The "view" must be 160x144px, but the "room" can be much larger. So you can have a huge room with a huge background, so long as you only see 160x144px of it at a time.
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For the first two questions, you can only use four RGB values. So for example you could use $f5f5d4, $96cf85, $4b6d85 and $352b31 (such as in my display picture). No other RGB values should ever appear anywhere in the game. For the third question, no one will know you started early but it is very strongly against the spirit of the game jam. You are essentially cheating, and given it is an online competition with no prize you are only cheating yourself.
This is a really great idea, but getting everyone to remain absolutely silent about their games sounds like a nightmare to organize and oversee! I wonder to what degree people would be able to guess the author of anonymously submitted games, based on style or theme interpretation. There are at least a few people I can think of whose games I would love to try to find amongst however many games were submitted.
how do those categories sound? theme would cover how well the rules are followed. clarity would cover how easy a game is to understand, keeping in mind how simple or complex it is.
I'm not sure I know what you mean by make the screen move, but I obviously have a few guesses. ideally you'd want to convey that the player is sprinting purely through the 1-bit output (for example, through flashing or blinking to give the impression of footsteps) but this might not be a good solution for you, depending on what else the game is doing. if you really want to give the player feedback to their input and there's no way to reasonably integrate it, then you certainly can, but it is bending the rules quite a bit (which is perfectly fine).
right now I have it set to just an "overall" category, but there might be room for "theme" or "manual" category if people argue for it. people should rate the "overall" category keeping in mind how fun and innovative the game is, as well as how it dealt with the severe restrictions.
I think the general rule for this sort of thing will be yes, so long as it's always consistently the same for each state. so if you want to make a game where the game changes between, say, radio static and a completely black state, that's okay, as long as the radio static never changes in style, intensity, etc.
1. that sounds fine, though if it's reasonable I'd try to make sure the intro screen isn't a part of the gameplay loop (e.g. a game over doesn't bring you back to the intro screen).
2. so long as the static is actually random then this is fine, too.
let me know if you agree, but I think it comes down to what's necessary. if you're making a multiplayer game, then an interface to connect via IP is very hard to avoid. if you're making a game that posts high scores online, then the same goes for an interface (at the beginning of the game, before the gameplay begins) to add your username. same goes for anything else, so long as it isn't a part of the gameplay, and there isn't a good way to implement it in the game itself. for example, instead of an options screen, in some game it may be possible to simply add key presses to toggle the various options.
so, overall, I agree with you, with the caveat that avoiding the interface is impractical.
strictly speaking, having the game open a webpage at certain times means the game is giving you additional feedback. try to think if there's any way to make the game you want to make using a static manual. if there is, great! if there isn't, bending the rules isn't the end of the world!
I completely agree with your interpretation. I wanted to keep the list of rules short and simple, while trying to convey this idea as clearly as possible, but I know what I've written isn't necessarily the clearest. do you think I should change or add to the rules, to make them better convey what I'm going for? mentioning that using vibration or images (e.g. cat / spain) is okay seemed like a good way to confuse people.
I set the start day so far away because there are two interesting game jams happening in the meantime, lowrezjam and ludumdare, and I would hate for people to have to choose between them. no one's going to stop you if you start whenever, but it might be more fun to work on the game concurrently with everyone else.
this is tough to answer, since the text input only provides feedback in the sense that it shows you what you've typed, and that's almost an accessibility issue (it punishes people who are not precise typers). I think I have to let people use their own judgement for cases which are not completely black or white, like this one.
that's a really good point. my musical knowledge is pretty lackluster so I used the term 'tone' with no idea how that would actually sound in a game, and so I'm not surprised to hear that it probably sounds pretty bad. I think using two notes (or one note and silence) is more than fine, but if others want to weigh in and agree or disagree they are encouraged to do so!
if you want to run the game at 1x1px, or 32x32px, or 1920x1080px, or something else entirely, that's all absolutely fine. if you want to include a button which changes the window size between some preset sizes, or toggles fullscreen, that's also fine. what would be against the spirit of the rules would be if the game changed the window size of its own accord, as a way to give the player more feedback.
this is already covered in the rules (in the asterisk section), but I might rewrite it so it's more clear and prominent!
edit: I've rewritten the rules concerning audio. please do let me know if you think it's still not enough.
obviously it's up to you to decide in the end, but I definitely feel that both a palette swapping function and save files are perfectly okay. palette swapping is a really nice courtesy to players who might prefer softer palettes, and save files aren't intended to be opened and read. I suppose if you're counting on or expecting the player reading the save files to help beat the game that's a bit against the spirit of the rules.
I had a look over the code and I'm fairly certain this should be impossible. the single tile rivers sometimes look a bit like map pieces, so it might have been an illusion, but that's all I can really think of