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T O P I C
I've got your innovation right _here_, baby!  *grabs crotch*
August 29th 2002, 12:05 CEST by Cliff

We need more Indie Game Jams.  

The Concept: we get a group of creative game programmer-designers together at my office (which has a big open pit area) in Oakland, CA for 3 or 4 days, give them an already-written "game engine" designed for a specific game-design-agnostic tech, include lots of support functions to make game implementation relatively easy, and let the insanity begin.

The provided framework was your basic 3D engine, but with support for up to 100,000 Doom-style NPCs on screen at once ("Quantity has a quality all its own" -- Stalin).  The insanity lasted four days, and you can download the strange fruits of this experiment for free.  Unfortunately, you do need a full copy of Doom 2 to play most of them as they didn't properly plan for release.

Most of the games are just silly diversions -- four days, after all, is not enough time for in-depth game design -- but there are some interesting leads here:  Very Serious RoboDOOM's "artistic statement" and Dueling Machine's tense gameplay dynamic among others.  Irregardless, it certainly points up the fact that coming up with innovative ideas isn't all that hard -- just provide the right setting, and brainstorming becomes fun again.

So why haven't there been more of these kinds of Jam sessions?  I can see where commercial developers might make the PlanetCrap face at the idea of participating, but couldn't larger dev houses benefit from running something like this internally?  Even if nine out of ten ideas turn out to be complete duds (not even producing usable ideas for new subgames or gameplay elements), the tenth might easily pay for the few days invested.  At the very least, your programmers will feel invigorated and energized afterwards.

I think the key here is to have not just a playful brainstorming session, but a playful brainstorming plus coding session.  (On a related note, the first annual Indie Game Jam's products were featured in GDC02's Experimental Gameplay Workshop together with other actually implemented "ideas" -- did anybody here attend?)

So, ANyway, I've set up this petition...
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: I've got your innovation right _here_, baby!  *grabs crotch*

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#46 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-29 18:06:42
yep, game programmer! and 1 hour of tech support is the suck! nevermind 13

ooohh floor pie!
#47 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-29 18:07:02
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
13 hours a day sucks no matter what you're doing.  Anything gets old if you work that much.  Yeah, we work more than during crunch, but that's not for an extended period of time (hopefully).

Maybe working as a porn star but even then, at 13 hours a day, you'd get some nasty chafing ...

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#48 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:07:29
thetrunkdr:

game programmer? lucky bastard. i would kill for that job! mind if ask where you work?

i'm working on some demos right now to show off my lack of skills. yay for old-school 2d game demos! :)
#49 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 18:08:32
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Gary needs an assmittens icon...mayhaps I'll have to make one.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#50 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:09:51
jjohnsen:

i'll add an icon soon enough buddy. something nice just for you, like some gay naked pr0n for ya.

:<
#51 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:10:32
averagejoe:

if you make me an assmitten icon i'll use it!

I PROMISE WITH ALL MY ASSHEART!
#52 by Greg
2002-08-29 18:12:00
Wasn't Seamus Blackley supposed to save us from publishers who don't take risks?

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#53 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:12:41
wait, i thought seamus blackley did save us. oh damn. we're not saved?

save my jeebus! save me jeebus!
#54 by Bailey
2002-08-29 18:18:45
Planetcrap rolls a natural one on resistance vs idiot infestation.

The monkey represents sharing.
#55 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-29 18:20:57
Warren:

I'll admit not all of those hours that I'm here I'm coding like mad, there are some definite distractions, but since War3 pretty much got banned in our office many more hours have been spent coding then before ;) oh and mmm pornstar! but eww chafing...

Gary:

I work up in Canadia, the great white north. at a startup company, so there ain't much info about us yet I think this is about all there is http://www.gamespy.com/e32002/special/brainbox/

ooohh floor pie!
#56 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:23:43
you want a fun little (addictive) game with a simple concept?

sure, it may not be the most innovative game in the world but it's got some new ideas.

or at least, if you haven't seen it before, it's new to you.

let me find the link.

*rummaging around*

ah yes... stick soldiers.

the alpha to stick soldiers 2 was just released - check it out - it's a pretty fun little game.

*sigh* oh how i love little indie games like this. :)
#57 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-29 18:27:25
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Bailey
Planetcrap rolls a natural one on resistance vs idiot infestation.

No thanks to our -18 penalty from the cursed clown nose you just HAD to pick up.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#58 by Bailey
2002-08-29 18:28:26
I didn't hear you complaining when I was pulling gold doubloons out from behind your ear!!

The monkey represents sharing.
#59 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 18:29:19
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Ewwww, Warren, you let that freaky clown from hell touch you???

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#60 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-29 18:31:31
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
aj

That's not a freaky clown ... well, ok, it's a freaky clown but that clown will one day become the BaileyTron.  If he wants to pull stuff from behind my ear, I'm not going to argue.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#61 by Your Friend
2002-08-29 18:32:26
Soldat is similar to Stick Soldiers but vastly superior, if you ask me.
#62 by Ergo
2002-08-29 18:33:21
As long as it's just from behind your ear, we're okay...

Ia! Shub-Niggurath!

DVDs
#63 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:33:54
Yeah, I've heard that Soldat is amazing and superior and gives people the O-face and such but I haven't had a chance to play it myself. :)

I'll have to check it out when I get home...

After I get some programming done. And maybe get some sleep. No wait, screw the sleep.
#64 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 18:34:15
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Warren:

Ok, man, I just was watching your back.  Me, I keep all clowns and mimes as far away as possible, but it's your call.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#65 by Your Friend
2002-08-29 18:35:11
What does the genetic mutant sheep-cow represent?
#66 by LPMiller
2002-08-29 18:35:54
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Inner harmony and violent uprisings. It's a fairly fucked up cow.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#67 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 18:36:55
Mmmmmm, cows...

And violent uprisings! Goodie, goodie!
#68 by Xero
2002-08-29 18:46:49
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
UT 2003


From what i've seen over the shoulders of fallen angels, the Maul map should ONLY be played on low-gee setting.


Its so schweet!!!!

"Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it."
-James Baldwin
#69 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 18:49:41
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
mutant sheep-cow?  Are you referring to my icon?  It's neither a sheep nor a cow.  It's the Earth-Pig born, Cerebus the Aardvark (tm).

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#70 by Bailey
2002-08-29 18:51:50
Time for long-winded narratives while floating through space!

The monkey represents sharing.
#71 by Your Friend
2002-08-29 19:00:09
I am referring to the picture linked in Bailey's sig.
#72 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 19:03:58
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
There I go getting all self-important again.  I have been suitably slapped back down to worhtless and weak.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#73 by Charles
2002-08-29 19:13:28
www.bluh.org
Warren -
I think the only true route to getting unique ideas out there is to make the game yourself (or at least a reasonable representation of it) and sell it shareware.  Or even, give it away.  Get it out there and let people see that it IS a good idea.  Then maybe you can get some real financial backing for a sequel, which will give you credibility for your next game, etc.


Yes, exactly.  People have become to obsessed with making money off games, that beginners have lost sight of the fact that gaming essentially got started with shareware.  It still works.  Look at Bridge Builder.  That was a brilliant little idea, and only took programming to make it happen.  A guy has an idea, whips it out, releases some shareware... and BAM!  He's got a sequel out (Pontificus).  Not sure if he's making money off of it, or publishing, or whatnot (haven't bothered to check) But the fact of the matter is, he's got a bright path ahead of him.  

Compare that to the average idea man who would have said "I have this great idea for a game!  You'll build bridges using physics, and then if it supports the train at the end, you win!", then go to every message board out there spamming for programmers and people to actually do it.  He would have been totally ignored, and the project would have never seen the light of day.

If you don't have the will to do it yourself, it's almost guaranteed that no one else will have the will to do it for you.  Unless you pay them.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#74 by Gabe
2002-08-29 19:45:22
http://www.dartpublishing.com
Pontificus?! Pontifex. He started a little company called Chronic Logic. They also make a Tetris-like game called Triptych.
#75 by Hugin
2002-08-29 19:46:17
lmccain@nber.org
Triptych is love.
#76 by Charles
2002-08-29 19:53:53
www.bluh.org
Urk, I knew I had it wrong, but couldn't come up with the right answer.  I also put a to in a place where there should have been a too.  Go figure.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#77 by Gary Phillips
2002-08-29 20:18:54
Well boys and girls, I'm going home to do some programming and go to sleep.

My thirteen hour shift is finally over.

Goodnight.
#78 by Bailey
2002-08-29 20:22:41
YF

It's just a cow. Duh.

The monkey represents sharing.
#79 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 20:46:26
What's important to remember here, is that Mario owns all your souls.

We've got spirit, yes we do!  We've got spirit, how 'bout you?!

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#80 by Max
2002-08-29 20:51:43
http://massivebraincase.org/
Jeetah, I'm going to step up here and call ENOUGH on the song lyric thing. Fucking Texan.

Shhh. Listen. We're going to play a little game, it's called Sim Get Me Some Fucking Coffee, fucker. Fuck you! Fuck, it's early.
#81 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 20:54:31
That up there was technically a spoken, or yelled, cheer.  A song used as a cheer, however, is quite a different thing.  For example:

da da DA DOO DA, da da DA DOO DA, da da DA DOO DA, DAH DAH DAH - YOUR CHEER HERE!

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#82 by Bailey
2002-08-29 21:03:09
It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have horrible, horrible taste in music.

...no, it'd still be pretty bad.

The monkey represents sharing.
#83 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 21:09:58
Bailey

  I'm sorry!  I realize now that I need to incorporate everyone's taste, not just mine.  I'll begin with you, my furry little friend!

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A....

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#84 by Your Friend
2002-08-29 21:20:22
I know cows and that's no cow.  The body might be a cow, but the head is a sheep's head.  

I know sheep too..if you know what I mean.

That's a genetic mutant sheep-cow if I ever saw one.
#85 by Shadarr
2002-08-29 21:44:17
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I think the cow's head is contorted because she's being felt up by a monkey.
#86 by Creole Ned
2002-08-29 21:45:56
But if you found a cow head in the water, would you keep fishing?

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#87 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 21:49:13
What's really important here is not the cow or decomposing human heads on fishing boats.  What's really important here is the fact that I'm up to 24 shines now, and SHOW NO "SHINES" OF STOPPING!

HAW HAW HAW!

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet!  *STOMP*  *STOMP*

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#88 by averagejoe
2002-08-29 21:51:09
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Jeet:

If you're Shine-ey and you know it clap your hands...

It's a trick. Get an axe.
#89 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 21:55:37
If you're Shiney and you know it, then your Mario will show it!  If you're Shiney and you know it, stomp your butt!

Lyric Missing

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#90 by Bailey
2002-08-29 21:59:43
Attempting to engage in a little verbal repartee with a guy who has to resort to hilarious fag jokes that were pretty tired by the mid-80s is sort of like beating up the special ed kid. Sure, it's a mildly entertaining distraction for a while, but he'll never understand what's happening or why.

The monkey represents sharing.
#91 by Count DuCu
2002-08-29 22:05:22
DuCu@ez2www.com
*grabs crotch*


How proletarian of you! *feels an uncomfortable flow of intestinal bile rise in his throat*

the PlanetCrap face


Isn't that Morn's all-seeing and all-hearing eye?

Go to the blue "User" link, then to "Edit Profile" and un-tick "View other users' signatures"! Do it now! And be spared the maddening, idiocy-feedback-to-idiocy, nutty-fundamentalist-monk experience from reading this same thing, again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again....</ad infinitum amen!>
#92 by Matt Perkins
2002-08-29 22:17:04
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Count Dork

I love your signature...oh wait.

"We didn't want to come in right away, so we just put it (the severed head) in a bag in a bucket. It'd been out there awhile. What's a couple of hours?"
#93 by Cliff
2002-08-29 22:25:01
cps46@rcn.com
Warren
re the whole "idea man" thing:  that's why I thought the Indie Game Jam more convincing -- they did actual implementations of their ideas.  In fact, it's more a case of tinkering leading to ideas than "I have this brilliant idea!" leading to implementation.

As I should perhaps have made clearer in the topic, I think such an exercise can produce useful concepts for subgames and gaming elements as well, not just whole games.  I understand the point being made about publishers and risk.  Creating an all-brand-new, super-innovative game is indeed risky, not least because whether your SUPAR GENUIS idea will work out in practice is unknown.  But jam sessions can also be used to just add some variety to an existing genre.

E.g., UT2K3's special move thing is being touted as a new-for-FPSs feature, if I understand this correctly.  If Epic held their own, in-house jam session (with the UT engine, not some weird 100K-sprite hybrid) they might come up with other nifty "new" elements to add to the game.  

Again, I think the key is that rather than sitting around *talking* about ideas, you sit down and tinker with the engine and see what develops.  Probably also key is having people do this together, i.e. in the same space, and making it a relaxed, fun, low-pressure thing.  IMO, adding a bit of bottom-up to a normally top-down design process is a worthwhile experiment.

Just sayin', is all.

And you can do it whenever, wherever, and with whoever you want (maybe even famous people).
#94 by UncleJeet
2002-08-29 22:28:44
Bailey

  You may not be aware of this, but there have been many advances in the field of psychiatry today, which might be able to help you shrug off that inferiority complex that's been growing inside of your spleen since birth.

  In the event that they cannot help you, however, numerous spam e-mails are sent out daily that contain information about enlarging your penis.

  One of these two options, if not both, are bound to help you!  I'll light a candle....

Hey brothers, let's go down, down to the river to pray....

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#95 by Caryn
2002-08-29 22:34:15
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
I must say, I'm thrilled that my avatar was used in this topic.

"Thus the fridge contains the possibilities of no beers and some beers existing in simultaneous superposition!"
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