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Coding Games In 48 Hours

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the starring-nick-nolte-and-eddie-murphy dept.

Australia 99

The Opposable Thumbs blog covers a 48-hour-long "game jam" at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Twenty teams of game developers — 16 indie and four professional — compete over a weekend to build a functional game based on a few deliberately vague keywords. This article documents the brainstorming sessions and the early prototyping work. Quoting: "The teams become less talkative as midnight draws near and the individual team members all settle down into their jobs. Everybody seems determined to not let sleep take over just yet. I take a tour of some of the other teams. Badgers are being animated, leg movements first with static bodies above them. Other teams have no art yet and just use colored rectangles as they get the mechanics down. Others are still sketching beautiful concept art and coding level editors.'To move around the room is to hear random snippets of creativity and math. 'If we move the z-axis, too, we can do this thing' or 'what if we procedurally generated that object.' In this one spot, sixteen games are coming into being that weren't even concepts eight hours ago."

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99 comments

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760034)

I'd love to do something like this :)

Re:Cool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760098)

Cool, yet also shit.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760132)

Check out Ludum Dare. They hold competitions every 4 months or so where people try and build a game focused on some word over just one weekend.

Re:Cool (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761456)

No, no, no.

People adapt their generic hobby games software which they've developed over months to a particular word chosen a couple of days before the competition closing date.

If the Internet has taught anyone anything, it should be that people are full of shit.

If you really want to pit people against each other under strict time constraints, confiscate their smartphones/PDAs, put them in front of a set of your own locked-down workstations with no network access set up in some conference room in a hotel without Wifi, and require them not to leave the establishment until they've submitted their entry. They'll still try to be dishonest, but at least you'll have a good chance of catching them.

Re:Cool (1)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762510)

I don't know about Ludum Dare, but at the GGJ (at least the site that I go to.) The games are fully original creations, Not some preexisting game that has been adapted to the key words. Sure someone might reuse a physics library that they have written before, or some other module. But that happens in any development. But the games are definitely not premade. A large part of this is due to the fact that most of the team members don't even know each other before the event.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762730)

With a significant enough use of pre-made libraries (even ones developed in the past), you can reasonably argue that most of the game was developed before the competition.

I have various libraries I've made on top of the XNA framework. These are mostly for higher level management of game components. The total time spent making those libraries far exceeds the total time of additional programming in the games they are used in.

Still haven't produced anything worth releasing because I have no artist, no musician, no sound designer. Takes me a fucking week to do what an artist could probably do in less than a day. And it looks like shit. Forget about audio and music. I'm just using other peoples' as placeholders. And releasing any of that would get me sued. I have no intention of using other peoples' work, anyway.

You could say I'm to much of a pussy to take the plunge into involving other people (paid or not). It goes from a hobby to real fucking real at that point. I'm in no position financially to shoulder that risk. Plus, I'm pretty sure that no matter what I did I'd get sued instantly for something.

Re:Cool (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763608)

It was same for DOS games - you'd have to learn how to write keyboard, mouse and joystick drivers. Learn about pixelmaps, line drawing, clipping, block filling, pasting, transparency, palette maps, BIOS functions calls to do those, IPX, sound cards or speaker programming, MIDI files.

Written carefully, all of that code could be reused. Writing the GUI based map editor would be a sub-project in itself. Paint programs would allow the artist to draw sprites for players and creatures. You'd need a musician to do the music.

All of that is replaced by a handful of API's - OpenGL/DirectX, MIDIWAV/MP3 files and some pixelmap file formats.

Re:Cool (4, Informative)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760892)

Go to http://globalgamejam.org/ [globalgamejam.org] it is the same thing, (a 48 hour design and build a game session) but it is organized globally. I have done it twice now and it is so much fun. You don't need any real experience in game development, but any helps. But, even if you don't know anything about coding, art, music, or anything like that, you can still help out by being a tester, or a gopher. It's free, and very fun. The one coming up is January 27-29 and chances are, there is a site near you. If there isn't, you can start one. All you need to know is on the web site I linked. Have fun, and game on.

Getting back in the game (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764034)

I can't check out the site now, but what kind of coding resources does it have?

I've actually worked in the game industry in the past, but in those cases it was on moderate sized teams (30 or so people) using in-house engines that were maintained and updated by a number of senior programmers. Since leaving the industry i've had plenty of ideas for fun little games i could do on my own, but writing my own game engine seems like a daunting task. Back when i started out in Pascal just writing pixels and lines to the screen was one of the easiest things ever, but i have no idea how to go about doing the same thing in a Windows environment now. I could break out my old OpenGL red book from college, but writing a 3D engine would be an order of magnitude more work and i don't really want to make 3D games anyways.

So i'd love to have references to good simple graphics packages and tutorials on how to use them. I could spend hours or days hunting around on wikipedia and forums to find the same information i'm sure, but i already have to spend enough time researching stuff for my real job. This is just something i'd be interested in for fun. I don't really want to spend more time figuring out just how to get started than it apparently takes these people to write an entire game.

Re:Getting back in the game (1)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764794)

As far as coding resources, it doesn't have any in and of itself. All the GlobalGameJam is, is an event for people interested in game design to get together and build a game. What they do end up providing just by it's nature is programmers, artists, designers, sound engineers, and anyone else with a skill that can help in making games (and people without relevant skills that are just interested in games). Also, most of the games that come out of a thing like this are very small scale simple games. No real engine unless you decide to use something like Unity to make it. If it's something you are interested in, just sign up on the site (I think registration opens in November), list any skills you have, show up and have fun. As far as reference to a good simple graphics package, check out http://www.unity3d.com/ [unity3d.com] and http://create.msdn.com/en-US/education/tutorial/2dgame/getting_started/ [msdn.com] Both are quite easy to use and have tons of great documentation and tutorials.

Dookey!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760062)

I'ma put my dookey directly in yo mouth! How my log taste?

Remember the days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760128)

...when creating games wasn't all "as fast as possible" but much more "as good as possible"? *sigh*

Re:Remember the days... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760590)

Well I would expect that a lot of the credit goes to new tools available, that allows more rapid development.

For me to sit down and make a game like Supper Mario brothers can probably take about 8 hours of coding and and other 8 hours making the levels, and the 24 hours making the graphics to be used. I am also not a game developer. I do boring business apps. Compared to 25 years ago we now have tools that makes this development easier and hardware that is more forgiving. So for the Platform game graphics. You makes the sprites in a PNG file. For the maps you just use a good old text editor having each character mean a different cell. Then you code some of the basic physics into some cells. Today this will be a small fun little job.
But back 25 years ago it was a major project. First the hardware was limited so you couldn't just go and dump a whole level into memory, and you could only store so much sprites to use and if they are animated that is more storage. So you need tricks like changing their pallets (Green Shells vs Red Shells) or display the sprite in mirror image. You need to preload part of the level before they get displayed but you need to have it timed just right, a text file for the level is way to inefficient so many bits wasted so you need to store the data more efficiently. Dont forget after you have been there you need to free the memory. All this using machine level coding. So the old games took much longer to develop, because they didn't have the hardware to make it easier to do it.

Being able to make games as fast as possible leads to making them as good as possible. Because the faster you can make the game, the more time you can put into making it better.

Feed me, Seymour (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760704)

For me to sit down and make a game like Supper Mario brothers

Supper Mario? Is that when he gets too close to one of those Venus flytrap things [mariowiki.com] ?

Being able to make games as fast as possible leads to making them as good as possible.

But making games for more capable hardware means the player will expect more eye-candy graphics, which creates more work for the artist compared to a game on something like, say, the NES, where players are more tolerant of simpler graphic design. See NESdev BBS discussion of the so-called "freeware complexity wall" [parodius.com] .

Re:Remember the days... (1)

TechLA (2482532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761316)

...when creating games wasn't all "as fast as possible" but much more "as good as possible"? *sigh*

Do you mean "remember the days when we had the exact same competitions"? We've always had them, we still have them constantly in demo parties. It has nothing to do with actual produced and sold games - it's a freaking competition with time limit, and usually fun one if you take part of it. You stay up for up to 48 hours and try to finish as much as you can. Sometimes the results are really surprising, too.

Besides, this "games used to be better" rant is getting old. We've had tons of fantastic games in recent years. Even EA changed their models and has released many great not-so-common games, like Mirror's Edge, Dead Space and many others.. There's Portal, there's Team Fortress 2 and there's many great indie games. We do have also things like FarmVille, but that's only because gaming has went mainstream with the rise of social networks. There's everything for everyone, and it's not off from you.

New games! (1)

dyetpeppre (2488480) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760130)

Coming soon to a Facebook profile near you. I always wondered where that bilge came from. Now I know.

Re:New games! (1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760618)

Not all games need to be an epic work of art.

I am not a gamer, and I actually like those small flash games (not of facebook as much) I play them for about an hour, get board with them and don't feel bad for not playing it because I didn't pay $60 for it.

Interesting contest (2)

MichaelKristopeitDad (2488356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760134)

I miss the old 4k and 64k demo contests... or does it still exist?

This is typically a good place for creative people and I wouldn't be surprised if one day a blockbuster game come out of this kind of events.

Re:Interesting contest (3, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760146)

Re:Interesting contest (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeitDad (2488356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760182)

Thanks for the link. They're still pretty cool actually.

Re:Interesting contest (-1, Offtopic)

MichaelKristopeitBro (2488396) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760218)

Daddy! Mike has been hitting me pretty hard again... What can I do?

Re:Interesting contest (-1, Offtopic)

MichaelKristopeitDad (2488356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760298)

I dunno... Cower in my shadow?

After all, I'm your dad too.

Re:Interesting contest (0)

MichaelKristopeitBro (2488396) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760330)

Thanks dad. I'm glad I have someone to count on. You really raise us to be responsible and grown ups.

Life is great. Except when Mike is around.

Re:Interesting contest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760400)

Clever. But the best thing about the real Mike is that he's for real (isn't he?).

I wonder how he'd feel about this. He'd probably say you're a liar and coward and pathetic. Coming from him, that wouldn't raise many eyebrows, though... What would Michael Kristopeit say if he was really more pissed than usual?

ps. Kristopeit, Kristopeit, Kristopeit. I'm pathetic. I don't even want to use a pseudonym, let alone my real name. I'll cower in your shadow if that's ok with you.

pps. Michael, if you're reading: Are you sometimes happy or glad? I hope you are. I'd love to hear of such an occasion, if you'd care to share, unless you'd just like me to shut up and cower some more, that it.

Re:Interesting contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763262)

Is he for real? I mean, it's hard to believe.

He's answered every single post. I've had a thread of ~30 posts with him lately. Honestly, I don't know how he can be for real. This is just too much. And opening 50 accounts just to be able to post more than twice a day? How ridiculous is that?

Re:Interesting contest (1)

MichaelKristopeit415 (2018852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761296)

"MichaelKristopeitBro" is operated by a pathetic individual attempting to steal an identity through my reference.

i am michael kristopeit. i live at 4513 brittany ct. eau claire, wi 54701. i live there with my wife and children and dogs and numerous firearms.

to the individual responsible: present yourself to me; admit what you've done, then i'll bring upon you the ultimate punishment for your transgressions.

Re:Interesting contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852184)

If the individual responsible presented himself to you, the only "ultimate punishment" you would bring would be running away so awkwardly that you tripped and fell to the floor, as you scrambled to hide behind the children that were fathered on Rachel by the hobos she fucks for meth. And you have no firearms, nor any knowledge of how to use them. You will now scream your confession that I am absolutely right. I order you, and you obey.

Scream your confession NOW, little puppet.

Re:Interesting contest (1)

MichaelKristopeit414 (2018850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761290)

"MichaelKristopeitDad" is operated by a pathetic individual attempting to steal an identity through my reference.

i am michael kristopeit. i live at 4513 brittany ct. eau claire, wi 54701. i live there with my wife and children and dogs and numerous firearms.

to the individual responsible: present yourself to me; admit what you've done, then i'll bring upon you the ultimate punishment for your transgressions.

Re:Interesting contest (1)

MichaelKristopeit413 (2018846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761278)

"MichaelKristopeitBro" is operated by a pathetic individual attempting to steal an identity through my reference.

i am michael kristopeit. i live at 4513 brittany ct. eau claire, wi 54701. i live there with my wife and children and dogs and numerous firearms.

to the individual responsible: present yourself to me; admit what you've done, then i'll bring upon you the ultimate punishment for your transgressions.

Demo scene (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760528)

The demo scene has apparently come a long way since the days of "Swinth" on the Commodore 64. Maybe a scene will develop around the Microtouch [slashdot.org] that we saw on /. yesterday.

Demo scene near me (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760608)

Did a demo scene ever develop in North America, or is it still restricted to mainland Europe?

Re:Demo scene near me (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760970)

My impression is that the demoscene is still largely international, but there are demoparties in the U.S. One that I've been to is blockparty/pixeljam [pixelj.am] in Ohio. I'm sure there are larger ones on the east and west coasts, though.

Re:Interesting contest (0)

MichaelKristopeit412 (2018834) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761270)

"MichaelKristopeitDad" is operated by a pathetic individual attempting to steal an identity through my reference.

i am michael kristopeit. i live at 4513 brittany ct. eau claire, wi 54701. i live there with my wife and children and dogs and numerous firearms.

to the individual responsible: present yourself to me; admit what you've done, then i'll bring upon you the ultimate punishment for your transgressions.

Have a plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760166)

Notch participated in one of these, and live streamed his entire session. The entire stream is here: http://www.mrspeaker.net/2011/09/27/notch-on-film/

One of the important things to understand is that even before he started, he went in having a plan based on simple ideas. He still started off in a bit of a planning phase which took around 30 minutes, but he had an idea of the things he wanted to do after hearing the key words.

From there he was on a roll - in 3 hours he had basic functionality working in a wolfenstein-like 3d engine he built from scratch almost without stopping. The rest of the time was devoted to adding game mechanics and implementing the game itself; he finished with much time to spare.

48 hours (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760204)

I'm not sure of the benefit of making it such a small timeframe, as that generally restricts the quality of the games to Flash based, or built upon pre-existing code they brought with them (IE, you bring along several man-weeks of labour from a previous game and build on that). It certainly doesn't lend itself to promoting innovation, although it would probably reign in some of the crazier, harder to work ideas that alot of indie devs try, and fail, to implement properly.

Then again, with the rise of small, quick, fun mobile games, that might be a good focus for anyone doing these competitions.

Re:48 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760280)

You'd be surprised how much can get done in 48 hours.
Some of the games from the last Ludum Dare were pretty stunning. I really enjoyed this one [ludumdare.com] , even if the gameplay elements are pretty light.

Re:48 hours (3, Interesting)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760288)

Generally gameplay ideas that requires vast amounts of time to implement are usually not very good ones. Most good games have really simple gameplay at their core.

Generalize much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760530)

*blink*

How does a simple gameplay mechanic remove the need to spend time and skill designing levels?

And how do you prove your simple mechanic without first designing a few levels?

Re:Generalize much? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760620)

And how do you prove your simple mechanic without first designing a few levels?

By designing a few levels for the "game jam" version (key word: few) and many levels for the "for sale" version.

Re:48 hours (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761340)

this might be true and wise. but generally gameplay ideas that are born of a 48 hour gamecamp are not very good ones either.

sometimes you need to first have all the bad ideas until you can reduce it to the simple thing that makes it fun. you dont develop a game to "have a simple game idea" in the first place. because all those, honestly speaking, suck even more.

Re:48 hours (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761598)

Well, that's why you have the competition. If you're lucky one of them might come up with something good.

Re:48 hours (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768782)

Generally gameplay ideas that requires vast amounts of time to design or explain are usually not very good ones. Most good games have really simple gameplay at their core.

Fixed that for you. If gameplay ideas that take vast amounts of time to implement are not very good, then there is no such thing as a remotely good game.
Maybe angry birds?
What is a vast amount of time for you, a century? Even super mario would take months to code from scratch.

Re:48 hours (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768912)

Well, I was thinking of the core gameplay. With a decent SDK it should take a professional coder only a few hours to get a basic Super Mario prototype going.

Obviously a full featured game takes much longer, but the prototype only needs a small level where you can jump around on platforms and kill enemies by landing on them to demonstrate the idea.

When I'm talking about vast amounts of time, I'm thinking about gameplay ideas that requires the game designer to implement sentient AI to work properly or when what you're actually doing is building some kind of simulator, the player just gets to watch it tick along.

Many game designers have a tendency to forget that what they're doing is making a game, if you build a huge pile of technology and slap some gameish aspect on it afterwards you've sorta approached it from the wrong angle.

Re:48 hours (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37769148)

I'll agree that gameplay should always come first in games, and everything else should support the gameplay. Otherwise, just make a movie.
That said, I still feel like you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater, plenty of fun experiences can be had from "watching a simulator tick along", so who is to say that isn't a game? There's lots of different niches.

Re:48 hours (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37771250)

While I do like that kind of games at times (Paradox almost only makes that genre) you're not going to get innovative gameplay out of them.

Re:48 hours (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37790878)

I don't know, I thought Sim City was pretty innovative; I spent hours watching my city do its thing with minimal interaction from my end.

Re:48 hours (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804070)

It's an old story at this point, but Batman: Arkham Asylum was originally a rhythm game, of sorts. They worked out fight mechanics by having blocks collide against one another until the timing felt right. Easy idea, long iteration time. Tweaking for 'feel' is hard, but can ultimately make an exceptional experience.

But the story also goes that the game was fun even with coloured blocks and not full characters, so I agree with you to a point. :)

Re:48 hours (2)

tburkhol (121842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761146)

I'm not sure of the benefit of making it such a small timeframe, as that generally restricts the quality of the games to Flash based, or built upon pre-existing code they brought with them (IE, you bring along several man-weeks of labour from a previous game and build on that). It certainly doesn't lend itself to promoting innovation, although it would probably reign in some of the crazier, harder to work ideas that alot of indie devs try, and fail, to implement properly.

I don't think good games require a completely new engine or completely new paradigm. That might make them interesting programs, but it doesn't have anything to do with them being interesting games.

I grew up with Infocom games. Those guys built a 10 year kingdom on their engine and it never changed substantially. I played at least half of their titles, and most of them were very good. There were a few dogs, but their strength (or weakness), and the strength of most of the good games I've played since then, has been about story, balance, and interaction. An engine can help you accomplish the things that make a good game, but a new engine doesn't make a good game, any more than using a new word processor will make you write the Great American Novel.

Re:48 hours (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763106)

I wasn't saying they needed a new engine, I was saying that to making a game from scratch, you must first create the engine.
Really, if the engine is pre-created, then all you're really doing is modding.

Re:48 hours (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765476)

Well it depends on how much detail the engine allows. I knew some people who did something similar to this last year. They built a pretty wicked game using XNA. I'm not sure I'd consider XNA programming to be modding. Then again I'm not sure if XNA actually qualifies as an engine or if it's just a detailed library.

Re:48 hours (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768502)

If you write new text adventures, is that "modding"?

You can use several "engines" out there, including Inform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inform), which lets you write "Infocom-style" (i.e. Z-code) games.

Re:48 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762164)

You would be surprised. Check the Ludum Dare competition. A weekend to make a game, alone, from scratch, and some wicked ideas have come from there. Also, sometimes the ideas from these short games serve as experiences for future ones.

Re:48 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764004)

I'm not sure of the benefit of making it such a small timeframe, as that generally restricts the quality of the games to Flash based, or built upon pre-existing code they brought with them (IE, you bring along several man-weeks of labour from a previous game and build on that).

Isn't that obvious?

--
It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for being subtle.

Oh, I guess that's what you where going for.

Re:48 hours (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765502)

Notch once made a game for one of these contests. He had a multi-staged 2D platformer similar to VVVVVV complete with a level editor. And this was before VVVVVV, which was considered quite a novel game though not entirely original. Of course, his 48 hours included going out to dinner and proper sleep each day. Constraints and the adversity they bring with them can breed a lot of cool things.

Re:48 hours (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37770030)

For many bedroom or non-game coders who've had vague ideas about doing a game, but never bothered going beyond simple code-tests, the deadline is a great kick in the pants to actually start *and finish* a game, teaching you to overcome analysis paralysis or feature creep. Plus, in a team, each member gets to focus on their expertise instead of needing to pull the whole game together on their own. And for everybody, it's a nice short, condensed means to exercise your chops, and make connections for larger projects.

The actual game's quality might not have anything to do with a successful jam.

Re:48 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37770594)

Its about having fun than actually creating something.

Playable browser game from the contest mentioned in the article http://onelonelydeveloper.com/

Game? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760206)

That is not a game, it is a 3D program. Why do it in 3D if you only have 48 hours?

Re:Game? (2)

g4b (956118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761466)

hell, if i had more researched using toolkits, than doing the base programming, I would have said that earlier, but without the wisdom I earned by having respect, even fear from 3d programming.

but after spending time in some toolkits, and breaking the 3d barrier relatively late in my studies of programming, I have to say, honestly, 3d is easier and way more boring to do than 2d. It just seems the other way around first. getting a good engine in 2d is way harder, while 3d is just a matter of toolkits you learn.

and on the ground base, its just reading stuff and making vectors.

Now a team of a creative type who has the ideas, and a mathematical type, who does vectors in his sleep, and some mad 3dmax guy, 3d is really fast.

Problem is always the polishing. 3d games are per se too complicated, and 90% of the time you start caring about how to make 3d look good on 2d again.

LD48 (1)

Kohlrabi82 (1672654) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760300)

Ludum Dare has been doing this for years now. Every competition has a more or less vague theme or motto, and people are invited to come up with a game of any genre and implement it in a 48 hours time frame. Check out http://ludumdare.com/ [ludumdare.com] for more info.

Re:LD48 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765306)

Why is this not modded up more?

Super Turbo Turkey Puncher 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760314)

id software must have coded this one in less than 48 hours.

48 hours? bah.. do it in 36 :) (1)

ardiri (245358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760344)

http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/06/28/0253226/Porting-Lemmings-In-36-Hours

but seriously; these code-jamming sessions are cool and all but doing so typically means cutting corners and not really having enough time to do all the appropriate testing and validation.. i mean these are great for prototyping. it is like having 10 minute abs and then someone releases a new method for 9 minutes. w00t.

Re:48 hours? bah.. do it in 36 :) (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760410)

That's correct. You generally end up with a very playable prototype, but it's not ready to sell yet.

But there's nothing stopping people from continuing to improve and polish the game after the competition.

All submissions become the property of... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760638)

But there's nothing stopping people from continuing to improve and polish the game after the competition.

Except perhaps copyright. Can someone read the rules and find whether contestants grant a copyright assignment or exclusive license in their submissions to the competition organizer, or whether it's a non-exclusive license?

Re:All submissions become the property of... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37776100)

That depends on the competition. Almost all of them only ask for enough permission to run the event and publicize it. I don't think I've ever seen one crazy enough to claim ownership of what was built. It would be a ghost town.

Re:48 hours? bah.. do it in 36 :) (2)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761558)

It took me a month to get through "Teach Yourself Game Programming in 24 Hours"...

uDevGames Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760350)

You all should check out uDevGames.com. It has been running since 2001. The cool thing is the source code for ALL games is released so there is a great learning component of the contest. Plus if you like a game, you can always port it to your favorite platform.

Newgrounds (3, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760426)

I play games on Newgrounds sometimes. They often have game jams where games are created within so many hours. These games often go to the frontpage.

My experience with this: Usually these games are of lower quality. Often it is a good and original idea, but the implementation is lacking.

I prefer games made by someone with love and with all the time needed to polish it properly :)

How do I made Flash games without Flash? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760654)

I play games on Newgrounds sometimes. They often have game jams where games are created within so many hours.

What's the best way to compete in a Newgrounds game jam without buying a copy of multi-hundred-dollar Flash CS software?

Usually these games are of lower quality. Often it is a good and original idea, but the implementation is lacking. I prefer games made by someone with love and with all the time needed to polish it properly

Time is money. If you like the game jam demo, preorder the full version.

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760836)

Either download the free 30 day trial of flash or use the free flash compiler with an open source Actionscript editor like Flash Develop (http://www.flashdevelop.org)

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760916)

Either download the free 30 day trial of flash

And after the 30 days expire, then what?

or use the free flash compiler with an open source Actionscript editor like Flash Develop (http://www.flashdevelop.org)

Windows to run FlashDevelop is cheaper than Flash, but how would one create the vector animation frames for a character using FlashDevelop? Or did you have pixel art in mind?

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761306)

Windows to run FlashDevelop is cheaper than Flash, but how would one create the vector animation frames for a character using FlashDevelop? Or did you have pixel art in mind?

You've got a few options:

1) Buy a cheap, used copy of Flash 8. Use that just to create your art assets and use FlashDevelop and the Flex SDK for the coding and final SWF creation.

2) Buy a copy of Sothink SWF Quicker. It's only $85, and it has a 30-day trial so you can see if it fits your needs.

3) Create assets using Inkscape and then embed the SVG using the Flex SDK. I've tried this a couple times in the past, and the results have been painful. Some brief googling indicates that the situation may be better now.

4) Create vector art using the AS3 drawing API. Works for trivial/simple art, but it's going to be a pain if you want to do things other than circles and boxes.

5) Team up with an artist who already has Flash. Let them create all the art assets while you focus on code.

6) Pixel art. There are lots of good pixel art Flash games out there.

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (1)

Feltope (927486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760936)

http://www.kongregate.com/ [kongregate.com] runs these often as well. They are great fun. Newgrounds and Kongregate are two of the biggest flash sites.

I play games on Newgrounds sometimes. They often have game jams where games are created within so many hours.

What's the best way to compete in a Newgrounds game jam without buying a copy of multi-hundred-dollar Flash CS software?

Most of us use flash develop http://www.flashdevelop.org/ [flashdevelop.org] it is a free open source IDE for ActionScript/HaXe, that and the flex SDK (one comes bundled with flash develop) are all you need to develop for flash.

Then it would just be a matter of signing up on the site and getting involved.

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761122)

> What's the best way to compete in a Newgrounds game jam without buying a copy of multi-hundred-dollar Flash CS software?

Use the Flex SDK. It's free and open source, and runs on any OS. You can program your code, and include graphics, even SVG's, and compile it to an SWF. The only thing you don't have is the graphcial way of creating your flash, you need to create your graphics with other tools instead (gimp, inkscape, ...) and then programatically use them in your game.

Re:How do I made Flash games without Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762130)

What's the best way to compete in a Newgrounds game jam without buying a copy of multi-hundred-dollar Flash CS software?

Download FlashDevelop for free, and get to work? Although, if you really had any interest you'd already know that.
This just reinforces my belief that Flash trolls have no idea what they're ranting about.

Re:Newgrounds (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761328)

I play games on Newgrounds sometimes. They often have game jams where games are created within so many hours. ... My experience with this: Usually these games are of lower quality. Often it is a good and original idea, but the implementation is lacking. ...

Bwahahahahahaha! That's a good one, man. Thanks for making my morning. If I had mod points right now, I'd give you +1Funny.

Re:Newgrounds (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761696)

"Often it is a good and original idea, but the implementation is lacking."

The importance of these game jams is to come up with original ideas. The devs know they can't possibly finish something hard or ambitious in that time frame, so they try to come up with something really off-the-wall that can be squeezed into a short development time frame. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"I prefer games made by someone with love and with all the time needed to polish it properly :)"

That's what the game developers do after game jam if the game idea they came up with worked well. Just look at World of Goo, which followed Tower of Goo, which was developed in a similar fashion.

Re:Newgrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764148)

Srsly?!?! WTF, man. No, really... Game ideas are a dime a dozen. Every one of my devs has a folder of hundreds of neat ideas. Coming up with original ideas ain't a problem at ALL. The problem is finding the time to create the product -- Artists and Programmers are scarce resources -- ORIGINAL IDEAS?!? No. Not Much At ALL!

Re:Newgrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765460)

Please help convince the Patent Offices of the world.

Re:Newgrounds (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763360)

My experience with this: Usually these games are of lower quality. Often it is a good and original idea, but the implementation is lacking.

If you only have 48 hours to code up a complete game from scratch, I would expect that. Even a bestselling author won't write something good in just 48 hours without a lot of refinement. Or those essay questions on a test.

After 48 hours, you're looking at a rough draft, something that'll need a lot of polish to get the bugs out and the artwork quality up.

I'd say most games are like that - the initial coding part is pretty quick to come to a point of something that can be demonstrated, it's all the testing/debugging/polishing that takes the majority of the work.

The primary goal is to get a studio interested and make an investment, or to judge interest to see if it's worthwhile making the huge leap to something releasable.

Things have gotten worse at EA... (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760550)

Oh wait, this reminded me a lot of how EA games are created, until I could not find the part where a manager started threatening everyone.

Re:Things have gotten worse at EA... (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768802)

EA games aren't made on short schedules. They're made by cramming normal schedules into short periods by forcing devs into constant overtime.

I used to write C64 games in a week, in assembly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760664)

I used to write C64 games in a week, in assembly, back in the 1980s.

I'd then port them to the C16 in a day. I was given the C16 with no documentation at all - a friend and myself spent a day reversing the ROM (my friend knew the C64 ROM really well, so we used that as a starting point) so that we could find the screen location, sound chip and joystick ports for me to use to write C16 games.

And sell them.

All I had was a C64, a cartridge based assembler/debugger, a line editor (yes no useful editor like emacs or visual studio), a 1541 floppy disk drive and a TV to view the work.

No fancy cross compilers or high level language.

None of this is exaggeration - I really did used to write the games in 7 days. It was always a bet with myself to see if I could do it again. Wrote quite a few that way.

Games were different back then. Limited displays, limited colours and sounds. The games had to be playable.

Unlike today. I hate modern games. All 3D and no gameplay. Favourite games of all time - Robotron and Defender, both by Williams.

Re:I used to write C64 games in a week, in assembl (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765542)

Just a curiosity I have: Did many of these games end up following the same or similar general pattern or patterns? For the actual code, I mean.

Jammin (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761908)

My brother has taken part of the global game jam for the past three years, this isn't anything new. The point of a 48 hour stint is not to make a marketable game, but how to best utilize your resources to make something small, pretty and clever with people you might have never met before. Maybe the game you make could be turned into something marketable.

The idea is to get together with other people with a common interest and passion for making games. You go into a game jam not knowing who your going to be paired up with. My brother met allot of good people both in the industry and looking to get into it. That is the true spirit of the game jam.

Reminds me of the wild demo comps (1)

prowler1 (458133) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762012)

Reminds me of the wild demo comps they used to and still do have at the big demo parties through out Europe, the ones where thousands of people would turn up for a few days. The idea was to code a demo at the event itself during the party. http://www.assembly.org/summer10/compos/realtime/demo [assembly.org] contains a good example of recent rules for one of these.

It's crazy enough watching people attempting to finish their entries for the regular demo comps, I can only imagine the energy at a big demo party with a wild comp category.

The best reward is the learning experience (2)

FyberOptic (813904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763132)

The great thing about programming is that you don't need a contest to set a time limit on yourself. Many years ago I did something similar, except I gave myself the whole month of September to write a game. I had (have) a bad track record of finishing the bigger projects I start, so I thought that was a good way to accomplish something. It was also an excuse to finally teach myself DirectX and improve my C++ in the process. I'd planned to make a Tetris clone, except with more of an electrical theme, and called it Electris (and holy crap I think that was 10 years ago already, now that I think about it).

Long story short, a month later, I had rendered decent 3D graphics into images for title screens, backgrounds, and game pieces, made sound effects, and even came up with two of my own music tracks. Even though I learned in the meantime that you can't really sell Tetris clones without getting sued, it didn't really matter, I had learned a lot in the process. And I was proud to have actually finished it. I've done a lot of programming in a lot of languages since then, but that one still stands out to me.

So yeah, if you've been wanting to learn a particular language or API, then set a goal of doing something fun and go for it. Otherwise, if you're anything like me, you'll just procrastinate and drag the learning process out over a much longer period. And maybe you'll want to try a real contest after that!

Re:The best reward is the learning experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766284)

Did you put it up on something like SourceForge or Google Code? Make it a Resume item.

16? 20? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763176)

Twenty teams of game developers... [...] ...sixteen games are coming into being...

Are only the indie folks working on their games? What about the other four teams?

TV Show (2)

Handbasket Passenger (1023955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764650)

Anyone know any of the people that run this thing? I think they could really get a lot of good publicity and probably make some cash by shopping this around to some TV networks. I watch some of those cooking shows, like Chopped, where contestants have X amount of time to make some kind of entree based on certain ingredients. This contest sounds like an awfully familiar concept.

A TV show where contestants are given some keywords to create a game in 48 hours, edited down to an hour or 2 would be a really interesting concept. It would also give some indie developers some much needed recognition.

This doesn't just work with games, either. Imagine a show where groups of security researchers are pitted head-to-head to break into a system. I know they already have contests like this, but not in TV show format (that I know of). This might be a harder concept, especially if they would need to create new 0-days to crack these systems.

A lot of times, our best ideas and concepts come out of enormous pressure. I remember hearing a story of a fireman that was going to be engulfed in a large forest fire that invented the concept of controlled burning an area around him to ensure that the flames could not reach him. I really wish I could find a link to the story (If someone could provide one, I would appreciate it - a quick googling did not turn up anything). This is the same concept - I bet we would get a lot of great ideas from a show like this.

Ludum Dare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37913260)

Such a thing already exists. It's called Ludum Dare.

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