I will not be a participant, but I have a question.
I do not want to say somebody will cheat! Of course not! But I am wondering if it is possible. Being more exactly about it. I am seeing the fact that is hard to cheat in this competition, but still.
There is some way to cheat? And if it is, how will you know that?
I know that make this question is bad. It is basically to disrespect the people. It is even worse than do the cheat. But I only have that doubt.
The reality is that the winner is going to be decided by @kilif, @grotlover2, and me. It’s not an automated system. Were humans and are going to use our subjective judgments and if anything feels fishy we will be sure to look into it. The only way i would see cheating coming about would be someone using an existing game to try and win, but that is explicitly against the rules, and that person would be disqualified.
I guess your real question would be “what if someone cheats in a way that you can’t foresee?” in which case there is not much we can say on the matter. After all we can’t foresee it. All i can promise is that we would take any matter like that very seriously. No one: not the participants, the judges, or spectators wants this to be unsatisfying. If something doesn’t feel right we’ll look into it.
The only real way to ‘cheat’ is starting early building your versatile framework and skills, gathering sources for audio and graphics assets, writing characters to drop into the theme… Basically anything that makes you more prepared to get right to work on the 10th.
So luckily due to the open ended nature of game jams it is hard to really cheat in game jams. There are 3 major issues that we are keeping an eye out for (out side of general rule violations):
Stealing IP (intellectual property) - This can come in the forms of (but not limited to) a user tying to pass a full game off as their own or the use of assets without the original authors permission (or violation of the license). This tends to be the most common form of “cheating” due to a combination of ease and general ignorance of copyright law (Remember in the US if you make it you own the copyright! You cant use something just because you are not making money from it without permission and make sure to check your licenses). Lucky this method (mainly full game clones) is hard to pull off without notice and any games found to be stealing IP will be disqualified and removed.
Obtaining Early Access to the Theme - This is when a user tries to get early access to the theme so they can start before everyone else. This can easily be done since we usually allow our Patreons the ability to vote on themes as part of their rewards. This is mainly countered by not allowing Patreons with access to this information to be eligible to win and us reserving the right to change the theme if we feel it has been leaked.
Re-skinning - This is how I refer to games that a user already made and released but made a few alterations to it to adhere to the theme. This is not really “cheating” as going this route will automatically make the user loose out on a ton of points. If you remember our scoring system it is very heavy in the concept and design of the game and we will not give many of those points to games that already exist since they are not new or novel concepts.
If you look at the above you will notice that they are either illegal or against the spirit of game jams. Please remember the real purpose of a game jam is to give people a chance to develop their rapid prototyping skills or even find teams they may like to work with.
This is actually a misconception. What @FluffRat suggests is actually encouraged. See since game jams are meant to help develop rapid prototyping skills; creating frameworks, prototype assets you can easily modify/work with, or even reuse (of code and assets) is encouraged as it helps the devs to build a rapid prototyping tool kit that they can then use to try out more ideas. This is why it is common to see devs in game jams sticking to the same engine, using old assets, or using a framework they made for a different game. While we do encourage preparation we discourage actually building a game thinking you can just modify it quick. The themes can dictate game mechanics so if you build expecting X and we say Y is required you just lost all that work so it is better to be flexible and instead work on a framework.
I hope this answered some questions, and a admin side note to @LaCabra please use a better title next time. Topic titles should be short and describe at a glance what you are wanting to talk about. Your title “reddit, I have a question” does not tell anyone any information about what you actually have a question about. A better title would be something closer to “A question on cheating?” or “How will cheating be handled?”