Alakajam! competition rules

The Alakajam! competitions let people make a video game from scratch in a week-end, then play and rate each other! All games are made around a theme chosen by the community.

Divisions

Anyone can enter in any of the following divisions:

  • Solo, in which you make a whole game alone in 48 hours ;
  • Team, in which any number of persons can gather to make a game in 48 hours ;
  • Unranked, a more open division which grants about 72 hours to finish the game. Useful for those not interested in the competitive aspect of the event, or feel like the rules are too restrictive for them, or simply did not finish their game in time.

The jam always starts on a Friday, 7pm UTC.

Rankings

After the jam, Solo and Team divisions will be ranked separately through community voting: any person who entered the event will be able to play, rate and comment other people's games for two weeks, until the final results are released. On each game you play, you will get to rate six aspects of game making:

Rating category Description
Overall How much you liked the game in general.
Graphics Your appreciation of all the visual aspects of the game. This can be opted-out if you want to (e.g. text-based game).
Audio Your appreciation of all the sound-related aspects of the game. This can be opted-out if you want to (e.g. silent game).
Gameplay Your appreciation of the gameplay, contents & balancing.
Originality How original you found the game, its art and sound.
Theme How well and how interestingly the game fit to the theme.

Unranked games won't get ratings but can expect as much plays & feedback as the others.

What is allowed?

Solo/Team divisions

  • Tools: All software is allowed without restriction. It is recommended though that your game engine supports targetting either HTML5, Windows or Linux, to make sure most contestants can play it.
  • Code reuse: You are allowed to use/reuse any outside library or personal code made prior to the event, or code bits found from sources like StackOverflow or blogs. You can also prepare your project by initializing the sources in advance. However, you cannot work on a game you started before the event.
  • Graphical asset reuse: You must make all your graphical assets during the event. Creative use of existing assets ("derivative work") is acceptable, as long as you list the original assets in your entry page, for the raters to appreciate. You are also allowed to use:
    • Third-party fonts and brushes ;
    • Procedurally generated assets ;
    • Your engine's default appearance for UI elements ;
    • Pre-made game author & engine splash screens.
  • Audio asset reuse: You must make all your audio assets during the event. However, you are allowed to use:
    • Any existing sounds for SFX or as short samples for music, including drums and other sampled instruments (reusing full music tracks is not allowed);
    • Assets created from sound generation or speech synthesis tools.
  • Post-jam changes: From the minute the jam ends, you are not allowed to add any features, assets or contents to your game. While you're supposed to have properly tested your game, stuff happens, so we do allow to:
    • Package or improve the packaging of your game ;
    • Port your game to other platforms ;
    • Fix bugs ;
    • Fix balance issues or annoyances but only if they're so terrible that people can't properly finish your game.

Those third-party assets exceptions are only allowed as long as you have the license to use them. Please check the licensing terms and in doubt, consult the author.

Unranked division

Since there is no ratings involved, the rules are much more relaxed. While the ranked divisions are only made for video games, card & board games are allowed here. The only rules are:

  • You cannot work on a game you started before the event. You can however use any assets you made beforehand.
  • All third-party assets are allowed as long as you have the license to use them.

Note: For best feedback, it is advised to let people know what you did/did not make during the jam.

In case of doubts...

Obviously, those rules don't cover every scenario (for instance you may realize the music volume is super low, or in-game instructions are wrong, etc.).

...So in those cases where you want to do something but it's unclear if you can, or not doing it seems unfair, do it, and mention what you did in your game description. After all, this is a completely informal competition, there's no prizes involved, we're just here to make games and have fun!