Wan

wan #2

Joined 7 months ago

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Wan

Because games don't always have to be about shooting things, the first 2018 Kajam is about telling Stories! Explore how to tell a nice and engaging story to your players, maybe by focusing on developing interesting choices, or on the attachment to the characters, or simply use this excuse to finally try and tell a story for your first time!

While every single type of video game can be greatly affected by its storytelling, here are cheap ways you could exercise your talents:

  • Interactive fictions, with an engine like Twine or even from scratch (web or console) ;
  • Role-playing games based on RPG Maker or its free clone RPG Boss ;
  • Walking simulators, either in 2D or 3D.

Schedule

  • Jan. 1st - Jan. 28th: The jam. Make a small game while focusing on its story elements. Either over an evening or spanning the whole 3/4 weeks, either solo or as a team, there's little to no rules, just a chance to practice. If you're curious though, feel free to check the event rules.
  • Jan. 28th - Feb. 4th: The rating phase. For one week, all entrants will rate the storytelling of the other games. Like on the first event: no Overall ratings, it's all about how much you liked the stories.
  • Feb. 4th: Results are released!

Don't forget to share tips & progress reports with the community throughout the month. Have fun!

Resources

If you have a link to add, please share it in the comments.

Wan

The 24 days of the 2nd Kajam, focusing on Sound Effects, have passed by. Congrats to the entrants!

Due to the low entry count, we have decided to bypass the voting phase and just end the jam as is. Everyone is a winner! We're leaving entry submissions open throughout the end of the month for any late entrant.

Until the next jam, go check the submitted games and make sure to leave a comment on them!

See you next year and... Happy holidays to all! :)

Wan

After a week of voting, the results of the first monthly competition are out! Congratulations to the podium ;) And thanks to all who took part in playing & reviewing the games.

The next Kajam will start this Friday evening (7pm UTC), i.e. on December 1st. Our first guest host will be @dollarone, announcing the theme once again as the event launches. See you this week-end!

Wan

Congrats to all the entrants of the 1st Kajam!

This first event proved to be intimate with just 4 entries. I hope that even those of you who could not complete their games in time still had fun, and maybe learnt about game feel in the process! I've left the submission form open for late entrants.

Now for the little surprise: Game voting is open to everyone having an Alakajam! account. Curious to see how juicy our games turned out? Try them and leave a rating! And don't forget to review @HuvaaKoodia 's unranked entry as well ;)

The results of the tiny competition will be revealed this Sunday, 7pm UTC as usual.

Wan

The Kajam month-long event series continues, with @dollarone being the planned host for the next event. Just like the first event was focused on Game juice, the next one will be targeting a different aspect of game development chosen by its host. It will be announced on December 1st.

Schedule

  • Dec. 1st - 24th: The jam. You'll have around one month to work on a game and submit your entry! (see also the event rules). Note: You are allowed to submit your in-progress entry to let people know you are entering, then edit the page later.
  • Dec. 25th - 31st: The rating phase. For one week, all entrants will rate the other games according to the topic of the month (to be announced).
  • Jan. 1st: The event results

Stay tuned through Twitter or Reddit to be reminded of the event launch!

Wan

The last few days have been quite productive! I've been joined by @YO0oo0OY on sound design, who already sent cool assets. With particles, screenshakes, short flashes and tight sounds, the game already feels rather juicy!

I still have to finish the art (enemies are still red squares...), once this is done I will mostly have to make the rooms more varied and interesting, while addressing performance issues (for now the whole maze is generated on launch instead of being streamed). Not mentioning the twist ending I'd like to do...

I'm keeping a GIF album updated as I work, and here is the latest entry:

Wan

For my Kajam entry, I have decided to go with a top-down, twin-stick shooter. That should give me plenty of opportunities for finetuning the game feel and juicing up the action!

For my last MiniLD entry I tried the exercise of making a whole game design document before coding the game. Even if the actual game was quite small, it was fun writing the doc, and I think it helped keep the development focused and the end result consistent.

I won't do a full GDD this time but still, here's my notes on the upcoming entry:

Design notes

Theme/Art style

  • Game set in a strange, futuristic place that feels like a maze made out of hundreds of similar rooms arranged as a grid, with straight corridors in-between them.
  • Top-down view with either a pixel-art style (like Hotline Miami except simpler), or a smoother look with simplistic art like Prison Architect. In both cases it will be simple and in full 2D.
  • Setting & atmosphere largely inspired by the Cube movie

Gameplay loop

  1. Enter a room.
  2. The room locks up and something happens randomly: you get loot, or robot enemies appear. Maybe both. Maybe nothing.
  3. Kill the enemies until there is none.
  4. The room unlocks.
  5. (Optional) You see a clue about where the exit of the maze is.
  6. You pick one of the 4 directions, enter a corridor to the next room.
  7. Repeat.

The goal is to survive while finding the exit. I have a cool idea in mind for the ending, but I don't know if I'll have the time to implement it... If not I'll just make the difficulty ramp up until the player dies :)

Loot

  • 1st room after the one you spawn in will always let you find a weapon dropped by a dead robot
  • Health
  • Maybe ammo (if so I should give the player a way to attack if out of ammo, e.g. by throwing his weapon)
  • Maybe a 2nd weapon to have one in each hand
  • Maybe maybe, some bonuses to improve the weapon

Wan

Particles! Tweens! Screen shakes! Flashes and explosions!

For the 1st monthly Kajam, your mission – if you accept it – is to make a small game and push its juiciness to 11, by adding all these little details that make a core gameplay super satisfying.

That includes not only visual & audio feedback but also, gameplay-wise, how tight and clear the controls are – in particular for action-oriented games. See the bottom of the post for a list of resources!

Schedule

  • Oct. 13th - Nov. 19th: The jam. You have around one month to work on your game and submit your entry! (see also the event rules). Note: You are allowed to submit your in-progress entry to let people know you are entering, then edit the page later.
  • Nov. 19th - Nov. 26th: The rating phase. For one week, all entrants will rate how juicy the other games are – and that's it: no Overall, no Originality ratings, just Juiciness!
  • Nov. 26th: The definitive rankings of the most juicy games are announced :)

Have fun! Don't forget to share tips & progress reports with the community throughout the month.

Resources

Videos

Articles

If you have a link to add, please share it in the comments.

Wan

Missing Alakajam! already? Fear not! In-between the main competitions we will run longer, more relaxed events. Kajams are month-long jams where the goal is to practice a specific aspect of game making.

The theme of each Kajam will not be elected by votes, but instead chosen by a host picked every month. For this first month I will be that host, announcing the topic on October 13th! (UTC evening). If you're interested in the topic, you'll have a whole month to work on a small game and submit it to the competition.

Detailed Kajam rules

Wan

Thanks to everyone who took part in rating and commenting on games, and congratulations to the winners! You can discover the results here:

Solo rankings | Team rankings

We hope you had fun joining this competition, hopefully the first of a long series! Since this is the first time we're running it, we'd love to get your feedback through this 2 minute survey.

Next events

Here's the calendar for the next competitions. While the next Alakajam! will be hosted in February, we'll run smaller events in the mean time, focused more on learning, sharing tips and experimenting. See you then!

1st Kajam > 13 October - 19 November 2017 (what is this?)

2nd Alakajam! > 23-25 February 2018

Behind the scenes...

Despite the appearances, this first Alakajam! was not just the work of wan (ewww, look who's speaking of himself at the 3rd person):

Also, shout out to the various streamers (in particular DanaePlays & Aurel for their hype marathon), who made the event much more lively :)