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Procjam Comedown

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Now that two weeks have passed (a geologic era in internet time), I’m ready begin to look back on the #procjam talks and the entries to the jam that caught my eye. I’ve been very busy lately working on my own submissions INSceptahdeckwu and Patchwerk, among other commitments, so this is by no means an exhaustive look at everything in #procjam.

Since I actually have no time at all to write a full retrospective, I’ll have to be brief. This post will have to serve as a collection of links and notes until I get a chance to look back in detail. It’s by no means complete, as I’m still looking over all of the great entries to #procjam. I enjoyed the interactions with the speakers and participants. Unfortunately other commitments may occupy my time through the end of the year, so don’t worry if the blogging is intermittent. I’ll revisit the #procjam talks and the submissions when I find time.

Great ideas

Good tutorials

Some tutorials I came across during the jam:


Here are my notes on the talks that I had a chance to see. In lieu of writing anything up, I’ll post them here for now.

Overall themes

  • Meaning over randomness
  • Scale and direction
    • Layering
    • Deck metaphor really nice for prototyping.
    • Great question, how do you make sure the player is not lost in this huge history. Player only aware of history of own house, data is gathered by reading books etc.; there’s some context for the entrance of new bits of history. Books are populated in places where it makes sense for them to turn up.
    • Top-down (designer first) is easier than bottom-up (player first; shout out to @gillianmsmith for this formulation). Callbacks? How to percolate up from lower elements on tree?
  • Storytelling as divination
  • NaNoGenMo
  • Flow in procedural generation
    • Meaning, codifying design principlse
    • Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell
    • a feeling of complete and energized focus in an activity, with a high level of enjoyment and fulfillment
      • clear goals
      • no distractions
        • How does this figure into open world distraction fests like triple a sandbox games?
      • feedback
      • continuously challenging
    • Frustration vs. boredom, find a balance
    • Dynamic
      • Scale enemy level to meet player’s level
      • AI director, see when the player is overwhelmed, drop difficulty; boredom spawn more enemies. Requires some kind of metric
    • Static
      • Lock and key
      • Metazelda calculates difficulty number for each room from desired flow curve.
      • Love @tcoxon ’s thoughts on less backtracking. Algorithmically respecting players’ time.
    • Gamasutra Toni Sala
  • Emotion and interactivity – expressivity
    • Workflow, ease of adjustment can be good for designer and exposing the same tools to the player can be fun

It looks like most of the entries are gathered on a #procjam page. I have no experience with, but I think setting up an account and exploring what has to offer couldn’t hurt.