Game Jam over the weekend of the 21st July?

edited in General
So to keep with the run of Game Jams just before the community meetups I was thinking we could jam over the weekend of the 21st? As usual I would like to try and host at UCT but this time limit it to just the Sat for maximum attendance. I am hoping we can coordinate a bit better between Joburg, Cape Town as well as other remote participants.

So the questions are:
  • Who is keen?
  • When should we have it?
  • Should we have a theme?
So please respond if you're keen to Jam! Suggestions are definitely welcome and needed!


  • I cant make it :/ I'll be away.
    Jamming the weekend before the meet up is a nice incentive to get stuff done.
  • keen as always!
    Thanked by 1creative630
  • I will speak to my lecturer tomorrow and see if he is keen to take part/facilitate this happening simultaneously at Wits.
  • I'm keen! I don't really have anything particular I'm working on but I'll gladly mess around with some tutorials or ideas, or something, and see what you guys are working on.
  • From what I hear these game jams are pretty heavy stuff, but I'm definitely interested! That is if it can be at Wits as well.
  • I want to do this!
  • I'm keen for a theme, unless people want to just work on their own pet projects *shrug* I'm done figuring out most of Unity, want to start trying out new ideas ^_^ (that said I have pet projects too)

    @notsimon207 it's as heavy as you want it to be really. The last one was just the Friday night and Saturday day I think (I only made the one day, iirc). Helps that there is a small core of people who I know are almost certainly going to be there. But it'll be what you make of it, I think. Hit it hard with some friends and caffeine, or chill out and try learn something new, just get people together in the same room (with a vague and misinterpretable goal somewhat related to making games) and I'd bet it'll be a jam :p
  • Does this happen in Jozi at all?
    (I did see the Wits comment but that seems to indicate that it doesn't)

    Will definitely participate... Once I slay a few magical unicorns and level up enough :)
  • I have a meeting with the lab admin at Wits where I work later this morning, so I can hopefully give a more definitive answer later today as to whether we can hold one (though it is likely if you want windows for dev you will need to bring a laptop or at least your desktop's tower)
  • I will be there!
  • Awesome, so it looks like we have enough people keen for it to happen.
    I am going to aim to be at UCT from 9am - till late on Saturday (the 21st).
    The venue will be on the bottom floor of the Computer Science building in The Shuttleworth Labs (TSL).

    I think we should come up with a theme and if people want to do it they can, else they can just work on their current projects.

    My theme idea - Crossroads
    (Make of it what you will!)

    Any other theme Ideas?
  • edited
    I might just jam on one of the current problems I've having.

    "Crossroads" could be interesting. I'd probably try interpret it as a centering the game's results around one meaningful decision. Or maybe try make a game just about meaningful decisions, which isn't something I've emphasized in the past.

    If I were to suggest a theme, maybe I'd suggest: [color = red]Surprise
  • I'm keen to attend, but very much depends on my personal life playing ball and allowing me a saturday off (aka the girlfriend).

    Want to make a legitimate start on the ideas floating around my head currently - emergence! Particularly swarm behaviour and biological systems.
  • @TheFuntastic Maybe just try swing by for a little while and get started on an idea of yours? Feel free to join at anytime on sat if you can.
  • edited
    How does the remote thing work?(noob)
  • @terencej Well it would just be posting here regularly as you go for feedback. At least just post what you intend to do and then where you got up to at the end of the weekend. If you ever need advice or crit along the way just post here and hopefully some of us will give some feedback.
  • cool, I cant attend personally, but will do it from home then
  • Does the end result of the game jam have to be a finished result, or does it include progressing on current game projects? I'm not really sure what a "game jam" entails...
  • @Denzil: You aim to finish something, yeah. (If you don't, no biggie. It's just for the fun and xp. In my opinion it's more about being around other people, and seeing how well you can scope for the time allowance.)
  • edited
    @Denzil: To add to what @Elyaradine said. Last month we just had a depth jam where we aimed to prototype a new feature to an existing project/entirely new game with helpful feedback. Its mostly about giving people an excuse to actually go and make a game. Posting here for feedback just helps so that we can learn from each other and be inspired (as well as help eliminate procrastination!).
  • edited
    I heart all y' all's posts
    Thanked by 1creative630
  • edited
    For JHB people, I have gotten the go-ahead for using the Wits Software Development Interest Group room on Saturday for this Jam. We can fit 10~15 people, I will be there from 8 AM till around 5 or 6 PM (if people want to stay longer I can also stay longer).

    Uni Location: University of the Witwatersrand, Main Campus, Braamfontein.
    Room Location: Senate House, 2nd floor (West side), room SH2115
    What to bring:
    • Your own food/drinks, or cash for food/drinks (ground floor has a cafe that does food and cooldrinks, alternatively the Matrix is also open and there is more options/variety there).
    • Your laptop/desktop (if you dont have either or cant bring them there are 3 PCs available running Win7 that you can install what you want to use on [ie. bring installs if you want, I would recommend pre-booking them now if you need], there is a possible fourth if you are willing to try get it running [havent had time to sort it]), and if you are bringing one of these I would recommend an extension cord/multiplug.
    Internet connectivity will be available (via your own proxy account if you are a witsie), but I must stress that I can only allow you to use it for general browsing (no downloads. Not even small ones, sorry).

    If you need something specific downloaded for installing on the weekend, you should let me know before lunch tomorrow and I can try make a plan.

    PC Bookings:

    If you need to contact me (for directions, or if you get lost, or whatever) you can use my cell no.: Oh Ate Too, Nein Too Oh, Sevn Thri Thri Fyv. (Im sorry but I cant do calling back as I am soft-locked :P)

    Anything else people need to know?
  • Ooooooh, one joburger is interested - I wanted to use this weekend to get into game maker, figuring things out for myself first from scratch, would I benefit from being around beautiful minds now *this* early in the game or should I rather get my own footing in the thing before I join in on these jams?

    Also, would it be totally annoying to have a complete noob around while you build real stuff? (just say it straight!!! We're all (relatively) adults here!
  • Not anoying at all, and a friend of mine is already coming, perhaps we need to harass @notsimon207 into comign too :3
  • edited
    Cool :) Consider me coming! Can I book a PC? I guess I'd like Game Maker on it, I'll bring it myself too :) I'll be getting a mac if I get deeper into this, but for now, my PC, even if it has a handle, likes to be at home more than out :)

    How many are expected? And... Can we get directions/google map/something to the spot?
  • I will organise that map this evening when I get home.

    Also, 1 PC of the 3 is booked then :P
  • For the Cape Town people, at TSL at UCT as usual, yes? What time we all kicking off? I'm keen to come in early-ish (hangover dependant)
  • Okay, 95% likely I'll be able to make it tomorrow. How do I get to the Shuttleworth Lab? Remember there was info on SAGD, sorry for making people repeat themselves.
  • Should we all try meet and discuss theme/challenge? I'm not really keen to get there much before 11 though.
  • Map for JHB peeps. It is centerred on Senate House (so you do directions to that point if that is what you want)
  • Omg, my 8ta just went out of bundle. I knew downloading both versions of indie game movie at home and not at work wasn't a good idea.

    Can someone please bring along game maker to install on the pc there? I have a copy...... But it's at work. Darn :s
  • @tuism Ive got that covered :)
  • Oh, question, can the CT guys share their theme if they do one?
  • @edge We'll let you know if we use a theme. Atm the theme suggestions stand at Crossroads and Surprise

    For the UCT guys, The Shuttleworth Lab is in the bottom floor of the Computer Science building on this map (To the right of Jamie steps/Jameson Plaza if you're looking at the mountain, or just to the right of the middle of the map).

    I got an early start this morning so I'm already here :)
  • heading through to uct now, surprise at the crossroads!
  • Hey, so just an update. At UCT we currently have 5people at the jam. We were waiting until more people came so that we could choose a theme but we all kinda got distracted by our current projects :/

    So for now we are just having another depth jam.
  • Ok, report back time, so I got to Wits at 8am, and worked on my own prototype till around 10 when @tuism arrived, and about 25 minutes later @notsimon207 arrived. (A great thanks to them for pitching, a bit frustrated that my friends that said they would be there didnt pitch, but whatever).

    So I worked on a platformer concept, which is in no order for showing (unfortunately), but Ive been working on it for a while concept wise, and will continue to do so.

    @tuism got stuck into learning Game Maker 8.1, and he started working on one of his game ideas (which he can explain himself). Funny note though, he found out that GM8.1's gravity is pretty much 100% broken :P

    @notsimon207 wanted to work on improving Fling Fu and we spoke about replays and other features. We grabbed lunch and then I sat with him and we worked on replays for fling fu. With quite a bit of frustration (with a good dose of trial and error included) the base systems for replaying are in place. The only thing that has to be done is some position bug fixing, as well as interpolating between the values with the timing is added. I will post a video in the Fling Fu thread as soon as the upload completes. (I just want to say working with Herman is really cool, and I am amazed at how many games he has made with the limited scripting knowledge he has! :P He is just pro!)
  • Just to clarify: when @edg3 says "we worked on replays for fling fu" he means to say: "I coded like a madman while explaining to @notsimon207 what was going on in the code."
    @edg3 Thanks man, really learnt a lot today!

    @Tuism From now on I will shout "YOU WIN" whenever i'm done packing out the groceries :P.

    Game Jams are no longer "too heavy" in my book. Can't wait for the next, bigger one! :D
  • The next one will at least be one bigger. I tried but I couldn't make it today :sad: Glad to hear that everyone was so productive and that it was fun. I'm rather jealous actually.
  • edited
    So as we are winding down for the evening here is the update on how its gone at in CT:

    We have all been pretty much working on existing prototypes and I'm sure everyone will fill you in when they are ready.

    @raxter has been working on his open-street-map 3D-game.
    @raithza has been researching into procedural mesh generation.
    @TheFuntastic was building a cool seeking frame work for his new game.
    @Manikin was working on his new idea which is an awesome debate game.
    I've been prototyping my thesis which is to do with texture synthesis (making a realistic-large texture from a small sample image).
  • A massive thanks for my introductory session to real game making! Getting into game maker was easier than I thought, a lot of the action scripting that I've learned from aeons past actually came back into usefulness :) some of game maker's stuff was a tad frustrating to work with, but after the extensive debate between @edg3 and @notsimon207 about the pros and cons of Unity, I decided not to go into an engine with 3D for my first foray into game making, and stuck it out with game maker.

    So by the end of the day, I had a pretty functional beginnings of my fridge game :) basically the premise is that there's food and leftovers coming in, and you gotta stack em in the fridge or else they'll go off, which means them blowing up in an explosion of mold. Will show more once there's more to show, right now it's just colour blocks falling and being rearrangable. But learnt tons!

    Watching @edg3 and @notsimon207 was really cool man, fling fu evolved a heck of a lot in just a day, so well done to them :) esp @notsimon, my goodness that dude can code.

    Looking forward to more of this! Will get my game to a playable state soon(ish) (hopefully) :)
    Thanked by 1Karuji
  • Hello all, I said I'd post a reply on what I was doing (for, what is the point of collaborative endevour if we do not communicate our ideas) and basically I had a post a few weeks back on a openstreetmap based game that mainly incorporates a geographical altitude map and open street map data to create, hopefully, a google earth looking global combat game... yup decided to work on that still

    Basically I crawled into my technical shell and made a whole smash of awesome features for no extra game and all extra tech :p I was aiming at taking a step toward streaming data from the open street map site into a game world. Currently, in the game, one can load up, at will, many small chunks of roadmap data for any location that OSM provides (which is everywhere on the globe). Instead of streaming online, I have a collection of OSM files that I load data from. This is merely a line or two of code away from streaming using the online api (ok, maybe a few lines of code, but most of these will be for fool proofing :p) Osm provides a v. robust and general api for retrieving streetmap data. so that is what I'm using for now.

    I must say, I have come to somewhat of a realisation, however, that CT has a distinct skyline, and that in flatter regions of the world, the local skylines might not be as appealing. We (well, I) thusforth shift attention to epic battles in the alps or otherwise interesting geographical locations for great just-juice! Though once the streetmap data is displayed on the ground, any flat landscape does seem to take on a character of some sort, def worth not ignoring (see the attached images, before the regions on the leftt were just bland and flat, with all the roads, they eem somewhat... err ... 'more'... besides literally more).

    Still really to figure out what to do with this all :-/ but the technical challenge of keeping everything within reasonable running time is keeping me occupied. I'll post a playable exe for people to download soon soon. It'll be 100mb+ thought because of the large altitude map file of the cape town region that I am using (I cannot stream it from an online source yet).

    So basically I was keeping on keeping on with that. :p Ludum Dare is up soon, will def jam that. Not else much to report except that Unity frees me from many an implementation pain that most other engines/implementations would subject me to, but simultaneously denies me a simple nut and bolt when I really need it... I love and hate you, Unity... but mostly love you... you wonderful almost-complete-but-annoyingly-not-quite beauty
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  • I saw @raxter's terrain stuff at the jam, and it's spectacular! Definitely massive potential for a number of interesting game ideas, from a godzilla-terrorizing-a-city game to the ever popular "sim striking union worker" :P Also, I think limiting the landscapes to interesting or distinctive ones is good.

    Thanks @creative630 for gathering the troops, I had a great time. To anyone still unsure about these mid-month jams: they are generally very relaxed and don't really require any rule/theme following. It's just having a bunch of like-minded fellow game devs around to learn from, playtest with, and hang around with for a day.

    I'll post something about my debating game when I have some solid gameplay going, but I'm still getting the basic logic and AI going.
  • Thanks to the guys who made this happen. Glad I could finally make it through to one of these. Definitely good to have a casual environment to focus on building your game, get play testers when you need it, and just generally have a fresh perspective.

    Spent most of the time working a on a "better" boids steering implementation - a lot of thinking about tweens and motion. Might even get a community presentation out of it at some point.
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