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Geheim

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Revival attempt
« on: February 24, 2019, 03:04:23 pm »
Welcome back!

Time has passed but game jams did not really get much attention, so let me throw in a new idea, maybe you like it.

Instead of a traditional game jam with a topic and some time to be creative with a new game, what do you think about the following:
There will be a specific "reference game", either a classic (like Pong/Snake/Tetris/etc... ) or something the community created (may it be for this purpose or because it already fits the needs). The goal would be trying to recreate the reference game as close as possible. (Clone Wars, Total Ripoff, you name it  ::) )

For this to work and to be interesting I suggest that all the needed assets (spritesheets, sounds, music, fonts) as well as some form of executable (or at least a detailed description or enough video footage/screenshots) should be provided, so that there is nothing unclear what has to be done, because I don't think anyone here wants to spend any time on gathering the assets instead of implementing the actual game.

I find myself very uncreative when it comes to having ideas to some specific topic and spend most of the time searching for ideas, which I would rather spend implementing. The creativity part then comes in how I implement the game.

The main rating would then be: How good does this compare to the reference game? (to a certain degree, for example only level ABC of game XYZ, everything else would not influence the rating)

Depending on the game there could be additional / other criteria as well, like how extensive is the clone? how smooth does it run? is it easily expandable? did you also manage to recreate the difficult part in level ABC? Not the best ideas I know, but you get the point...

It would be nice if you could then test the clones without knowing who made them and give it a score how good you think it compares to the original.

Some of you might think this is boring / a waste of time / not a challenge / ruins the fun of creating your own games / etc... and I can totally understand that, but maybe I am not the only one who finds this interesting and has some ideas?

This is just one of many variants. Another would be to also provide some assets and maybe an incomplete description as a starting point and then you go from there. This makes it more creative / open again, depending on the scenario.

I see this more as a mix between a jam (or simply a challenge) and learning new things, because for certain parts of a game you might have to learn completely new stuff, which is part of the joy in my opinion.
This might also be a useful resource to put on the wiki, so people can see how the same thing was made using (maybe completely) different methods by different people and learn from them.

What do you think about all that?
Thanks for stopping by!
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eXpl0it3r

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 08:19:30 pm »
I quite like this idea. :)

A few things to consider though:

Using artwork of an existing game, is infringing on their copyright. It's usually not something I look after in some hobby games, but I wouldn't want to support this behavior. So for providing assets for a clone, one would have to get unrelated assets.

Providing the assets and idea shrinks the selection of people who can participate in the jam to programmers only. That's not necessarily bad, just something to keep in mind.

Creating strict clones feels rather uninspiring. I personally would much rather see how people can implement a game with the clone as an idea and how they get to extend/change it around.

PS: I've acquired access to the domain and Twitter handle, if we ever want to start something.
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Nexus

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 08:20:55 pm »
Aren't creativity and the ability to implement own ideas into something playable some of the main driving forces of game development? ;)

In my early days, I liked to build clones in order to teach myself more about certain mechanics, or just to know "I can do that", but I always preferred having my freedom in graphics, gameplay or level design. For a game jam, where you are severly limited in time and resources, this is even more true -- with the few options at hand you need to get something cool up and running. If you need to work against a very specific goal (implement XY as close as possible), the scope is very rigid and doesn't leave you flexibility in taking short-cuts or gameplay compromises without the result looking half-done.

On the other hand, I think it's good if the topic is not overly broad. It once was "puzzle", which is an entire genre, not a topic. Ideally it's a reasonably specific term that allows results to be comparable (like "electricity"), but still not restricting the freedom of each entry.

That being said, I usually find it hard to find 2 full days of time, but distributed over a week (this was also discussed a while ago) it would be really cool to see a game jam revived!
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Geheim

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 12:51:53 am »
Using artwork of an existing game, is infringing on their copyright. It's usually not something I look after in some hobby games, but I wouldn't want to support this behavior. So for providing assets for a clone, one would have to get unrelated assets.
Of course, that is a very valid point, thanks for mentioning!

Ideally it's a reasonably specific term that allows results to be comparable (like "electricity"), but still not restricting the freedom of each entry.
I am also more with you on that one. To clone something 1 to 1 is way too limiting and not very meaningful.

It was never my intention to supress anyone's creativity with this idea, but reading the post again it pretty much sounds like that ::) Sure you are limited to some extend, but I am certain we can find a good balance that most of us will accept.

However for the purpose of a jam I think it is better to limit the topic/theme with some additional input to make the entries comparable instead of limiting the time. "puzzle" as the topic, like Nexus said, is like saying "just make a game". And even "electricity" is too broad in my opinion. There should be something more to give the jam some common ground, like one or more assets that somehow need to be included or a small description how the topic should influence the game. But like both of you said nothing too strict...

...which brings me to the time
I usually find it hard to find 2 full days of time, but distributed over a week (this was also discussed a while ago) it would be really cool to see a game jam revived!
Exactly this. We will never find 2 days where everyone who wants to participate can, so having a softer time limit, like 1-2 weeks seems like the way to go for me. I don't think that having less time is beneficial, but that's just naive me being unexperienced. I just like the idea having a more specific direction than limiting the time too much. And this probably also gives us more participants, which gives more entries, which is what I want to achieve with those ideas.

With that in mind, it would be very nice if we could do this regularly. Once per year is way too infrequently for my liking (at least better than nothing). There is also probably more work that has to be done organizing all that, than I am giving it credit for, so I can totally understand if that is a problem. Maybe the demand is not that great too...

PS: I've acquired access to the domain and Twitter handle, if we ever want to start something.
That's awesome! I hope jams get another chance soon ;)
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eXpl0it3r

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 09:38:53 am »
I quite like the idea of providing some additional element than just the topic.

As for the game-clone discussion, I think one could make a game its own topic and then let people decide whether they want to create a clone, a rendition or something completely different around the game.

Seems like more people are interested in one or two weeks long jam and I think we'll go with that.

As such, anyone want to draft up a jam description/rule and look for possible dates that maybe don't collide with the most popular jams (Ludum Dare, Global Game Jam, etc)?
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Raynobrak

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 03:49:54 pm »
Cool !
I like the idea of having to recreate an existing game. It's really one of the most fun things to do.

But I don't think having all the same assets would be a good idea, our games would all look the same, which would kind of remove the curiosity to look at other people's work). Or we could have a largelot range of different assets and choose among these.
But the idea of not having to make your own assets is not that bad in itself.

A game jam would be really cool !  ;D
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SalySeo

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Re: Revival attempt
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2019, 04:46:47 pm »
Hi!
I just landed in this post, and I like so much the idea.

I have started developing with SFML for a short time, but I would love to cooperate if it is possible. I would love to revive the old game titles as snake or pong. I think those games deserve it as they made me have so much fun when I was a kid.

How are you managing the people to work with or make the code pull requests? any person I should speak with?

 

anything