Author Topic: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?  (Read 5489 times)

larsiusprime

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Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« on: March 01, 2014, 11:24:56 PM »
Hey everyone!

My name's Lars Doucet, I'm an indie game developer, I worked on Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten. I've been planning a small game jam to benefit OpenGameArt.org's recent Patreon campaign, called "Procedural Death Jam." We were all set to push things into motion when we realized that 7DRL is already scheduled for the same time we were looking at!

So, rather than compete with 7DRL, or delay our event for several months (making it harder for us to support OpenGameArt as their patreon campaign will be "old news" by then), I was wondering if it would make better sense to join forces? I figured it was best to get in touch with the 7DRL community first and see how they felt before I went off and made plans. So far I get the sense that no one's really "in charge" of 7DRL, it's kind of a bottom-up sort of community thing? I poked my head in on some of the roguelike IRC channels and they pointed me here.

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A little background:
Procedural Death Jam is a 7-day game jam that emphasizes (but does not require) open source resources, art, and tools, with the theme being "Procedural Death Labyrinth," a term I coined a few months ago as a replacement moniker for the awkwardly named RogueLike-Like / Rogue-LITE spin-off genre.

Basically, PDL is a broadly-defined term that, among other things, is a way to get around the neverending "but that's not a roguelike!" complaints lodged at games like FTL, Rogue Legacy, and Spelunky from Berlin-Interpretation purists, and kind of give them their own banner to march under. It's not really intended to replace or compete with the term "RogueLike," which I'm quite fond of, it's just a new alternative label people can use for this new emerging genre of roguelike-ish games.

At first I didn't think PDL would catch on, but it took off when steam launched their tagging system. Within just a few days steam users have tagged games like Nuclear Throne, Eldritch, Paranautical Activity, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac as PDL's, and the term has already completely replaced Rogue-Lite/Rogue-LikeLike on steam; those two have now fallen completely off the "popular tags" page. "Procedural Death Labyrinth" has already been adopted by a few developers in their own descriptions, and already shows up as the top tag on a few games.

("RogueLike" is of course still more popular by a large measure).

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The plan:
We're looking to ride the recent attention that the PDL term has gotten to give attention to and hopefully encourage donations for an awesome public good (freely licensed game assets).

So, if you're open to it, the idea is to run our two events in parallel and cross-promote one another. We were already planning to run our own site and jam infrastructure when we noticed we'd be overlapping 7DRL's, so we wouldn't be asking for any extra work out of anyone. I'm basically just checking in to see if this would be stepping on anyone's toes.

Our event is structured more along the lines of a traditional game jam + contest, similar to Ludum Dare, with everyone submitting an entry eligible to vote on prestige-only awards (no cash or prizes). Our award categories would be rather playful, some things we're thinking of:

--Best Game Submission
--Best Art Submission
--Best Procedural Death X (make your own subgenre, X is anything)
--Best Flagrant Subversion of the Genre
--Best classic Berlin-Interpretation RogueLike

Given the overlap, it might make sense for us to say "Hey! Why not enter your PDJ entry in the 7DRL challenge?" and vice versa.

It might be a great way to join the communities together and get more attention for both events.

Would this be something that's interesting to this community?

Krice

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 07:02:35 AM »
--Best classic Berlin-Interpretation RogueLike

Really? Someone actually has made a classic roguelike in 7 days?

I think it would be a great idea to move everything to this PDL thing, because most if not all 7DRLs are not roguelikes anyway. That way we could clean that stuff and focus on roguelikes.

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 12:50:27 PM »
At the very least, seems like a clear case of the more the merrier to me---so hopefully the lot of people from each are able to bust out all manner of nifty projects in tandem.   8)
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jere

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 03:26:27 PM »
Quote
I think it would be a great idea to move everything to this PDL thing, because most if not all 7DRLs are not roguelikes anyway. That way we could clean that stuff and focus on roguelikes.
This sounds like a little bit of a stretch. I'm counting 45 entries for 2013 that had a perfect score for the "roguelikeness" category.

I have to say this terminology debate is very confusing for a beginner. About this time last year, my understanding of the term roguelike involved 1) permadeath, 2) procedural content, 3) ideally turn/grid based. That's essentially the way it is described on 7drl.org. But now my understanding is closer to roguelike = rogueclone. Last year I tried to pay attention to the Berlin Interpretation and made a random, turn based, grid based, non-modal, complex game with resource management and exploration and it was then was reviewed as being "A low two... Probably just enough to call it roguelike-like."

I think the PDL thing is great because there's obviously plenty of people who want to play traditional roguelikes and plenty of people who want to play something different (outside of enjoying some occasional DCSS, I find myself in the latter). No matter what you do, however, there will be plenty of entrants that completely disregard the rules and make something out of left field.

Quote
We're looking to ride the recent attention that the PDL term has gotten
When you say "we", what do you mean? Is there a sizable community attached to PDL? Also, can you elaborate on the rules or are there none? I'm curious about the open art thing. Are we encouraged to use existing assets, share assets, or just use open source tools?

I'm sure you'll find lots of devs eager to submit to both (as I've already seen chatter about the overlap between the cyperpunk jam and 7drl). If it's as simple as submitting to both, I'll be happy to do so. My idea is significantly more PDL than last year. :)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 03:29:30 PM by jere »
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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 04:25:06 PM »
Given the overlap, it might make sense for us to say "Hey! Why not enter your PDJ entry in the 7DRL challenge?" and vice versa.

Well we had a bit of this last year with the 1GAM crowd, and to be honest it produced a lot of crap, especially really basic top down shooters with a tiny procedural elements. Made the judging process much harder as so many of the games were unfinished or not worth playing. Many 7DRLers take the process more seriously than the average game jam, and we're quite proud of the many complete and polished games produced.

Having said that, the challenge is not centrally run and there's nothing stopping you doing whatever you like :)

In general I think it's odd that you're trying to organise a jam in 1 week's time. I can't see many people taking it up that aren't already doing 7DRLs. All you'd really end up with is a bunch of 7DRLs getting tagged PDLs - which may be a benefit for you pushing the term but doesn't do a lot for roguelikes. If you want to make a serious run of a PDL game jam then you need a couple of months notice to get serious game devs on board.

If you do a PDL jam then doubtless many roguelikers would contribute. I'd be happy to promote it through the community.

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 07:36:16 PM »
I think it would be cool to have several game jams at exactly the same time if their topics are orthogonal. For example, one would be 7DRL, another one would be "create a game about robots", another one would be "create a construction game", and yet another one "create a game on a hex board". You could participate in all of them by creating a hex roguelike about constructing robots.

IMO 7DRL and PDL are too close, and this does not make sense to have two of them at the same time. It would be a good idea to have a PDL challenge in some completely different time (say, 4 months later).

Krice

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 07:39:40 PM »
Well we had a bit of this last year with the 1GAM crowd, and to be honest it produced a lot of crap

Is that 1 game a month?

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 05:09:05 PM »
I think we can join forces. Let's crosspromote the events.

larsiusprime

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 07:24:33 PM »
Thanks for your feedback!

Here's the beginning of our site, more feedback is welcome!
http://proceduraldeathjam.com/

Let us know where you'd like 7DRL to be mentioned and we can pump that up a bit.

Eben

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 04:26:36 AM »
I won't be submitting to the PDJ because its posted times are not compatible with my planned 7dRL times. For realistic compatibility, the PDJ should follow the same lax timing as the 7dRL.

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 11:25:34 AM »
Let us know where you'd like 7DRL to be mentioned and we can pump that up a bit.

Wherever is suitable. You're probably best linking to the RogueBasin page and the registration page:
http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=7DRL_Challenge_2014
http://7drl.roguetemple.com/

I've just sent an e-mail round the 7DRL mailing list (~200 people) mentioning the PDJ and encouraging participation in both jams.

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 10:12:06 PM »
I don't really see the point of this.  You're running a game jam that seems in nearly all respects identical to the 7DRL, at the exact same time, with more-or-less the same set of entrants.  Why?  What exactly is it that your thing adds to the 7drl besides a new name?

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 07:59:06 AM »
It looks like the PDJ will actually have winners picked, which is very much not in the spirit of the 7dRL.

Quote
7drl is meant as a fun exercise in the very act of releasing a playable game.

Even though we do judge and rank the entries, those rankings are not meant to indicate which games are the winners compared to every game because every finished game is a Winner, by official rules. The rankings are primarily used to guide people to 7dRLs they might find interesting and to give a general idea of the various levels of metrics each game has.

I'm not really sure the PDJ is actually compatible with the 7dRL Challenge in spirit. It seems that submitting your game to both would be like submitting exactly the same game to both means that you weren't focused on the goals of one or the other of them and so you're not really participating in both but rather just using the secondary one for visibility.

I can tell you're not going to move the date at this point, but if the PDJ happens again next year it would be good to not do it at the same time as the 7dRL Challenge.

larsiusprime

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 07:08:04 PM »
This is basically an experiment, it's the first time we've done anything like this. If it turns out to have been a mistake overlapping 7DRL, we'll gladly avoid overlapping in the future. The only reason we even considered it in the first place was a concern for having to delay it, and thus being of less benefit to OpenGameArt's recently-launched patreon campaign (which is basically the entire purpose of the jam).

The posted times also aren't set in stone, we can tweak the exact hours/days. We don't plan on disqualifying someone because they're over the deadline by a few hours.

jere

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Re: Procedural Death Jam and 7DRL - can we join forces?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 04:13:57 PM »
It's the day before both challenges and I see don't see any links to 7drl on the PDJ page. I'm seeing one brief mention that you can post to overlapping jams in the rules and a 7drl mention 4 days ago on twitter.

I'm not trying to be nasty (I think PDJ is a fine idea) and I don't even know how much of a difference a link would make.

But if the intent was cross promotion, there doesn't seem to be any.
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