Am I the only weirdo? 6

MrAmericanMike • 3 months ago on ScoreSpace x Alakajam! entry  HundredPipers

So… This is my first GameJam I participate on, but I have in the past played games from Jams like LudumDare.

There is one thing that I never liked and it's to have to download a game in order to play it. Personally I believe a GameJam game should be playable in the browser.

So following this lines, I don't download any game in order to install them and play them locally (This is my "weirdo" thing)

Am I the only one that feels like this? What are your thoughts?

And also a question, been that I don't have much experience with Unity, Godot, or other softwares used to create games. Don't they support web builds? Or limitations apply and that's why participants only submit executables and not web versions as alternative. (Which following my though, it shouldn't be an alternative but a default, and the alternitve would be to download the game)

Comments (6)

remco
 • 3 months ago • 

I've seen that sentiment a lot in increasing frequency on the Ludum Dare site, so you're certainly not the only one.

That said, I think that, when you're entering a game-jam, you should be open to anything. Making things web-only would restrict people from submitting say, a printable boardgame (I've actually seen multiple people do that over the years!) or a game only playable on an emulator, as it's for a machine from the '80s, or something from their self-made engine that isn't compatible with the web yet … or ever will be, as say, webGL lags behind OpenGL, and there isn't a webVulcan (yet). All of these are from actual examples I've seen, most of them multiple times over!

Also, while I get that it's more convenient for a lot of people to have it playable on web (yes, myself included), and while I've made some effort to make at least my latest few games be 'web first, other stuff later or not' … … it always amuses me that working on a game for two or three days straight is acceptable, but somehow downloading something is a bridge too far? To the point that we're basically talking about prohibiting it? :-)

elZach
 • 3 months ago • 

Giving fast access to your game via webbuilds is great, however it's more important to work on what you want to make.
If I wanted to create the most stunning visuals I can, in cryengine or whatever, there's no reason for me to not do that just because it would take a bit to download.

TimBeaudet
 • 3 months ago • 

This is definitely something that has been happening more and more through-out the years. It is certainly more convenient to play a game straight from web-browser, however games don't always behave perfectly there. I definitely try to release a game on web when I can, but performance and other things behave far better on the actual system.

I don't think anyone should limit themselves to playing only web-games. It is unfair to those building games in their custom engines to just skip over them simpy because of no web-build. Really downloading the game doesn't add that much more time to trying games, and if it does take awhile to download, rate another game while you wait.

hattoum
 • 2 months ago • 

I always feel it's more cumbersome to download a game and as a result I probably tend to play and rate web games more. But some people use their own engines or engines that dont build for web, and I think that's really important to keep for gam jams.
As I have participated in more jams, I found that jams are the perfect opportunity to apply and experiment. So using new engines, creating something that would not run well on web, or building a game from scratch should not be off limits.
Still I try to build for web whenever I can so it's easier for others to try.

AaronBacon
 • 2 months ago • 

Theres always gonna be alot of games made in things like pygame and Game Maker (Web Build version costs $150) that simply dont support Web builds by default.

Although I always try to get a Web Build for my game up and running, since I make 2D games in Unity so its quick and easy to do, I accept that alot of people can't so I'll always try play download-only games too. And i mean WebGL only really works for simple Jam games like these, since as soon as you get into 3D, you're gonna have a bad time trying to build for Web and still expect people to get decent frame rates.

That said, those games can have many issues since everyone is on different hardware and unless you have access to a mac, linux and windows machine all at once, theres no way you can build for all platforms and know for sure that there isn't going to be a major issue somewhere. (Even if you do, testing a game on all 3 platforms in 72 hours is a task in itself). So I think a Web Build is always going to make a game more accessible since you dont need to test it 5 times for 5 different platforms.

Using this Jam as an example, I know BaconInvader had issues simply because Windows AntiVirus didnt like the name of the game, annoyingly preventing people from playing it through no fault of their own. Compare that to Gravity Jumps Web Build, which is compatible for every platform, even Android, making it able to be played by anyone anywhere without any need to worry about hardware or platform.

I think Web builds definitely give an advantage in Jams where the whole idea is that people may want to play and judge 20 games in a day, so downloading and extracting all of them only for some of them to possibly not work can really be annoying to some people, compared to a webGL build where you click a link, play the game and then close the browser tab when you're done. No Downloads and no fuss. Like I said, I'm never going to hold anything against download-only games, but I do understand why some people choose not to play them.

ratrogue
 • 2 months ago • 

I played (and streamed) a few games yesterday, and probably more than half were download-only. All I can say is that you miss out a lot of great games if you restrict yourself to web games!

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