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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    Generally, I've found that exporting the game as ZIP instead of a single executable is a reliable way not to get the game falsely flagged as virus. If I were to guess, it seems that antiviruses don't like the self-extraction code and interpret it as a box from which a monster could be unpacked.

    As for the Jam Player, I'd like to finally incorporate the entries thumbnails, custom voting criteria, automatic rank sorting (based on a combination of the criteria; e.g. 2 * THEME + 2 * FUN + PRESENTATION + OTHER) and custom export templates. I just need to find the time to do so among the work, the self-sustenance and basic entertainment. Maybe after I'm done with this Jam's voting...
     
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  2. Baukereg

    Baukereg Member

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    The Jam Player currently has a Readme button, but I feel the use of Readme files shouldn't be encouraged. A game should be either self explanatory or should have in-game instructions. Personally if I have to go through a readme file I prefer not to review a game at all. Curious to hear how others think about this.
     
  3. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    readme.txt files can be for more than just in-game information. It's also a handy place to list your credits if you were in a team or used assets you didn't create.
    Some games are a little more complicated and require a little more information that can be difficult to represent in-game, or the time it would take to include that information could sometimes mean an important gameplay mechanic isn't able to be finished properly.

    Personally, I often start with a readme that lists controls initially and I add other stuff to it as I go. Then only if I have time to include some sort of tutorial or in-game howto is when I will start. But that is dependant on whether or not I have my game working to a playable standard first.

    Also, when I am on my desktop playing jam games, I like to have the readme files open on my second screen as a quick reference for when I forget controls or other important info. My memory isn't the best on a good day, let alone when playing several different new games over the course of a week or two(at best).

    Anyway, I think for jams at least, readmes are perfectly fine if not invaluable, especially for the less experienced users or more ambitious jam ideas.
     
  4. curato

    curato Member

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    I would never discourage readme files though I do love it when everything is baked into the game. There were a number of games that suffered from complicated controls or hidden objectives or mechanics that you had to play detective on to figure out even what you were doing. To me, you should be able to jump in and play it and see what it about right away. Especially jam games should be explained far more than you think it should. You understand it because you designed it. You can't assume that everyone that plays will get it just like you intended it. You may not get the fair chance you game deserves because people don't get the controls or concept that is second nature to you.
     
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  5. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    IMO, a perfect game won't need a readme, but I wouldn't say they should be discouraged. I read readmes before playing the Jam game, kinda like you'd read a preface before reading a book. A game that explains itself thru gameplay (tutorial) will rate higher than the same game with an in game 'info dump' (help screen), which will rate better than a ReadMe, which rates better than no help whatsoever. At least, that's how I approach it. I'd like to get my control help in game, but I hardly ever find time to make it happen for jam games. Maybe next one. :)
     
  6. GameDevDan

    GameDevDan Get Gyro Boss DX Moderator GMC Elder

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    I agree that the game itself should include the instructions / controls in some way. But the readme has its uses for resource licenses (e.g. music) and can be a last resort if you reach the deadline and have no tutorial level.
     
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  7. Toque

    Toque Member

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    When judging do you give “bonus points” for devs that do their own art? Art made during the jam timeframe?

    I probably spend too much time on the art. It leaves limited time and skills to make much of a game.

    After thinking about it. I like doing the art. I thought I might use pre made art but I’m leaning toward my current process. Simple games can still be fun.
     
  8. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    I tend to rank games a wee bit higher when you make your own art and music, especially if you're doing it solo.
     
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  9. curato

    curato Member

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    I have used premade art and people complained about it. I made all my own art and people complained about. I say just do what makes you happy. If it does well then it does well and if it doesn't then it doesn't. It isn't like there are super prizes and from the commentary I have heard from people in these threads the standard people hold games to is so erratic that I am not sure you could please everyone with anything.
     
  10. Toque

    Toque Member

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    Yeah


    Yeah I like making quirky jam game art so that’s what I will keep doing.
     
  11. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    I don't like the idea of scores for a game jam.
    Say you try a really good game first, it's not perfect but given it's a game jam you are thoroughly impressed and give it a 5 star review.
    Now you play another game. And it is mind blowing. Absolutely better than the previous one! Does it mean the previous one didn't deserve a 5 star rating? Of course not, the previous one was incredibly good. But this is on another level, it's only fair for it to get a better review and so you drop the previous one to 4 stars and bring that one up to 5 stars.
    And that's my issue. A score might be a great way to say how good a game is, but as soon as you want to bring in a ranking, you start making strange decisions to make sure you have a clear Ranking.

    I think having each participant rank their top 5 games, and use that to decide on the final ranking.
    Perhaps still have a star rating system just as feedback to the dev. I think this will encourage better star ratings too, making everyone happier :)
     
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  12. curato

    curato Member

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    I do wish there was some consistency anyways. I know my last entry actually ranked one spot lower than anyone rated just because of the mathematical toll or people skipping voting on my entry.
     
  13. Toque

    Toque Member

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    I’m not sure there is any perfect way of judging. Unless you have weeks of deep analysis. I find it impossible to say this game is a 27 and this one is a ranking 19. I might like the games equally but you have to rank them in some way.

    So I don’t take any offense. If people even have 30 seconds of fun with it that’s a win for me.

    The star system is interesting. Maybe rank top ten and a star system. But seeing where your game ranked is kind of fun.
     
  14. GameDevDan

    GameDevDan Get Gyro Boss DX Moderator GMC Elder

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    Yes, this! People always overlook this when we're talking about voting systems.

    I think if we're honest with ourselves it's usually quite easy to see who the top 3-5 entries are and there's usually a consensus around that. Below 5th, and definitely below 10th, people's votes are just all over the place (because the quality of those games is unarguably worse than the top games but they're hard to separate from the other games of the same quality).

    It's nice for everyone to get an exact position, but if you come lower than 10th you probably shouldn't read too much into the actual number (I never have, and I've come below 10th many times). So all we really need is a voting system which delivers a solid, accurate result for the top 5, and I think we have that.
     
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  15. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Relative ranking seems easiest to me, I can usually decide whether or not I like A more than B. In the rare case I can't, I can usually fall back on something like which game used the theme better or something like that.
     
  16. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    On the same note, I would like to propose randomizing the order in which games are presented to reviewers. Say, on the first run it generates a shuffled list for the order in which entries are shown and saves it locally (e.g. [3, 1, 0, 5, 2, 4]), then follows that order for that specific reviewer going forward.

    Throughout the Jams I've participated in, I noticed that I score and comment differently as I progress through the entries and my expectations drift accordingly. In addition, for unfinished reviews, the same entries at the end of the sequence are the ones that don't get feedback. Randomizing the order in which entries are presented may help reduce these kinds of biases in our reviews.
     
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  17. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    @FrostyCat Actually, Jam Player already randomizes the order of entries being presented. It doesn't store a list of entries like you suggest, but instead it randomly picks an entry not yet shown as the next entry to review. The main functional difference is that with saved order the entries order is consistent for the specific reviewer, while with the current choose-on-demand system that order is not guaranteed.

    (if I recall, I even used cryptographically secure RNG, just for the heck of it)
     
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  18. Toque

    Toque Member

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    I agree about reading a lot into it after 10 ranking. But I have to say I look forward to see my ranking. Even if its low. Its just fun. And I gives me the right to harass people I beat.

    The number of entries makes it difficult. You can go through and rate them. But you could spend days actually ranking them if you wanted any kind of accuracy. I should use a spreadsheet system.

    But I like the rankings anyways even if its flawed.

    Its all for fun after all........
     
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