FAQ

 

Driving to new places with unfamiliar parking situations causes me distress. Where do I park for this event? Where do I go? TO WHOM DO I TALK?

Since this question is replacing our previous first question, ignore the fact that we call our next question a good first question!

So first thing’s first: relax, yo!  You can read directions to the DAVE School right here; when you get to the security gate, let the attendant know that you are attending the Indie Galactic Space Jam event and they should point you toward Studio 25!  After that, park in the spots adjacent to the building and just enter the building and hope against hope we have enough signs to accurately guide you to the registration table- otherwise you may be lost inside Universal Studios FOREVER.

 

Do I have to have a team ready when I arrive?

Good first question, Frequently Asked Questioneer!

The answer is a simple and steadfast: No, you do not have to have a team ready when you arrive– as a point of fact, we welcome teams, but the event is designed to create new teams of talented individuals from various fields of expertise and allow them to work together in new and interesting ways.

 

Let’s say I have a team ready when I arrive.  Do I have to pitch my idea?

Well, the intent of the event is to create new collaborations and connections; we highly recommend that either you (or another member of your team) pitch your idea to the group Friday night because you may be doing yourselves a disservice otherwise: who knows if the one key member of your team you never knew was missing is in attendance?

 

Okay, so I get the whole “space” theme, but is there anything more specific I should know?

Oh, you mean, like, rules or something?  Games don’t have to be simulations; they can be silly and should be fun but, in a perfect world, these games would incorporate some real science. Say for example you have a goat jumping on the moon: we would love for that goat to jump approximately six times higher than it would on earth due to the moon’s weaker gravity.  Also the goat should be wearing a goat spacesuit because that’s real science.

 

What do I need to bring?

Wow.  Wow, you do not pull any punches, do you?  We thought we were all going to ease into this FAQ together, but that is a complex and multifaceted question.  Let’s try to break it down!

1.  Bring ideas!  Anyone with an idea for a game can pitch to the crowd during our opening events on Friday night; it can be an original idea thought up on the spot, or one you’ve been mulling over for a while.  Still, our sincerest hope is that it is a fresh idea- that is to say, even if it’s an idea you’ve been considering for a while, recruiting for a work-in-progress with any significant progress to show at the beginning of the jam is discouraged.

2. A computer might help!  Maybe.  Then again, maybe you want to make an “analogue” game?  But if you want to make a video game, you should probably bring a computer- we recommend a laptop if possible for portability and ease of use- along with any accessories you may need to aide in content creation (e.g., a tablet for drawing if you’re an artist, some sort of “instrument” if you’re a musician, a code base if you’re a programmer (more on existing content below!)).  A Wi-Fi connection will be available, but given the volume of people who may be connecting to it, we highly recommend that you ensure you have any digital tools you think you may need downloaded and installed in advance.  We will also make an effort to have some more commonly used tools available via USB drive to help alleviate possible issues.

3. A power strip and/or extension cord!  Now you’re starting to get it!  We are working to provide power as conveniently as possible, but a good approach to any game jam is “be prepared.”  If there’s anything you even think you might use, go ahead and bring it; even if you don’t use whatever “it” is, you might save someone else who forgot theirs!

 

What’s the deal with existing code?  You mentioned it above.  Now my interest is piqued.

Some game jams have very strict rules prohibiting preexisting code.  We do not.  Please feel free to use any public or personal libraries you may have available, however: please do NOT “re-skin” an existing game.  That would sort-of defeat the purpose, don’t you think?

Are we going to police you?  Nope!  We’re on the honor system, people!

 

Copyrighted material.

Have we devolved as such?  That wasn’t even a question.  Imagine a picture of sad Alex Trebek here.

Please, no copyrighted material to which you do not own the rights (e.g., sorry folks- no Mario in Space 3!).  The good news is that:

1.  So far as we’re aware, NASA imagery is public domain.

2. We are happy to announce that both SpaceX and Rocket Crafters have given us permission to use their logos and likenesses, anything on their website, anything they have on YouTube, or any of their publicly announced technologies and concepts within our games.  Score!  

If you do use any of these properties or their images, we do request that you respect their copyrights and try to create your own homage imagery to their original designs.  We would also discourage you from naming anything in your game directly after an existing property.  Remember, you may decide you want to continue work on your project and eventually take it commercial; should that be the case, you would either want to avoid using existing commercial properties or have discussions with the associated parties!

 

This FAQ seems to have derailed.  Are these even questions anymore, or are you just disseminating information?

Kind of. 

A few more things!

 

Can I make a game for mobile, uncommon hardware or an atypical controller?

Absolutely!  Just keep in mind that if you intend to develop for mobile, uncommon hardware, or an atypical controller, we would also request you try to accommodate possible users by providing a PC or Web copy, or a copy designed to work with a standard controller.  We want for people to play these games.  We want to bring attention to the technical community in Orlando and all of Central Florida.

But don’t let that get in the way of rule number 1 (or somewhere thereabouts): Cool > Shareable.

 

Let’s say I have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me useful to multiple teams.

Fair warning: we have attempted to bring people in from as many fields as possible, but if you have a niche set of skills that can be used by multiple teams, we might politely ask you to work with those multiple teams.  It’s like you’re too awesome!  And remember: this isn’t a competition, we’re all winners- so don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand.

 

What do I do with my game when I’m done?

Done?  We do not know what this word means, “done.”  Just kidding!  We’d love for you to continue your projects into the future, or at least continue working together, but if you have a build ready by the end of the weekend we request that you upload it to our itch.io jam page (we will release information to you about this page at the jam).  We intend to make these versions open to the public and reserve the right to share these exact versions forever; other than that, you own the right to everything you make- go forth, sell on Steam, make millions of dollars, come back and sponsor us next year!

 

I’m a recruiter looking for people- is this a recruiting zone? Conversely, I’m an attempted recruitee- is this a recruiting zone?

Short answer: No.  If you make a connection that happens to lead somewhere in the future, that is super-awesome and we are happy!  Is that the intent of this event?  Not really!  The intent of this event is…. Oh, you’ve probably read the intent of this event by now.  Have fun!  Make games!  Jam on!