RDC 2019/2020 Game Jam Feedback

About

After witnessing the game jam again this year at the comfort of my home via streaming it was exciting to watch but I wanted to create this thread to gather feedback specifically targeting the game jam and what can be improved on in future years. If you have any other feedback regarding the game jam and want to share feel free to bring it in. I’m going to address “Team Clumping” in the game jam.


1) Team “Clumping”

One thing I’ve noticed very heavily for past few years is clumps of regular developers that seem to gather together very quickly and form a team. Whilst there’s no sour-grapes from myself on teams clumping together with friends, it’s not ideal for a game jam project. A game jam should be to enrich connections recently made on the previous days and increased networking results in possible job opportunities later.

But why does it matter?

When the whole game jam team knows each other as already good friends, you can imagine it’s like taking 5 great friends and putting them all together to complete a puzzle. Whilst this isn’t inheritably bad, it’s incredibly unrealistic in a real working environment. When going for a group job application (the types that require you to work in groups to solve a problem) they aren’t just looking at your performance - but your ability to work well with others you’ve (likely) never met before.

I strongly believe adding a counter measure on Team Clumping will allow for not only developers to increase their networking but also demonstrate the real challenges and experience of working in a group. Mixed with maybe 1 person you do know and the rest being strangers

That’s great and all but what can we do?

I’d like to minimise the problem of “Team Clumping” and I have a few possible ideas in order to minimise this type of behaviour.

  1. Developers that are known to “Team Clump” voluntarily start to dissolve, diverse and really explore potential teams with other people.
  2. Staff put every attendees Roblox name that is participating into a hat to really randomise the teams
  3. Staff assign one “power member” [see explanation] to each working team with 5 or more members
  4. Staff assign one “power member” [see explanation] to each working team with 2 or less members
  5. Splitting all previous winners (from all years) up the following year as much as possible
  6. Your idea here

Risks

Unfortunately as interesting and unique as it would be to prevent “Team Clumping” it would also adversely affect the experience of game jam members knowing they can’t potentially work with their best friends during the game jam and everything is chance.

Power Member?

Developers that have previously come in the top 3 in any game jam OR ALTERNATIVELY Developers with a significant presence on Roblox


2) Judges Reaction / Comments

It would be pretty swell to have a reaction camera on the Judges being streamed as the games are being played to see the general initial reactions. When announcing the top 3 winners, it would also be interesting to see some brief comments from the judges themselves. It’s always very warming/inviting/warranted when you can see some of the thoughts that helped to conclude on the top 3 choices.


Closing Thoughts

I am absolutely interested in exploring the avenue on the methods of reducing “Team Clumping” and I’m interested in hearing everyone’s feedback on the matter (and any other game jam related feedback) you may have.

10 Likes

I definitely love most of the critics you made hear and I completely agree. I especially feel that we definitely should have heard more from the judges. I felt a lot of people want to know the reasons to why some people got placed were they had been. And overall maybe just spend a bit more time on seeing the judges reactions like you said.

Staff-enforced teams are definitely the wrong way to go in my opinion. It would make much more sense for any randomization system to be voluntary, like “put your twitter handle in this jar if you want a team, and take one out if you need another member.” As for the issue of having people of similar skill sets forming teams, I don’t think that’s a problem-it’s up to the team to intelligently delegate the work to get the best end result, and if they want 6 programmers and nothing else, they should be allowed to do that.

5 Likes

Some people aren’t comfortable with working with complete strangers. The foremost goal of having the game-jam should really be to have a fun event with game development; it shouldn’t be something that causes people anxiety and turns them away from participating.

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Honestly what they should do instead is just designate an area for people who don’t already have people they plan on teaming up with to meet each other. Maybe like a certain side/corner of the room. It does seem like it can be kind of difficult to find a team, especially if you’re new to RDCs, but there’s no reason for staff to force teams on people.

If they just designate an area for people to go, then it’s much easier to tell who is in the same crowd (of developers who need team members) and that pretty much solves the issue. I think this prevents devs who already have planned teams from getting asked a million times by random developers and also helps random developers find other random developers without having the two groups clash.

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They did that though, FYI. :smiley:

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Omg, NO! I must have missed the announcement. I’m sad :frowning:

But in any case, if they already did that then I don’t think there’s much else they can do!

Yeah, a couple minutes before JParty mentioned that people looking for more members or a team could head down to the left where the staff was located.

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