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The GOL Game Jam Is Really Happening Soon!

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Recently I asked some opinions about us organizing a game jam here on GOL and I received a bunch of positive feedback and I will consider that a green light to go ahead with our plans. The event will hopefully launch on October 19th.

There were all kinds of recommendations and suggestions related to rules, time span, group sizes and allowed tools and I have tried to take the feedback into account while creating the basic set of rules for our game jam. I also gathered plenty of opinions from our IRC channel and incorporated that to the plan.

We will be using itch.io to host the game jam because they already have a game jam platform we can use. It's an all-in-one solution and works quite nicely for our purposes. In addition to hosting the submitted games, we will also use the page to rate the games and by “we” I mean the community. Yes, you will get to decide the winner, no editorial jury here. The games will be rated based on a couple of simple categories (gameplay, visuals, sound, performance) and after the voting period is done we will hopefully have come up with a winner.

We had some varying opinions about the length of the event but I decided that it would be nearly impossible to do the event properly in a single weekend so I decided on a one week development / submission period. The submissions will be open right from the beginning of the event and they will close after one week has passed. After that the voting period will begin and people will get to test and rate all the submitted games. Voting will also last one whole week.

As for the rules, based on the feedback I created the following basic set of rules:

1. The game must run natively on Linux in some kind of executable form (no Wine or DOSBox)
2. You may team up or make a game on your own
3. Your game can use pre-made engines
4. The use of pre-made assets is allowed but restricted to assets that anyone can obtain and use
5. You may not use a full game as a template for your game, the game should be designed by you
6. You can license your game under a license of your liking but the use of open licenses is encouraged (GPL, MIT, BSD, etc)

You might have noticed that I removed the requirement that the game must be developed on Linux. So if you want to write the game on Windows with something like Unity3D you are free to do so. I was also not quite sure how to deal with pre-made content such as music, graphics and models but I eventually decided to allow their use provided they can be obtained and used by anyone legally. Note that this does restrict the use of assets you have made yourself privately before the beginning of the jam, unless you made those assets publicly available. If you do use pre-made assets make sure you are also aware of potential licensing issues and if you can, please make a list the creators and the origins of the assets used.

The idea of themes was also a difficult choice and the opinions were also a bit divided. Thus this event will have an optional theme that you can decide to follow if you so desire but there won't be any penalty for not doing so. The theme will be announced at the beginning of the game jam.

I also concluded that the best prize for the winner would be free publicity. We will feature a couple of the highest rated games on GOL and the winner will get a traditional text interview. They can use this chance to talk a bit about their current projects. Everyone loves promotion, am I right?

Hopefully this plan is not completely terrible and will make for an enjoyable jam experience. Make sure to use the time before the jam to set up your game development environment so that you don't need to waste precious development time on that. If you have questions regarding the jam, make sure to leave your questions in the comments or send me a message on IRC, email or in a private message and I'll try my best to come up with an answer that makes sense. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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35 comments
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Eike 8 October 2015 at 7:02 pm UTC
This is courageous and I'm curious on the results!
wolfyrion 8 October 2015 at 8:20 pm UTC
all sounds nice and dreamy but who is gonna create a game in one week ?

Anyway looking forward to see this in action and the results ofcourse..
lvlark 8 October 2015 at 9:02 pm UTC
Hmm, interested to see how this is gonna pan out. I will have some more free time that week, so I'll probably follow things fairly close, and hopefully be inspired to try my hand at that Unity editor or some other tools. Although I suppose actually participating is a bit ambitious for me.
Quote5. You may not use a full game as a template for your game, the game should be designed by you
This might be hard to decide, when is another game used as a template, when as inspiration? Will probably come down to submitters and voters discretion?
HadBabits 8 October 2015 at 9:11 pm UTC
Do games that run in browser count? I don't know yet if I'll participate, as I'm trying a lot of things at the moment, however if I do I know of a couple of engines will create an html5 game, rather than an executable. I might give it a shot with one of those if Unity3D proves to be too challenging (or unstable on Linux).

Either way, I can't wait to see what the actual devs who frequent this site come up with


Last edited by HadBabits at 11 October 2015 at 12:26 am UTC
Zanval 8 October 2015 at 9:56 pm UTC
Aww we are already working on the ConstraintsJam for this month. Another GameJam would probably break our work schedule...

Working on a browser game for facebook with asynchronous coop multiplayer.
It's quite an experiment

That being said, I doubt we will have the time for another gamejam in october...
c0degunner 8 October 2015 at 10:52 pm UTC
This is a great idea and I'm intrigued by what will be produced. I will just be a spectator for this one but may participate in the next one.

As an incentive to participate, I don't mind donating a game to the winner of the jam via steam etc.
muntdefems 8 October 2015 at 10:53 pm UTC
I wonder how much (if any) would that negatively affect participation, but I would've liked it more if the rules included developing the game on Linux. You know, as a way of showing that our OS can be as good as anyone else's for game development. Maybe a special category for those games that do get developed on Linux?

PS: Excellent initiative, by the way! Cannot wait to play the games that come out of the GOL Game Jam!


Last edited by muntdefems at 8 October 2015 at 10:54 pm UTC
WhyAmISuchABeautifulPanda 9 October 2015 at 12:39 am UTC
Really love the Idea of a GOL Gamejam, but I can't code at all. I participated one time as an artist in a Ludumn Dare, but never really done anything else besides that. Maybe this is a chance to be "thrown into the cold water" since in that environment I function the best
Are there any Tools for Linux out there that can be used to make simple games without extensive programming knowledge?


Last edited by WhyAmISuchABeautifulPanda at 9 October 2015 at 12:39 am UTC
stan 9 October 2015 at 1:44 am UTC
Sounds good to me!

wolfyrionall sounds nice and dreamy but who is gonna create a game in one week ?
Eh, you’ve never heard of the many two-days game jams like Ludum Dare? The last ones had about 2 thousands games made in 2 or 3 days.
Red Ring Rico 9 October 2015 at 1:50 am UTC
I look forward to participating.


stan
wolfyrionall sounds nice and dreamy but who is gonna create a game in one week ?
Eh, you’ve never heard of the many two-days game jams like Ludum Dare? The last ones had about 2 thousands games made in 2 or 3 days.
I think it's more in relation to GOL than game jams as a whole.

WhyAmISuchABeautifulPandaReally love the Idea of a GOL Gamejam, but I can't code at all. I participated one time as an artist in a Ludumn Dare, but never really done anything else besides that. Maybe this is a chance to be "thrown into the cold water" since in that environment I function the best
Are there any Tools for Linux out there that can be used to make simple games without extensive programming knowledge?
Why not team up if programming isn't your thing?
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