GMC Jam Discussion The Thoughtful GMC Jam 42

Mr Magnus

Viking King
Personally as a not-American who doesn't have a holiday on that weekend I'm more in favor of shifting it to the week before or after than extending the timeframe. A lot of the fun of the jam is that constant crunch over a short time frame. I know myself that if the timeframe is extended the pressure starts to ease and I don't feel as motivated to get something out no matter how bodged and broken it is.

However I'm all for trying *something*, even extending it to a week, if it means that those of us who do celebrate something at the end of November feel less pressure to pick between family and jamming. I know I'm such a homebody that I'd not be happy having to sacrifice family time if I wanted to participate.
 

Bart

WiseBart
I personally find the jam duration of 4 days as it is now to be perfect. I can perfectly relate to the above point as my motivation, too, usually goes down incredibly quickly after I submit an entry. Keeping that pressure high enough to work on an entry over a longer period of time isn't that obvious, at least not to me (though everyone works differently and more days probably works better for some others).
I do think it could be interesting to give a longer jam period a try. For me it might even mean that I get to finish an overscoped entry for a change 😅

To reflect on that for a moment, I'm not at all satisfied with my creation this time. Despite an absolutely great theme and limited time to work on my entry I went for another 3D game and did lots of modeling. Time that could've been used for gameplay that was once again lost to other things.
I'll probably try something entirely new for the next jam (a focus on audio does sound nice and there are quite a few entries this time showing what difference it can make).

Meanwhile my votes and reviews are also up. I hope they can be of use!
If there are any questions about them feel free to let me know!
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
So, thanks to all of you who reviewed my entry so far (Murder on the Styx Express, ofc).
Just for the record, I made a post with walkthrough a while back, so you're free to check it out if you get stuck. Unfortunately, you can't complete the mystery, but it's still possible to make a good deed along the way.

For the record, I'd like to work on this game some more - hoping for a Halloween release, so if things go well I might have some time to playtest things before then (I just hope I won't run into too many HTML5 oddities, since this kind of small-ish game would be a good fit for online-based form, I think). There might have been some rough beginnings, but I generally like various ideas in there and grew fond of different characters. Also, reviewers seemed to enjoy the writing, so I'm hopeful in that area.

Mind, the UI is going to be different and in general I think the game will play closer to the classic point & click adventure (with actual areas and backgrounds); hopefully different tasks (examining, talking, using and combining items) would also be much easier to perform. The UI in the Jam version was basically me desperately trying to reach some minimal level of playability so that the game isn't a complete fluke.
 

Ericbomb

Member
Thanks everyone who tried out my game! If it's not super clear, the game basically ends after 8 fights (The text on the screen will change) but you're free to go as long as you want to see if you can utterly break the game!

Also I know not having any visuals at all is kind of off putting, but I'm really practicing making games that are blind accessible, so wanted to focus all my energy on blind accessible content and added in the little bit of imagery I did as an after thought in the last few minutes of the jam. (Every audio game I've played just has a black screen, lemme tell you, THAT is offputting)
 
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Mightyjor

Member
@Poizen
"I hope you enjoy that 38 Quadrillion possibilities of randomly generated planets in this game!" I guess this is a meme but for a second I wanted to believe that's the actual number of different combinations.
That technically is the number of combinations there are, but it includes all of the different names that can be generated for the planets as well even if they look the same. So yes, I was riffing a bit on a certain other game, but what I said was true…from a certain point of view.
 

Bearman_18

Member
Thank you all for your reviews so far! I can't believe anyone put my game in even the top ten of their rankings. XD But hey, if you liked Hat Wearing Children, I made a far, far superior TDS for the earlier Amaze Me jam that you can try.

And I have far better things than even that in the works.

@ghandpivot you had some really great criticisms in your video that will help me a lot in my current project, thanks a ton.

I noticed in particular that a lot of people had trouble with the camera in Hat Wearing Children. If anyone wishes to elaborate on how it felt to them and what was wrong with it, that would be super helpful. Was the sensitivity too high? Did it just feel bad to use?
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
Thank you all for your reviews so far! I can't believe anyone put my game in even the top ten of their rankings. XD But hey, if you liked Hat Wearing Children, I made a far, far superior TDS for the earlier Amaze Me jam that you can try.

And I have far better things than even that in the works.

@ghandpivot you had some really great criticisms in your video that will help me a lot in my current project, thanks a ton.

I noticed in particular that a lot of people had trouble with the camera in Hat Wearing Children. If anyone wishes to elaborate on how it felt to them and what was wrong with it, that would be super helpful. Was the sensitivity too high? Did it just feel bad to use?
personally it would have been better if the camera was focused on the player and zoomed out

having the camera focus on the cross hair makes it hard to aim and see what your shooting at, its good for peeking but when im peeking i cant react fast enough to reaim and shoot
 

Mr Magnus

Viking King
So, who's the smartmouth who is trying to enter profanities in to my Babel highscores?

THIS IS (literally) A CHRISTIAN HIGHSCORE SERVER! NO POTTY MOUTH. :mad:

1632065145812.png

But also, you gave me a good laugh, so well done with that. Sorry that your first couple of tries got caught in the profanity filter, but "duckblaster" is a pretty good name even if it's filtered.

Also, thank all of you who've been ranking Babel so highly. I quite enjoy the fact how well I'm doing given how incredibly simple of a concept it is.
 

Mr Magnus

Viking King
- Your voice audio is very quiet. I'm probably going to write a little note about audio normalisation in a different section, because this happens regularly with jam games 😅
If you do please alert me to it, I'd very much like to one day make a narration heavy jam game and I'd love to actually have audio mixing at leas halfway decent by that time.
 
I meant to write something in my voting post but didn't end up having time. Since I noticed a handful of jam games had sound effects possibly from different sources that all were recorded at different base volumes(So some sound effects were overpowering or some just not audible enough).
One thing I do when I'm lazy is just chuck all of my sfx one by one into Audacity or something and use the Normalise effect. It's not perfect but it will attempt to bring up the gain of quieter sounds, and bring down the gain of ones that are too loud. That way all your sound effects should be sitting around the same level of loudness, so when you put them in your games, you can adjust them more specifically from there if need be.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Just for the record, while 12:00 UTC looms really close now, the voting will effectively take several extra hours as the person tallying the votes won't be available earlier. So by 20:00 UTC you should be safe, but after that the voting topic may be closed any moment and no new votes will be accepted.
 

Micah_DS

Member
Thanks for posting those up Alice, and congratulations to the winners!

(I have updated my dorky jam database accordingly, including the hall of fame).

I'll get around to giving the community prizes I promised ASAP :)
I'm not sure if I already said this before, but I think the jam database you've created is awesome. I've also been meaning to ask if you could merge the previous games made by "K-BitCRUSH" with mine, just putting it all under Micah_DS, because that's actually my initial user name when joining the forums. Here's a link to a game post I made under the old name, in case you would like verification.

It's gonna last a full week and run from 15th til 21st November.
Because.
I actually like this time, personally. Since I'm in the US and work during Thanksgiving, that whole week will be quite full and exhausting for me.
 

dadio

Lemon Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
Ooooh! Fingers crossed for a 1 week Jam!
Also yeah, @GameDevDan that Jam database / hall of fame thing is very cool!
Wish it included screens (and links - not asking for much am I? lol!) but what's there is Gold.

I really want to sort out the older (1-20) Jam zips and upload those "soon" to the Jam archive post on these boards - never seem to have the free time, but hopefully "soon".
There really needs to be a solid archive of *all* these games - here and elsewhere - before more of them (1-4 are already missing half!) disappear into the void forever.
Some real gems throughout all these Jams!
 

GameDevDan

Former Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Wish it included screens (and links - not asking for much am I? lol!) but what's there is Gold.
The backend database has support for a thumbnail image & download link - which so far are only used for my games. If people wanted to submit screenshots for their own games I'd probably get them added eventually... but download links are a little more difficult. I wouldn't want to host 2,000 games on my own site and I also wouldn't want to link to third party sites who may change the link to something nasty later.

TL;DR both technically supported, will implement screens for people who do their own hard work, but no download links for now.

EDIT: PS: There are also tags for "genre" and "description"... it's just that compiling all 2,000+ would be a pain in the arse!
 
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kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I guess nobody noticed my completely unbiased review of Hades vs. Satan....that or they didn't care to mention it.
 
So, who's the smartmouth who is trying to enter profanities in to my Babel highscores?

THIS IS (literally) A CHRISTIAN HIGHSCORE SERVER! NO POTTY MOUTH. :mad:


But also, you gave me a good laugh, so well done with that. Sorry that your first couple of tries got caught in the profanity filter, but "duckblaster" is a pretty good name even if it's filtered.

Also, thank all of you who've been ranking Babel so highly. I quite enjoy the fact how well I'm doing given how incredibly simple of a concept it is.
I am a mature adult game developer (not a dumb kid) who is currently working hard to get his game on Kickstarter, so obviously it wasn't me. I wouldn't even have time to play your game fifty times for such an immature prank, even if I wanted to, which I wouldn't. 😓

It was probably Siolfor. That "it wasn't me" post of his earlier was pretty sus 😤

Also
Also, thank all of you who've been ranking Babel so highly. I quite enjoy the fact how well I'm doing given how incredibly simple of a concept it is.
Yeah, really strong game design. I'm always extra impressed when people do a lot with only a little. It appeals to my lazy side, hahah!
 
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Micah_DS

Member
I'm not the only one that did some sort of thing as far as self-feedback. I didn't put it in the ratings list though of course :)
Same. I'm pretty sure I do this every jam, just to crack a low effort joke. I never expect anyone to read it, but it's still fun to do.
BTW, I just read yours and realized that we both mention Mario. That guy is too powerful. :p
 

dadio

Lemon Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
@Alice : Woohoo! Expect to be AMAZED!
*cue 5 minute joek gaem #99*

EDIT: I'll be genuinely trying to make a proper entry this time! Probably still place last, lol, but should be fun! Here's looking forward to it!
 

HeadlessOne

Member
Making good on one half of my community prize offering - a piece of fan art featuring the top 10 finishing games in the jam! @Mightyjor @Pixel-Team @Siolfor the Jackal @Poizen @The M @GameDevDan @Mr Magnus @CardinalCoder64 @HeadlessOne @SoapSud39


Full size
Love it!!! great work, the kid from my game looks like he's about to spirit bomb some poor fool hehe. would you give your permission for me to perhaps modify this to print it on a t-shirt? (for personal use obviously not commercially)
 

GameDevDan

Former Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
Love it!!! great work, the kid from my game looks like he's about to spirit bomb some poor fool hehe. would you give your permission for me to perhaps modify this to print it on a t-shirt? (for personal use obviously not commercially)
Sure, go ahead!
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
By the way, I'm still working on Murder on the Styx Express. Mostly carrying over and organising code from the Jam version so far, but I'd like to start populating it with content soon.

On that note, could someone confident in their storytelling/structure skills help out with figuring out the intrigue and deductions unraveling it (and maybe also some dialogue as well)? I have a general idea how I want to proceed, but there are still some details I'd like to flesh out and having someone add their ideas to the mix would help quite a bit.

(if you would like to help, please send a direct message to me)
 

Micah_DS

Member
I'm not expecting to be done with my community prize until around the start of next week.
👀 One month later...

There are a solid handful of original characters that I think are really, really awesome. I wish I could have done them all. However, at this point in my skill level, it seems I was only capable of making the easiest among my favorites- Cthildha by @Mightyjor.
I've already sent Jordan a message with the prize, but if anyone is wondering what I ended up making, here are some of the GIFs:

It wasn't part of my initial prize description, but I also included a little Cthildha model viewer program, which is an idea that I 100% yoinked from @Bart. 😁 The model viewer offers a real proper look at all details, unlike the GIFs. If I do this next time, I'm definitely including a model viewer again, and I'll hopefully be faster and skilled enough to do more complicated characters. 😝

Part of the reason it took so long for me to complete this is because I spent a lot of time experimenting, since I'm still apparently quite unlearned in 3D modeling techniques, and I got carried away with it, because I kept trying to find a better way to do various things.
The result of my efforts is a model that uses a 16x16 texture and makes use of UV vertex skewing to achieve non-pixelated angled lines, essentially making vector-based angles, which have various benefits, making the model more clean, readable, and consistent from various angles and distances. It's essentially a combination of vector and pixel art.

One of the things that got me thinking differently about UV mapping was this GDC video, in which they show how they achieved clean, non-pixelated hand-drawn style lines with their UV mapping method:

So here's Cthildha's face with the HYBRID PIXEL ART vs STANDARD PIXEL ART:

Personal preference could say yea or nay to the vector-like style, but the reason to choose this style isn't only personal preference. There are some situations where the style would be objectively better than pure pixel art, so I think it's worth sharing. But, while I think the method is good, I did try to push things to an extreme with this model, because I was sort of testing how far it could go, so you could say this is a bad example of a good method, haha.

Here's what I mean by "bad example" - the TEXTURE MAP UVs:

As you can see, it's a MESS. Things are actually grouped fairly logically, but since the original poly shape is lost on most things and everything is also very broken up, it's not immediately apparent what UVs belong to what polys.
I could have made the texture 32x32 and made everything far more readable, but I wanted to push for 16x16 to test certain limits of the method. Of course, even if I went 32x32, there is no getting around the fact that some readability is sacrificed due to UV skewing having to take place at some level.

So UV texture readability is one downside. The other major downside is the poly increase:

That's a lot of polys compared to the standard pure pixel style, which is literally just three planes for the face.

But if you were to achieve this vector style face with a texture, the texture would have to be far larger to give clean enough angles, and it simply could not be zoomed in on without angled lines becoming pixelated, unless your textures were WAY too big, that is.
The other option is to use polys to make actual vector shapes. As you can see, I do make some use of that, in cases where UV skewing would not get the right result. But if you don't do any skewing and only achieve angles via poly edges, you'd have an even greater poly count than this.
So the method used on this model is an in-between of sorts. I think it hits a nice sweet spot.

One other thing to note though when working with UV skewing is that GameMaker's anti-aliasing method will work only on poly edges, not textures. So, depending on how you do things, you might get some inconsistent looking AA, unless you use a different kind of AA via shaders.

I know this is all quite off topic (which is part of why I tucked it away in a spoiler), but I just had the urge to share my findings, because I think it's exciting and that it could be useful knowledge.
 
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