SA Game Jam 2018

SA GAME JAM is an annual competition sponsored by Free Lives. Our mission is to encourage more South Africans to try their hand at game making, and to support emerging and established developers. A rising tide raises all ships, you know?

Whether you’re a first timer or an old timer, SA GAME JAM is for you!

This year you stand the chance to win one (or more) of eight prize, valued at a total of R 30 000.

Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook or right here.

So here’s what you need to know:

WHEN:
21 - 23 September 2018

The theme is announced on Friday at 18:00 and jamming ends after 48 hours, at 18:00 on Sunday (with two hours grace for submissions). You can also extend you jam to 18:00 on Monday, as long as you stipulate this in your submission.

WHERE:
Anywhere! SA GAME JAM can happen wherever you are. The competition is also national, so feel free to enter from all corners of South Africa. that being said, you can meet up with other participants at the Cape Town venue (Vega School) or Joburg venue (New Reality)

WHO:
Literally anyone. We’re super excited to welcome new game makers to the competition, so ENTER ENTER ENTER! If you’ve never made a game before, or if you don’t really know how, keep an eye out for our Team Classifieds Discord channel coming soon.

WHAT:
There are four categories that you can participate in. You’ll have to specify which one you would like to be considered for in your entry.
Student (studying full time and have a student card)
Hobbyist (not a student, but don't make games for a living)
Diversity (not a straight, white male) (PM us at the time of submission if you would like to opt into this category)
Overall (open to all)

HOW:
To enter the competition, you’ll have to start a thread titled “[SA Game Jam 2018] NameOfYourGame" in Make Games SA's “Online Competitions and Jams” category and post your progress there (makegamessa.com). Please don't post design ideas and ambitions, posting that won't help you achieve your goals.

As you release files, edit your first post to point to the most recent versions available.
You must include the following info:

Jam name (SA Game Jam 2018)
Project name
Level of experience (Professional, Hobbyist or Student)
48hr entry / 72hr entry

Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with and follow the Make Games forum guidelines! (http://makegamessa.com/discussion/4108/forum-guidelines-faq)

PRIZES:
Student, Hobbyist and Diversity category winners will each receive R3000
Best Art R2500
Best Audio R4500
Technical Excellence R2500
Best Narrative R2500
Overall Winner gets R5000
Three entrants will be invited to exhibit at during Africa Games Week in Cape Town at the end of November (more details on that nearer to the time).
An additional prize of a trip to Africa Games Week in Cape Town in November to be awarded at the judges' discretion (this includes a flight to Cape Town from anywhere in SA and an entry ticket to the festival, it excludes accommodation)

RULES:
Competition starts on 21st of September 2018
Deadline for entries is 24th September 2018, 20:00 (UTC+2).
You can enter as an individual or as a team.
To be eligible to win any of the prizes , your team has to play and give feedback to 5 other entries by Sunday, 30th September.
Use whichever language, tool or development system you are comfortable in.
Your game must contain all files needed for it to run and should not require other bulky systems to be downloaded or installed, exceptions are browser plugins like Flash and self-contained DLLs distributed with the game.
While any fixes post-jam will be taken into account, the version submitted at the time of the deadline will be played and judged, so make sure it is PLAYABLE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NOT CONTAINED IN THE GAME.
Competition is open to entry for South African residents over the age of 18.
You retain all copyright to your work.
The illegal use of copyrighted material will not be tolerated. Do not steal!
All risk or liability in case of copyright infringement or other legal issue resides with the entrant, Free Lives and MGSA takes no responsibility for entered games.
The judges’ decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into.

JUDGING:
A panel of judges will play all the entries, and winners will be announced by 8 October 2018. The judges and the judging criteria will be announced soon!

PARTICIPATE FOR EXTRA POINTS:
Other people will reply to your post with their feedback and ideas. Please do your best to take any and all feedback as positively as you can and use it to make your game better.
Participating by engaging in feedback on your own and other entries will be taken into account.
Fixing / tweaking your own entry based on feedback received will also be taken into account.

Comments

  • edited
    Have you guys consolidated a facebook presence yet? Put it out on the social meeds with a general event to start getting people to be able to represent attendance, and follow up with physical location events later? :)
  • Yup! The link goes to the Fb event page :)
  • Yup! The link goes to the Fb event page :)
    DOH me! :P
  • I'm gonna try come to this one!
  • keep an eye out for our Team Classifieds Discord channel coming soon.
    Would it be possible to use the existing MakesGameSouthAfrica Discord for the SA Game Jam? It would be great to grow the active community on there.
  • Awesome stuff! I'm totally looking forward to this :D
  • edited
    I'm totally keen! Is anyone organising a venue in Joburg?

    Ok I see there is some talk about a Joburg venue in this post: http://makegamessa.com/discussion/5362/sa-game-jam-2018-planning-phase-please-check-out-official-free-lives-post-for-details
  • Yeah Joburg venue is being confirmed. Microsoft is out this time.
  • edited
    keep an eye out for our Team Classifieds Discord channel coming soon.
    Would it be possible to use the existing MakesGameSouthAfrica Discord for the SA Game Jam? It would be great to grow the active community on there.
    Hi Nick - do you have the discord server code? It probably makes sense to make a SA Game Jam channel there?

  • We've created a Crowd Forge Event for the SA Game Jam - it's a pretty cool way to create a team that might still need certain skill sets to complete the project, or if you are someone looking for a team to join, this would be a great place to look!

    https://crowdforge.io/jams/SAGameJam2018

  • Hi Nick - do you have the discord server code? It probably makes sense to make a SA Game Jam channel there?
    Here's one: https://discord.gg/pHaND6
  • edited
    Hey all! A joburg venue has been confirmed, please follow the event link and say GOING if you're interested, it'll help us make sure there's enough stuff for everyone!:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/700177706994385/

    image

    Details here in case you don't Facebook:

    Address: New Reality South Africa
    25 Owl Street, Braamfontein Werf, 2092 Johannesburg, Gauteng

    Time: arrive from 5pm onwards

    Secure underground parking
    - Running cafe right at the venue, restaurants very close by (44 Stanley)
    - Free coffee :)
    - Bring power extensions if you can, we might be short on those.
    - Bring whatever you need: Computer to work on & sleeping stuff. Healthy snacks is a great idea.
    - Questions? Shoot!

    ANYONE is welcome to jam! Doesn't matter if you've made a game or not, whether you're a musician, writer, artist, just like to play games, dancer, whatever. Come make games! :)
    sagjJHB.png
    960 x 502 - 541K
  • Hello.

    Noob to Gamedev in general and MGSA and Jams specifically.

    I'm a jhb filmmaker (writer, editor, all that Jazz) starting to dip his toes into gamedev. I'm checking to see if I can make a team with a friend and swing by. Is this where I'll find most of the discussions (the discord link isn't working)?

    If I can't get a team together, can I just drop in during the jam and help out if needed? How does it usually work? Otherwise I'd probably just come say hi and see what's going on anyway.
  • Here's an MGSA Discord link that doesn't expire: https://discord.gg/xBCnEYy :)
    Thanked by 1okletshavesomefun
  • edited
    Yeah this, with the facebook event/s, should be the central discussion spots.
    PGdeJonge said:
    How does it usually work?
    Short answer: Come through!

    Medium answer: Each jam have their own variations but the basics are mostly just make a game in a limited time with whoever you feel like. If you don't have already have a team, the point of having a venue is to hang out with people, and if there's a match (it's kinda like non-romantic speed dating), you work together. Teams aren't mandatory, so everyone will do whatever they feel like.

    Remember to state your intention to attend on the event link above, it'll really help everyone :)
  • Thanks to both answers.

    Cool, I'll rsvp then and swing by even if I don't get my own team together. :D
    Thanked by 1francoisvn
  • Oh, another thing- does the game jam work like Ludum Dare, where you get a theme and stuff and have to finish the game in two days? Or is the idea that you can bring something you've already thought about and designed and just try to basically prototype it?
  • Yes it works like Ludum Dare, where you get a theme and you finish the game in two days. But that doesn't prevent you from making something that's been on your mind, or work it into the theme.

    The theme encourages you to be creative and spontaneous, because it wouldn't be very game jammy if you finished a game ahead of time, walked in and said "here I made this!", would it? :)
  • Tuism said:
    Hey all! A joburg venue has been confirmed, please follow the event link and say GOING if you're interested, it'll help us make sure there's enough stuff for everyone!
    Brilliant, thanks so much @Tuism for organising!!! Getting excited... :)
  • Hey all, anybody here from Durban? Looking to get together a Durban venue.
  • PGdeJonge said:
    Hello.

    Noob to Gamedev in general and MGSA and Jams specifically.

    I'm a jhb filmmaker (writer, editor, all that Jazz) starting to dip his toes into gamedev. I'm checking to see if I can make a team with a friend and swing by. Is this where I'll find most of the discussions (the discord link isn't working)?

    If I can't get a team together, can I just drop in during the jam and help out if needed? How does it usually work? Otherwise I'd probably just come say hi and see what's going on anyway.
    Hey PG - we started a Crowd Forge page that you can use to find teams/teammates - hope it helps:
    https://crowdforge.io/jams/SAGameJam2018
  • Tuism said:
    Yeah this, with the facebook event/s, should be the central discussion spots
    Please do keep at least one communication method other than FB, for those if us who have shunned it—a popular thing to do these days.
  • Tuism said:
    Yeah this, with the facebook event/s, should be the central discussion spots
    Please do keep at least one communication method other than FB, for those if us who have shunned it—a popular thing to do these days.
    Well I did say "this" in addition to facebook event/s :)

  • Tuism said:
    Tuism said:
    Yeah this, with the facebook event/s, should be the central discussion spots
    Please do keep at least one communication method other than FB, for those if us who have shunned it—a popular thing to do these days.
    Well I did say "this" in addition to facebook event/s :)

    I'm agreeing, and just stating the importance of it, at least to me. :P
  • Hey guys.
    This is my first time doing a Game Jam and I have some questions:
    1. Where/how do we sign up or do we just make a forum post?
    2. My team is currently myself and 2 other UCT students. Is that fine for a student team?
    3. Is there a Cape Town venue yet? I can't seem to find any info on that.
  • @AnonymousTheSpy

    1. Making a thread/discussion on the forums is done with the "New Discussion" button. It's much like leaving a comment (like your comment above) except you get to give the thread/discussion a title.

    2. What category do you fall into? If the team is mostly students then I'd say it's a fair student entry. Though if you're a professional game developer employed full time in developing games, and you're leading the team, then I'd say it is unfair to place the game in the student category. If it's a split between students and hobbyists then I'd say choose the greater number for deciding which category.

    Mostly the categories exist to encourage participation of students and hobbyists and recognize that pitting them against professionals could be unfair. Though in past years the students and hobbyists have received most of the awards including the top prize :)

    3. The Cape Town venue is Vega Cape Town. It's a really good venue for this kind of thing. Lots of rooms to set up in, good internet, and I think we'll be providing free coffee, and maybe other free snacks (I'll figure that out now).
  • The Cape Town venue is Vega Cape Town. It's a really good venue for this kind of thing. Lots of rooms to set up in, good internet, and I think we'll be providing free coffee, and maybe other free snacks (I'll figure that out now).
    Are there more details somewhere for the CT venue that we can point folks at, like a FB event? I've seen a couple folks asking for more details :)

  • The Cape Town venue is Vega Cape Town. It's a really good venue for this kind of thing. Lots of rooms to set up in, good internet, and I think we'll be providing free coffee, and maybe other free snacks (I'll figure that out now).
    Are there more details somewhere for the CT venue that we can point folks at, like a FB event? I've seen a couple folks asking for more details :)

    Yup, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2188860874723198/
  • Here's the link for the Discord channel:
    https://discord.gg/cA7th63
  • AFAICT tht's the general event, so there's no CT location or anything like that. It looks like there's a post on the discussion there, but I don't think that's super obvious to ppl that stumble upon the event. The description still says "We’ll confirm physical venues". If it's working then no worries, but I think it might be a little confusing :)

  • I would suggest putting up a CT venue event like I did for the joburg one and putting it up here to be a centralised redirection spot. And edit the opening post to make obvious links to those events.
    Thanked by 1NickCuthbert
  • edited
    Hi guys!

    We've added an additional rule to the competition that we're pretty excited about and that we think will really boost community involvement:

    "To be eligible to win any of the prizes , your team has to play and give feedback to 5 other entries by Sunday, 30th September."

    This means that hopefully every entry will get some great feedback, even if they don't win!
  • I think that addition should be edited into the first post (perhaps under "HOW") here to make sure people take note of it.
  • Tuism said:
    I think that addition should be edited into the first post (perhaps under "HOW") here to make sure people take note of it.
    It's included in the RULES section.

  • Tuism said:
    I think that addition should be edited into the first post (perhaps under "HOW") here to make sure people take note of it.
    It's included in the RULES section.

    Gotcha! I guess it wasn't super visible, maybe bullet points for each of the items might help it be more legible? In any case great addition :)

  • I've always wanted to do this...can't wait to give it a go!
  • edited
    @mmilions Maybe it's worth noting under "Judging" that the judges will play all the entries where members of the team have left reviews on at least 5 other games. As apposed to offering to play all the entries, even the ones who haven't complied with the rules.

    We will still be taking participation into account, like it is mentioned in the final paragraph of the original post, participation and good form will still break ties (AS WELL as a bare minimum level of participation being required to be eligible).
  • edited
    Agree with @Tuism about having a FB event specifically for the Cape Town venue. Means that the Joburg venue is on equal footing, and makes things a lot clearer.

    I know it's probably because FreeLives is in Cape Town, but comms around the SA game jam feel like they have been very Cape Town centric in general. For example announcements have been made which do not specify the venue and just assume everyone knows it's referring to the Vega venue.
  • FYI, there's the CT Marathon this weekend, so traffic getting to Vega might be a bit hectic. I couldn't decipher the road closure info, but it might result in some extra "fun"
  • Just a question regarding art and audio. Must all art and audio assets be created by the team during the jam or are we allowed to use assets that we have purchased prior to this jam?
  • I realised we had a camping weekend planned and booked, so I won't be able to come any more. :(

    Will try to make it to Ludum Dare, or something.
  • edited
    @PhoenixDev You're welcome to use previously made assets or even free/bought assets.

    But if you do use significant amounts of previously made assets please mention it for the sake of fairness. For instance, if the majority of your art assets were made before the jam then it'd be fair not to be eligible for the art prize. However using a bunch of previously made art assets may help you spend more time on other things and ultimately make a much better game.

    We assume things like professional programmers having extensive code libraries that they're likely to build on (which is part of the reason for a distinction between professional and hobbyist developers). Ultimately we care more about you being able to focus on building the best game you can than we care about an absolutely level playing field.

    In any case, the best games should stand out regardless of the level of polish. From my perspective as a judge, I'm much more concerned about the art direction than the sheer amount of time spent on the art. Same goes for the other categories. I suspect the other judges feel similarly, but I can't speak for them.
    Thanked by 1CodeNinja
  • Just a question regarding art and audio. Must all art and audio assets be created by the team during the jam or are we allowed to use assets that we have purchased prior to this jam?
    Hey @PhoenixDev! You're more than welcome to use assets that you've purchased during the jam. It's good practice to indicate where your assets come from if you're not making them yourself (on a credits page in your game or in your submission post). If you use purchased art or audio assets, it also means that you won't be eligible for the Best Art or Best Audio categories.
  • Does the diversity category refer to your protagonist/content or to the dev team?
  • @EvanGreenwood @mmillions_ thank you for the feedback
  • Agree with @Tuism about having a FB event specifically for the Cape Town venue. Means that the Joburg venue is on equal footing, and makes things a lot clearer.

    I know it's probably because FreeLives is in Cape Town, but comms around the SA game jam feel like they have been very Cape Town centric in general. For example announcements have been made which do not specify the venue and just assume everyone knows it's referring to the Vega venue.
    Hey Nick, thanks for the feedback. Our intention with the FB event page has been to keep it venue neutral so that people all over the country feel like they can participate. Sorry if the Discord announcements have come across as Cape Town-centric, I've edited the post where I refer to opening times and parking to reflect the specific venue.

    @Tuism, do you use Discord? Perhaps you could post some information related to the JHB venue on the channel we've created for SA Game Jam.

  • Uh I don't really go to Discord, how do I get to the channel? All the information to the joburg venue are on the facebook event linked above?
  • I've edited the joburg venue post above with more info around the event for anyone not into Facebook.
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