Wan

wan #2

Joined 2 years ago

Bio

Wan • a month ago

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!

Wan • a month ago

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!

Wan • 2 months ago

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 things to say about the event, we've got a short survey you should definitely check out.

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!

Wan • 2 months ago

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!

Wan • 2 months ago

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!

Wan • 3 months ago

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 ;)

Wan • 3 months ago

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 :)

Wan • 3 months ago

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!

Wan • 3 months ago

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…

Wan • 4 months ago

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!

High scores

x7 x5 x7
# Game Score Date
Tombstone Boo!
by timbeaudet
1780 November 2nd 2018
Rising Frost
by Baconinvader
4 June 28th 2018
Quick Dash
by TheTacticalBanana
335 February 5th 2019
Arrow Fighter
by SpaceMonkey
25994 December 19th 2018
Ridiculous Jump
by euske
5'10"000 June 25th 2018
PROCRASTINAIRE: Solitairy Confinement
by dorkulon , cloakedninjas , treslapin
6728 Salary June 25th 2018
Run for your Life
by Thrainsa
1135 February 1st 2019
The Lost Beans
by dollarone
288 s March 30th 2019
ADVANCE DIVER
by voxel
79174 Meters October 24th 2018
NEWTON: The starving snake
by Call_in , Fresh Food , Mills !
7650 October 16th 2018
VikingFall
by Teth , Takko
1854 October 19th 2018
Illustrious Escape
by Juutis , M2tias , bradur
5'48"902 March 15th 2019
Lollipop Ninja
by DaFluffyPotato
7'56"150 May 2nd 2018
Philosopher's Strike
by Wan , Thrainsa
31400 September 16th 2018
Always Mowing
by TigerJ
3935 June 28th 2018
A.G. Hope
by Wan , Thrainsa
11 June 29th 2018
GNOP
by euske
26 October 17th 2018
Shinobi Blocks
by dwemthy
9 March 15th 2019
King's Feast
by Ztuu
33 February 2nd 2019
4
Whiteout
by euske
5593 May 2nd 2018
4
Uncanny Ballet
by Wan
0'46"943 April 21st 2018
4
Exterminus
by Kleinzach
20350 September 3rd 2018
4
Thyl's Tale
by Laguna , KaramBharj , Thunraz , xXBloodyOrange
3'18"200 September 12th 2018
4
Whirling Blades
by DaFluffyPotato
4'41"520 September 11th 2018
4
Hunk Hustler
by sebastianscaini , Josh_Schwarm , Wulusi , carsonmackie
22 July 24th 2018
4
Fall for someone
by Ztuu
5'49"420 October 19th 2018
4
Quick Tiles!
by Tipyx
1'01"010 February 1st 2019
4
Cooperoids
by toasty
3254 May 1st 2018
4
Spike
by sorceress
9 Level Reached May 8th 2018
4
Disappainted: Master of the Invisibrush
by dorkulon , cloakedninjas , treslapin
76 % May 2nd 2018
5
You are the Grimoire
by Aurel300
2'53"140 March 30th 2019
5
MAD SEED
by voxel
3'51"516 September 13th 2018
5
Nonomino
by thomastc
2768 March 30th 2019
5
Parachute Simulator X
by smbe19
0'04"320 October 19th 2018
6
You Can't See Everything at Once
by sebastianscaini , EternalStormfire , Supermooper123 , coleycaves
1'52"000 May 1st 2018
6
Pandemia
by benjamin
66 September 17th 2018
6
Sakura
by Ridderfar , TheKillerFly , jlindskov
13191 October 18th 2018
6
Electric Tango
by laaph
5836 December 28th 2018
6
Drift
by Raindrinker
0'45"130 April 25th 2018
6
Turbo/Glide
by rnlf
0'19"460 April 24th 2018