assumed that conquering mountains I had as my backup idea wasn't as original as I hoped)
     
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  10. Rob

    Rob Member

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    Late to the party as usual but for anyone who has more time in the week than on the weekend (such as me) a longer jam 4-5 days would be more appealing.
     
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  11. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Ah, right, I wanted to touch upon this subject after the Jam, anyway. Could we perhaps try out the Thursday - Monday Jam the next time round, or maybe on some other occasion, or...?
     
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  12. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    @Alice :

    I'd well expect Misty to complain about unforced mistakes and argue for bending the rules to suit it, but I'm unpleasantly surprised that you'd follow suit as a leader.

    You've overplayed your hand and put too much time on things that players wouldn't notice in the midst of the action. You didn't stay flexible enough with your choice of topic and got burned. You should learn a lesson from that and apply it to future development, not trying to get a free pass on the lesson and changing the rules for round 2. You should set a good example for other competitors.

    It's not like I haven't made the same kinds of time management mistakes, in fact I did 3 times already (once with Starlight Convergence, once with my unpublished Jam #7 entry, and the latest with my unpublished entry for this current Jam). But the one thing I never did was arguing for the goalposts to be moved so that the missed shot would have scored. I also know Parkinson's Law well enough to recognize how pointless that would be if I fail to learn the lesson and improve on the skillset/toolset gaps that developing these entries revealed.

    For everyone else wanting to support the 4-day format, please STOP putting up arguments about how you could have done your entries better if you had more time. Anyone could have done it better if they had more time. Acting in spite of not having more time when you want it is what separated competitors that did well from others that did poorly, the prepared from the unprepared, the flexible from the rigid, and decisive prioritizers from want-it-alls. If you want an example of an argument I approve of, take a look at Rob's (#210). He focused on factors that can't be controlled by adequate practice and ongoing self-improvement, namely external commitments and scheduling.

    Until I see more sportsmanlike support for the 4-day format, I will stand my ground and say no. If so many of you are this hellbent on changing the timeframe of the Jam because of your own weaknesses in quick wit and rapid development, what else of the Jam wouldn't you kick and whine to change?
     
  13. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    @FrostyCat I would like to clarify a few things.

    First of all, I'm not exactly sure what you meant by "a leader". I guess it wouldn't be inaccurate in the sense of "one of GMC staff" or "someone who used to run a GMC Jam", but on the off chance you meant "a person who makes decisions regarding the Jam", I'm not one of these at the moment. So no matter how I adored or abhored the idea of the 4-day Jam in any form, I don't have any more power to decide that than most other Jammers.

    Also, it sounds like you misunderstood my intentions. The post seems to be based on an assumption that with 4-day format I hope to make up for my weaknesses and maybe rank higher than I generally do in 3-day Jams. That's what I gather from you mentioning the errors I have made, but most importantly from this bit:
    Please keep in mind that my post was in a direct response to dadio, who said:
    What I wrote about our entry having higher quality wasn't me saying "Our entry would be better with more time" as much as it was "Many participants' entries would be better with more time, ours for instance". So the point that "anyone could have done it better" is the point I tried to make myself, by giving myself as an example of "anyone". When I mentioned the merits of 4-days format, my goal wasn't getting ahead of others, but having the overall higher entries quality (as an avid reviewer, I do prefer having high quality entries to play through).

    I don't quite see how support for 4-days Jam would be unsportsmanlike if it affects most Jammers in the same manner. If there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from the extra brainstorming day, those would be people who already know the theme weeks ahead of everyone else, in a way making the 4-Jam setup more sportsmanlike compared to the 3-days one.

    Finally, I wouldn't exactly say I'm "hellbent" on changing the timeframe of the Jam. I won't deny I'm pretty enthusiastic - the extra brainstorming day sounds appealing, and yet it might avoid the severe problems 10-day format had (large scale Parkinson's Law + people being discouraged because they didn't have all weekend days free; there was also this awfully generic OVERCOME ALL ODDS theme). Plus, if we try out the 4-days format and it won't work, it will be a convenient reference for future discussions (as the earlier underwhelming Jam is for 10-day format). Be it the next Jam or maybe in a further future, I'd like to see 4-days format tried at least once, though I won't cry if it never happens.

    --- EDIT ---

    Ah, I've just noticed that remark about your unpublished entry for this Jam. If this extra day would allow you to actually complete this entry on time, it would be another reason for me to consider the 4-days format preferable, even though (or rather because?) it would mean more competition.

    (likewise, the humble turnout of the previous Jam is the reason why I don't think 10-days format is likely to work anymore)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  14. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

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    After more thought, I'm sold on the next jam having an extra day, starting Thursday.

    My main argument against it was that it'd be less of a challenge to help push me to increase my fast development and problem solving skills, but I just realized, if I really wanted to challenge myself in that regard, I could just do a GM48 jam anyway. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ On top of that, if the GMC Jam further differentiates itself from the GM48, that makes sense to me as well.
     
  15. Rob

    Rob Member

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    Do you always have to be so mean to people?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  16. Toque

    Toque Member

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    Interesting conversation. As a newbie I guess I’m asking myself “what is the goal or purpose of these jams?”

    There is demand or desire for bigger more polished games? That’s the point of the jam?

    Higher participation is the goal?

    Everyone has their own personal goals for these jams? Impossible to please everyone.

    I have less time on the weekend so an extra day might help. But not sure it would. I don’t want to make bigger games. Small interesting or strange stuff. I will try again whatever time is decided. Not sure I would do ten days again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  17. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    I can't speak for everyone, but as a former Jam host and regular Jam participant, I'd generally like to see more entries, with higher overall quality and a good variety.
    Aside from that, it's an excellent opportunity to experiment and gather feedback (praise and criticism alike); speaking of feedback, having more reviews would also help.
    (though I suppose with more entries getting more complete reviews becomes quite a challenge)

    It's also because of these reasons the Jam hosts tried out different formulas, be it when it comes to restrictions (handicap or not, 3 themes to vote on, 3 themes to choose from, etc.; anyone remembers secret word?) or the timespan (like the recent 10 days).

    Judging from my experience, the best method to increase participation was waiting with the next Jam for half a year while relaunching the forums in the meantime, but I'm not quite sure it's easy to reproduce or reliable. *whistling*
     
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  18. curato

    curato Member

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    Honestly, I don't think the biggest hurdle to higher participation is the theme or the time frame (though they could help) I know I participated in one before and I started to this time but the idea I had didn't match the time I had to get it done (it happens). I know I am not always lurking on the forum every day. I have phases where I am on a lot and phases where I am on little to none. If I am on a lot and see it then I usually will consider participation if not I don't even think about it until it is long gone. Honestly, I think you need an email or something to get the news out to people that don't come here everyday. Maybe it should be an option on communication from yoyo. I get emails every time there is a new blog entry, but never hey there is an upcoming jam.
     
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  19. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    Longer duration could increase participation, I suppose. Among people already inclined to participate, but have schedule conflicts, an extra day might allow them to join.

    An extra day might also make entries more "polished" and less buggy. Those factors are elements of quality, but they aren't necessarily elements of fun or innovative gameplay.

    So in the end, for a given set of games, I suspect the outcome would be the same. Whether the Jam lasts 3 days, or 4.
     
  20. Relic

    Relic Member

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    @curato I set this section of the forum to be watched- with emails sent to me when a new thread appears - which is usually 2 weeks before the next Jam
     
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  21. Rob

    Rob Member

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    that's a great idea
     
  22. GameDevDan

    GameDevDan Get Gyro Boss DX Moderator GMC Elder

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    We should run a poll of the dates people want to do the next jam, including the amount of days they would prefer.

    If we're sticking to 3 days over the last weekend of the month every 3 months, the current default dates for GMC Jam 33 is 24th-27th May.
     
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  23. Toque

    Toque Member

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    An open specific invitation to newer users could increase entries. Encourage inexperienced members to team up etc.
    First solo jam was a little intimidating.

    Hmm. Maybe I could take the lead and offer to team up with a newer user. I’m still pretty fresh.

    It was good fun teaming up for my first jam.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  24. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    @Toque The newcomer-regular teamup seems like a nice idea to encourage new people getting into the Jam. I'd imagine it'd work best as a sort of community-driven initiative. I suppose my main worry would be having lots of coders and few asset/level creators. There might be two coders working on the same project, but it introduces its own specific challenges the newcomers might not be quite prepared for - mainly synchronising the work (even with version control, resolving GM project conflicts can be hellish), also a difference in programming practices and styles.

    Would be good to have a front-site announcement at the top as it occasionally happened for earlier Jams, to make more newcomers aware of the Jam in the first place (that applies to regulars, too).

    I'm not sure what/whom you mean by "them" to crush like annoying ants. "Everyone"? "High level games"? o_O'
     
  25. Relic

    Relic Member

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    Or the “newcomers” that are entering for the first time? Lol
     
  26. Toque

    Toque Member

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    Sorry just being sarcastic. I’m still new to GM. So I was saying it’s nice to feel welcome. If the jam goal is to have very polished games it doesn’t exactly scream new users welcome.


    I could still offer to jam with someone. Learning the pitfalls of collaboration is a valuable lesson.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  27. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Need more artists and musicians/sound people.
     
  28. Toque

    Toque Member

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    Yes. Them (me). I was being sarcastic. Haha. It was my first solo jam. I was referencing myself.

    I thought encouraging newer users could increase jam numbers. But that’s not going to increase quality of games so having me and other new users in the jams may not be wanted.

    Thought the sarcasm was funnier. Haha.
     
  29. Relic

    Relic Member

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    I like the community aspect and having feedback on things I try in a game. I guess there is some intrinsic resistance to newcomers if they are new to coding/game maker in general- it’s just not possible to make a working game if you need to stop to learn how a for loop works. I was working with game maker for about 7 years as a hobby until last year I decided to try both a commercial product and enter these jams. Wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much if I was still wrapping my head around why my character is getting stuck in a wall or won’t jump.

    The people I’d like to encourage to join are those that are beyond needing to follow a tutorial to accomplish the basics of a game.

    Teaming a “veteran” with a newcomer has its ups and downs. As a teacher, I can say from experience that it doesn’t necessarily improve the “outcomes” of the lower ability student- the pair don’t communicate the same way and the lower ability student is often too hesitant to try anything for fear of embarrassing themselves.
     
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  30. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    Sorry, but I just don't see what's so intimidating about entering a Jam for the first time.

    It was just over a year ago that I entered the Convergence jam, and I certainly wasn't intimidated. Sure, I over-scoped the project and ended up submitting just the main engine on loop. But even then I knew how to stand on my own two feet, what an imminently untenable project looks like and how to fall gracefully.

    The problem is not the Jam being "intimidating", it's people coming in with their pants down. The answer is not more helping hands, but more intentional practice and personal skill-building opportunities. A Jam is way too fast-paced for someone to look presentable while still sucking on Spalding and HeartBeast's teats. Don't just encourage newcomers to join the Jam, first encourage them to be personally competent enough to be a worthwhile contestant. And if my experience on the Q&A sections is anything to go by, the currently popular YouTube-heavy way of learning GM is an abject failure at fostering the independence that demands.

    I propose having weekly or bi-weekly "informal practice themes" that don't necessarily focus on having a final product, but on targeting specific competencies useful for Jam development (e.g. free-form development without tutorials, unfamiliar genres, etc.) or becoming familiarized with resources (e.g. practicing a new library, organizing resource packs, etc.). Then participants can post their findings or practice results for mutual study. This has several advantages:
    • The name of the GMC Jam stays fresher due to more frequent activity throughout the year.
    • It encourages frequent self-exploration and regular practice.
    • It has a faster turnaround for revealing areas needing improvement, once a week or every other week instead of once a quarter.
    • It promotes self-efficacy and prepares prospective participants ahead of time, so that their first "real" Jam feels less like a first.
    As for the "tag along a noob" idea, not from me. Even when working alone, I don't necessarily have a sure shot of completing a sensible entry. So what makes you think I'd do it any better or enjoy it any more towing along more overhead? The last thing I want is to carry a dead weight and add an undeserving name on my product, and the second last thing I want is to have a strong partner and turn out to be that dead weight myself. Being able to take sole responsibility and keep mistakes to myself is the reason why I personally have a strict solo policy when it comes to Jams.
     
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  31. Toque

    Toque Member

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    I can barely code my way out of a wet paper bag. I rely heavily on tutorials and the manual and friends.

    I thought the jam would be FUN and a personal creative and coding challenge. Also a great incentive to practice and prepare for it. To ensure I could make a little game in 12 hours.

    I chatted with GameDaveDan about it and he encouraged me to join.

    I thought other beginner ish level users might enjoy the experience as well. Increase numbers.

    If its a bad idea or not desired by the community thats okay. I respect that. My bad. I won't promote the idea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  32. Dr. Wolf

    Dr. Wolf Member

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    When it comes to participation, the times we've done best have been times when the jam had a good amount of visibility around the wider GM community and was able to bring in people other than regular GMC members. It seems, lately, like we haven't had as much of that, and everywhere we fail to reach costs us people. I'd make the case that, compared to gm48, we have a better setup-- rules that are more favorable to the production of good games, a much fairer judging system (thanks to the jam player, which helps to make sure that different entries can get at least a vaguely similar number of plays), and better themes-- but gm48 seems to get a lot more "hype" and, consequently, to wind up with a much higher number of entries.

    On the subject of who should participate: I'd say everyone! Let's face it, with the level of participation we're seeing, we're nowhere near the point where the judging stage would start to buckle from the weight of a high number of low-quality entries, especially given that such entries tend to be the fastest to evaluate. If people attempt the jam and wind up failing to produce anything of import, well, that, too, can be a good learning experience for them.

    The mentorship thing is an interesting idea, but I probably wouldn't be super-keen on taking part, just because I usually go into these jams with a bunch of different goals to accomplish besides just putting out a jam entry. I mean, yes, making a jam entry is part of it, but, at the same time, I'm usually also using the jams as an opportunity to iterate on and test systems that are ultimately meant for larger projects, to try out experiments with regards to art style and gameplay, and to create things that can later be fleshed out and polished up into worthwhile portfolio entries (as opposed to something designed to be at its peak at the 72 hour mark). Maybe in the future, if I find myself in a situation where I don't feel quite as strong a need to squeeze a bunch of practical benefit out of each jam, I could try teaming up, but I'm not sure when or if that will be the case.
     
  33. The M

    The M Member

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    The point of the jam is to bring the community together, whether you're an active member, an old-timer or a complete newbie doesn't matter. I don't think increasing the quality of entries "at the cost of losing participants" was ever intended by anyone.
     
  34. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    It's "intimidating" in the sense of the unknown; new environment, rules to suddenly follow, and strangers...
    with sharp claws >o.o<
    I'm kidding ^ ^
    ohh true-milk-finder ability! I knew you were a real Neko! But Shaun and Benjamin won't like it that we know they're trangender ...
    Yeah, I agree; "Hellkitchen" is an overcook show made to temper with family's mind so unecessary chaos can bring more followers to "DrPhil".
    Happy days; you got that hairball out! It's over, here, *huuuuug*...
    -
    to read a debate over a game-jam makes it less attractive for me. The entertainment side should be the foreground. A "military assignment" taste is a turn off. Maybe there should be two types of game-jam; one for "hardcore dev" and one cozy for "general public"; there would be less complaints and good appeal to it.
    if this wasn't arealy made; forget me, I'm just passing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  35. Lt. Farfetch'd

    Lt. Farfetch'd Member

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    Ludum Dare has implemented a similar approach (since 2011) wherein a 'hardcore' game jam was kept, but a more open format has persisted separately for those who prefer it. The timing still remains fixed, but the rules are far more lax. Right now they're even looking to implement "craft" entries - such as board-games, card-games, or anything one's heart desires.
    But generally speaking, I totally agree that nothing should take precedent over the entertainment/fun factor (and the education factor, though I think that's irrevocably tied into the jam anyway).

    This is very important too. If the jam is going to be fun and educational, then its important to make it accessible to people of every skill level in some form. I don't think there are any substantial barriers right now (feel free to correct me), but any changes made to the structure of the jam should be wary of creating them. I definitely believe in the old phrase "if it ain't broke don't fix it", but of course sometimes you just want to make things better. If there are any changes that have demonstrable popularity amongst the community members, then there's one thing thing that I think needs to be determined: how do we decide if a change gets implemented, and who is responsible for deciding it? And if that’s the game jam host (which is reasonable, and the way it seems to function), how is the success of any change measured?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  36. Sk8dududu

    Sk8dududu Member

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    @FrostyCat
    Seems like Misty was correct about the 4 day jam being better.. It was a pretty good turnout even though there was basically no prizes offered. And a lot of the games turned out really great.
     
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  37. Misty

    Misty Member

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    Thankyou.

    I have another proposal as well. A better way to review. The reason I didn't review is because, I just wasn't into some of the games, but I wanted to give fair reviews. For instance, I am not into farming games. So I didn't want to review a game that was about farming, so I quit because my review would be invalid.

    Then I realized, what a game score ought to be? Our whole lives, we have been brainwashed by sites like IGN and GameStop, to tell us about reviews. Those sites often do fake reviews just to get sponsors. This has been proven, one of their old employees got fired for making true reviews. Their focus is not on accurate reviews.

    So what makes a good review? Is it the art and sounds, or is it the gameplay? The answer is seen in a new way. First of all, a game is meant to be enjoyed, fun, or engaging. So the review system ought to work like this:

    Step 1: How much did you enjoy the game, how fun was it and engaging? Maximum 10/10. Take for example a game that is not that exciting, yet you are hooked and play for hours. Then it is a great game. But take a single player game that you beat in 5 minutes, but it was extremely exciting for those 5 minutes. Both games are equally great. A game that is a bit boring, but has you hooked for 10 hours, is equal to a great amazing game that is very short in duration. But what games are bad? A game is bad if you quit within a few minutes, due to the game being no fun to play. If you are just not into a certain genre, then the game is no fun to play.

    Step 2: Subtract the gameplay by gfx and sound. A game with bad gfx and sound, will detract from the enjoyment of the game. Gfx and sound, combines to form an overall ambiance. A game with an excellent ambiance gets 0, a game with terrible ambiance gets 5 stars. Subtract those stars from the original score, and you have your final score. (This is subtractive, so the higher the stars, the more stars are subtracted from the final score.)


    So, what about games that someone is not into the genre? Such as farming games? What then? If you are not into a genre and cannot give a fair rating, one ought to be able to just give that game an N/A rating. Thus, the overall scores ought to be not by ranking, but average number rating given to each game. The numbers should be rounded as well, because rounded numbers decrease the effect of bias.

    So if reviewer A gives game X as 3/10, reviewer B gives game X a 2/10, reviewer C gives it a 4/10, its ranking will be 3/10. This may cause ties, ties will be decided by a final community vote. This will make the excitement even better and fully follows game theory, such as shows like Wheel of Fortune or Jeapordy, there is always the "drumroll" segment or the "final battle" leading up to at the end, this is similar to this and will enhance the excitement of the vote.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  38. curato

    curato Member

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    To me when I vote. I am more looking at the design. Is it well thought out? Can you step right into and play without figuring out a bunch of things? Is the interface intuitive and not overly cumbersome? Do all the elements fit well together instead of seeming cobbled together? To a lesser extent, does the game serve the theme?

    Having said that. I have no interest in voting twice. I kind of do what you are saying when I rank them except I just do it with Great to poor then sort through when I am done. I settle the ties myself when I am ranking them. It is too time consuming for some of us to come back and vote twice.
     
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  39. GameDevDan

    GameDevDan Get Gyro Boss DX Moderator GMC Elder

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    I don't know that 4 days was any different to 3 days. We got a similar amount of entries to usual and from what I've played so far they seem similar in quality. That said as long as whoever's hosting at the time doesn't mind giving up that 4th day of free time I guess there's no reason not to do it again.

    RE: voting - I don't think we need to over-complicate things. The GMC Jam happens often, by the time one jam is over we're already building hype for the next. Keep the voting system simple: The current one delivers a clear winner (usually an entry most people put 1st 2nd or 3rd in their rankings). It allows people to vote directly for the game they want to win (an averaging system wouldn't, unless they purposely downgrade the scores of other entries in each category) and it allows people to play, review and vote quickly and efficiently. I know there are some hard feelings around here when people feel like reviewers are rushing (and having to vote on specific categories would mitigate the effects of that slightly) but we have to be realistic about how many reviewers there are in total and how much free time they have. If everyone is forced to play games for longer and think about the entries in more detail we'll likely end up with people reviewing fewer games on average.
     
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  40. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

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    I think the 4 day jam was great. It appears to me that it may have encouraged a slightly larger turnout. Or perhaps it's just coincidence. Whatever the case, I'm all for doing the 4 days again next time.

    Trying to get more accurate ranking shouldn't be a core goal, in my opinion.
    Instead, if we can encourage people to give their honest thoughts from their viewpoint, that's what would be useful to everyone.
    We've already been getting great feedback, so I think it's fine as is, but if we ever do make any change, I think it'd be better to focus on something to help players give more feedback on their experience, not more accurate rankings.

    In short, a high ranked game doesn't help me as much as useful feedback that allows me to be enlightened in some way, allowing me to make better games and to better understand what other gamers and developers value.
     
  41. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    The 4 day jam was good for me because I was moving house the same day the jam started, but that's it.
    Turn out and quality of entries seems about the same to me so far.
     
  42. Relic

    Relic Member

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    Keep the voting as is, it’s simple. Sure, no one is giving equal weighting to the components of the games (core mechanics, presentation, theme, etc) but having a “scoring system” is too finicky and impossible to make work for something that will always be subjective. Misty has raised a point I can respect, that many people (myself included) will put genres they do not fancy lower in rank. I was already thinking of this having been spoiled some review ranks in the discussion thread for Jam 33- I would never have placed some of these in the top half, let alone top 3. Do some excellent titles not reach a height they deserve because of a skew in genre preferences of the reviewers?

    Not suggesting anything should (or could) be done about it-just interesting to consider. As mentioned by others, I appreciate quality feedback above all else, especially by those who found my game lacklustre.
     
  43. Misty

    Misty Member

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    The rating system I propose would be far more simple, and far more easy than the one we have now.

    Our current rating system is a lot of effort. You play each game in the Jam Player, yet the Jam Player does not allow you to save a score. So you have to go back and sort each entry manually, which takes a ton of time. Some use a score, some dont. For those who dont use a score to sort, it is even harder, because sorting it becomes arbitrary and based on guesswork, since there is no reference.

    My new rating system would upgrade the Jam player by giving it a score feature. This would save time for both the end user and Alice. The new jam player would also put bbcode so you don't have to manually change the bold of each game title text. It would also save a .txt file that contains a list of the game rankings, so Alice doesnt have to manually re-enter each game into the algorithm.

    The current algorithm is not simple, it scans through each game and divides its order by some number.

    If I recall correctly, the current system has 2 methods. In the current system, it is a mix of averaging, and top 3. If I remember correctly, Top 3 is only half of the puzzle, and games are also ranked by order. In my system, we would keep top 3 and have it combined with the other system as well.

    Actually I dont think the current system uses top 3 at all. The current system is the same basic idea as mine, but mathematically less accurate.

    With my system, you will still be able to rank your top 3, by scoring them. My way is more accurate and fair to games in the middle.

    For instance, say the games in the middle are all 6/10 star games. But the very last game is a 0/10 game. With the old method, the 6/10 games would be considered almost as bad as a 0/10 game. With the new method, your score is actually applied to what you think the game is.

    The math of my new method is no more complex than the math of the old ways. And tie-brakers will build excitement. If you want to entice more newcomers into game jams, this is it. Gameshows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy are specially engineered this way. They put a Tie-Breaker at the very end to increase hype. This is how game format works and how to get people excited about a game. Also, remember that some degree of complexity and math is needed even in simple games, but, my math is no more complex than the math we have currently. Upgrading the jam player will actually make it easier and less work for all parties. Otherwise its same old same old, manually tediously sorting each entry on your own.

    Imagine the feeling of the top 10 games all rounded to 9/10 ratings on average.
    Then having the community vote as drumroll, seeing your game proudly as a 9/10 rating.
    Even if you lose, you still feel like a winner. But the current system, coming in 4th or 6th feels anti-climatic and uneventful.
    The votes will be tallied and the amount of votes determines 1st,2nd, or 3rd. But even making it to the tie-braker is an amazing accomplishment in of itself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  44. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    My 2 cents:
    1. 4 days is nicer. That extra day in front for "brainstorming" allows for more creative use of a Theme imo.
    2. Keep the voting system as is. Simple is best. Placing/results isn't what this Jam is about anyway. We have too few voters for averaging/flattening systems to give anything other than random results.
     
  45. Misty

    Misty Member

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    My voting system will attract more voters, as well as game makers. Voters keep quitting out because the Jam player is out of date and doesnt automatically sort game rankings. People also dont like having to assign ratings to game genres they dont know how to rank lol. Manual sort is a ton of work. I think sorting takes like either n*n or n*n/2 operations to sort (couldn't find the exact math online), for 90 games thats like 4000-8000 operations humans have to sort. I think subconsciously they know its a burden on the voters so they decide to opt out.

    Also, one more suggestion is that a small 320 or 240p sized screenshot is put at the Award Ceremony. I just visited the trophy gallery and it listed the top 3, and it was just like, did not show the screenshot of the games that won so it had no context. I think doing that will also increase more users wanting to participate in the next jam.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    Toque and dadio like this.
  46. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    It would be nice if Alice could update/improve the Player.
    It's already a fantastic tool...
    but yeah, if it could auto sort the games (based on our scores for the different categories) into rankings that would be really neat and help speed things up.
    (We could always shift em around a bit after the fact too.)
    And yeah, screenshots of games *in the jam Player* would really rock.
    And yeah, screenshots for the top 3 games would def be a nice thing.
     
    Misty likes this.
  47. Misty

    Misty Member

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    I'm down for it, and see how it goes. That way, someone can't just make a great game, that has nothing to do with the theme, because they will only get 1 star for the theme. That way the ranking is based on 4+4+4+4+4 stars, the most you can get is 20.

    Although it does seem a bit flawed. Story seems a bit strange, since games that aren't story based would automatically lose. Maybe story can be a separate category that only effects the "Best Story" award. I do think we need to keep the Best Story Trophy, but I dont think games should get an unfair disadvantage for not having a story.

    It exists already, but developers usually run out of time and dont put it in lol.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  48. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    I find numeric ratings to be a bit more annoying. Trying to quantify how good I think aspects of a game are in numbers gets troublesome quickly. I may be playing through games and rank the gameplay of one 10/10 because it's so amazing, but then later find a game I somehow think is better, but I can't score it higher than 10... so now I would have to re-score a bunch of games.
    I just rank them relative to my overall enjoyment or appreciation of the game to other ranked games as I play them. Works great for me.
    Like probably everyone else, I tend to have a bias towards certain genres and other things, but I am aware of what I don't like so I often tey and rank them a little bit higher than I want to as long as I believe it was made well.
     
  49. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

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    Just a suggestion for Dan or whoever is running the next Jam.
    Ok, seems like some Antivirus setups flag pretty much anything output by GMS1 or 2...
    that's... not a good thing.
    But many don't too - except in some very particular cases.
    (ie: my Avira setup here only flagged 1 game this time, and 2-3 games each Jam in general...
    and whereas I'm 99% sure each time it's the same stupid little thing causing a false flag...
    there's always that niggling doubt in the back of my mind that there may be *something* not quite nice that is being flagged...
    that makes me hesitant to let that game through (and be played/reviewed/ranked.)

    Anyway my 2 cents for the next Jam:
    Advise people who use GMS1.X to *not* add a custom icon to their Jam entry.
    This tiny thing seems to resolve all false positives for Avira anti virus at least.
    :)
     
    Micah_DS likes this.
  50. Toque

    Toque Member

    Joined:
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    edit

    Had a thought but will bring it up after the voting is done............
     

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