The Jam draws to an end, the winners are starting to get their prizes. Maybe we'll up this department the next time, because why not?
I'm not sure I've written a post-mortem before, is it even 'a thing'? And have I mentioned that I've never hosted anything before? Anyways, here it comes:
The Jam got some traction from the beginning, so there was interest to participate, and at the end there were circa 37 people registered, which resulted in 15 submissions. Not bad for a first-timer, also given the myriad of other concurring jams at the time. I've tried to find a period with relatively few jams but apparently they multiply quite quickly.
Rules were generally understood, and or accepted quickly.
The communication was pretty straight forward, which resulted in establishing a Discord-group early on, in spite of my ignorance of it. I adapted. Questions arose and were answered satisfactory, there were no misunderstandings, and talk was in general quite pleasant, as was the whole atmosphere, IMO.
2.5 days seems to be a sufficient period of time to craft a LCD-game, a genre which lends itself well for such an occupation, IMO.
The games are mostly high quality, fun and beautiful!
The jam was a success!
The Lesser Good:
The Itch.io Community tools (posting) seem somehow glitchy, which eased the transition to Discord, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because it works well enough.
LCD-games are a matter of the past and so it is easy for younger gens to confuse them with Gameboy style games. That is a point to remember for the future, maybe better explanations are in order, visual or so, although I really like the short and handy name of the jam - personal preference for sure.
The antiquity of the genre resulted sometimes indeed in a kind of Gameboy visual aesthetic (the greeen!), which isn't bad per se, just a spin I haven't anticipated.
I think I had some points to make here, but it seems I'm wasting everybody's time instead.
Voting: there's something that could have gone better! I know, and was educated, that the general voting ratio is low, but we can't compare e.g. LD, which nowadays has several hundred submissions, I think, and no 'prizes', with this tiny jam. Under 50% is not too bad for sure, but I'd have liked more. There's no good solution either, maybe we need more cookies!
I hope nobody was confused by the announcement of a 'special judge' in midst of the jam, we should have communicated that from the beginning. VV was integral in the conceptual stage of the jam, is a fan of LCD-games and we thought a wild card in voting would be fun. But never mind, It didn't happen.
Some general thoughts:
I liked the variety of game ideas: there were some 'static' games, as well as some 'scrolling' ones. The two most underrepresented 'sub-genres' were the driving&dodging games, as well as the Donkeykong style ones, where you try to reach a goalpost of some kind by mastering a fixed parcours on one or two screens - speaking of which, because two screens equal double work, we've seen none of that.
Which brings me to the idea, that maybe 2-screen games need a jam with double the time?
All things considered I don't know how it could have gone better!
I'll definitely try another round in 4-6 months. Hopefully you will too!
The only bigger addition I'd like to make is the announcement of a theme just before the start. That would spice things up a bit and be very broadly formulated, just to give it a general direction.
Conditions for prizes could be upped too, maybe the first treshold, the number of submissions, could be the number from the last jam, i.e. 15. Another treshold could be the number of votes: 70% or so, but if voting in jams is generally low, would that anger people? What do you think, and how are other jams handling that?
On thing to make it easier could be a web-only games rule, but wouldn't we loose people who, while willing to participate, don't deploy HTML5/WebGL, or how the terms for browser-games are nowadays ...?
On the subject of mobile deployment:
It's true that LCD-games have few downloads. I think the range is 1-10 T. But I'd still prefer, if at all desirable, a branding for LCD-jam games to a bundle. I think many games can stand for their own, and if you ask me, I'd love for them to have the same skin, UI and branding, which could make it a trusted group of games (just to be clear: I'm not considering my game in its current state a part of it yet, in spite of having put some additional work into it already).
Stay tuned for possible updates regarding manufacturing of the real thing!
Well, it was a pleasure! I'm curious how you experienced the jam?