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The GMC Jam Suggestions Topic

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
@Toque Actually, GM48 mentioned by @Selek is a separate competition. I think it originated from GameMaker reddit, but I'm not sure.

At any rate, these competitions are independent.
You are free to participate in both. GMC Jam timeframe has been helpfully shifted in a way that these competitions alternate between one another (so that a given GM48 run ends up roughly right between two GMC Jams, and vice versa).
At the same, note that we don't host GM48; this forum section is dedicated to GMC Jam only. I guess there's nothing wrong with making Community Chat topic about the upcoming GM48, though.
 

Toque

Member
@Toque Actually, GM48 mentioned by @Selek is a separate competition. I think it originated from GameMaker reddit, but I'm not sure.

At any rate, these competitions are independent.
You are free to participate in both. GMC Jam timeframe has been helpfully shifted in a way that these competitions alternate between one another (so that a given GM48 run ends up roughly right between two GMC Jams, and vice versa).
At the same, note that we don't host GM48; this forum section is dedicated to GMC Jam only. I guess there's nothing wrong with making Community Chat topic about the upcoming GM48, though.
thanks the clarification!!! Sorry for any confusion.
 

Mercerenies

Member
Do you mean jam 38? Or am I missing something?
Seems like we just finished GM jam 37 and everyone is taking a Jam break. Things heat up a couple weeks before the next jam. I think there is between 30-60 entries. "Is it worth it?" Yeah its tons of fun if you like doing jams.

There is one more this year. You can look at the last Jam posting and look at the games. Look at the posts. Get a feel of what its about. You could always give it a shot. Its a challenge but its rewarding and fun.

Did you have specific questions that I haven't answered? I usually finish top three so you should take everything I say as fact........ Everybody fights to be on my team. Nintendo has been scouting me. I'm holding out for more money. You can name drop "Toque" if you need anything around the jam people. Hahaha

But seriously ask lots of questions if you have any.
Toque.
I believe Selek is asking about another GM-related jam. I don't know anything about it really, but I have heard people talk about it at least.

EDIT: That'll teach me to refresh the page before responding. Now I feel dumb 😓
 

Selek

Member
Thanks for the replies. I didn't mean to cause confusion! My apologies. Maybe I'll open a separate thread about GM48 in Community Chat, as @Alice suggests.
 

kris24

Member
Is there a schedule somewhere that says when the next GMC jam will be? Going by last year it looks like the end of November maybe, but I'm wondering if there's somewhere I can find out exactly when it will be so I can set a reminder for it.

Reading through the pages, I just want to say that GM38 was my first one in this community (I've done GM48 a number of times now) and I really appreciated how it is structured - the time schedule was nice for me, personally. A little bit more time than GM48 to prepare and polish before uploading, but not so much time that I feel like I'm "missing out" because I have to work during potential jam time. I also really liked the community focus on feedback and comments; the encouragement to play, rate, and leave a note for every game is awesome. @Siolfor the Jackal taking the time to stream every game was especially amazing and a very useful resource for every participant. Jams with more entries would be impossible or at least very difficult to do all that, so while the number of entries seems to have come up as a concern, I honestly think 40-50 entries is a perfect amount for this kind of jam, and even if there were fewer sometimes I don't think it's something to worry about too much.

I think both GMC jam and GM48 are really beneficial for the GameMaker community, so if there's one suggestion I'd have, it's that both jams cooperate to at least mention the existence of the other if possible. Obviously, doing 8 jams a year is probably too much for most people, but it could be that sometimes someone's schedule lines up better with one or the other. GM48 has also had worries about participation in the past I think (they had 60 or so in this last one so maybe it's fine now) so it can't hurt to get the word out to all the different GM communities. I found out about this jam from the post that someone made on reddit, so maybe there's already an effort for that.

Looking forward to the next one!

EDIT: And of course right after posting this I find the dates for the next one - Nov 26-30. D'oh! Unfortunately I probably won't be able to join as I won't be at home, but oh well there's always the next one!
 
I've been doing a monthly vgm remix contest recently, and I've been talking to the organisers a bit in regards to voting and ranking.
They actually do this neat thing where you get an extra point for voting. I was thinking something like that could maybe be applied here to encourage more voting from participants? I realise though that there is potential for it to be abused, but I thought maybe it was worth bringing up and discussing.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
I've been doing a monthly vgm remix contest recently, and I've been talking to the organisers a bit in regards to voting and ranking.
They actually do this neat thing where you get an extra point for voting. I was thinking something like that could maybe be applied here to encourage more voting from participants? I realise though that there is potential for it to be abused, but I thought maybe it was worth bringing up and discussing.
honorary reward for best voter? though I think theres something like that already

@Siolfor the Jackal taking the time to stream every game was especially amazing and a very useful resource for every participant.
I would like to say @Siolfor the Jackal inspired me to stream the jam games this time around so props to them for that
 

ghandpivot

Member
No what I mean is voting could contribute to your rank potentially.
I probably say this too often, but being punished for voting is madness. You should be compensated at the very least, or preferably rewarded, perhaps even heavily. A free first place to everyone who casts their votes would drive up the amount of plays and increase interest and participation in the jams.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
I can think of the following reasons not to implement a "points awarded for voting" system:
  • The whole point of the contest is to see who made the better game. Bonus points for voting potentially pushes you above other competitors using a criterion entirely independent of how good your game actually is.
  • How do you deal fairly with team entries? Bonus point for all team members who review, a third of a point each, only the first member gets the bonus, they only get a bonus if ALL team members vote? Creates a bit of a headache.
  • I think if we examined all 38 jams so far the impact of developers not voting on the final placings is probably minimal.
  • It will possibly encourage bad voting behaviour. E.g. someone who doesn't usually vote because they can't be bothered may vote completely randomly just to get the bonus point.
  • What counts as a valid vote for the purposes of obtaining bonus points? If we ever get back to the stage where jams have ~80 entries are we saying people need to rank all 80 to get a bonus? Many people don't have that much spare time.
This is not me saying "no", I am merely host. A vessel into which the community pours some rules and jam comes out. Just thought I'd lay out some of the objections/obstacles.

honorary reward for best voter? though I think theres something like that already
GMC Jams 19 through 31 did have a "best reviewer" reward, yes. I stopped doing them when I returned to hosting the jam @ Jam 32, mostly because I didn't have the spare time to commit to judging the reviewers.
 

ghandpivot

Member
To address your points:

I think if we examined all 38 jams so far the impact of developers not voting on the final placings is probably minimal.
This argument kind of undermines the rest of them. If the bonus points don't really matter competition-wise, then giving them for fairness and to stimulate more people to vote wouldn't be a problem. There is something fundamentally wrong with being punished for going out of your way to help the community, and if fixing that doesn't really scew the stats then I'm even more for it?

How do you deal fairly with team entries?
A game gets +1 if the creator has cast their votes. This means that if a team member votes, the game gets its bonus point. If more vote, it doesn't change the rewards. If anything, the way it works now, if all 3 team members vote their game is heavily unfavored.

What counts as a valid vote for the purposes of obtaining bonus points?
A vote for your top 10. This number is arbitrary but seems fair?

The whole point of the contest is to see who made the better game. Bonus points for voting potentially pushes you above other competitors using a criterion entirely independent of how good your game actually is.
Maybe, but that goes both ways. If the creator of the best game in the jam were to vote with the current system, it would be equal to recieving a -1 (or whatever the opposite of first place is) as they end up last in a vote even though their game is the best. To me, limited by my basic mathematical education, the optimal way to make sure the best game wins seems to be to at least prevent the voters from being unfavored?

It will possibly encourage bad voting behaviour.
Yes. Probably not a lot, but a few. By not overcompensating the vote, this will not matter. By overcompensating, this can be an issue but I doubt it'd be a big problem.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
I think the question to ask here is:
a) whether someone wanted to vote/review entries, but didn't do it in order to avoid a disadvantage
b) whether someone who didn't really want to vote/review entries would do that in order to get an extra advantage

I expect people from a) group would give some moderate-to-high quality feedback - reviewing is something they wanted to do, anyway. So if there are people like that, then incentive could indeed result in some extra quality feedback.

When it comes to people from b) group, I'd expect them to give low-to-high quality feedback - some might just want to grab the extra points, while others might decide if they do it it's worth doing right. So in such case the incentive could be hit-and-miss - we could end up with more low-effort votes with some people not even playing through all the entries* or playing them very briefly** and/or we could get a few more sets of high quality reviews.

There's also a risk that some people - who can commit to making a Jam entry but otherwise have not enough time to play and review other entries afterwards - might feel demotivated, because seemingly lower-quality entries would end up higher because of the voting bonus. Note: it depends on the strength of a bonus; e.g. a 1st place worth of points could skyrocket some middle-grade participant by a few ranks.
It could be even worse if someone did try to play and review each entry but only ranked about half of these. Then, they either are frustrated the lack of time cost them voting bonus or they succumb to temptation and submit an incomplete-playthrough vote*.

Then there's a matter of intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation - right now people mostly vote because of their intrinsic motivation (they want to play through the games and provide feedback). Adding an incentive could risk current voters not getting as much fun from the experience as before, because in their mind it would become a mean to getting a higher score rather than a fun experience in and of itself (it's weird, but human mind can work this way).

I'm not saying "Absolutely not", but I'm also not certain introducing the reward would result in higher quality votes.
One option is to give it a test run during one of subsequent Jams (not the nearest, though, because there'll be plenty going on already) and see how it affects votes. It requires making some design decisions (like Dan's aforementioned issue with teams).
Before that, it's worth looking into other community-voted competitions like GMC Jam, to see how they address the voting participant disadvantage (if they address it at all).
It would also help if many other Jammers gave their input. E.g. asking in a poll:
- "Do you vote in GMC Jam?" with answers: "Yes if possible", "No, because it puts me at disadvantage", "No, because I have no time", "No, because I don't want to"
- "Would you vote in GMC Jam if voters games got ranking bonus?" with answers: "No, for the same reason", "No, because I don't like this system", "Yes, but not for reward", "Yes, because it gives me an advantage"

I guess one takeaway from all that is that incentives are tricky, and might or might not give the results we want. ^^'

*As I see it, the reason we don't have a voting system debate every single Jam anymore is because most voters (if not all) actually do play through each entry. Otherwise, we'd keep seeing the anomalies with some consistently lowest-ranked entry being above some others, because it got ranked 10th by a person who played 10 games and 15th by a person who played 15 games, and others ended up played more rarely. Then again, maybe with convenience of the Jam player even low-effort votes would cover every game?

**I don't have anything in particular against people playing the game only for five minutes or so, especially since it's still quite a commitment when multiplied by number of entries. However, as someone who tends to make longer and not-as-flashy entries I'd rather avoid breaking the current balance between people who are thorough in their playthroughs - playing most games to conclusion if there's one - and those who get the gist of the game based on 5-10 minutes of gameplay and base their ranking on that.
 

The M

Member
If I'm not mistaken, adding a significant bonus to low-tier entries would be a huge lift compared to neighboring entries that don't get one while a small bonus to a top-ranking entry would be completely insignificant. Perhaps adding a bonus of 1/X then, where X is the rank of your entry (basically saying that those who didn't vote would have voted the same as the current average)? With that said, I don't really care either way and I feel like most people with high-scoring games already vote themselves, making it a non-issue, but I could be wrong.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
I think a one point difference is not significant if you consider some entries are more likely to be played if they are made by more well known GMC users.

I wonder what the stats are, do games usually get roughly the same number of votes each?
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Perhaps adding a bonus of 1/X then, where X is the rank of your entry
That... actually does sound like a good estimation. It's pretty close to you ranking your own entry at Nth place, where N is the place everyone's raw votes gave (including your vote).

To consider some properties:
- if everyone got the voting bonus of 1/Nth raw rank, then resulting rank would stay the same
- if you vote, then entries you ranked above your raw rank will get further ahead of yours, while entries you ranked below your raw rank will get further behind of yours
- moreover, if you vote then your raw rank stays the same or becomes lower; you can't increase your raw rank
- with voting potentially decreasing your raw rank, the system might still be biased towards "punishing" rather than "rewarding" voting (but not as much as it is now)

So yeah, with the design goal being "own voting adding neither advantage nor disadvantage" (rather than "rewarding the voting"), I think the proposed formula comes pretty close, regardless of whether the voter tends to rank higher or lower. It doesn't take much effort to apply raw ranks in the spreadsheet, either. Well thought out, @The M

@GameDevDan What do you think?
With the voting being more neutral for voter's overall score, I think it actually does a better job at votes reflecting which game is better (as opposed to current system significantly punishing voters, or 1st rank worth bonus significantly rewarding voters).
Also, non-rewarding voting mitigates the potential issue of people adding low-quality votes to rank higher, while non-punishing voting mitigates the potential issue of people refraining from voting so that they aren't ranked lower.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
while im thinking about it again, could be get a patch for the jam player? theme has been missing from the menu for the past 3 jams lmao
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
I want to bring back this rule
"the credits should make clear where the assets come from and which were made before the Jam" - "the creators of the entry must have rights to all of the assets; unlicensed use of resources is not allowed"
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
This argument kind of undermines the rest of them. If the bonus points don't really matter competition-wise, then giving them for fairness and to stimulate more people to vote wouldn't be a problem.
That's not quite I meant - I meant the current situation (doing nothing) doesn't affect the results that badly. Whereas giving reviewers bonus points potentially would swing the results and has the added downside of being done on purpose. (Whereas I honestly don't think people choose not to vote to get an advantage, they're just busy or can't be bothered).

You make some good points about how we would go about teams & the cut off point for ranking entries (top 10 seems fair).


@GameDevDan What do you think?
You absolutely make some good points and if anyone can think of a way to make it fair I'm sure you can. I'd still be opposed to any system like this for a couple of "principle" based reasons...

- The voting should be as simple and transparent as possible while still being fair. I think we're in danger of overcomplicating something that's supposed to be fun :D
- IMO the voting system should be pure. Games should get points for being good or bad, not because their creator has more free time to vote.

And I say this as someone who would, in the current jam, definitely benefit from the bonus points since I've posted my reviews already lol.

Again though, it's not up to me. If we wanted to do a "here are the cases FOR and AGAINST" topic with a poll attached I'd do whatever people wanted. Although, like you said, NOT for GMC Jam 40. Big sneaky plans for that one and they don't involve confusing bonus points :p


while im thinking about it again, could be get a patch for the jam player? theme has been missing from the menu for the past 3 jams lmao
This is probably my fault. I'm sure there's something I'm supposed to edit to get it to show up... Oopsie.
 

HayManMarc

Member
I agree with Dan. I used to join in on these voting discussions long ago and argue for and against things. Now, the simple system in place seems fair enough, with results that seem correct. Reviews are fun to get, but honestly, after about 3 or 4 reviews, you should have a good grasp on how your game was generally received. I dont see any benefit of coercing people to review. When folks review because they want to, out of the goodness of their heart and with a sense of community, a coercive technique used to make them review starts to feel subversive. I say keep the GMC Jam free and open and simple.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
- IMO the voting system should be pure. Games should get points for being good or bad, not because their creator has more free time to vote.
The current voting system is impure, since a game loses points - in relation to other games - because their creator has more free time to vote.
The proposed system is intended to reduce that impurity, making the act of voting more or less neutral.
I dont see any benefit of coercing people to review.
Again - the proposed system is not meant to reward voting, but not punish for it. The 1/(raw rank+1) bonus points are meant to reduce the disadvantage one gets from voting, when they can't rank their own entry.
If this does get introduced, that's also how it should be presented in voting system description - as a mean to balance out the voting penalty, rather than a reward.

Another matter altogether is that there are some claims whether the current system results in tangible penalty for voting and whether the proposed system would push games created by reviewers ahead of those who didn't review. Therefore, I suggest the following experiment:
- get the results for all posted votes (overall results)
- take each entry whose creator posted a vote
- for each such entry, calculate the results without its creator's vote (adjusted results)
- if the entry ranks lower in overall results than in adjusted results, it means voting penalised the voter's entry
- if the entry ranks higher in overall results than in adjusted results, it means voting rewarded the voter's entry
- with that, we can observe how frequently and how much entries are rewarded or penalised by specific system

We can grab results from previous Jams to calculate these and see how the current system and 1/(raw rank+1) bonus perform. Ideally, voting should neither reward or penalise the voter's entry, or at least reward about as frequently as penalise.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
The current voting system is impure, since a game loses points - in relation to other games - because their creator has more free time to vote.
The proposed system is intended to reduce that impurity, making the act of voting more or less neutral.
This is a philosophical point of difference where there's no right answer but I disagree with this take on it.

The current voting system: reviewers rank the games in the order they liked/disliked them most and we count it. That's pure, we don't mess with peoples' votes before we reveal the result. Any negative consequence of a developer choosing to vote is unintentional.

The proposed one: we actively interfere in the results to give bonus points to people because they voted, regardless of how good/bad their game is. This is not pure because we are messing with the votes based on criteria other than the game's actual worthiness.

That's how they're different in my mind.

My overall take is: It's not the end of the world to me if we implement this, it just feels a bit wrong. I've participated in GM48 once and you are forced to vote for X amount of games there or your entry doesn't count at all. So I know this sort of system does work (despite all the potential hang ups) I'd just personally vote "no" if we did a poll on it.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
The proposed one: we actively interfere in the results to give bonus points to people because they voted, regardless of how good/bad their game is.
Qualitatively speaking, yes - the fact of adding bonus points applies whenever someone votes, regardless of their entry quality.
Quantitatively speaking, no - the amount of bonus points depends on the game's performance in raw rankings, which is meant to approximate how good/bad the game is.

The current system - in terms of points assigned - is like participating voter communicating:
These top entries have highest quality, entries further down the ranking have lower quality, my entry is the worst, I'm a pathetic creature.
Whether the negative consequence is intentional or not doesn't matter - the end result is that's the message conveyed through the vote.

The proposed system would instead have a participating voter (roughly) communicate:
These top entries have highest quality, entries further down the ranking have lower quality, I refrain from judging my entry and agree with everyone else's opinion on it.

The ideal "agree-with-everyone-else" system would have tallying all other people's votes and ranking voter's entry at resulting rank (pushing other entries further down), but applying this system would be too complex and 1/(raw rank+1) would likely yield extremely similar if not identical results.

But yeah - as I see it, the reason why voters can't rank their own entries is based around the idea of "you are not supposed to judge your own entry".
In this regard, the voting message of "I agree with everyone else" is closer to that intent than "my entry is the worst".
That's also why I feel - despite slightly larger mathematical complexity - the proposed system feels closer to voting intended message than the current one.

(whether the results actually vary significantly between systems or not is yet to be found out)
 

Toque

Member
Seems like lots of reviews now already?

Adds more work for jam organizer? Seems like a lot of time for them already.

If Dan snaps, rage quits, declares Toque the winner causing whole thing to burn to ground I Could be persuaded.

otherwise I’m good either way.
 

ghandpivot

Member
Philosophical differences are the best ones.
The current voting system isn't necessarily pure. We enforce a rule where people who vote put their game in the last place of their votes. We have chosen this system, and all the negative consequences are thus either chosen as necessary evil or unexpected (which they're not).
The proposed voting system is that instead of us choosing to put the reviewer's game in the bottom, we choose to put the reviewer's game in another place based on what the community thinks as a whole.

To sum it up in my view:
Old system --> We have chosen where a reviewer's game is in their votes.
New system --> The community chooses where a reviewer's game is in their votes.

No less pure and we do not mess with people's votes more than before as they never had a say in the matter to begin with.
 

HyprBlu

Member
From someone who didn't cast votes last Jam, it's not because I was lazy or just didn't feel like it. I still played every game and still had winners picked out in my head, but the reason why I struggled and am still feeling uncomfortable, is I hate being put in the position where I have to tell someone "I like your game least, you were my last place vote".

And yeah, I could just vote my top 3 but then all the other entries are missing out on votes which is even worse.

But what's helping me want to vote this time, is that because I didn't vote last time, I caused every single entry to miss out on points and feedback that they could use to help them become better game developers so I felt even more terrible than I'm going to by voting a last place.

Not really a solution or even a point to my post, just thought I'd share the mindset of someone who participated but didn't end up voting
 

dadio

Lemon Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
Just popping on to say MEGA is very slow to download from... (45mins-1hour for me here!)
It's very offputting for those of us with very limited free time...
If there is any other service/upload site that could be used that would be faster, I'd much appreciate it!
(Just finished downloading now... hopefully can manage to play through and place before deadline.)
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Just popping on to say MEGA is very slow to download from... (45mins-1hour for me here!)
It's very offputting for those of us with very limited free time...
If there is any other service/upload site that could be used that would be faster, I'd much appreciate it!
(Just finished downloading now... hopefully can manage to play through and place before deadline.)
There aren't many websites that will let you upload 500MB and not murder the download speed in some way. Better advice would be for people to reduce their game size in the first place through optimisation... and failing that unfortunately maybe advise people with bad connections to pick & choose which games they want to play from the topic (I already did that this time round fearing 500MB was a bit much)
 
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