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A member registered Aug 05, 2014

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Emuurom brought me back to the golden age of indie Flash games – it's a beautifully crafted, creative, exploration-focused experience full of secrets and cozy feelings.

It also reminded me of Rain World, my favorite game of all time: you're in a world full of creatures, but they're not out to get you specifically. Rather, you're just living in it, and learning about them and their behaviors is a large part of what the game is about. They're also similar in their approaches to mystery: Emuurom tells you little to nothing about how to play or how things work up front, so that's all for you to discover on your own. If you, like me, can't get enough of the feeling of discovery, you gotta play this game.

I really wanna know what liquid that is down there. I wanted to build a pump next to the hole to pump it up and see, but I didn't feel like drawing up the 18×18-pixel... plans for it.

How about someone help me with a rope and lower me down so I can check it out? Perhaps it could turn out to be useful.

Oh! It looks pretty good floating out there, actually! I'm sure our eventual pet will enjoy the zero-gravity leap into and out of the front door, too.

Now, here's a problem. I went to scout out the location for the dog house today, and… I don't quite know how to say this.

There's nothing there.

I don't mean there's just a patch of grass or whatever – that'd be great. Space for the doghouse. I mean that there's literally nothing there. There's no ground. There's no sky. There's no existence. It's… It's off the edge of the world. This location we call [1W] does not seem to exist in our dimension – there's [2E], there's [1E], there's [HOME], and then nothingness.

I'd sure like to see a doghouse floating in this void, though, perhaps inhabited by an extradimensional Fido. I can't quite fathom what it'll look like when it's done, but hey! Let's shoot for otherworldliness.

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I spent today writing 1000 books to fill the library with. Two of the books are about screws and screwdrivers respectively, three hundred or so are intricate mystery novels, and the rest are all erotica. While my output as an author is extraordinary, I'm afraid I'm not gifted in a great range of genres.

I hope your irriguous category system can handle these books, Katie!

The meaning of these mysterious runes in our home shall elude us no longer! Let's be as scientific about it as possible.

I'll kick the study off with the classic scientific practice of sitting for a few hours and staring as hard as I can at the object of study.

Y'all blew it 😢

We're living in a gosh darn long cave now…

I'm looking forward to this big time. You know how it's the best to go out in the rain and jump into puddles, making a big splash? This'll be that, but every day and in our house. It's going to be absolutely excellent.

So that one person who just posted something with coordinates is flying as blind as I am, then?

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I urge you all, my compatriots, to think about where you want to live. Do you want to live in a boring ol' tunnel? Or do you want to live in a glorious, magical ✨🌊🏚️ wet house 🏚️🌊✨? If you want all the waterlogged goodness to yourself, I'll even stay on the top floor and let you have the bottom.

Some supplementary information that may help you in your choice:

  • Tunnels are just long caves. And caves are boring.
  • The house is wet. All the best things in life are wet.

here are the projects placed? People are talking about flower fields and stuff like there's an environment or somethin', but... I don't see anything like that. Is it imaginary? Where are the 18x18 sprites placed? And what are the coordinates people are using? Is there a map somewhere?

(It's possible that it'll all be clear In Time™, but for the moment I'm a bit confused.)

Didja fix it? I see a little tile of what's either some rocky terrain or someone's sooty abs.

Hey yo! I'm Samuel and/or obskyr. I'm a programmer, I'm a Japanese-English translator, and I'm a cool guy.

I recommend talking to me becaaause otherwise I get lonely and you miss out on some fun social interaction.

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Do we die if the food supply is depleted? Or do we start eating each other?

I wanna live in a flooded house. It's always been my dream to squelch squolch around on my way to the kitchen to get some soggy bread and hyperdiluted jam. It's picturesque.

I'm fairly certain people who play bit jam games will be reading the descriptions on the pages and/or any readme files packed with the game.

Regaring the second question: as long as there are only two states, that should be fine, right? Daniel himself has stated a few times now that it's more about the bit than the pixel representation.

As long as the game never modifies that file itself, I guess.

What, for multiple files or something?

No, the mouse isn't, but I'd still say the visible mouse pointer + corresponding to an overlapping in-game position is.

Maybe make it clearer that the bit is the important part, and not the pixel form? I've thought of it as the bit unconsciously, but in the rules the pixel definitely felt more important.

Mouse position with the mouse pointer visible over the screen influencing the bit counts into "look" for you, right? I'd say it's less about the factors you mentioned, and more about whether the visible mouse pointer represents an object in the game.

I'd probably be okay with paying that price if the game was fun and/or interesting. Bit on the low end even, actually.

Most likely the mouse position will directly correspond to an in-game location, though.

This view you're speaking about kind of opens up weird venues, though. If I write a program separate from the game, and I have it read the game's memory and draw dots over the game window where objects are, would that then be okay since it's not technically part of the game?

I think the mouse pointer deliberation is also affected by the fact that it is on the exact same output device as your bit. Not only that, but also often in a way where it's indistinguishable from the case where your bit area would actually have explicitly and directly output the pointer graphic.

I still kinda think it is, though. Moreso than seeing a key being pressed down. After all, it's on the screen, made of several pixels, overlapping the single-color screen. It (probably) directly represents an object in the game, which although the display of it isn't a part of the games code still is a form of very clear visual feedback.

I'm getting excited! 😁 There should totally be an IRC channel, too, to let the bitjammers talk while bitting. Uh, I mean, jamming.

Isn't pretty much everything an accessibility issue, then? After all, that the game only ever shows you one bit of information at a time is a huge accessibility problem.

The "precise typer" thing is more a difficulty than anything else, isn't it? Some people will of course find it harder to type without seeing the results than others. Plus, is there really a difference between you pressing the up arrow and you've got a character moving upwards, and you pressing the J key and a J appearing on screen? It's still a form of clear visual feedback on exactly what you pressed and what it did.

Your finger is the input, though! That's a clever way to let the user be the feedback. The finger is more like the mouse than the mouse pointer. Cool!

I can't speak with authority (since only Daniel can), but I'd say mouse position as input is completely within the rules and spirit of the jam, but the mouse cursor isn't. After all, if you can see the mouse cursor, you've got a display of the position of an object in the game, so to be 100% compliant it'd have to be hidden.

Hahah, that's a bit fun, actually! A mouse maze you can't see, basically.

But... isn't the mouse pointer technically an extra form of feedback? Which means the game breaks the jam rules? 😁

That text input is a form of extra feedback, isn't it? The rules also specifically include "this includes text popups[...]" and while this isn't a popup as such, it's still a form of text feedback.

Ah, and colors with less contrast to each other could remedy that. I see.

I'd go as far as to say I think it's almost required! Especially for puzzley games. Having the player take notes or take time to reason about the bit isn't feedback; it's a form of gameplay and difficulty, basically. Sounds completely within not only the rules, but within the spirit of the jam itself.

Not that I think it should be disallowed, but... would it really "help with accessibility"? In what case would a black/white game be less/more accessible than a red/blue one? Or a pastel pink/pastel yellow one?

If so, only in exact conjunction with the display, though, right? The rules specifically mention controller vibration as a disallowed extra channel of feedback

Having it be mandatory feels a bit odd, since then it'd automatically be an "audio-focused" jam. Audio isn't the norm - visual display is the "standard" mode of feedback. "bit jam" would no longer feel as descriptive as something like, say, "beep jam".

I'm glad it's an option, though!

Yup; I have a few ideas that mostly fit into the "puzzle" niche. I've also got a number of ideas that'd fit into the mystery or ARG genre, but I feel a couple of those (especially ones more toward ARG) wouldn't be in the spirit of the jam.

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I'd love it to take on an ARG spin. It would make the mail-in factor more impactful, I'm pretty sure, as you're no longer "just playing a game" by mail (though that would no doubt be fun too), you're instead taking part in something bigger, something "real" by sending your letters.

I don't think it would be very limiting either, except in the area of setting the player's role. It's way harder to give the player a backstory (like "you left your country"), since each player will of course have their real memories. It can still be done, however, with some memory loss thing or maybe a backstory the player wouldn't know about ("when you were a baby you were moved..."). Except that one point, though, an ARG format would probably not be especially limiting.

That pretty much makes it an ARG just by itself. I dig it! 😀

I think you might be a bit confused as to what an ARG is...

I know Droqen's talked a bit about a desire for a sense of discovery. I think that sounds like a wonderful point to focus on! I absolutely love uncovering information, being surprised and interested, and thinking like crazy to find out or formulate theories on new things. The way I'm thinking this could work is through some sort of mystery. Something that needs to be dug into, to be dissected and investigated.

Or maybe the game could start normal, with nothing too out of the ordinary going on, with strange and engrossing things popping up and growing over time? A bit lonelygirl15-esque, I guess, if that helps (not that I've ever seen it or anything; only read about it and thought the concept and execution sounded interesting).

A point of discussion these two thoughts also raises is one of a goal - should there be a goal you're (at least initially) working toward? When I think about it, there kind of doesn't have to be. Maybe discovery is enough.

Either way, it's got to be kind of ARG-ey, right? Or maybe not? It feels like a mail-based game with a story has to be by definition, but maybe I'm missing something.