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A Look Into the "Deleted" Game Jam

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Hey everyone!

The most recent Game Jam hosted by the events team started on March 12th and ended on March 19th. The special theme throughout the event was "Deleted". And with the theme being quite vast, this allowed game creators to cook up some really cool and unique ideas that were voted upon by the community.

Without further ado, here is an insiders look at the last game jam!


Interviews
I interviewed some of the top winners of the Game Jam to give everyone a look into the behind the scenes of some of the games that were submitted in the game jam.

"Crumble"
ID: 31483

Crumble took 1st place, and was released by @Jimmy_The_Knight.

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Q) What was your Game Jam plot submission ("Crumble") about?

A) Crumble is a turn-based PvP game where the players' goal is to take the flag in the middle of the board and capture it by bringing it back to one of the starting positions. When it's their turn, players get 3-5 mana to spend it on different actions such as moving, breaking platforms and jumping over gaps. The board is also randomly generated to make every game unique in some way.

Q) What inspired the creation of this plot?

A) When I heard that the game jam's theme was 'deleted', the first idea that crossed my mind was a computer-related short adventure game, but I quickly realized that most players would probably make something similar and I knew that my game had to stand out in some way. At the time I was thinking about updating another game I coded on the server where players could build wooden structures to fight each other, so I decided to use the opposite of that concept and make a game where players were only able to delete platforms to block certain paths. I also used to design board games for my friends in primary school, so I thought that coding one would be a piece of cake (but I was VERY wrong!)

Q) Walk me through your design process. What was the most challenging problem you encountered when making this plot?

A) I decided to code the random board generation first. Looking back I should've used algorithms for getting the possible locations of the structures, but I was exhausted in that Friday afternoon and I didn't want anything to go wrong very early in development, so I collected all of the locations manually. It was a really repetitive and tedious task, but at least I got to listen to an amazing album in the meantime!

After I finished decorating the board however, I had to accept that it was finally time to turn on my brain and start figuring out the turn-based gameplay system. I had to spend around an entire hour to think about how I wanted to approach coding such an insanely complicated loop, but in the end it ended up working surprisingly well after a few tests, so I was very optimistic about the project.

Unfortunately the first problems started to arise while developing the turn actions. As I rarely use complicated entity behavior for my games, this part of the development process took way longer than it should've. We also had to run a lot of tests with my friend Harney to squash bugs and to fine-tune entity movement (one of the most unexpected and funniest moments was when I accidentally set the skeletons' jump power way too low, so instead of jumping over the gaps they fell right into the holes and died from fall damage)

Sadly despite the countless test runs and bugfixes, the game was still in an unplayable state. It worked mostly well with two players, but as soon as the player count increased the game turned into an absolute mess. At first, I was motivated to fix the bugs reported by players, but there were so many that I couldn't even remember them all. I was hopeless, burnt out and wanted be finished with the project. I almost submitted the game in that state, but Harney convinced me to get back to work, and after around 3 hours of bugfixing and multiple headaches I managed to fix all of the major bugs, and I couldn't have been happier! (It also turned out that most of the problems were caused by a single misplaced player selection)

Q) What was your reaction for when you took 1st place?

A) Honestly I was extremely surprised as I thought that I would only get up to third place, as I was sure that both 'limited access memory' and 'depths' would place before my game, because I felt like they were more polished overall. It was around 10 PM when I saw the announcement and I was about to go to bed so my reaction wasn't that intense, but I'm still very excited about upgrading my rank to noble!

Q) Finally, what did you take or learn from this winning experience?

A) This was the first game jam I've participated in and this might sound a bit cheesy, but it taught me that no matter how hard developing or fixing a game is, it is possible to overcome these challenges with enough motivation and effort. Secondly (and mainly) I've learned what aspects of a game the event team prioritizes while judging the plots, as the placements clearly show that innovative ideas and gameplay come before atmosphere and overall polish. I considered making an atmospheric walking sim-like game for the next jam, but that idea quickly went out of the window after seeing the results. Overall this was the most fun I had on the server for a long time, and I'll definitely participate in upcoming game jams :D


"File Deleting"
ID: 43328

File Deleting took 2nd place, and was released by @coolwo!

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Q) What was your Game Jam plot submission ("File Deleting") about?

A) The game takes place in a file inside of a computer system, which is getting deleted. The objective is to escape and head into a safer file. It's a partially competitive "race to the finish" type game, where you're competing against the other players for a top place but there's little interaction between players.

Q) What inspired the creation of this plot?

A) Plots like Wallygoozer's Deathrun definitely inspired my submission. I've found that games where there's competition between players but less PvP tend to do well on DF, and I wanted to create a game that was engaging to play. The biggest inspiration is a bit obscure. It came from a style of mini game from Little Big Planet 1 on the PS3 where you would try to escape a burning building, or something like that. I really liked competing with friends and family to finish first in those games, so I thought I'd try creating a similar game in DF.

Q) Walk me through your design process. What was the most challenging problem you encountered when making this plot?

A) Bug fixing was definitely the most challenging problem. If you don't playtest often, bugs can pile up fast. Plus, fixing them feels like chopping off the head of a hydra. You fix one, and two more little ones pop up.

Q) What was your reaction for when you took 2nd place?

A) I was in a bit of disbelief when I first saw the announcement. So many talented developers and builders created some amazing submissions. I wasn't expecting to get second place, but I'm thankful for it and the opportunity to participate in the game jam.

Q) Finally, what did you take or learn from this winning experience?

A) I definitely learned to be a bit less ambitious with the planning, especially as a solo player. I had to cut a couple of features, like more maps and cosmetics due to time constraints. Managing your time well is super important to do well in game jams.


"He Almost Killed Me..."
ID: 22378

This plot took 5th place, and was released by @Wonk0 and BlazePlazma. Lets dive into it!

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Q) What was your Game Jam plot submission ("He Almost Killed Me...") about?

A) The Game Jam plot was a plot where the player plays as a character in one's game. As we all know, game development is not easy, and it can take a turn for the worse at any time. So in this game, you experience what it's like to be part of a plot that got abandoned, or in other words, /p cleared. The player has to overcome the creator's negativity and disappointment by platforming and making his way to the end, where he can "reach" the creator and convince him to bring the world back. As you advance through the levels, the world becomes more and more corrupt, as it becomes deleted, in the final level you can notice the code of the plot merging with the play area in desperation right before the end of the game.

Q) What inspired the creation of this plot?

A) Most people thought this was an original idea, but this was inspired by the game called (who would've guessed) "He almost killed me..."

Q) Walk me through your design process. What was the most challenging problem you encountered when making this plot?

A) The problem was that at the time I was preparing for a family trip, so I had to make the entire game in 2 days, while teaching my friend, BlazePlazma, how to code (He was new to the server at the time). It surely added a new level of panic to the experience, but since the idea and mechanics of the game were simple, I was able to pull it off and add some polishing and bug fixes right before I left.

Q) What was your reaction for when you and your team took 5th place?

A) Honestly, I wasn't expecting it. I'm very glad that we got 4th place not really for myself as I'm pursuing my dream hobby of game development and no longer play Diamond Fire as much, but for my friend. None of my friends ever really liked game development, but blaze was the first one to open up to it, which was surprising since he was the least likely to have anything in common with me out of all my other friends. I hope that he can get some useful perks using the 15 Prize tickets that we managed to (somehow) acquire. BlazePlazma did all of the level design which was very crucial since I could focus on coding and making the game as polished as I could.

Q) Finally, what did you take or learn from this winning experience?

A) I learned that game developers or just people who like doing this sort of thing in general, often overshoot for things that they're not sure if they can do or not, and that can lead to disappointment, or frustration because you would always think that you're not good enough, but never stop to realize that maybe you're going way too hard on yourself. It's important to start with easy concepts and work your way up. There's a common saying "Shoot for the moon and at least land among the stars", but that's not always true; It should be more like "Shoot for the sun and die from the fall" (lol, idk)


Behind the scenes: the theme
The theme "Deleted" might seem like a random diverse topic suitable for a jam, but I wanted to dive into more about who thought about this idea and to get some information on what led up to it.

Moreover, I talked to @Maxs, the one who formed the theme, and here is what they had to say!

I was brainstorming game jam ideas that tried to be innovative, and based on real game jams that the theme sets some restriction but at the same time doesn't limit everything to 1 type of game and would likely lead to games you wouldn't often make unless you tried applying these restrictions, I won't say which are the other ones as they might be used on future game jams but for Deleted it was mostly coming up with the classic idea of "This game but ..... happens" so I was thinking what other jams have done similarly and some are like "Only one" so you need to use only one of something or "Out of control" meaning that the control is not in the player's hand or something of that sort. And the idea was that something would be missing or that was my interpretation at least. And then taken by surprise almost everyone makes a game where the "Deleted" aspect of it is somewhat related to Computer Information getting corrupted or needing deletion, although I saw some unique ones that deleted other aspects and sadly I couldn't find one that fit my view of the idea but hey we got something cool still out of it so I guess happy accidents or something?


That's all for now! We hope everyone had fun at the game jam, and you can look into more details about the previous jam by clicking here. Stay tuned for other events from the DiamondFire events team!
 
Last edited:

BigSpaceRex

Active member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
77
"Honestly I was extremely surprised as I thought that I would only get up to third place, as I was sure that both 'limited access memory' and 'depths' would place before my game"

so glad we did judges guys
 

Maskcraft_

Member
Overlord
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
28
Honestly it was quite fun and made me do something I actually haven't done before. Looking back, I should've either invested more time or picked a different art of gameplay. If you are making a plot like mine, you should expect to do a lot of code and personally, I do enjoy designing stuff more than just making it work. When I hear an okay-ish idea, I immediatly have a vision on how the core gameplay works. All in all, a very enjoyable experience for my first ever game jam. :)
 
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