"Lo-Cal" Gain Jam Discussion

UPDATE: Poll is now closed! We’re going ahead with the Lo-Cal Gain Jam! Thank you all for your participation and input.

So yes, after mentioning it in the recent Site News update, let’s talk about the “Lo-Cal” Gain Jam! A little bit about what to expect and ultimately whether you would be interested in participating or not.

We’re largely playing this by ear this time round. With Grotlover’s focus turned more towards site development over the coming months, we have fewer heads overseeing this and hence why wanted this event to be more community-driven. With that said, we want to listen to you and hear your thoughts.

Our initial thoughts are for this to be a more unofficial “casual” Jam experience. Less of a crunch required to produce a game submission of high enough quality to win a cash prize; more of an opportunity for people to create something and have fun with seeing how they and others interpret the theme constraints.

  • The time and date? We have a mid-August date of Saturday 12th tenuously earmarked for the commencement since it worked pretty well last year but if people feel strongly upon a different start date then we are open to discussing it.

  • The length of the contest? I’m of two minds about this. Since we may be looking at some site instability ahead, we can have this either be a shorter Jam than usual - one week instead of the standard two - or perhaps longer than usual to accomodate for any site outages. We want to highly emphasize that this is a no-crunch Jam so I’m leaning towards keeping it at the default two weeks, with the option of extending the contest to allow for any site disruptions. Again, please share your thoughts on this below.

  • The theme? Entirely chosen by the community! We’ll have a submission form set up for people to submit their ideas and one will be picked at random from the eligible entries. Simple. No added gimmicks.

  • The judging? Again, driven by the community. No judges in any official capacity. Feedback and community discussion as to who they think is best will be actively encouraged!

Once the contest is underway, participants will be able to submit their entries to the Gain Jam board just as before.

The caveat to all of this:

Some of you may well be asking yourself what is the point of an unofficial Jam, and it’s honestly okay to think that. With this being community-driven, it’ll be the community itself which decides whether we proceed with this Jam alternative or not. I get the arguments either way: on one hand it’s a big commitment of time and energy to partake in a game jam, especially with less at stake; on the other hand, we don’t want to outright remove the prospect of Jam for those who do wish to partake, prizes or no. We recognise that people value feedback on ideas and work recognition quite a bit.

We’re not going to force the Jam onto people who don’t wish for it, ultimately. Naturally we anticipate a smaller turnout from previous Jams (though I’m willing to eat my words on this), however if only a couple of people are interested in participating then it’ll be a clear message received by us.

Please review the poll below and honestly answer it, again letting us know any addtional thoughts below.

  • As a potential participant, I would be interested in entering.
  • As a potential participant, I would not be interested in entering.
  • As a non-participant, I would be interested in the “Lo-Cal” Gain Jam.
  • As a non-participant, I would be not interested in the “Lo-Cal” Gain Jam.

0 voters

Once we have enough poll data, we will reach a decision about the Jam and proceed accordingly. Until then, discuss away!


I want jam really bad, cave man brain hit yes yes button. UG.

(Against popular belief this message was not typed with a rock)


Could be interesting but if your having stability issues atm then it would be better to extend it by an additional week or two just to be safe and perhaps use discord threads to post the entree’s instead this year in case the site goes down for a extended period.


Yep a very reasonable point. In a worst-case scenario were the site to go down for an extended period, we’d be leaning on the Discord server for continued event coordinating. We’ll highlight this point upon the commencement of the Jam.


even if it’s unofficial, jams are fun and a good way to test stuff out you wouldn’t normally.

Although I won’t lie, a prize does always incentivise people, the option to just make some games and play others is still fun.

I prefer the shorter time frame myself (mostly cause my scope ends up getting too large if I have too much time….) but if there’s going be site maintenance, 2 weeks or even 3 is probably more reasonable (also gives people the chance to chop and change stuff)


I’m always up for participating in a jam, prize or not. If site maintenance is a concern, a longer jam may help (though a shorter one may be nice so we don’t feature creep our projects :sweat_smile:)



please and thank you.



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Real talk though, the less time staff have, the better it’d be to have a longer deadline - though capping entrants might actually be a Good Idea.
A cap would both prevent the list of projects getting higher than staff can process AND encourage the formation of dev teams, which might be able to multi-task in order to have a better shot of having an end product before the deadline.


Entrant capping is a bold proposition since we were anticipating a lower turnout in general this time around, so it would be optimistic to say the least. While the point about dev teams is an interesting one, I can’t foresee enforcing that without a lot of pushback.

Maybe if this a success and we have a scope for smaller and more frequent jams throughout a given year, I could imagine diversifying the jams to where a “Teams-only Gain Jam” could be a fun variant.

I hear what people are saying about longer jams being a double-edged sword and I get it. Even a low-intensity contest is still a contest at the end of the day so some will utilise their time to the fullest, for better and for worse. Plus there’s the added time commitment involved which can leave people out in the cold… The flip side is that a shorter jam does promote crunch, so a single week may be demanding too much from people.

Perhaps it’s a case of not fixing what ain’t broke and keeping it at two weeks, allowing for any added time were the site to go sideways. Sound okay?

I’m considering giving it a go this year, and I think two weeks is good. Personally I’d prefer it in like October, but I like the little bit of pressure that the two weeks offers. It’s enough to make something fun without killing myself working, but it also means that I won’t make something long and complicated and pressure helps me deliver.

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Honestly I would be pleased with just a theme and a reason to get people to make a game.


I had a whole big para typed up that I accidentally deleted about why this is a good idea but shouldn’t be done because it would reduce participation and remove incentive for non patrons (as a non patron) by giving deciding power to unpaying site members.

TLDR, at this stage it’s basically just saying pretty please make a game really fast for our community mr. coder and then we’ll rank the games that get made. Without a prize there isn’t a lot of incentive for a lot of people, even if it was never the focus (and I, personally, would still be happy to do the art for a project regardless of what happens in the jam) and without more official presentation it feels less like a contest and more arbitrary.

Sorry this isn’t the most well put together, I’m frustrated I accidentally deleted the entire more well composed statement so this is a bit disorganized. X]

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I as a coder want a jam here prize or not, it gives me the ability to get a group of people who are too busy to make a game normally and make a game with them, out of the jams I have seen and participated in the gain jam is the only one that has any form of prize, the existence of a jam is to provide a challenge, not to generate a bunch of games, (the game generation does happen but that is more of a side effect) Winning the jam means you and your team made the best game, not winning means you could have done better somehow, and then some years a full completed game like Cheetah shows up and wins by a land slide which was rightfully deserved.

Yes itch has a bunch of jams all the time but they are not community jams like this one, I like our gain jam and I want to make a game for it prize or no.

Now to the point of removing participation, when a jam happens the site gets a ton of activity, if the jam is prize less it will get less activity than a normal jam, but it will still get more than the site not having a jam, especially when games are posted, so even if only 5 people post games for the jam that is 5 new playable games that people will be going to try, and not another “I am starting X project post” which are good posts but don’t have the same pull as a “here is a game to play” post.

now you say remove incentive for non patrons, because unpaying site members get to vote, did you mean Patrons?

TLDR: I think this point of view misses the point of a jam and as a programmer I want a jam so I can make a game


I did mean incentive for patrons, mb, but what I’m trying to say is that it might be better for the jam to be postponed to ensure that other people than just those who would participate regardless would do so.

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that is a fair point, but is anything lost if the Lo-Cal Jam does happen?

and just to make sure, the Announcements have stated that there is no Gain jam this year, and the Lo-Cal jam is a potential substitute to fill the gap, “postponed” implies that there would be a Gain jam later in the year if the Lo-Cal jam doesn’t happen, which is not the case. (or at least not what I picked up from reading the Announcements)

If it was Late Gain Jam or on time Lo-Cal Jam, I would choose Late Gain Jam, but the announcements read as No Jam or Lo-Cal Jam


It is correct that there will not be an official Jam this year. So, “postponing” would mean waiting until next year in @zcell111 suggestion. Regardless if that’s what they meant by it.

The proposition for a community driven alternative is to have some form of gain jam this year, in place of the official event vs nothing taking its place.