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Almax

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A member registered Dec 13, 2016 · View creator page →

Creator of

Recent community posts

We'd be delighted if you could give our game a play!

"Welcome to the Starship Heart of Bronze (no relation).
Following a workplace incident you find yourself the only remaining crew member in the middle of a hectic space battle.
Maintain your ship's shields, evade incoming missiles and calibrate your singularly huge gun.
Amidst the chaos, gunfire, explosions and general mishmash, will you keep your wits or meet a sticky end?"

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

There will be a functional minimum, but essentially yes. Though I think this should be a function of your participation - the more people you vote for the more votes you should get -  rather than who has the biggest twitter following...

I like the idea of only allowing those who submitted rate. But allow anyone to comment.

You can minimise the abuse of creating blank /fake entries by ignoring ratings for users who do not receive a minimum number of rating themselves.

Of course this could be circumvented by creating enough fake accounts to raise each other above the minimum, but again countered by looking for voting islands. Depends how far you want to take the anti cheat measures. There will always be loopholes.

Introducing a Karma system that accounts for participation may help too - this has been discussed in a few other threads.
https://itch.io/t/527869/karma-system-for-the-game-jams
https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/topic/527912/show-some-respect-to-other-participants

****

Also, I really hope Mark acknowledges and discusses these rating problems in a video, I'd be keen to understand his perspective as the event organiser.

In my mind a mean average is a bit mean :)

Ludum Dare allows voters to specifically designate an overall rating. This allows for something like the following:

Design = 4
Art = 4
Fun = 5
Overall = 5

Which I think is a fairer interpretation of the voter's intent than a mean average of 4.3.

Otherwise voters may artificially inflate ratings for all categories to ensure the game they like does well, which helps no-one.

I work in the games industry and have been doing game jams for a few years now - mostly Ludum Dare which is 72 hours.

https://ldjam.com/users/almax

The crunch is certainly real and I now always take a day off work to recover rather than letting my work suffer, but the payoff of experience and the end result of having made a game is amazing. It's also a great opportunity for self reflection on how you spend your time working on projects. Jams reinforce the fact that code doesn't need to be meticulously designed to work and art doesn't need to be well polished to be aesthetically pleasing. It's easy to get lost in bureaucracy of and standard practices in professional game development, so I find game jams wonderfully refreshing :)

Life is ultimately a game of risk/reward and for me personally being fatigued for a few days after a jam is worth it.

That being said, here's a shameless plug of what I sacrificed sleep to make haha

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

That is one terrifying looking spider! Will have a play on my lunch break :)

We made a first person spaceship survival game. 

You're the only crew member left after an incident that is totally not your fault, and the ship is under attack

Charge the gun, dodge missiles and reroute power to the shields before you're destroyed!

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

We also made a game about panic on a spaceship 😊 though your's more balanced I think haha

Check it out

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

Great aesthetic! The tension that builds to getting the gun and the flip in power from the enemy to the player is very well presented. 

I found the stealth mechanics a little off though, particularly on the third level with the eye - I got repeatedly caught out by the creature, expecting bushes to break line of sight for the creature as they do for as the eye... unless the eye just has a smaller detection radius lol

Otherwise, great work :)

Loving the black and white atheistic! Will give it a play and a rate now :)

Ours is a FPS Spaceship survival game where - after a work place accident that was entirely not your fault -  you're the only crew member left. 

Man the stations to dodge missiles, reroute power to the shields and charge the gun!

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

We're on 14 ratings and it would be awesome to have a few more people play our game :)

FPS Spaceship survival game where - after a work place accident that was entirely not your fault -  you're the only crew member left. 

Man the stations to dodge missiles, reroute power to the shields and charge the gun!

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

Great use of the theme. I've seen jumping games like this before but I love the unique way you handle enemies. That last level took me a minute to solve, I really wanted to kill the guy :) 

(1 edit)

Did you make a hard game? 

Was it intentionally hard? 

Or do other people need to "get good"?   xD

I've found that because of the tight deadline and gameplay being in constant flux, it's hard to give yourself time to do a proper balance pass before submission. There's always that one more thing to add or that killer bug that gets in the way.

Is it better to make time at the end or balance as you go? - or just wing it 

What strategies have people taken to try and tackle this, and what advice would you give to others?

We made a game designed to panic and rush player between multiple rooms but didn't give enough time to considering the impact of a first experience which lead the first play through being a bit confusing. In retrospect a more controlled introduction to each of the mechanics would have been ideal.

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

It's understandable that itch.io have the filters they do given the core use of the site is not game jams, but rather serving as more of a library. 

And there is no silver bullet, but the current default random filter we have currently is uneven and unfair.

Visibility should be a function of participation, favouring those who are rating others and engaging in critical feedback and praise.

I agree that Ludum Dare's Karma system would be a good model to start from as it's been proven to work well for the last few years.

The current reliance on spamming the community with "Play my game" and "I'll rate you if you rate me" in order to achieve an above mean average rating count is frustrating and discouraging.

GMTK brings a level of popularity and attention, but with increasing numbers the amount of spam is growing and could turn the community toxic easily.

Whatever changes are made to address these issues however,  should be done in a transparent and iterative process with the community, with regards to the various game jam formats itch.io hosts.

I'm excited to see itch.io create an even more welcoming and supportive breeding ground for aspiring developers.

/endrant

Thanks for elevating this to the wider itch.io community, I'll chime in on the other thread

Dawwww, thanks for the lovely words

You too!

Sorry about the performance issues but thanks for playing through it! 

I didn't spend any time making sure the game scaled :(

Making this game was like playing it.

Confused panic.

Thanks! It was tight but we made it :)

Thanks for playing! Glad you enjoyed the humour, I'm usually left to write the game text/dialogue during jams and it always gets done in the last few hours so this time I made an effort to write earlier so it wasn't such a mad dash to the finish line... didn't work out that way, was still a mad dash :D

Oh and played your entry, Pogo'd my way to victory and left a comment!

The elevator is one of our favourite parts too, I'd like to make it a common trope in all our future FPS jam entries, but I'm not sure if Greg agrees xD

hehe, super cute and original gameplay. It was a bit slow/easy but it reminded me of the secret areas in Crash Bandicoot with all the careful box jumping. Nice work :)

Wow! Thanks xD
Glad you enjoyed playing it

We built a 3D game full of 2D mini games, where the player is the only crew member on a spaceship and must run around keeping the shields powered, dodging missiles and charging up the gun.

The most awkward thing was controlling the game events to keep communication clear and not overloading the player with information while keeping the feeling of panic. I'm not sure we pulled it off perfectly but it works for the most part.

We used UE4 and I implemented an event queue in C++ built of inline instanced UObjects. We could then have Blueprint derived classes that provided the functionality for the event and declared when the queue could move on to the next. This allowed us to gate events by dialogue, world effects, player location etc on a per event basis.  It made all the game logic very modular which was great for us as it minimised changes in one system breaking another.

You can check out the game and the project source on our game page.

If anyone has the mad inclination to open the project you'll need UE4.22.3 and VS2017.

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

(1 edit)

I think itch.io seriously lacks good visibility balancing. Not sure what they're doing under the hood but the submission page seems entirely random.

Ludum Dare has a filter selection, the default of which bubbles up games that have a high rating ratio. That is to say developers that rate more of other people's games gain more visibility: (ratings given / rating recieved).  On the whole it works pretty well for maximising vote distribution relative to participation, and minimised the reliance on devs spamming for attention - though this still happens to some degree.

I would be keen to raise awareness of this to the GMTK team and see if they can action any structural changes for the next jam.

==Edit=================
Just noticed itch.io does have a submission filter, but it IS random by default and there's no natural balancing. Also I expect most people use the default filter. It make sense for itch.io core game library, but not during a voting period for a jam in my eyes. Thoughts?

Current filter options:
* Popular
* Random (default)
* Least rating
* Most ratings
* Submission order
* Most recently submitted

Dude! 80 games, that's a valiant effort :)

Consider yourself rated and check out ours here! Woop!

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

Hurrah! Glad you had fun and got a little panicked, that was the intent xD

Thanks for the feedback! Greg will be happy to hear you like the visuals :P

6 ratings for us! 

Would be awesome to get some more feedback from people :)

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790


Just played this which was batshit crazy game and a lot of fun:

https://johnpaddle.itch.io/gran-teft-unicycle


And you can play ours here :)

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

Rated!

"Very cool, like Titan Souls and Towerfall had a baby :)"

Check out ours here:

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

We may have bit off more than we could chew.
Usually we do the Ludum Dare jam which is 72 hours, so our scoping was a bit off this time around haha

Very cool, like Titan Souls and Towerfall had a baby :)

We made our game in UE4. 

Had a lot of fun and used a mixture of BP and C++. 

The project source is available for download if anyone wants to pick it apart :)

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462790 

Heart of Bronze. An FPS Spaceship Survival game, or as we affectionately call it, a stress simulator :) 

https://itch.io/jam/gtk-2019/rate/462790


The movement mechanic is so original! Great atmosphere and graphics and fitting music/sound too. The fighting itself though I found a bit too clumsy and inaccurate. Still, one of the best entries I've seen so far, nice work. 

(1 edit)

Impressive scope for a jam, and though some parts are clearly unfinished (bullets cough cough) the game is still a tonne of fun to play! Great work guys, and well done for managing such a large team for a jam :)

Holy crap I love the premise of this game, and it's impressive how many weapon types you managed to fit into the 48 hour time limit. Reminds me a lot of Hotline Miami, speaking of which it would have been cool to throw the guns after use, though that might be stretching the theme a bit :P 

Fun and I really liked the retro feel. Could do with some damage feedback though, hit SFX and VFX for the player ship would really go a long way.

Fantastic frantic fun. Genuinely couldn't ask for more in a 48 hour jam. My only criticism would be the difficulty curve but it's easy to misjudge that during a jam when the only testers are the game devs :D 

Cool idea and well executed. I was surprised by the variety of puzzles for a 48 hours jam and didn't hit any bugs. Restarting from scratch made the later levels stressful and frustrating, I actually stopped player after my 4th-5th failure because I didn't want to go through the easy ones again. Having the hard reset does add tension to your choices though. Perhaps a middle ground of lives would be good, each failed level you loose one life,  loose them all and you get kicked back to the title screen. That said, I did have fun :) so great work!