GMC Jam Discussion The Tropical GMC Jam 38 Discussion Topic

ghandpivot

Member
Also quick opportunity to plug the GMC Jam database I've been working on. The results of this jam are now backed up here, and you can see a developer's individual history too. There's also a countdown to the next jam, which at the time of writing is 69 days away. nice.
This is awesome, thank you for this! It even goes back to the old forum jams.
I see that you're already storing values for other awards given to a game, such as best concept etc. It would look sweet if those awards were presented in the list as a separate column next to the game's position (such as "Other awards").
 
Also quick opportunity to plug the GMC Jam database I've been working on. The results of this jam are now backed up here, and you can see a developer's individual history too. There's also a countdown to the next jam, which at the time of writing is 69 days away. nice.
Awesome work! Just a small question though: would it be possible to aggregate the history of my GMC accounts over time? Namely RPSR1994, rui.rosario, rui rosario and my current account? And yes, I keep leaving and coming back.... I think these are all of them but there might be more out there in the wild :rolleyes:
 

Richerama

Member
I’m pretty happy with a top 10 place, not bad for my first try. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to make something in just 4 days so thanks everyone for voting and taking time to give feedback, I’m glad that most people seemed to enjoy my effort.

Congratulations to all the winners, there were some great games in here so was well deserved.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
I see that you're already storing values for other awards given to a game, such as best concept etc. It would look sweet if those awards were presented in the list as a separate column next to the game's position (such as "Other awards").
Yes, it should be easy enough to do this when I find the time - I'll get on it :)

Awesome work! Just a small question though: would it be possible to aggregate the history of my GMC accounts over time? Namely RPSR1994, rui.rosario, rui rosario and my current account? And yes, I keep leaving and coming back.... I think these are all of them but there might be more out there in the wild :rolleyes:
I think there are quite a few members like you who have changed usernames a few times. I'll put yours all under one name and anyone else who notices theirs is wrong can let me know too.
 

Mercerenies

Member
@GameDevDan That is an impressive database, and it was quite the trip down memory lane to see all my previous entries (even one I had totally forgotten about). That also makes Jam 38 my twentieth GMC Jam, which feels special. :p

One minor note is that my Jam 11 entry doesn't seem to have my name attached to it.
 

The M

Member
MEGADOME now has an ULTIMATE edition, featuring a few bug fixes, performance enhancements, faster gameplay, a (somewhat limited) radar that enables if you stay still, and an 80 player mode featuring everyone on the player list in one gloriously chaotic battle (which might cause slight lag still 😅 ) that can be enabled by pressing M on the rules screen.
 

Poizen

Member
I'm happy I placed even that high. And I got a couple of votes for best concept. Thank you, I'm humbled.

My biggest gripe with my own game was the water mechanic (even though I wasted a lot of time on it). A few people pointed it out too that it's janky.

Something I only realized while reading the reviews was that I completely neglected to signal that you can't flood the plant (I don't think it's outright said anywhere). I suspect people tried solutions where the plant ends up underwater. That could cause headache already in the second level. Here's the solution btw:
 

Toque

Member
I've got a lot of feedback on my game, so perhaps a mini-retrospective is in order? As some sort of example on how to learn from feedback, I suppose.
  • I'm overall pretty happy with the random generation system (levels are made from a handful of screen-sized objects that create a screen-sized Sequence, which in turn creates all the objects that make up the actual level). It's pretty limited in some ways (like all rooms being forced to have connectors to all neighboring rooms), but with more time I could have separate random tables for every possible connectivity (4-way, vertical-only, and so on). The game being a platformer where the direction you're going can change probably didn't help matters (platforms must be placed so you can reach any edge of a room from any other edge, even with inverted gravity)
  • All the levels use the exact same room layout (mostly because I ran out of time to make more than one room). I figured the randomness would cover that up, but it's probably not good for longevity once you figure it out.
  • Some people didn't even make it through the first level because it's unclear what the goal is, or because their first batch of random modifiers is too mean. I probably should've had the first level be just 3 rooms in a corridor (start, 1 random level room, goal) instead of a full 4x3 maze so it's physically impossible to get lost and miss the goal, teaching the player what the goal looks like because they can't miss it and ensuring they can at least beat ONE level.
  • There were a lot of complaints about some modifier combinations basically make the game impossible. I didn't have a lot of time to test the game, and I probably should've implemented more weird modifiers and fewer difficult modifiers (going in line with the druggy theme). Another idea would be to give modifiers a score factor based on how they change difficulty, and then force a reroll if the score is too bad in early levels (where the game is supposed to be easy) or too good in later levels (when the difficulty is supposed to pick up).
  • There were some complaints about the shop guns being useless (since everything drops guns) and there being no reliable way to refill health. Pretty valid complaints since the health upgrades just are in the random rotation of shop items, it probably would've been a good idea to have one item be guaranteed to be a health upgrade so players can heal themselves tactically (the price goes up exponentially every time you upgrade your health so you might want to wait with doing it until you're at low health)
  • I think a lot of feedback about the difficulty could be because you can get hit by attacks from outside the screen a lot - while the surrounding frame is important for the style, it eats up almost half the screen estate. I tried hiding that by placing ALL the HUD elements on top of the frame, but that's basically just placebo to hide how much of the screen it takes up. There probably was a more elegant solution...
  • The transition between levels take too long, especially once you've seen a few dozen of them. There's a key to skip it, but I didn't advertise it to the player anywhere.
  • The game is difficult to actually quit (press Escape on the title screen). This is mostly because of the jam time constraints, I didn't want to mess around adding persistent objects at the last second and I also didn't want the potential for people to ruin their runs by accidentally pressing the button mid-playing. (Perhaps some middle ground where a global keypress pops up a show_question could've worked - dirty, but quick and simple). Though these popups don't work all that well with games that run in fullscreen mode (which, in turn, is basically a prerequisite for a mouse-controlled game). Perhaps making the game mouse-controlled to begin with was the main issue...
  • I'm pretty happy with the psychedelic background: it's basically a white sprite (depicting some random text glued to a giant arrow) drawn rotated in a loop (5-7 iterations, I don't remember which off the top of my head) with the color lerped from hue 0 to 255 over the circle; it's rotated at a certain speed each step so they spin around, and the whole thing is drawn onto the room at a layer below all other layers... the entire thing is drawn to the blank canvas outside of all backgrounds, which leaves afterimages (a bug involving funky afterimages when the view got outside the room is what gave me the idea, actually) and then a very transparent white noise texture is drawn tiled over the entire layer at a random position, which causes the old iterations of the loop to slowly fade away. (The NOISE slowly fading away makes it feel much less noisy, which is a nice bonus!)
  • The view-shake effect is just Game Maker's built-in view_angle system, so nothing special's going on there. The same system is used for the level-end transition.
  • The levels falling apart is caused by a control object adding random values to the hspeed, vspeed and image_angle of all objects in the room, and then increasing the random amount more and more over time as the transition progresses.
  • The chromatic abherration shader is a carry-over from the previous jam.
  • I focused entirely on visual effects for most of the jam, starting on the core gameplay loop on the final day. In retrospect, that distribution might not have been the best idea, since the gameplay is really unpolished.
Overall, it was a great learning experience, though I would've been glad if a larger portion of the learning wouldn't have come from my mistakes. Welp, there's always next time, I guess :p
very deep self analysis.
Your last comment resonated with me. I spend most of the jam on art and visuals/ sequences/ jokes. Leaving little time for a simple flawed/ untested games. “time distribution”.

People seem uninterested in the art anyways I wonder if I should just use pre made art and focus on the game play?

a less painful experience for people playing my game. Haha

your thoughts were helpful.
 
People seem uninterested in the art anyways I wonder if I should just use pre made art and focus on the game play?
This is something I think about a lot. The way I've started to look at things(and this doesn't just apply to art, but all sorts of smaller gameplay and UI details), is that if something is really great, people will comment. Or if it's bad, they will point it out. But if it's average, or even just a little bit good, then it's still doing it's job and people won't consciously notice it, so they won't feel the need to comment.
 

Toque

Member
This is something I think about a lot. The way I've started to look at things(and this doesn't just apply to art, but all sorts of smaller gameplay and UI details), is that if something is really great, people will comment. Or if it's bad, they will point it out. But if it's average, or even just a little bit good, then it's still doing it's job and people won't consciously notice it, so they won't feel the need to comment.
Good pointI think most devs are coders at heart. So they appreciate code stuff. I respect that. I appreciate people who make their own art even if it’s not great.


thinking about it........ if we get a lot of pretty games but crappy game play buggy games that’s not ideal either.


that’s the fun and challenge of game jams. Getting the whole thing together.

I might just join forces and do my silly art stuff and a coder can make a better polished game.


I am becoming the class clown of the game jam. Haha.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I'm positively surprised I got 12th place considering how utterly broken and unbalanced my game was! Next time I'll try to maintain the same level of polish but also actually take the time to make actual gameplay...
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Ah, as far as I'm concerned, I generally prefer when graphics are custom-made - even if they aren't all that good - to premade artwork. Especially if someone uses premade artwork in an inconsistent manner (note: it can happen to custom graphics, too). I find drawing to be a useful skill, too, because then - even if you ultimately aren't making the final artwork - you at least can convey through picture what you imagine the character to be like.
(this is also one of the reasons I decided to focus on graphics department this time - so that I could focus on honing my practical graphics skills)

When it comes to custom music - I appreciate when it's there, but I perfectly understand if it's one of premade tracks instead. With all these Jam commitments few people have time for making own music, and it requires some skill and experience too (for graphics you can fall back to MS Paint, for music you need to download and get familiar with one of music-making programs, and they can be pretty hermetic).

Also, I enjoyed PUSH somewhat, though the intro with no apparent skipping and wonky death detection hurt the replayability. I guess maybe the time spent on intro would be better spent on taking care of that issue? Then again, it's hard to tell how long it'd take to fix, and it needs to be spotted during testing in the first place, too...

(by the way, the artwork in Wizard Pub Crawl was made by Siolfor the Jackal, except for these collectibles which were apparently placeholders? But yeah, HayManMarc took care of the programming this time)
 

Toque

Member
(by the way, the artwork in Wizard Pub Crawl was made by Siolfor the Jackal, except for these collectibles which were apparently placeholders? But yeah, HayManMarc took care of the programming this time)
Thanks for correcting me.

Yeah its a great challenge. And lots of fun too. Better balance to improve the game play part for sure. Its the weakest part for sure.

The games this time were really just better overall. Great jam.
 
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