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Alakajam! competition rules 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Alakajam! 

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 gamalone 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, 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 audio assets during the event, even if you opt-out of the audio category. However:
    • You can reuse existing sounds for SFX. You can also reuse short samples for music (including drums and other sampled instruments), but reusing whole music tracks is not allowed ;
    • You can create assets 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:

  • 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!

Let's make a game in April! 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 7th Kajam 

After the 5th Alakajam in February and a tournament in March, April 1st will be the start the next Kajam, this time under the presidence of the venerable @voxel!

But what is a Kajam?

Kajam competitions are month-long events in which people make a small video game focusing on a specific aspect of game making. For instance the previous jam was about "Hyper-casual gaming". Kajams are perfect to learn, experiment and improve your gamedev skills! Detailed rules here.

The topic of the 7th Kajam will be chosen by its host @voxel and announced upon the start of the event.

Follow us on Twitter or Reddit to stay updated!

The tournament is back. Compete on jam games! 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 3rd AKJ Tournament 

For the next couple weeks, Alakajam! is not hosting a gamedev event. Instead, we will play jam games! (omg)

How it works

For two weeks, everyone will get to play on a selection of 6 games (mostly from the last Alakajam! events) on which they'll try to make the highest scores/best times as possible. Using screenshots as proof, players will battle to enter (and remain in) the leaderboards.

Leaderboards points are awarded to all players that enter the top 10 of a game. At the end of the event, on March 31st, the player with the most points wins the tournament! Check the 2nd tournament winners to see the current title holders :)

As usual, there's no prizes to be won other than bragging rights. We're just here to have fun!

Discover the results of the 5th Alakajam! 1

Wan • 1 year ago on 5th Alakajam! 

It's official: the results for the 5th Alakajam! are out! You can find the results here:

Solo winners | Team winners

Kudos, high fives and back slaps to everyone who participated, in whatever way(s) you chose to. We hope you had a blast! If you have any feedback or suggestion about the event, feel free to let us know with a comment.

What's next?

The date of the 6th Alakajam is not set in stone yet but will should place in late May/early June. We will confirm it as soon as possible.

But way before that, next week-end actually, we'll start the 3rd AKJ Tournament, where the community is invited like last time to play & compete on jam games!

If you want to submit your own game to the event, follow this link.

Behind the Scenes

The jam was run by @toasty, @TimBeaudet, @thrainsa and @tipyx because nicks starting with Ts rule the world! Although not only Ts ran the jam to be honest, with the excellent @Danae and @Aurel300 bringing the event to life thanks to their livestreams :)

Also many thanks to those of you who jammed, played, streamed and/or speedran(runned?), as well as you, the community, for making this what it is.

We hope to see you in the upcoming Tournament!

The game ratings phase is on! 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 5th Alakajam! 

With the unranked jam now over, now is the time to play and rate each other's games (if you haven't started already :P)

How it works…

For the next two weeks, all entrants will be able to give ratings on other games. Take some time to play & rate games, and even better write some feedback about it! Constructive feedback is one of the best ways to learn and improve your game design skills, so please dish it out in buckets. While people who didn't enter the event cannot rate games, they can still post reviews.

By rating & commenting (even on Unranked entries), you will gain Karma that will make your game more visible to others. A high Karma gives you more chances to get ratings yourself and reach the minimum of 10 to be classified. Otherwise, you will not get a final ranking!

On March 10th, at 7pm the final results will be released and the winners crowned :)

Go go go! Play and rate games!

The ranked competition is over! 1

Wan • 1 year ago on 5th Alakajam! 

Congratulations everyone for joining the jam :) You just made a game in 48 hours, which is an impressive achievement in itself!

And if any one is left unsatisfied, or even could not finish their game, I'm sure the exercise still helped you improve your skills, meet some people, or just have a fun week-end so there's always something positive to take away from it B-)

  • Unranked submissions are still open: while those won't be officially ranked, they can expect as many people to play & comment on them. So, if you haven't finished your game in time, it's actually not too late to complete something! Game submissions will completely close Monday at 10pm UTC.
  • The rating phase of the ranked jam is open: For the next two weeks, you are invited to rate and comment on other games. We will post more details about this voting phase tomorrow evening, but you can already go play & review games right now!

Welcome to the 5th Alakajam! 9

Wan • 1 year ago on 5th Alakajam! 

The new Alakajam! is finally approaching and will start on February 22nd!

The goal of the event is simple: make a game, from scratch, in just a weekend. You can do this on your own, or in a team, you can be a seasoned pro or a total beginner. If you opt-in to the competition, you will be ranked against every other contestant!

Full schedule

Dates Phase Description
Feb. 8 Theme submission & voting You can submit theme ideas for the jam and vote for all other submissions.
Feb. 15 Theme shortlist Only the best 10 themes are kept. Rank them by order of preference in this final phase of theme voting.
Feb. 22
6:30pm UTC
Countdown stream DanaePlays and Aurel300 host an official stream on Twitch to launch the event!
Feb. 22
7pm UTC
 THE JAM!!!  Until Sunday 7pm UTC, make a game solo or as a team, and simply submit it before the deadline!
Feb. 25 Unranked jam If you want to go for a relaxed weekend - or need more time - you can create a game in the 72 hours of the unranked jam.
March 10 Results After two weeks during which all entrants are invited to play, rate and comment on other peoples games… The results are released and the winners crowned!

Rules

There are three 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, want to work on an existing project of theirs, or simply did not finish their game in time.

See the full rules for the Alakajam.

How to enter

All you need to do is:

  1. Create an account on this website
  2. Publish your game before the deadline

A lot of participants also post an "I am in" blog post presenting themselves or their team before the event. Describe what tools and frameworks and engines you will use to create your awesome game! Which themes do you like? Let us and the community know!

If you can, feel free to spread the word about the jam - the more we are, the merrier! glhf ;)

Submit your game! 3

Wan • 1 year ago on 3rd AKJ Tournament 

In March will be held the 3rd AKJ Tournament, where the community is invited like last time to play & compete on existing jam games! The event will be run right after the end of the 5th Alakajam, around March 10th.

If you want to submit your own game to the event, follow this link :)

Ratings mode & bonus days for submissions 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Kajam 

The 6th Kajam now has ratings open! You are free to play, review and rate these hyper-casual games according to how addictive you feel they are. Also, most of you are already aware but due to popular demand, there is a last minute change to allow 4 more days for submitting late entries. Here's the final schedule:

  • Submissions close: Thursday 31st January, 7pm UTC
  • Ratings close/Results out: Tuesday 5th February, 7pm UTC

We're not extending the ratings phase until the end of the week because… Guess what? It will be time for the 5th Alakajam already, with theme submissions opening on the following Friday :D

Congrats to everyone who already entered the jam, and good luck to those still polishing their work!

Rocket Jumper: random level generation? 4

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Kajam entry  Rocket Jumper

I've been making good progress with my jumping game, with the core mechanic now mostly done (…although physics were harder than expected to set up).

The next steps will be to draw final art… and more importantly, balance the difficulty. That difficulty part is quite tricky, as a good level design should be able to avoid "impossible situations" where deaths are forced. How could we do that yet keep the game hard, and even make it get harder with time? I see two main approaches:

  1. Keep the levels procedurally generated, and do some clever coding to make level generation harder & harder without being unfair ;
  2. Use pre-made "level chunks" of various difficulties, that would be playtested by hand.

Solution 2 would be too time consuming & unexciting, not mentioning I'd need to playtest again from scratch if I decide to tweak physics constants… So yeah I'll stick with fully procedural levels. To quickly get something I can ship, I've wanted to avoid being too concerned about imperfect levels: a trick was to introduce an "oxygen management" mechanic. The way it helps with level design is that it lets players do (limited) air jumps, which means that even if there's a huge hole in the level it still leaves a chance to survive.

Now, for the ideal solution…

The main idea I've had for "100% solvable" level generation is to place an AI player below the screen, before rockets are even spawned, that "plays" exactly like the player would. It would randomly decide to swap sides & jump, the trick being that the AI also decides when it lands: When reaching one of the 3 "rocket lanes", he'd be able to trigger rocket generation. A rocket would then magically appear right where the AI is, so we're 100% sure that the game is playable :)

We could then adjust the difficulty in various ways:

  • Especially in early phases of the game, filling voids with some additional rockets would help make things easy and the "AI path" not too obvious
  • The AI could play with increasingly tight timing
  • The rockets could be made shorter, or positioned so that there's little margin for error

I'm not sure how widespread this technique of using an AI is, but it may be fun to try. To be continued…