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Welcome to Alakajam!, a game making community. We host informal game jams!Learn more...

Discover the jam results!

jam ran 25-27 june 
Latest posts

The Witch, the Moon, and Alice: New Version 0

heyheyhey • 19 days ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  The Witch, the Moon, and Alice

A post-jam version of The Witch, the Moon, and Alice is now available here.

This version features more puzzles, new areas, new creatures, music, and a background story.

Thanks go to everyone who provided feedback.

Music credits:

Brian Cavanaugh (cave music, victory music)

John Bartmann:

memory-shores-master
profound-mystery-master
back-to-the-mountain-master
dystopia-master
nubia-master

Search for Arryn: post-jam version available 0

Jcatie • 26 days ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  Search for Arryn

We've added a post-jam version to our 12th Alakajam! -entry, Search for Arryn!

In this version, we're inching closer to how we wanted this game to end up as, by including some small visual tweaks. However, the main purpose of this version was to fix the bugs that remained in the jam build, and so we did, to provide a better playing experience for those that just want to check out the game. :)

There's definitely still things we would like to improve upon and add into the game. For example, audio is a major feature that we agree would add a lot to the game, so that is on top of the list for things to be added. Thus, we may return to develop the post-jam build to create more of a fully realized experience!

Mac and Linux build available 0

Kesslwovv • 26 days ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  Toxic Cave

My Game in now also available as a linux or mac executable! (itch.io page)
it took me a week to figure out how to use pyinstaller…
PS: is this considered 'begging for votes' ? if so, please let me know and i will delete this post immediately ;-)

The Underground Hollow - Post Mortem 1

ToasterTot • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  The Underground Hollow

So, I finished my first Alakajam with my game "The Underground Hollow" and here's my post mortem!

What Went Well (No particular order)
Gamemaker: I haven't worked on a game in Gamemaker since April 2020 when I did Ludum Dare 46 and I got back into the groove of game devlopment really fast! I obviously was constantly checking the Gamemaker Manual to remember exact functions and what they did (especially about cameras, I suck at remembering all those functions) but overall I basically picked up right where I left off.

Organization: I wrote out a whole script for my game and broke it up into 6 big sections,

  • Intro cutscene
  • Fairies
  • Gnomes
  • Trolls
  • Kobold
  • Dragon
    I then broke each section up into a sequence of events that I wanted to happen, such as with the Fairy section I wanted the player to see the fairies in the distance, then see their home, and then have to deal with invading the fairies home. Also for each event I wrote voice lines that I was going to record later to help guide the player. The website Trello helped out with the process a ton because I could make a card for each event and then have a description of how I wanted it to play out, and then add a very helpful checklist of tasks I needed to do to finish that section.
    I ended up having to scrap the Kobold section because I didn't have enough time but it was ok and didn't set me back at all because I was working full section by section instead of jumping around and only having little things done of each section.
    Along with the bigger sections of gameplay I also had a Trello card for smaller but also very important things. I had a card and checklist for movement, interaction with the gnomes(picking them up, throwing them), audio, art, and then bug testing.

Scope: This is something I heavily struggle with during game jams. I always set my scope way too big and then I end up having to scrap most of it anyway. But this game jam, everytime I thought of an idea I would write it down on a notepad and then later when I needed a break from coding or doing art or just needed to get up from my chair I would look at those ideas I wrote down and think about if the game really needed them. 95% of those ideas didn't make it into the game and I'm glad they didn't because they would've been things that would have distracted from the core gameplay or would have been too much of a time sink to add.

Art: Art is one of the things that I usually have a very big scope problem with. I could spend all 48 hours of the jam working on just art and perfecting it. I think of new little things I can add to the game to make it look "that" much better. But this time around I did a pretty good job of reeling in the scope of my art. The player was just a black square until the last hours of the jam! I probably spent the least amount of time on the tileset but it worked super well. All of the environment is the same pattern with just different colors and then the ground and stalagtites and stalagmites and just edited version of that same rock drawing. I spent the most art time on just drawing the Troll because it was so much fun. I also spent a lot of time on the player animation trying to get the movement to feel right, but overall I think art went really well.

Music: I recently got an audio interface so I can connect my guitar and bass to my computer and record straight from it so I don't have to set up a microphone or anything complicated to record music. This was really fun to just mess around on guitar for a little bit to come up with the menu theme and the gameplay theme. I recorded straight to bandlab which is a website music maker and it's super cool. It was super easy to record my guitar and use my midi keyboard with. And then the built in drum pattern maker thing was easy to use to add drums. Music is usually my biggest struggle during game jam's besides scope because I can never think of anything and so I usually enter my game as a team and have my friend help me with music. But this time it just flowed so easily. I wrote all of the music for the game in just under 2 hours. The music isn't anything to write home about but I think the short loops turned out pretty good.

Sound Effects & Narration: I have never done narration in a game before and so that was interesting writing a script for a game. I recorded most of the lines very early in the moring so most of them are kind of whispered but I think it ended up fitting the vibe of the game very well. I used Adobe Audition for recording audio and adding certain effects to lines like pitch and echo(You'll have to play to find out why I used those effects) Audition was probably wayy over kill for what I was using it for, but I have it free from college and I know it well from taking a class about movie audio. I've used Audacity in the past for game jams and you can do everything I did in Audition just as well with that free program.
I didn't want to use an 8bit sound effect maker like sfxr or ChipTone because I didn't think it would fit very well with the music style I went for and the narration so I made all of the sound effects with my mouth with some exceptions. The inventory open and close sound I used ChipTone because there was a specific sound I was imagining for it, and the troll step I banged on my table and stopped on the ground. Most sound effects I would make about 10 different sounds with my mouth and then layer my favorite 3 or 4 together and then mix them together with some effects in Audition.

Idea: I'm really proud of the idea I came up with. At first I was looking at synonyms for cave to see if I could come up with a more original idea than just top down movement but I couldn't think of anything. I've been listening to the audiobooks of the Harry Potter series and so that's where the idea of mythical creatures came from.


What Could've Been Better (No particular order)
Idea: The game jam started at 1pm my local time and I struggled to come up with an idea the whole first day. I didn't think of a solid idea I liked until I was falling asleep that night around midnight. I kept waking up and writing down ideas and even drew a picture of what I wanted the first cutscene to look like.

Time and Health: I started way too late on my game. Basically wasted the first whole day because I couldn't think of an idea and then slept in super late. When I started working on the game around 12pm the second day of the jam I only had a rough idea, a concept drawing, and 25 hours to go. I worked basically all day from 12pm to 6am and I was in a really good groove picking up Gamemaker again and listening to music all day. I basically only got up to go eat lunch and dinner and then rest room breaks. I also walked around my house maybe 2 or 3 times. I didn't really drink enough water and I was super thirsty by the end of the day. After I finally went to bed around 6am I set an alarm for 10am and got up right when it went off. Ate a light breakfast and started grinding out the last couple hours with bug fixes, finishing up the sound effects, and drawing and animating the player.

More quality of life: I wish I had added more quality of life things just to make the game clearer to the player. Better narration timing and different helpful tips to the player. I also wish I had more time to play test it to get the difficulty right.


Going Forward
More game jams!: I really want to enter into a lot more game jams! It so statifsying to just finish a game even if it isn't perfect. Also it's a very good way to learn new things!

Focus on new skills: I want to branch out the types of games I make during game jams more. I think each game jam I want to focus on a specific skill. It will depend on the theme but I want to try making a video game like a card game, maybe a point and click game.

Scope Scope Scope: In coming game jams I just need to keep bringing my scope smaller and smaller. I need to plan on doing less than I think I'll be able to complete so I have time for bug fixes and polishing. Maybe I'll finish so early that I can add new features that weren't orignally planned!

Participate in Communities: I want to give back to the communities I work with. I want to write more post mortems and rate more people's games. Usually I'll make my game and then just rate 5 or 6 games. I want to try to spend more time after the jam rating and playing way more people's hard worked on entries. Speaking of which, I'm off to go do that right now!

Cavexploder post mortem 0

yozy • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  Cavexploder

For this jam I have decided to ditch LÖVE and Lua for the good old C++ with SDL2. I have very much enjoyed using lua but being not the most of efficient coders, I like to have a bit of a performance edge. And did I need it :D

I was always a fan of shoot em up games, usually the vertical kind. One thing they don't usually have is destructible terrain.

So there was my idea: "A horizontal shoot em up inside a cave composed of descructible rocks"

What went well

  • I really liked coding in c++ again. C++20 has brought a lot of goodies.
  • I am very happy with the end result, although all of the boulders are a simple bunch of triangles, piling them up creates a reasonably good approximation.

What went poorly

  • I didn't have time to make music and sounds, again.
  • What C++ giveth, Windows taketh. I had to modify the code (post jam) to be able to compile the game on windows, and I've spent quite a bit of time making it work.
  • Performance is not that great when a lot of stuff is on the screen. Since I am rebuilding all the buffers all the time this is not that surprising.
  • Initially the enemies should have been spiders, I wanted them to crawl over the rocks on tiny legs. Haven't had time to code these so blobs you have!

Takeaways

  • I really need to make some sounds and music on the side, in order to know what to do during a jam. Learning tools during a 48h jam is way too late.
  • The same goes for windows, for the next time I need a solid basecode that has already everything setup to produce binaries on all platforms.

Post jam ideas

  • The game needs more juice!
    • Shaking when hit and when big rocks get destroyed.
    • A scrolling parallax background.
  • The game needs more content!
    • Noise!!
    • More weapons, bonuses, different enemy types. (e.g.: smart ones that shoot where you will be if moving at the same speed)

and we're done! 0

alyphen • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  In search of underground music

final game features dynamic sound based on how far you are from sound sources, conversations that you overhear as you walk around, and a deep cave system to explore, in search of the most underground music.

I'm in 0

heyheyhey • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  The Witch, the Moon, and Alice

My first Alakajam. I know I'm late but maybe I can come up with something playable.

Tools:

REPLICA 2D Game Framework
JavaScript with jQuery
Krita
ChipTone or similar for sounds

Good luck everyone

camera & animated tiles 1

alyphen • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  In search of underground music


animated tiles and camera movement are working ok. so we have disco tiles.

game? 0

alyphen • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! entry  In search of underground music


there's physics or something, you can move, and the maps load. that's a start.

Late to "I'm in" but I'm in! 1

Kerri • 1 month ago on 12th Alakajam! 

I surprised myself last night when I settled on an idea in just a couple of hours, I had spent the week thinking about several for Books and A Star, but Caves winning took me by surprise. Needless to say I'm excited to take part and I've spent this morning putting my idea down and drawing the mechanics out of it. The rest of today will be spent building placeholder assets and developing the mechanics.

The important part for me this time around is the story I want to tell with the game so I'll be focussing a lot on the narrative elements and on a dialogue system, unfortunately I may have to sacrifice sound effects. To that end though I've put out a request to my musically inclined sister and if she is able to deliver there may even be music! (Not counting on it though). Excluding music this will be a solo entry.

Software:
Godot 3
Wings3D
Krita/Paint.net
Visual Studio Code

Good luck to everyone participating I look forward to playing your games.

Latest comments
Baconinvader
 • 17 days ago

@Kesslwovv thanks a lot! Sorry that you had the issue with sound, pygame can sometimes be weird with non-wav files.

yozy
 • 18 days ago

@Kesslwovv yeah, unfortunately i've realised too late that the sdl_gfx package is waaay too slow to draw what i want. I have switched to allegro post-jam (after a brief stunt... (read more)

thomastc
 • 19 days ago

@Aurel300 Thanks! STS was indeed one of the sources of inspiration.

I had several more cards on the ideas list but no time to implement them -- every one you... (read more)

Wan
 • 19 days ago

@Penpen No worries, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It was a hard choice, we knew that whatever we decided would be unsatisfying to some.

The lesson to be learnt here... (read more)

Penpen
 • 19 days ago

Hi @Wan, honestly that does not feel really fair, not for him nor for the other games, because they got disqualified for breaking a rule they did not knew... (read more)

Wan
 • 19 days ago

Hi @FABBRIBOY @SrLebre @turbo,

It seems like due to unfortunate circumstances, you guys entered the jam using pre-made assets, while our jam rules normally prevent this in the ranked... (read more)

Aurel300
 • 19 days ago

The concept and theme here are somewhat interesting, but the game felt really rough around the edges. For example, the colourful without any outlines or shadows was really difficult to... (read more)

Aurel300
 • 19 days ago

The amount of text and its presentation made me think of those old text adventure games with little pictures above the text. Maybe it would actually have been a better... (read more)

Kesslwovv
 • 19 days ago

Awesome!

Kesslwovv
 • 19 days ago

technical issues:

  • i had to switch user in order to do the sudo command (a bit annoying but nothing more)
  • the sudo sh ./install_dependencies didn't work for me, in the... (read more)