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I'd like to include an option to change the background in the future. I'm also interested in creating options for different topographies and plants, but at the moment the game's features are limited by the engine license I can afford. Thank you for your feedback!
No worries, thanks so much for the feedback! I'm super glad you enjoyed the game and its art!!
The "self control" theme became more about observing the changes in the environment than changing it yourself, but I was a little concerned that having items and sprites you can't interact with might be confusing, so I understand what you mean; the fact that they can't be used and are left up to the player to interpret could have been clearer. I was aiming to indicate exits by a unique tile or a path, but I think a third color would have definitely helped way more to highlight that, because as things are they can blend in to the rest of the environment. I'd love to try that hack in the future! Is there a specific resource I can check out to learn more?
Hi everybody! I’m Grim; I’m an interactive fiction creator, a classicist, and really stoked to be hosting Mytholojam again! For this round, we’re working with Roman antiquity! Like before, I have a bunch of resources, tips, and links that might be useful.
I. Getting Started • II. Ancient History • III. Inspiration • IV. Advice & Time Management • V. Rules • VI. Team-Building & Discord • VII. Devlogs • VIII. Questions & Contact
I. Getting Started
If you need a hand deciding how to get started, sortingh.at is an interactive tool that can give you a personalized idea of which engines to explore with breakdowns of each tool. It can also give you suggestions for where to locate art and audio assets, and advice about design and distribution. It contains plenty of links leading you to sites where you can find the tools and assets it describes.
II. Ancient History
If you want to do research or get more familiar with any concepts, locations, or figures you’re interested in working with, I recommend the Ancient History Encyclopedia (which has an especially handy search function and a useful index), or you can (judiciously) take to good old Google. You aren’t obligated to go to town researching, but if you’d like to, it’s an option!
It can be hard to come up with an idea sometimes! Maybe a relentless interactive roasting of an emperor? A simulation of Crassus’ house-flipping fire brigade? A top-down interpretation of a military engagement? That's just me throwing spaghetti at the wall, but you're welcome to make any of those. Here’s a small selection of other things to look to for inspiration if you're stuck:
|Historical events! We’re starting on the ides of March, when Caesar got iced, so there’s a big one. You could also look into wars, individual battles, or other famous, infamous, or perhaps lesser-known events that have captured your imagination.|
Historical figures and professions! Emperors and generals are always popular choices, given that a lot of them were infamous for being completely buckwild. But there are plenty of other options, too — poets, gladiators, haruspices, etc (most of which were pretty buckwild as well).
Non-elites! Elite figures are often the most studied and well-known, but it can be very productive to turn attention to the other social classes and marginalized groups populating such a vast empire, for instance women and slaves. If you are working with an elite figure, that’s fine, but it’s still useful to keep in mind the skewed advantages and appalling abuses operating and enabled within Roman society.
Mythology! Of course! Take care to differentiate between Greek and Roman where the lines in certain narratives tend to blur (or you can specifically examine that overlap). We’re ending on April 21st, the mythological anniversary of Rome’s founding; that in itself could be an interesting myth to explore!
Theater! Roman drama could fall into several classifications, including comedy, fabula praetexta (tragedy based on Roman history), and fabula crepidata (based on existing Greek narratives). However much Romans enjoyed drama, though, they did not especially love actors. It was considered a bit of a trash profession from the garbage can. It's an interesting dynamic.
|Writing & art! You might find some literary inspiration in Virgil’s Aeneid, Cicero, or Ovid — or, in terms of art, you can poke around the Met and check out tons of different pieces.
Architecture! The Roman empire, western and eastern, boasts some incredible architectural features, from temples to aqueducts. Or if you’re interested in domestic architecture, you can check out some elite villas (like the Villa of the Papyri, Casa del Fauno, or Nero’s golden monstrosity of a house), or some insulae (apartment buildings).
Graffiti! Often bawdy and frequently used as a kind of Roman Yelp, graffiti has been an important resource for archaeologists, and often an extremely amusing one. Whether you’re looking at some of the thousands of samples from Pompeii and Herculaneum or other scrawlings elsewhere, there’s a lot to work with.
Ancient sports & entertainment! Romans went hog wild about their sports fandom. Sometimes they even placed curse tablets on the racetrack in the hopes that the chariot team they hated would get wrecked. The many bloody competitions in amphitheaters and the Colosseum have always captured people’s attention (and sometimes turned their stomachs) as well. Just bear in mind that the movie Gladiator is not exactly a historically accurate source.
Objects and artifacts! Maybe a specific object has caught your eye, or you’re interested in Roman coinage, weapons, the aforementioned curse tablets, or other such things. You could use these ideas to create a neat mechanic or an abstract project!
- Don’t take on too much — you have just over a month to work. That sounds like a while, but it’s going to fly by! So I wouldn’t suggest trying to cram a full retelling of the Aeneid into this jam or anything. Focus on creating something manageable, and don’t feel like you can’t scale your initial idea back if it’s proving too much to wrangle. Sometimes that can save a project.
- Manage your time. This is something I tend to struggle with. It’s okay (and normal) if you can’t work on your project every day of the jam, but try making yourself a timeline to help stay on track so that you know what you need to work on day by day and can avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Use placeholder assets and playtest often! Get everything working and playable before worrying about how it looks.
- Save your work often! Ctrl+s!!!
- Even if you don’t finish your project, submit your work! Be proud of what you make! It may not be up to your own expectations, but it’s still something worthwhile.
Important enough to have its own little subsection. Because the Roman Mytholojam is a bit longer than the Greek Mytholojam (I couldn’t resist running from the ides to the 21st), a jam-wide extension this time around is very unlikely, and I encourage careful time management even more than before.
The longer you have, the more likely you are to bite off more than you can chew. Organize your days and weeks clearly to maximize your working hours and your time off. Don’t forget to sleep!
- Submissions irrelevant to the theme will be removed. State your project’s relevance to the theme in its description to set it apart from potential spam. No blank submissions!
- Spam submissions will be removed.
- Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated.
- Any critique of your fellow jammers must be constructive.
- Similarly, be nice on Discord, and please stay on topic or mostly relevant to jam stuff.
- Do not start your project before the jam period begins. Concept art and brainstorming beforehand is fine; final assets and code creation is not. This is an honor system thing.
- Have fun! If you’re not enjoying yourself, take a break and de-stress. If there’s something specific that I can do, please get in touch.
You can work solo or with others. If you're looking for team members, check out the Roman Mytholojam page on CrowdForge, post in the Discord chat, or make a topic here in the jam community to look for likeminded folks!
If you feel so inclined, you’re also welcome to create a community topic where you post about your progress; I’d love to see your work, and it can be fun to interact with and inspire other jammers. It can also help you stay organized!
If you have questions about the jam or need help with something, you’re welcome to create a topic in the community or send me an email (to: ricassofiction[@]gmail[.]com).
You can pop in here to chat with other jammers, discuss the theme, share screenshots, and look for team members or feedback. Be courteous as a rule, and try to stay on topic.
I’m not always available, but I will be around to check in on the chat a few times per week. Mention or DM me if you need me, and I'll respond as soon as I'm able!
You now have until Sunday, December 10th at 10pm EST to finish your project!
Since people have expressed interest in an extension, take 4 extra days!
If you've already finished, great! (If you'd like to come back to your submission and tweak it before the 10th, that's cool too.) If not, you have a little more time to work. I know that it's getting to be a busy time of year, whether you have finals (same!), family obligations (also same!), or other things that have come up recently, and I wanted to alleviate a little anxiety. Best of luck to everyone and thank you so much for participating!
Although this looks like a charming game, it had to be removed from the Greek MytholoJam submission feed. Only work inspired by Greek antiquity and created between 11/15 and 12/6 is acceptable for this jam.
Thank you for your interest in the jam, and best of luck in the future!
Oh man, I think you're probably right. Thanks for pointing that out; sorry about the crossed wires.
Anyone who posts something for the jam absolutely retains all ownership and rights to whatever they create; it can be worked on at a later date, republished, etc without restriction.
Hi there! If you wrote a significant chunk of polished code prior to the jam's start date, it would be good to try working with something new. Something that amounts to brainstorming or starting to sketch out an idea is fine, though. If you publish your game after the jam ends, it won't count as an entry. But if you run into trouble close to the end date, you can always check in with me; I'm totally willing to accept late submissions in cases of technical difficulties, unexpected setbacks, etc.
Thanks for joining! I hope you have a great first jam experience!
We've mostly just been working with Guidelines here, but we have a Rule now:
Before submitting, write at least one line describing your work and how it relates to the theme in the "Description" section of its page.
If your work's relation to the theme is obvious, I'm sure I'll be able to tell, but I'm going to require that all entries include at least one quick line about the project in general to show that you've read over the jam page and to discourage spam submissions (or at least make them even more obvious).
You're welcome to join to chat with other jammers, share screenshots, talk about the theme, or do whatever other jam-related stuff comes to mind. Khaotico kindly set this up, and I'll be hanging around in there when I can; you can mention me if you need me. My schedule is a bit limiting (though I'll certainly respond ASAP) and I'm still figuring discord out, so thanks for bearing with me!
Hey, cool! I've never used discord, so this is something that slipped my mind. Thanks for setting this up for anybody who might be needing it today.
I'm fine with anyone using this if they'd like to; I'll hang around in it as well when I can find the time!
Hey there! This sounds like a great idea for a game. The Orpheus & Eurydice myth has been popular in opera, but I'd love to see it finally get some play in video games. And thanks for the enthusiasm! I can't wait to see what everybody creates. You're right about the unlimited potential we're working with here.
Also, it's awesome to see Greek devs! I'm not from Greece, but my family and heritage (mostly Italian & Greek) inspired me years ago to get into classical studies in the first place.
This is a really neat idea! It's super exciting to see people getting into research and conceptualizing; I'm so glad you're having fun!
Regarding Melos, I highly recommend checking out a bit of Thucydides' Melian Dialogue if you're up for some reading. It's essentially a dramatization of the negotiations between Athens and Melos leading to Melos' sacking. It offers a lot of insight into philosophical and political motivations that might be of interest (political realism and idealism are put literally into conversation; Athens employs a lot of "might makes right" rhetoric; there's some debate about piety, what the gods favor, what natural law entails, etc) and could help flesh out some historical context.
As for the Antikythera mechanism, man, that thing is cool. It's an incredibly interesting, sophisticated artifact (the first analog computer!) that I barely even understand, but you're right that it's a bit anachronistic for Melos. You might even have ideas for more than one game or musical piece here!
Whatever you make, I'll be looking forward to it!
Hi there! The short answer is that pretty much anything goes! c:
The spirit of the jam is essentially making ancient Greece something that we can all access, interrogate, or take inspiration from in whatever ways make sense to us. You could zero in on something very specific, or approach things more generally, and you're more than welcome to create something that isn't set in antiquity or that doesn't "look" Greek, in terms of how we recognize ancient aesthetics. Modern retellings, unconventional art styles, and unexpected genres (like sci-fi) are all equally welcome; the project just has to take inspiration from something Greek!
This is an excellent topic. Like you said, we're often brought up learning a romantic or idealized vision of Greece, where Roman debauchery tends to be more out in the open (although the fetishization of imperialism still never seems to end). It's great to see people challenging that by examining some of the more unsavory, sobering realities of Greek life. You've picked up on a lot of the important things to keep in mind when approaching slavery in antiquity. There are key differences from American slavery, but it's nevertheless extremely dehumanizing. Being conquered often meant large-scale enslavement of survivors, as in Melos, the Sicilian Expedition, etc. And you're correct that in Athens, one didn't go around whaling on slaves in public because it was hard to distinguish status by appearance.
If you haven't already, you may be interested in looking into helots, a large proportion of Peloponnesians enslaved (and ritually humiliated and mistreated) by Sparta — there were so many that controlling them to prevent rebellion was one of Sparta's most chief concerns. You could also check out Athens' policies on citizenship for more info on the disenfranchisement of slaves, manumission (freed slaves shared a social status with metics, Athens' "resident aliens"), and other issues.
I'm glad to hear that you've gained some independence yourself. I can relate, and I hope you're doing well now. This is a thoughtful examination of a complex issue, and I'm really looking forward to what you make during the jam!
Hi everybody! I'm your host! My pen name is Gia Grimoire, but you're welcome to call me Grim or Gia. I'm really passionate about classical history and making it accessible, and I figured a game jam would be a fun way to get people engaging with antiquity. We have 10 days until the jam starts, so here are some resources, tips, and links that might be helpful!
If you need a hand deciding how to get started, sortingh.at is an interactive tool that can give you a personalized idea of which engines to explore with breakdowns of each tool. It can also give you suggestions on where to locate art and audio assets, and advice about design and distribution. It contains plenty of links leading you to sites where you can find the tools and assets listed.
If you want to do research or get more familiar with any concepts, locations, or figures you’re interested in working with, I recommend the Ancient History Encyclopedia (which has an especially handy search function and a useful index) or Ancient-Greece.org. You aren’t obligated to go to town researching, but if you’d like to, it’s an option!
It can be hard to come up with an idea sometimes! Maybe a hoplite drag & drop paper-doll? Something with a water-clock timing mechanic? An interactive, choice-based re-interpretation of a tragedy? A top-down game based on an Olympic competition? That's just me throwing spaghetti at the wall, but you're welcome to make any of those! Here are some other things to look to for inspiration if you're still stuck:
|Historical events! Wars, battles, and plagues make for momentous ones. The Peloponnesian War and the Persian Wars are especially popular periods, featuring events like the Melian Dialogue and the Battle of Marathon, respectively. (If you’re interested in warfare, hoplites may be fun to work with!)
Poleis, or city-states! Athens and Sparta (known as Lacedaemon in antiquity) receive the most attention, but there were hundreds in the Greek world; other notable poleis include Thebes, Corinth, and Argos.
Mythology! Of course! Good ol' myth has too many possibilities to list. Roasting Zeus, contemplating Narcissus, art about Athena, getting psyched about Psyche, musing about muses, games about gorgons; whatever sounds interesting to work with is fair game.
The Homeric Epics! The Iliad & the Odyssey are replete with interesting characters, concepts, and events to draw inspiration from, but they’re massive epics — pick a detail you find special!
Historical figures! Maybe you're interested in Socrates (Plato is well known for his Socratic friend-fiction), the notoriously charismatic-yet-terrible Alcibiades, the military exploits of Thucydides, or the travels of the historian Herodotus.
Festivals! The City Dionysia, for instance, honored Dionysus with theatrical productions and involved competitions between playwrights.
|Theater! Some very notable productions include Aeschylus’ Oresteia (featuring Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Elektra, Orestes) and Sophocles’ Theban Plays (Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, & Antigone). There are also the works of the third great tragedian, Euripides, and the comedian Aristophanes.
Literature! If you’re interested in other ancient lit, check out the poetry of Sappho or Aesop’s fables!
Ancient sports! The Olympics were wild. Boxing could get brutal, chariot racing was intense, and the logographer Antiphon once wrote a trial exercise about a (fictitious, but not that unbelievable) case of accidental homicide by javelin.
Concepts! Like logos, ethos, pathos, eros, kolakeia (flattery), agones (sing. agon: contest, struggle, debate, trial), arete (excellence, virtue), peitho (persuasion), or phusis (an individual entity’s nature) — these kinds of ideas could form a good central theme.
Objects & artifacts! Greeks had some neat stuff that could make for interesting mechanics, like the water-clock used to time speeches at trials (the klepsydra), or the mechanism Athenians used to randomize selection of magistrates (the kleroterion).
Creatures! Hydras, gorgons, the Minotaur, Pegasus, Cerberus (who had a lesser-known two-headed brother, Orthrus), and cyclopes are some well known ones, but there are many, MANY others! If you like weird monsters, chimeras, or body horror, Greece has got you covered.
If you’re interested in checking out other games inspired by Greece and Greek myth, try: Ohklos, a fun action roguelike where you manage a mob, Apotheon, a gorgeous heroic action game inspired by black-figure Greek pottery, Medusa’s Labyrinth, a first person horror game based on the Medusa myth, and Endure, a free and fascinating interactive translation experience by Emily Short, featuring a passage from the Odyssey. There’s also the recently-released Theseus, a third person VR game promising a new take on the Minotaur myth, and plenty of others out there.
Don’t take on too much — you only have three weeks or so. Some Greek concepts are literally epic in scope, and I wouldn’t suggest trying to do something like cram the life history of Agamemnon or all the travels of Odysseus into this jam. Focus on creating something manageable, and don’t feel like you can’t scale your initial idea back if it’s proving too much to wrangle.
Manage your time. This is something I tend to struggle with. It’s okay if you can’t work on your project every day of the jam, but make yourself a timeline to try to stay on track so you know what you need to work on and don’t get overwhelmed.
Use placeholder assets and playtest often! Get everything working and playable before worrying about how it looks.
Save your work often! Ctrl+s!!!
Even if you don’t finish your game, submit your work! Be proud of what you make! It may not be up to your own expectations, but it’s still something worthwhile.
Need a team?
You can work solo or with others. If you're looking for team members, check out the Mytholojam page on CrowdForge, or make a topic here in the jam community to look for likeminded folks!
You’re also welcome to use the community for devlogs if you feel so inclined; I’d love to see your progress, and it can be nice to interact with and inspire other jammers. It can also help you stay organized!
If you have questions about the jam or need help with something, you’re welcome to create a topic in the community or send me an email (moonguile[@]gmail[.]com).
καλή τύχη! Good luck and have fun!
@Daniel Mullins: Thank you so much! I'm so glad you noticed the portrait change. I love including little things like that, so I'm pleased that it was subtle, but noticeable enough to still catch your eye!
Thank you for the feedback! I definitely would have liked to go much more "unscripted" and abstract with this game -- having only a handful of working hours made it difficult to flesh out those ideas fully, but that'll be something to work on in the future for sure.
i'm sorry for the late responses, but thank you so much, both of you!
@mirandous: i'm so glad you enjoyed the flavortext and atmosphere!! i plan to revise a lot of the flavortext in the future, but i'm pleased that people are enjoying it so far!
@jupiter_hadley: thank you so much for featuring wdytya! the #mfgj series was great and i'm glad you enjoyed the demo! i'm also really happy that you enjoyed the pc's sprite; i'll be updating the demo to include the finished sprite soon!
this is such a neat idea! and that nodemap is so organized omggg i'm jealous.
i'm so on board with this omgggg what a perfect concept. i'm stoked to see the items and enemies you have planned!
when it comes to mapping, it can really help to check out some map screenshot threads on the rpgmaker forums; they get pretty massive, and going through a few pages can net you a lot of advice and inspiration. your maps are looking neat so far though, and i love the color schemes!