Padstal Game Jam #3

edited in Online Competitions & Jams
So yesterday concluded our third 2-week long game jam. Since it was a holiday we moved it over to today.

However since the first jam, where 8 games were made, the second jam saw only 2 being made and the same goes for this jam. So if anyone has some advice to what I can do to motivate/engage everyone again into actually taking part I am all ears.

The first jam everyone was excited and motivated to get something done. The following jams most, even more people than the first jam, said that they want to take part and want to learn to make games. Only to not stay on the Wednesday afternoons we get off to work/collaborate on the game jams, since they can rather go home. So in the end the general response I get is I didn't have time or I do not know how to use Unity. (I am not forcing unity, and they are still free to use whatever IDE or engine they like)

That being said, coming next week I will speak to everyone about this, and communicate to them clearly that Wednesday afternoons are there so that they can ask for help if they are struggling. And I will take probably the next two Wednesdays to give a crash course on Unity before we start a jam again. I am also looking to start a group blog. So that these things can be communicated easily and everyone can share what they learned/want to learn. (Thanks to @mkShogun96 's thread)

With that out of the way, here are the games:
The theme for this jam: Construction/Destruction

TerraDig ( @Vince )
Controls: WASD > Move
Space > Jump
Left Click Hold > Dig
Right Click > Build
Scroll Mouse > Change Current Inventory Item
Escape > Go To Main Menu. (Will also save game)
Overview: There are a lot of ideas I still wanted to implement, but overall I learned a lot of new things. The game-play at the moment is to see how quickly you can reach the bottom of the map. The floating island you spawn next to sells improved shovels. Every block you dig downwards causes the island to float up slightly higher.
When lower than a certain depth your oxygen will start to deplete. Currently when it runs out you will simply be reset to the main menu. Your game will not be over.

Dominoes ( @Mitch93 )
Controls: WASD > Move
Shift > Sprint
Left Click > Place Domino
Hold L Click + L Ctrl > Place row of Dominoes
Overview: A First Person Domino sim. Build any formation you want and simply walk into the block to knock it over and see your time well spent falling before you.
1280 x 720 - 402K
1280 x 720 - 49K


  • edited
    It took me quite a while to finish TerraDig... 1200 seconds :/ ... I died quite a few times, I didn't really ever get good at predicting how long it would take me to build a column upwards towards the air (sometimes I got stuck within the blocks I was building).

    But it's a rad little game... I didn't figure out how to get to the shops until I read your description... if there was just a signboard pointing upwards that said "Shop" I think I would have gotten it (I like the idea of a floating sky shop), and building a column upwards feels pretty good.

    I am a fan of these sorts of games (like the flash game MotherLoad back in the day, although I'm not sure if MotherLoad is the original digging game). I like the dig down then go back up and upgrade loop (like in Ridiculous Fishing and obviously MotherLoad itself). I think the dig down/ go up/ upgrade loop is very compelling, but of course I'd like to see more features in TerraDig as right now it is just scratching the surface of its potential (pun intended).

    With regards to attracting more people to the jams:

    This is always tricky. It seems that a lot of people don't have much time for making games, so when there is a major event (like the first Padstal Game Jam) quite a lot of people come, but then by the second and third events those people are prioritizing other things...

    When we were doing monthly game jams we found that it was easy to get people excited at first, but most people didn't come every month. We had a group of about 6 people that attended every single game jam, and so that made it possible to keep holding the events. If the core group of regular jammers had just been two people we would have stopped (as it sucks when no-one attends).

    In some ways having the jams less frequently makes it easier to make the events feel more special... which is why the competitions at Make Games SA are held every three months. And even then, the first competition this year had more than double the number of entrants that the second competition had.

    I think it's rad that you're posting the games here, and that that gives the jammers some exposure (which can be a motivator)... I don't know whether it'd help to run it more like a competition, or to take the games each month to a screening event... I'm actually not sure how to get people to attend regularly :/

    One thing I found, when we were doing monthly competitions, was that when we announced certain themes people got more excited... People often have a bunch of games they dream about making, if you can figure out a theme that allows jammers to make the games that they wanted to make anyway I think that can improve attendance (sometimes we got this right, and sometimes we got it wrong, but it mostly came to talking to people about their game ideas and then the next month suggesting everyone make a type of game that as many people as possible already wanted to make).
  • Hey @EvanGreenWood

    Thank you for all the feedback and for playing TerraDig. The getting stuck inside the blocks you are building is a bug I found a little too late and couldn't get to fixing in time. Over the next couple of weeks I'll try to improve and add to the game as there are a lot of features I wanted to add but never got a chance to. So I might post it here in a couple of weeks if I feel I made decent progress. Again thanks for the feedback.

    Regarding the jams I feel your point on selecting themes that most people are interested in can help significantly. So I might try having everyone who feels like entering send in theme suggestions and then we can vote for one of those. As at the moment I am selecting themes from old GGJ's or Ludum Dare's and voting on that.

    I will also decrease the frequency of the jams as I do feel that having them so often is a little too much and people feel okay missing one since the next is around the corner. So I will make them less often with longer breaks in between where we just take that time to learn and improve.

    Thanks for taking the time to read/comment on our situation.
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