Make Games Minijam 5th of March (in Cape Town)

edited in Events
There is an 8 hour jam hosted by The Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock on Saturday the 5th of March.

This event will happen monthly and is free to attend for everyone, but if you want to be fed at the event it'll cost R100.

The idea is that everyone arrives at 11, and at 11:30 we reveal a few secret (optional) modifiers and everyone brainstorms, jamming starts at 12 and everyone stops jamming 8 hours later (with lunch happening somewhere in between).

We all eat pizza (or some pizza equivalent) at 8:00 and at 8:30 everyone presents whatever they've built (to rapturous applause and cheering).

For this month's Make Games Minijam the theme is:

An Unconventional Role Playing Game.

"I love to express my individuality in RPGs, by choosing the weapons that do the most damage and the armour that has the most defense."- Tom Francis

What if the game was about a completely different set of stats and/or items? Not about physical combat at all, but some other adversity to overcome?

Or what if there were no strictly good stats, or no stats at all, but just interesting choices instead? Or what if there was nothing but the stats? Or what if there was no progression, just a series of stories about different characters told through the medium of an RPG?

The point of the jam is to subvert (at least some of) the conventions of an RPG, and make something that surprises players. You don't have to subvert the aspects I've mentioned here, choose some convention you think RPG's reproduce unquestioningly, and question it.

Of course, if you participate, you don't have to stick to the theme. If you find inspiration elsewhere then use it. The only requirement is that after 8 hours you present what you've made and tell the group what you've learned, even if what you've made doesn't function, and what you've learned is that you were too ambitious.


  • Please RSVP if you want to be fed (so that we can give the caterer numbers).
    Thanked by 1Squidcor
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    I'll be there! I dig this theme!
    Thanked by 1Squidcor
  • sounds good, i will be there
  • Totally in!

    I love the theme!
  • I will be there for lunch but not dinner (will have to leave early unfortunately)
  • I'm in and wanting to be fed and watered
    Thanked by 1Mexicanopiumdog
  • I'll be there and want some pizza, does coffee get included in the price?
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    Just wondering. Could this thread be made sticky? (I think we'd like as many of this community to attend as possible)
  • Just wondering. Could this thread be made sticky? (I think we'd like as many of this community to attend as possible)
    I've stickied it for now. There's a soft maximum on stickied posts and 6 is a bit much, so it might move to only in Events again if anything else pops up. I figured that because it was so local and not a specific community meetup it might not need stickying for everyone.

    The Durban event didn't get stickied, neither do other jams... So yeah.
  • edited
    A Durban meetup probably should be stickied, although the way that particular thread started the event itself wasn't exactly a sure thing.

    Is there a separate Events sticky list?
  • Woops, didn't realize RSVPing is a thing. So, I'll definitely be there and I am in for food.
  • Is there a separate Events sticky list?
    Yup. Everyone can announce threads in their distinct categories. So this was already "stickied" in Events. Not many people browse with that filter on though, so I can see why it's not a known thing.

    The main goal is just to not have a massive cork of stickied topics at the top of the forum and all activity be a page lower. That'll kill action. This is also why we would want an events calendar as part of the front page, whenever that becomes a reality.

    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • I'd like to RSVP for this :) I'm in for food if there are alternatives to pizza. Cheese will kill me unfortunately.
    Thanked by 1Mexicanopiumdog
  • Just wanted to mention again that if anyone needs help with GameMaker during the Jam, regardless of skill level, I will be lurking around dispensing advice, and generally helping with turning your idea into a game.

    All you have to do is make sure GameMaker is installed on whatever device you bring to the Jam :) Just create a YoYo Games account on their website and download GameMaker for free.
  • edited
    A couple details about tomorrow's event.

    It's held at The Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock (in The Woodstock Exchange).

    We're meeting there at 11, and jamming starting at 12 (after some brainstorming). Presentations at 8:30.

    Parking will be available in the basement parking of The Woodstock Exchange.

    Buzz "300" at the ground floor door to access the elevator. The Bandwidth Barn is located on the 3rd floor.

    There are a couple spare meeting rooms that will be available, should you want to brainstorm or chat there.

    The projector takes VGA and will have a Mac adapter. The projector does not take HDMI. I don't have a laptop that can connect to it, if someone else does, or has a VGA to HDMI adapter, that would be greatly appreciated.

    There will be coffee provided, courtesy of The Bandwidth Barn.

    Lunch and dinner have been arranged for the people who RSVP'd. It's likely there's a bit extra if needed.

    If this jam goes well, we're hoping to run another jam on the first Saturday of April. Bandwidth Barn wants to open up the event to their network, and that might mean a lot of new faces, which would be super rad, but first we need to prove the concept.

    Looking forward to seeing you all there! And looking forward even more to seeing what you make.
    Thanked by 1pieter
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    Thanks to everyone who came and made this a rad day!!!

    Out of it came 5 video games, 2 board games, an awesome multimedia concept presentation for a future game, and a competitive selfie game (which straddled the line between board game and app and I hurt my face trying it, in a good way).

    (I hope I'm not leaving anything out?)

    The venue was brilliant, The Bandwidth Barn made our lives very easy. I'm looking forward to doing this again!!
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    Here's what I made (with a team) in the 8 hours we had:


    It's just the beginning of a potential game. There isn't much there, but it seems worth expanding upon.

    For now it's titled "America Saves The World". It's about shooting terrorists and building a army to shoot more terrorists to build a bigger army. In the end it didn't really fit into the theme of the jam, but I got to experiment a bit with progression systems, which I feel are a weak area for me when it comes to game design.

    No expense was spared in accurately simulating military tactics. After having worked on Broforce I feel like this is something of a specialty for me. Notice, for instance, the inverse proportion of clothing to murderousness exhibited by American troops.

    Here's a download link for those that are interested:

    Greg and Andrew from the Sound Foundry produced the music and the sound effects during just the last half of the jam (they were not helping this project exclusively), and I think they did a brilliant job.

    Filip Orekhov did the rad retro sprite work.
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    Thanks for organizing this gamejam Evan. I really enjoyed participating.

    I made a game based on the principle of arbitrage to buy and sell items between stores. I really enjoyed making the game but I don't really think it amounted to a game that is worth developing further.


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    @shanemarks If this game didn't exactly work out, are you going to give another shot and using arbitrage to drive gameplay?

    Arbitrage appears in a lot of space trading games. It's one of the important mechanics in games like "80 Days". Arbitrage can definitely make a compelling game, and I like that you simulated agents that affect the markets.

    It might mean starting again and tackling this from a different angle, but I think simulating a number of markets with agents that act on them could produce a really interesting trading game, possibly more compelling than what exists to be played today (although admittedly I don't have a wide knowledge about trading games).

    Also, the name "Arbitrage" hasn't been taken by a game as far as I can tell, which seems like an opportunity.
  • @EvanGreenwood
    Yeah I might try another angle on this game and give it another shot. I also feel that the principle of arbitrage can lend itself to an interesting mechanic.

    Another angle that I might try is where one plays as the regulator, were the goal is to disseminate new information to the stores as fast as possible, to prevent arbitrage opportunities from taking place... I will need to think a bit more about this.
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