Posts

Hyper-casual is the new casual! 2

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Kajam 

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, submissions will remain open until the end of the month! That means 4 bonus days. We'll still open game ratings on January 27th. See you then :)

The theme of the January 2019 Kajam is Hyper-casual gaming. As usual, you'll have about one month to make a game exploring the topic, with submissions due for Sunday 27th! Will follow a week of ratings on how addictive your game is, with the results out on Sunday 3rd February.

About "hyper-casual" games

I discovered this new term pretty recently, thanks to Bitslap sharing an interesting article about the trend. We're interested here in a particular niche inside the world of mobile gaming. It's been years now since casual games have taken over the world of app stores, from match threes to strategy games to puzzles. But now, the idea behind "hyper"-casual is that there's a growing number of successful apps that are actually very small games, focused on a single simple mechanic.

The obvious examples would be Flappy Bird of course, or 2048. Both were made in 3 days or less. An older one would be Doodle Jump. There's been a lot of games like this now that have been successful, even commercially successful, while at the same time seeming like they did not take that much time to develop. Studios like Ketchapp have outright specialized in such games ; their recent success Stack is a good exemple.

Tips

It seems like the overall hyper-casual recipe is as follows:

  1. Rely on a very simple but fun mechanic
  2. Make it require lots of practice to master (either by getting timing and precision right, or by perfecting strategic decisions)
  3. Make the game infinite, having the player aim for a high score
  4. Balance the difficulty right (to avoid boring or frustrating the player)

While I can't promise you this will make your game a success, it's certainly a type of games worth exploring. For me it will be a nice change to finetune a simple gameplay rather than cramming as much features & contents I can in a limited time :)

Bonus: One Hour Game Jam meetup!

Because those games are super easy to prototype, let's try something special and join the One Hour Game Jam to get our games started! OHGJ is a weekly event, and completely informal (no prizes nor enforcing any rules, ie. it's ok to submit late, reuse existing art etc.) so it's perfect to get your Kajam entry started.

I'm proposing either of the next two events for us to gather and give a try at a hyper-casual game!

  • Saturday 5th January, 8pm UTC
  • Saturday 12th January, 8pm UTC

See you there maybe! And even if you don't, have fun making a minimal but addictive game!

My attempt at single-button gameplay 4

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Kajam 

I have tried to think about any simple but fun and mobile-friendly mechanic I could find, and here's the result:

Story: It won't be told explicitly (except maybe through the game name), but I always need a story to get me engaged in my projects. Here, humanity is escaping Earth due to an imminent disaster. Thousands of rockets are launching into space, except you have been forgotten behind :D You had the brilliant idea to just hop on a launching rocket, so now let's just try to stay alive…

Gameplay: It's simply about staying on screen for as long as you can, by jumping between rockets that scroll at different speeds. Maybe you just you can't stick to the rockets correctly and are constantly sliding along them, forcing you to jump to something else before you fall off. Anyway the controls are just:

  1. Hold touch for the right time to jump on a neighbor rocket
  2. Tap to switch sides of the rocket you're on
  3. Use 1 & 2 to stay alive as long as you can

I aim to build this both for PC and Android. And will probably prototype this during a One Hour Game Jam.

The next Kajam starts on January 1st 0

Wan • 1 year ago on 6th Kajam 

Hello there! I'm looking forward to be the host for the first event of 2019. See you on January 1st for the announcement of the topic of the month. I've already chosen it, and the picture below is a little teaser :) Follow us on Twitter to stay updated! Have a nice holidays and see you then.

Kajams are month-long gamedev events in which people focus on a specific aspect of game making. From Storytelling to Artificial intelligence to Retro gaming, each Kajam is a new excuse to practice game development skills and have fun! Detailed rules here.

Feedback Fortnight is back! 0

Wan • 1 year ago on Feedback Fortnight 2018 

For december, we are reviving the Feedback Fortnight concept that was introduced last year as the launch event of Alakajam.

More details to be announced soon…

Will you earn one [insert currency] off your project? 0

Wan • 1 year ago on November Challenge 2018 

The month is over and we tried our best to release a commercial project this month, with various degrees of success. What is the next step now?

Winning the challenge

As the month ends, you are supposed to have released your game in any marketplace where you can earn money. From now on, you will be considered a winner as soon as you get purchases for a total of at least $1/1€! (or whatever your local currency is).

Here is a victory stamp you can use anywhere to boast about your participation ;)

I could not make it in time!

If you didn't manage to submit your game in time, it's okay. After all the goal was to make us move our butts and try to release a project, and you joined the party.

  • If you have a playable build, feel free to link it to your entry so we can all playtest your game
  • If you still plan to release your game, feel free to do so and try to be a late winner!

We're leaving entry submissions open to any late entries for the time being.

Winners list

Did you win the November Challenge? Let us know by posting a comment below!

Entry Author
Px Editor @DaFluffyPotato
Idle Snowflake @Laguna

Modular Hope progress 0

Wan • 1 year ago on November Challenge 2018 entry  Modular Hope

A quick update on my A.G. Hope update towards a sellable game (now renamed to Modular Hope).

I think I've spent roughly 8 hours on the game so far, and it's been mostly dedicated to rewriting the controls and physics for the game. What made things a bit slower is how I've been trying to take advantage of "data oriented programming" patterns that are making their way into Unity good practices.

I think I have a good base now for managing & structuring those modular spaceships, the current step being to implement docking on top of it. My first attempt hasn't been too great :P I attempted to optimize things by creating a single, large circle trigger on each room to detect other rooms within docking range… Except not only I have a little direction detection bug (see below!), but I just realized that in fact it wouldn't behave correctly in all cases. What I need to do is put a trigger on each of all 4 sides of the room.

To be continued…

Alakajam now has a Discord server! 0

Wan • 1 year ago 

Today's a big day, as the community just launched its official Discord server!

The decision was taken after debating it thoroughly among the team and community regulars: while we love our current chat hosted on IRC, we also felt it was needed to have a place on Discord, as a lot of gamedev enthusiasts are using it. From now on we'll be supporting both services, with bridges between them thanks to the discord-irc bot.

We hope to see you there!
 

Click this invite to join the server

The game ratings phase is on! 5

Wan • 1 year ago on 4th Alakajam! 

With the unranked jam now over, now is the time to play and rate each other's games!

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 October 28th, at 7pm the final results will be released and the winners crowned :)

Go go go! Play and rate games!

Joshua McLean reviews your game on stream! 5

Wan • 1 year ago on 4th Alakajam! entry  Temple of Ares

Just spreading the word for streamer MrJoshuaMcLean who is planning to stream Alakajam entries on his Twitch channel tonight.

If you'd like your game to be reviewed on stream, submit it below!

Submission for Joshua McLean Stream

The ranked competition is over! 5

Wan • 1 year ago on 4th 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 it helped you improve your game making skills, meet some people, or just have a fun week-end so there's always something positive to take away from it B-)

Submissions are still open for unranked submissions: 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 9pm UTC.

We will post more details about the voting phase tomorrow evening, but you can already go play & review games right now!