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Post Jam Updates

A topic by Sergio Quintero created Mar 01, 2021 Views: 192 Replies: 2
Viewing posts 1 to 2
Submitted

Can one update a game after it has been submitted? there where a few bugs that could'nt been finished and had to submitt as it is. 

Host(+1)

Unfortunately, no. If they are very game-breaking (to the degree the game is unplayable) DM me (GP) on the Discord server and, after demonstrating it, I'll see if we can do something fair to the other participants.

Game jam projects are meant to be buggy anyway =)

(+1)

As a professional game dev who has judged many of these types of events over the past decade, I would like to advocate for following the growing trend of allowing continuous updating after the deadline.

The incentive to "get it right the first time" still exists as entrants are likely to get more ratings early on and they will be higher if the game they submitted is of high-quality from the start. Plus, this approach also has some important upsides:

1) It encourages post-jam interaction and feedback since commenters can see their suggestions implemented in real-time (which fosters a sense of community).

2) It rewards developers who stay engaged with their audience and do the hard work to incorporate feedback and create updates. (This is a CRUTIAL skill in the commercial world of game development. When's the last time you saw a game without a patch release?)

3) It results in better games which, in my experience, makes it easier for us professionals to judge these kinds of games and makes our feedback more useful. (It doesn't help when all we do is point out something the dev already knows is a problem but simply wasn't allowed to fix.)

4) There will always be bugs you aren't aware of until a game is released into the wild. Different people have access to different devices and use them differently. Giving devs a chance to fix these bugs is more "fair" because they had no way of knowing about these bugs unless they had access to these devices. (Thus disadvantaging devs from less affluent backgrounds and solo devs.)

5) Having hard deadlines propagates the "crunch" work ethic that continues to plague our industry. (It's better when you can submit as is, get some sleep, and come back to fix the bug post-release.)

Giving a game jam a "hard deadline" was a practice born out of necessity. We didn't have the tools to do otherwise. Now that we have the tools to move to "soft deadlines" - absent a material prize - I think that is generally the best system for everyone.

Thank you.