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.
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.
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:
||How much you liked the game in general.
||Your appreciation of all the visual aspects of the game. This can be opted-out if you want to (e.g. text-based game).
||Your appreciation of all the sound-related aspects of the game. This can be opted-out if you want to (e.g. silent game).
||Your appreciation of the gameplay, contents & balancing.
||How original you found the game, its art and sound.
||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?
- 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, even if you opt-out of the graphics category. Derivative work of existing assets (ie. you used some existing assets but significantly transformed them) is acceptable, as long as you list the original assets in your game 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 your own music during the event, even if you opt-out of the audio category. However:
- While creating sounds yourself is encouraged (eg. with the help of sound generation tools, musical instruments, or microphones), reusing existing sound effects is tolerated.
- You can also reuse short samples for music (eg. drums and other sampled instruments). Reusing whole loops or full tracks is not allowed ;
- 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.
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:
- All third-party assets are allowed as long as you have the license to use them.
There are additional rules if you submit an existing project of yours. These are fuzzy rules only aimed at preventing abusive self-promotion:
- You must spend a significant part of your week-end working on the game ;
- Use the game description to let people know what you did/did not make during the jam ;
- Make it easy to play the parts you worked on (eg. don't make testers play the full game to try your final boss!).
In case of doubts…
Obviously, the rules on post-jam changes 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!