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Valkling-Friend of All Things

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A member registered Sep 30, 2017 · View creator page →

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What I learned from the xkcd Game Jam

I want to say first that I am very proud of what I did. I met my challenge of making a full and complete game by myself in 72 hours using no game making software, templates, or pre-made assets (except the music). The game came out pretty, balanced, cute, and sounded great. However, I was disappointed in the reception and It only scored middle of the pack in every rating, which is how I scored with my other game jam games that were way less polished. I thought it was because my games before were minimal graphic and experimental. However, due to this lukewarm reception here, I’m scraping my game idea for Ludum Dare Compo and following these new rules when making the game this time. (This might be helpful for other game jammers too, IDK)

-Do not try to make a complete game: I wore myself to the bone making A Mole of Mole and was hallucinating and unstable by the end of the jam. I spent nearly ~60 hours of the 72 hours coding. It took me 2 days to fully recover. Just make one to a few levels to explore your concept and save effort.


-Make a Quick game: The game should not take more than 5-10 minutes to play. I made an Idle game that, while passive and balanced throughout, takes at least 2 hours to complete. While some people did play through, most players of game jams were not willing to commit that time when there are 90 other games to check out. Therefor, people quit early or used debug tools to rush through the game. If the game cannot be experienced in 5 minutes, most will just quit and not play through.

-Use experimental concepts: I thought my games before were too experimental and my concepts, while good one paper, fell flat when attempted. So this time I did (mostly) a well established game type, and focus on instead beautifying, but it still fell flat . It is a good Idea to try new experimental concepts to grab people’s attention.

-Do not focus in one category for ratings: I was thrown off that all my ratings were all about the same. I thought that there were some aspects of my game that were just stronger than others, but same ratings throughout. I noticed on other games, that I played and overall enjoyed, still had clear weak points in a category or two(like poor sound,ect.) but still ranked high in everything. People don’t care or distinguish weak points of games in the rating. If they like it, it’s 4s and 5s all around.

I’d also say don’t worry about using game making software or pre-made assets too. People don’t care how the game is made, just that it is fun. Though, for me, I like learning code so I’m still going in raw and Ludum Jam Compo does not allow pre-made assets anyways. Still, good to note for other jams.

I’m not complaining or anything, I’m just figuring out what people are looking for in a game jam game. I’m still very proud of what I did with A Mole of Moles and I accomplished my personal goals and learned a lot. I don’t feel the need to build it up post-jam. I think it is solid as is. I’m pretty sure some random folks searching for a quick idle game will appreciate it. If you feel like a quick idle game, you can’t go wrong with A Mole of Moles. :-)

True, but I do think, if you tried adding sound to the people, this game's backtrack would become a mix of hysterical laughter and uncontrollable sobbing. Just noting that. :-P

I can't get it to run, sorry. :-(

I'll admit, I quit this game as I was just playing pong with an AI that got faster (I'm bad at pong -_- ), but then I checked the comments and saw that there was more too it. I'm glad I did as that was an interesting game. It was frustrating to try and get the bullets to reflect back at the target but everything died in one hit so that was ok. I disagree with Naomi down there on this one. It took a while to get a shot angled *just* right to hit him and it took several minutes to do so. If he had more than one life, I would have damn well flipped my keyboard. I admit a lucky shot could end that battle in an upset early, but the pongs angle mechanic were not made for that kind of precision (unless, I suppose, you are really 'that' good). 

Cute little vid, but the format makes it hard to get around the page. I had to jump around to get to the this page because the game page prevented me from scrolling to the top to get here. :-/ 

I'ma gonna get that bun! <3 Honestly though I'm more worried about the people. They cannot stand for literally 30 seconds without breaking down in tears if they are not running right on top of a bun in a field of buns. I just want to stop at all these sad souls and just ask "What hurt you? What hurt you? :'( "

I hear tale of another idle/clicker based on a "What If?" article in the jam so I thought I would check it out. You definitely followed the source material to the t. The graphics and UI are good and the concept is solid. 

Two things moving forward with the game: First, I think those numbers really need to be beautified. They are really hard to read in the raw form. Keep them rounded to 2 or 3 decimal places and then either add a number shorthand, like other idles(K, M, B, T), or keep it in scientific notation with a x10^whatever. Second, as others have noted, the unstable progression of the upgrades. Though, I am betting it is really difficult to deal with real world numbers, as they don't care about a balance gamescape. I had the luxury to flow my numbers any way I pleased as long as it hit one mole in the end. Real world be damned! :-P

Either way, I was amused enough by the game and that is what counts. :-D

Thanks for the review, I'm glad you liked the game. I usually do more experimental concepts with minimal graphics for game jams but this time I decided to make a more simple and fleshed out core game and focus more on the graphics, animation, and making the UI friendly. I based this game on the popular Cookie Clicker, which gains most of it's cookies from the idle play and the clicker part is more to supplement the idle rate if you are feeling impatient. The game can be won in under 2 hours of on "quick", but part of the reason that I left the tools available is that I appreciate if people don't have the time with 90 other entries to check out. So if people want to have fun playing around with the tools instead playing through the game, I'm cool with that. :-) 

Some might call it an excessive amount of moles, but I say the mole the merrier. :-P Anyways, idle games don't usually have a target amount and, while some idle games CAN reach one mole, they can take weeks to do so. I had to really hammer the numbers to have it reach one mole or it would  plateau at a lesser number. The mole-a-thon is the more drawn out classic idle game length put *just* about as low as it could be while still being winnable. It's simulated at at ~66 hours of active play, just in case someone wants to play the game longer than I spent making it. I figure if people enjoy the game enough to go through the ~2 hour quick version, then I'm very happy with that. I know there are 90 other entries to check out.

Wow, that is probably the greatest review for a mole based game since Wack-a-Mole (I'm assuming that their are some people who are just like REALLY into Wack-a-Mole). I'll try to not let it go to my head. :-P I'll definitely check out the video when it is done. I appreciate vids on game design.

I was thinking of doing this same comic for my game so I was interested in what you did. Pretty cleaver, actually teaches some programming logic. The visuals and audio were perfect, even if some were pre-made, they work well together. The thought bubbles were cute and is what really brought it back to the comic that it was based on.

Anyways, my entry is here if peeps want to check it out: https://itch.io/jam/xkcdgamejam/rate/196142

That was a good ten minutes of play. The visuals were awesome and the physics were petty good (compared to other jam game platformers anyways). I got confused at the three table point til I read a comment that I could throw them below me. Props to you for not using pre-made assets. The only weak point is the audio, but I can't knock that too hard. I tried making my game with the point of not using pre-made assets too but I caved on the music and used a royalty free track because I ran out of time to make anything good. If I had tried, I probably would not have done any better than a simple atmospheric track with the time I had.

You definitely need to include his sister, "Help, I'm trapped in a driver's licence factory", in future versions. She could be tapped someplace where people get trapped and Bobby has got to save her. (Like in a passport factory or something, IDK.)

Anyways, peeps can check my game about accumulating an excessive amount of moles here (Sorry, but gots to plug it while I can too :-P): https://itch.io/jam/xkcdgamejam/rate/196142

I just posted my game but it has not appeared on the entries. I posted it just before the deadline but maybe it was 30 second too late or something. :( I spent 3 days on it so I better be able to submit it :-P