10/31 - Posted Rules and Scoring. Post can be found here.
I am happy to announce as a thank you to our wonderful and growing community we are holding our first ever game jam competition! Now you all might be wondering what Fat Fortnight is: well participating members will have 2 weeks to make a prototype game for a chance to win $200!
Now before you go and start thinking about how you will win $200, there is some information you need to know:
When we say 2 weeks we mean 2 weeks so every entry must adhere to a theme that will be announced 11/10
The competition will will start 11/10 and end on 11/25
We will be releasing a scoring sheet that we will be using to judge the games early November
I do not think the same. I feel weird with this, but whatever, it is just me. Developers can use it as training, especially newbies. I only care what games would be created for this (if even they will be public). And November is not so far but not close neither. So that.
@LaCabra if you have any concerns we are always happy to hear them. Game Jams though are fairly common within most development communities (and even some business), and are meant to help devs (or teams of devs) to get feed back on new concepts and sharpen their rapid prototyping skills.
@Tag365 to clarify on what @Juxtaterrestrial said we do want to hold more in the future but the frequency at which we will hold them will depend on how much interest we see in the community for Game Jams. Now Game Jams where we offer prizes like we are with this one will highly depend on how much money we bring in through our Patreon, so those will only happen when we feel we can dedicate enough money to have a reasonable prize. If we ever hit our $500 a month goal though you could definitely expect to see more competitions like this.
This is a rad idea (though I keep seeing the name and thinking, “There’s fat characters in Fortnite?”) and I think doing it game jam style might help me actually finish a twine game for once. Excited to see the theme!
I think I know why I felt weird. I think. I can sounds like a fool, mainly because it is very probably too early to ask. But they are my concerns.
I saw you say you will announce the theme that the developers need to be adhere. I mean, what can I expect about it? What can it be? How everyone can do that theme with their skills if everyone have is different program/editor? Even, how you suppose to rated that?
I know that, but still. It is hard to me believe you can judge a lot of games by that way. There is people that only do RPG’s, another that do other genres. If it is like I think the theme will work, do not you think is unfair? Maybe I am wrong about the theme; But in fact, that is actually what I am afraid.
Anyways, how will somebody enter in the competition?
You said it: “participating members”.
Another thing is, where will the developers release the games (like I said before: if even they are public)? I guess on a subcategory of this forum. I guess.
Plus, what will happen if the winner actually cannot get the prize? This one is the most annoying thing to me, I cannot figure out what will happen.
Like I said, maybe it is TOO early to ask. But at least, tell me if it is and if you will reveal all that soon.
No worries we are always happy to answer questions
It seems a majority of your concerns are around the theme so I will address that first.
So first off, while theme is the common name for it, it is more of an imposed design restriction. Due to this themes can have quite a wide range. I have seen game jams that have imposed generic themes like “your game must be sci-fi” to imposing game mechanics like you can only use 2 buttons for your controls.
There are many reasons why these are imposed but here are the major reasons:
They help to enforce the strict development time frame - A major part of game jams, hackathons, or any related competition is the limited time frame in which development can occur. As I explained above this is to help devs develop certain skills such as rapid prototyping. The most common time frames seem to be 24-48 hours usually over a weekend. Due to this very shot time frame it can be hard to advertise that a game jam is going to occur while still giving those who enter time to work on their submission (think of me only giving you all 24 hour notice and saying you have to start work now). One way to solve this is with themes. By keeping them varied and secret it allows the organizers to announce the game jam ahead of time so those who wish to participate can plan for it while preventing participants from starting work on the game till the competition starts.
Provide direction - Themes are also used to provide direction to the devs so they are less likely to fall prey to issues like Analysis Paralysis. If no theme is provided it is common for devs to spend 90% of their time trying to figure out a central theme/mechanic/ect to build their design off of. By providing this central aspect the organizers provide a base that the participants can build their design around so they can spend more time on creating the game.
Force the participants to adapt - Most likely the biggest reason themes are used is to force the participants to design or build around some set constraints. This is meant to push devs outside of their usual comfort zone and come up with interesting and/or novel solutions. Being able to adapt to these demands is one of the biggest challenges in game jams.
if you want more info the videos made by Mark Brown from Game Makers Tool Kit where he is going over their game jam winners might give you a better idea on how they are organized and judged. Here is the video where they are going over their 2018 winners:
This relates to the above (specifically reason 3). If the theme forces someone to have to use a new program/editor to comply with the theme then it is doing its job by forcing the devs out of their usual comfort zone and forcing them to expand their skill set.
If your main concern though is something like “what if it has to be a JRPG, do I need to buy RPG maker just to participate?” The answer to that is no. If you are familiar enough with a tool you usually can find ways to adapt (abuse) the tool to do what you want. Even if you feel the need to switch tools keep in mind that Unity and Unreal are now free to use and are flexible enough you can do any type of game with them if you are willing to put in the work. You can also make your own engine/tools (though I dont suggest that with limited time frame competitions like this).
Most times though it less about the tool and more about finding creative ways to think about the problem.
All entries will be screened for basic compliance to the theme. Failure to use the theme in any way will result in the submission being disqualified. Additional points will be reward based on how the theme is used in the submission (remember the interesting and/or novel solution statement in reason 3). More details will be available once we release the scoring sheet.
I believe some of your concerns here have been addressed above so I am going to focus on what I see as concerns on the scoring sheet. If I am understanding you correctly I think you are concerned that games a subjective and an objective scoring system would not work well. While I do agree a bit on that, to maintain impartiality we will have to use an objective scoring system as that is the only way we can keep it fair.
If I misunderstood your above question feel free to ask me again.
This was actually asked on another topic. Right now it looks like we are going to setup another subcategory for it. That way if some one wishes to enter they just make a post in that subcategory for that game.
I am sorry I missed this first time through. I thought I answered that but I did not. All submissions must be public and free to play.
This is a very good point. If for some reason we can not provide the winnings to the winner due to technical reasons or them refusing to accept the winnings we will more thank likely split it between the next 2 runner ups that can accept the price. That being said they will still receive a forum badge though. We will talk about this situation in more detail internally and see if we can come up with a better way of handling this if it does occur.
Its not too early really to ask, but we will be updating this post with detailed rules and the scoring sheet some time next week. Hopefully that will help answer any lingering questions you may still have, but always feel free to voice concerns. You never know if we may have considered something or not in out plans.
I hope this helped address some of your concerns. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.