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GMC Jam Discussion The Thirsty 33rd GMC Jam - Discussion Topic

woodsmoke

Member
@Mercerenies
Thanks for the review, it was very insightful. I really need to work on my game instructions. All the game says is "press space to play" at the title screen. (You found the secret mouse controls which I implemented for Android) I always think people will figure my games out through experimentation. (I'm myself am not much of a reader and a notorious tutorial skipper and like to explore games by trial and error) I need to work on infos/help and dump my minimalistic approach.
Yes, the goal is to destroy the dark balls (monster eggs). And you can control the ball by switching the blocks. You have to think and react quick to use the blocks to reflect the ball off the blocks to your advantage. If you switch a block on when the ball is over it, the ball is destroyed and you get a "fail" screen. That's what happened when your ball exploded.
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
I really liked seeing videos of reviewers playing games previous jams. Not sure if anyone else is this time around, but I am giving it a go.
Have you seen any of my posts at all?

I am doing both written and video reviews. I showed 5 so far and I will do more for this week. My video quality is not the best since I havent messed with OBS for like a year now so I need to continue adjusting my settings till I get it right.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Alright, there are more reviews up. This time, they befell the following people:
#2 - @GameDevDan
...
Thanks for the review! Yes, ahem, it basically is lost little hero with light switching XD although the engine was built differently.

The Badgers are a bit like the Bugs, except that they can only move in a field of 9 squares (with their starting square at the center) so there are spaces in the levels that will always be 100% safe. The bugs were just completely random, which obviously people hated because they could block you off.
 

Relic

Member
Have you seen any of my posts at all?

I am doing both written and video reviews. I showed 5 so far and I will do more for this week. My video quality is not the best since I havent messed with OBS for like a year now so I need to continue adjusting my settings till I get it right.
Not at all, I’m avoiding the voting thread to not influence my thoughts. But super glad I’ll get to see my game played- Thanks Misu.
 

woodsmoke

Member
For me it worked fairly well to press the window against one of the screen's corners. I do see how it could be very difficult on a touchpad though. Thanks for playing!
Hmm that was the main thing I was trying, but it always slipped away. Im using a normal mouse and will try again this evening. Thanks for the tip!
 

ghandpivot

Member
Hmm that was the main thing I was trying, but it always slipped away. Im using a normal mouse and will try again this evening. Thanks for the tip!
I always completed it too quickly so I kept on making the button smaller. Might have overdone it :rolleyes:
Should have had a level with just the button running away first making the next level more powerful. This could have been a fun project had I had more time!
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
@Mercerenies I find it somewhat odd that you can't see anything in my game. You even gave me 0 for theme usage when in reality it is using it most of the time. Is it because you having technical difficulty viewing the colors? Perhaps your monitor displays the exposure too strong? I might do a post-jam version to help you see better in the game because I still don't know what made you not see anything in the window. Also, I believe my biggest flaw is not providing instructions on what objects do in the game. Supposedly the lamps turn on as you approach their bulb, and scare off the dark demons out. I'll try to add some minions to the game that will indicate instructions along the path plus I will make the lamp collisions easier.
 

Mercerenies

Member
Yeah, no idea what could be causing it, were you able to make it through to the end?
I was still able to make it through to the end. And playing it again, I see that it sort of runs on a loop, and it makes more sense (the guy is stealing the lightbulb from the next instance of the game). So cool.

Okay I'll have to point out something for my game TIMER, on the first level you'll have to shoot the rope to drop the box to the ground, the player can't interact with it. I realize now that it's not obvious, so I'm just getting this little info out here.

Also @Mercerenies this should mostly answer your question in your review
Hm... I did figure that much out. I shot the rope and the box fell to the ground, but I still couldn't push the box or do anything to get it from where it hit the ground over to the pressure plate.

@Mercerenies
Thanks for the review, it was very insightful. I really need to work on my game instructions. All the game says is "press space to play" at the title screen. (You found the secret mouse controls which I implemented for Android) I always think people will figure my games out through experimentation. (I'm myself am not much of a reader and a notorious tutorial skipper and like to explore games by trial and error) I need to work on infos/help and dump my minimalistic approach.
Yes, the goal is to destroy the dark balls (monster eggs). And you can control the ball by switching the blocks. You have to think and react quick to use the blocks to reflect the ball off the blocks to your advantage. If you switch a block on when the ball is over it, the ball is destroyed and you get a "fail" screen. That's what happened when your ball exploded.
Ah okay, so I did figure out how to play mostly correctly at least. I got it down to one ball and then I guess exploded it on accident. Thanks for the clarification.

@Mercerenies I find it somewhat odd that you can't see anything in my game. You even gave me 0 for theme usage when in reality it is using it most of the time. Is it because you having technical difficulty viewing the colors? Perhaps your monitor displays the exposure too strong? I might do a post-jam version to help you see better in the game because I still don't know what made you not see anything in the window. Also, I believe my biggest flaw is not providing instructions on what objects do in the game. Supposedly the lamps turn on as you approach their bulb, and scare off the dark demons out. I'll try to add some minions to the game that will indicate instructions along the path plus I will make the lamp collisions easier.
I assumed it was supposed to be that dark. On my screen at least, the areas that aren't near the lamps are completely invisible, so I assumed the lamps were the only ways I could see. I don't know why the monitors' contrast would be so different between you and I, but apparently they are.
 

Sk8dududu

Member
@Mercerenies I find it somewhat odd that you can't see anything in my game. You even gave me 0 for theme usage when in reality it is using it most of the time. Is it because you having technical difficulty viewing the colors? Perhaps your monitor displays the exposure too strong? I might do a post-jam version to help you see better in the game because I still don't know what made you not see anything in the window. Also, I believe my biggest flaw is not providing instructions on what objects do in the game. Supposedly the lamps turn on as you approach their bulb, and scare off the dark demons out. I'll try to add some minions to the game that will indicate instructions along the path plus I will make the lamp collisions easier.
As frustrating as it is when you think something works well and or shouldn't be overlooked naturally, I think the first impressions of the game are the most important. Which is something I also failed to capitalize on. I hate the idea of holding the players hand during a game, even to explain what is happening or how to play. I firmly believe that a games story and gameplay should be able to stand on their own. As many players skip tutorials / cutscenes.
I think this works a lot better for console games as there is a very limited amount of button inputs.
But a game jam has a huge variety of different kinds of players. Some require hand holding during and before any kind of game, and some will be completely put off by a game if it even attempts to help them. So you have to find that in between balance to cater to both.
I'm trying very hard not to defend my game from reviews for this reason.

Also since there is so many first time jammers, your video reviews will be invaluable. Thank you very much for that.
 

orSQUADstra

Member
Hm... I did figure that much out. I shot the rope and the box fell to the ground, but I still couldn't push the box or do anything to get it from where it hit the ground over to the pressure plate.
Ah. So there are also those power supply box things near that, to move the platform you have to shoot them to break them. Whichever is destroyed, the platform will go in the direction that the arrow shows above the box (so if you destroy the right one, the platform will move right). Also you'll need the platform to progress in the level, so be sure to use the rewind on it before you break the rope!
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
I firmly believe that a games story and gameplay should be able to stand on their own. As many players skip tutorials / cutscenes.
I think this works a lot better for console games as there is a very limited amount of button inputs.
But a game jam has a huge variety of different kinds of players. Some require hand holding during and before any kind of game, and some will be completely put off by a game if it even attempts to help them. So you have to find that in between balance to cater to both.
Actually, it does not matter what type of console, marketing or event a game is being held, it always contains a different type of people and gamers in every aspect as well as compared to jams. However, jams must rely on not only first impressions but also some reasoning of their perception (their opinions). When I read Merc's review, it says he didn't know what is going on and he could not see what was happening. That is something that doesn't seem correct or at least something that should not happen at all since my game ran alright on my computer and ran ok with some people. As a developer, I need to know what is going on at the other end of that gamer. Of course, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind at all. I can't alter anyone's votes at all because once a vote is placed, it's official. Can't change anyone's mind after the first impression and it would not be fair if it were. However, my part of asking the changes for my game is NOT to alter his vote (you are just assuming that). I like to provide a post-jam anyway just to give a chance for Merc to play it free and see what I originally had in mind of the game. I don't expect him to make any changes to his opinion either so nothing more to say. Unless I misunderstood the purpose of Post-jams because I thought post versions are never to be taken part of votes at all. I've always considered the first submission the official for votes and not the post ones.

Also since there is so many first time jammers, your video reviews will be invaluable.
What do you mean "invaluable"? I only do the videos to show how I play them for fun. Most of my important reviews and contents are the written ones in Google Doc.
 

Sk8dududu

Member
Actually, it does not matter what type of console, marketing or event a game is being held, it always contains a different type of people and gamers in every aspect as well as compared to jams. However, jams must rely on not only first impressions but also some reasoning of their perception (their opinions). When I read Merc's review, it says he didn't know what is going on and he could not see what was happening. That is something that doesn't seem correct or at least something that should not happen at all since my game ran alright on my computer and ran ok with some people. As a developer, I need to know what is going on at the other end of that gamer. Of course, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind at all. I can't alter anyone's votes at all because once a vote is placed, it's official. Can't change anyone's mind after the first impression and it would not be fair if it were. However, my part of asking the changes for my game is NOT to alter his vote (you are just assuming that). I like to provide a post-jam anyway just to give a chance for Merc to play it free and see what I originally had in mind of the game. I don't expect him to make any changes to his opinion either so nothing more to say. Unless I misunderstood the purpose of Post-jams because I thought post versions are never to be taken part of votes at all. I've always considered the first submission the official for votes and not the post ones.


What do you mean "invaluable"? I only do the videos to show how I play them for fun. Most of my important reviews and contents are the written ones in Google Doc.
I was not assuming anything about your post or for you to change it. Or even disagreeing with you at all. Just posting a thought that I had.

Invaluable means it's extremely useful. It's a good thing, I know why you make the video reviews and I'm expressing how much it helps us new jammers.

I'm not really sure why you seem so distraught about my response when I'm on your side. Lol
 

Mercerenies

Member
var said:
On And Off Back And Forth by Mercerenies
Concept: Fun; Gameplay: Great; Overall atmosphere: N/A; Music: None; SFX: None; Graphics: Good enough; Story: None; Use of theme: Good.
Quite fun to experiment with different combinations. Y and K were my favorites. Couldn't figure out what X does.
Time played: 10 minutes; Game length: N/A.
Y and K are probably my favorite too, together with M (which accelerates everything on every collision) for maximum chaos. X multiplies any score changes by 100, so every time a ball hits a goal the opposite player gets +100 rather than +1. Thanks for playing!
 
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Misu

The forum's immigrant
Invaluable means it's extremely useful. It's a good thing, I know why you make the video reviews and I'm expressing how much it helps us new jammers.
Sorry about that. I got a little jumpy as soon as you said the word invaluable in context because I thought that word meant the opposite of valuable. My mistake for not knowing my entire vocabulary. Carry on and thanks for the feedback. xD
 

Sk8dududu

Member
@curato The flowers in Dusk are not supposed to light up. Everything is working as intended. Gathering all three flowers in a stage allows you to progress through the door to the next level.

I can see how that might seem broken. I'm interested to see what completion time different people got.
 

ghandpivot

Member
game_end() by ghandpivot
Nice joke game. ALT-F4 wasn't as forbidden as advertised.
It's not a joke game and ALT+F4 is "forbidden", quitting the game with ALT+F4 does not progress the game!
(this was magically achieved by checking for the alt key in the game_end event. I'm a beast at coding)
 

sp202

Member
Lightbulb​
by sp202​
closed the game a few times and fliped some switches. I guess I did what I was supposed to do.
I hope that means you reached the ending, not sure if you had a look at the walkthrough that was included.
 

curato

Member
It's not a joke game and ALT+F4 is "forbidden", quitting the game with ALT+F4 does not progress the game!
(this was magically achieved by checking for the alt key in the game_end event. I'm a beast at coding)
I know that ALT-F4 wasn't the point that was just a joke. I was trying to lighten the mood where I could.
 

NAL

ʕ ᓀ ᴥ ᓂ ʔ
GMC Elder
Thank you to the people that have played/reviewed Jasmine Laslo - Switch U On so far! I'm sad that a lot of people seemed not to have given it a minute or so though - it's a game, not a media player, and it tells you in more than one place what the goal is.

Responding to criticisms:

@Alice: Thanks again, did discuss the game a little on Discord but would also like to apologise to subjecting you to the song for the whole of the game. It's not meant to be a good song at all, but yes, I apparently have a propensity to make catchy music when if it's deliberately terrible xD

@Mercerenies: Thank you! The parrots, to at least some degree, are OP by design. I had left the game open to further tiers of animal/person if I had the time, but I was also happy for Parrots to be a fairly swift route to the endgame, because in the real world, an influencer would have an impact orders of magnitude above your own recruited users.

@woodsmoke: Horses, in their base form, only generate one play per minute. You can upgrade them in the Feed the Horses panel.

@curato: The program is satire. It pops up at the start that you're aiming to play the song (or at least, register as many plays) as much as possible, and the Recruitment page also describes this fairly clear-as-day. When you do this a certain number of times, ideally by "cheating" - ie. the skip button - it develops further. The song is made by me and all artists involved are fictional - for further proof of this, rearrange "Jasmine Laslo" and see what you can come up with lol.
 

curato

Member
I am probably going to give my votes another once over and see if I can't do something with the Best of's, but I do want to say when people are coming into your game cold turkey an in game tutorial or a readme file to say what is going on or at least what the controls are is a key thing to have. I know a lot of my comments and rankings were born out what the heck am I doing or what buttons am I supposed to be pushing.
 

ghandpivot

Member
I know that ALT-F4 wasn't the point that was just a joke. I was trying to lighten the mood where I could.
I see, I got the feeling that you hit ALT+F4 and called it a day, missing the rest of the game. Which all things considered would be kinda hilarious :p
 

Baukereg

Member
Jeeej, finally started voting. It will take a while though, six games so far.

GR1D_0 by Bauke Regnerus
I see the theme flipping the square back and forth. Tried it a few times it kicked me out at zero percent before I could make the pattern match. Not really sure if I was doing something wrong or what.
Thanks for the feedback @curato. Could you elaborate more about what happened? Starting with 12 lives you shouldn't have any trouble making at least a few patterns. Are you sure you matched the codes exactly?
 
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Bearman_18

Member
Hi all! Some people mentioned that they were having a hard time getting past the enemies in my game, "Something Scary" (@woodsmoke @var). I should just remind everyone that crawling is possible, and that tables exist. Bearman_18 out.

Edit- Here's a hint. You'll usually have one character man a switch, and have the other one work his way to the next switch. There is one place where it is possible to get completely stuck, but it's early on. if you reach a drop, get up to the edge of it before you flip the switch, because in some places the dark world floor and light world floor only overlap at one block.
 
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curato

Member
@ghandpivot oh course, but it said it was forbidden; so, that is the first you have to do to see what happens.

@Baukereg Not sure. I know there are supposed to be bombs or something, but everytime I click I lose a live or three and don't see any bombs. I assume I am clicking them with surprising accuracy?
 
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Mercerenies

Member
@Baukereg Not sure. I know there are supposed to be bombs or something, but everytime I click I lose a live or three and don't see any bombs. I assume I am clicking them with surprising accuracy?
I could be misremembering, but I think you lose a "life" every time you click. You only lose the game if you get to 0 lives. And there are no bombs on the first stage.
 

dadio

Potato Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
All games played (at least for 1 minute) and commented on and my top 12 chosen.
Hope some of my quick crits can help some people.
Wish I had more time to play and review (and to enter!) these Jams... but *shrugs* whatchya gonna do?
Some neat games this time people!
Keep it up!
 

var

Member
Reviews are done! ~6.5 hours playing the games, and probably even longer analyzing and writing about most of them. Lots of pretty decent games this time around! I may do another pass to refine my reviews and retry games that I got stuck on, but I'm not likely to make any noticeable changes to my rankings—a good game should be good on the first try.
 

Baukereg

Member
@Baukereg Not sure. I know there are supposed to be bombs or something, but everytime I click I lose a live or three and don't see any bombs. I assume I am clicking them with surprising accuracy?

Looks like you misunderstood the objective, which is my failure. I'll improve the instructions in a post-jam version.
 

sp202

Member
Top 3:

1. Elephants Don't Play Videogames After Dark by wkaudio, KaraLynn.Cosplay

2. Lightbulb by sp202

3. Once Upon in Albimore by MilesThatch


Best ofs:

Best use of Theme: Lightbulb by sp202
Best Concept:
Elephants Don't Play Videogames After Dark by wkaudio, KaraLynn.Cosplay
Best Presentation: Jasmine Laslo - Switch U On by Allison James
Best Story:
Lightbulb by sp202
Best Devlog: N/A sorry didn't read any
Three award nominations from dadio himself!? I'm honoured to say the least, glad to hear you liked it so much.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Played 8 games so far and at least 3 suffer from an age old jamming problem... should probably place this in a "jam wisdom" topic somewhere. Basically a combination of the following factors can build up in a game making it extremely frustrating to play & review:
  • Fiddly controls make easy tasks otherwise a little bit time consuming
  • Hazards / enemies are hidden, not completely obvious or difficult to avoid early in the game (developer knows they are there and may be used to avoiding them, but reviewers aren't)
  • Dying resets the level ALL the way back to the start no matter how long it is (the biggest problem of the 3)
When these 3 issues combine it makes it hard to persevere and give an entry its full due when you're playing the games in only a tiny amount of spare time! My entry probably suffers from it a bit (although since the enemies only move when you do all it takes to avoid dying is patience).

Key advice to mitigate these issues in future jams:
  • Keep the controls simple. If players have to play in such a way that they are forced to look at the keyboard to see what their hands are doing, probably rethink your control scheme.
  • Make the first area / few levels of your game easy with no hidden surprises, so reviewers can get a feel for the mechanics even if they don't end up completing the game (because it gets too hard / frustrating).
  • If you know your game is hard / fiddly, consider putting in check points or making the level reset without losing progress (e.g. don't respawn enemies or un-solve solved puzzles).
 
Here's a bit of a pet peeve for me last couple of jams. If you're game window is larger than say... 800x600 or so(mostly focusing on the 600 part here), then give me the option to go fullscreen.
I've been without my desktop PC for a few months and as such, my old laptop has become my primary workstation and what I use to dev and jam and play jam games. Unfortunately the resolution is 1366x768, which is generally fine, except when larger windowed games don't let me go fullscreen.
For instance, you may think "Oh, 1366x768? No problem, my game window is 1280x720, that's heaps of room!"
But you didn't factor in a few things. Firstly, at least on Windows 10, the taskbar itself is 40px which leaves me with 728 vertical room. This may still seem fine until you factor in the window bar of the game itself which itself is about 27-28 pixels high, which now brings me to about 700 pixels of vertical space to see.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it is still a wee bit annoying to have the bottom of the game cut off. Some games may use that space for important info or buttons or something.
I can hear some of you possibly saying "Well why don't you just hide your taskbar when you are playing games like this?". I feel like first of all that I shouldn't have to, and I like my taskbar where it is. The better question is, doesn't GMS default to enabling full screen? Why would you disable it?

Oh... that came out a bit more whingey than I intended. It would just be nice to consider our resolution-poor brethren a bit more!
 

Baukereg

Member
Good advise! Just a few more considerations from my side:

  • Try to keep the controls consistent. If the game play is all keyboard-controlled, it doesn't make sense that a player has to reach for the mouse for that one specific task.
  • Don't try to reinvent controls schemes. Top down shooters are played using controllers or keyboard 99,9% of the time. If you decide to go for mouse control, you'd better have a very good reason to do so. Some games use weird controls as a core mechanic, like Octodad or Grow Home. But if the game play is not shaped around the idea of unique controls, just go for whatever players are used to.
  • Even better: present multiple control schemes simultaneously. It's not that hard to check for both WASD and arrow keys at the same time.
  • With accessibility in mind, you'd might want to consider making sure your game is playable using only keyboard or only mouse.
  • For full screen, make it optional. Some games instantly go full screen without any option to change it back to windowed, or a game is windowed and there's no option to go full screen. I've seen streamers on Twitch having quite a lot of trouble with full screens and resolutions; making sure your game is streaming-friendly is definitely a must these days imo. I'd say, start windowed and present an option to go full screen as soon as possible.
  • Iconography is awesome... as an addition to text, not as a substitution.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
RE: complaints about full screen.

As long as developers haven't disabled it entirely you can just use the windows shortcut Alt+Enter to force the game to be fullscreen. This only ever presents a problem if they haven't set up their GUI layer properly.
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
Ive been struggling on getting any reviewing done. Ive been extremely occupant with life and job. My job normaly takes out 12 hours of my day so I never really have the time for anything with just 3 hours of free time. I manage to play through 9 entries but only written 5 in one week. Im gonna have to do live streams instead to speed up the process because it literally takes 3 days for me to complete one video to then writing. So I might cut down time by doing only live stream which makes it possible to do more than 5 games and write the reviews in one day. Hopefully I can make more progress.

Btw I recently uploaded a new video. You can find it in my voting post.

 
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Toque

Member
Ive been struggling on getting any reviewing done. Ive been extremely occupant with life and job. My job normaly takes out 12 hours of my day so I never really have the time for anything with just 3 hours of free time. I manage to play through 9 entries but only written 5 in one week. Im gonna have to do live streams instead to speed up the process because it literally takes 3 days for me to complete one video to then writing. So I might cut down time by doing only live stream which makes it possible to do more than 5 games and write the reviews in one day. Hopefully I can make more progress.

Btw I recently uploaded a new video. You can find it in my voting post.

I like your honest responses to playing the games......... no filters just raw misu
 
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Misu

The forum's immigrant
I like your honest responses to playing the games.........
Thanks. Not sure if that was sarcasm with the "..." or you following up my gimmick for this jam for fun. xD

Btw, did you have any thoughts about my review for your game? Id like to know your opinion on that.
 

Baukereg

Member
@Alice 52% is pretty good actually! I like your suggestion about making it a pure puzzle game designed by hand. It could exist besides the current "rogue" mode. I was thinking, instead of the bombs taking out nodes, they should just switch all nodes around them. And if a bomb position is immediately revealed (not being suggested, as it currently is) it can even be exploited by the player to solve a puzzle! You triggered a whole burst of new ideas in my head haha, thanks so much.
 
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ghandpivot

Member
Slowly, but steadily adding reviews to my voting post. Now it's time for:
#14 - @Baukereg
#15 - @ghandpivot
#16 - @MilesThatch
#17 - @orSQUADstra
You brute forced the pastry paint level. That's perfectly fine and it's a classic puzzle solving technique :p
You hit all the trigger keys to clear the level without finding the clue to knowing which they were. Solution:
Open windows paint and hit paste. It's a long shot for sure but since it's the final level I figured why not :rolleyes:
 

Toque

Member
Thanks. Not sure if that was sarcasm with the "..." or you following up my gimmick for this jam for fun. xD

Btw, did you have any thoughts about my review for your game? Id like to know your opinion on that.

compliment was sincere. Enjoyed your videos so far. It’s a lot of time to do those videos. They are raw. Your comments are insightful.

I like how you apologized for not drinking energy drinks before doing the last video. Funny.

Sometimes I play a game wonder if I’m an idiot because I can’t figure it out. Then I watch you and see you struggle as well. I’m not going insane.

I have not played your game yet.


I think your review of my game was accurate. The game reflects my current skills. I can make a simple game with cute pixels. That’s all I got. I make mobile games so I’m happy to give 30 seconds - 1 minute of entertainment. That’s success.
Your right. “Nothing wow there.” You got a couple laughs and “didn’t hate it. “. I think that’s pretty good for a jam game. I could not code the on and off part properly so left it out. Weak on theme.



Looking forward to your next video.
 
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