Author Topic: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation  (Read 4234 times)

Stupot

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #40 on: 19 Apr 2018, 10:12 »
I was quarter of the way to being right :-/

Danvzare

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #41 on: 19 Apr 2018, 12:37 »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like everyone is an agreement with allowing the use of RON assets. So maybe we should include a link to them on every MAGS thread.
Also, Maniac Mansion Mania is basically a German version of RON, with a set of characters that most people on this forum know about, which in turn could maybe make it a more appealing option (I know that I'm usually turned off from using any RON assets because I don't know the characters or locations, regardless of how many people say that it's ok). So maybe include a link to the MMM resources as well.

What if we did something like this: Intentionally vague, broad topics on even months and specific gameplay/story challenges on odd months.
I like that idea. It will give you a bit of a heads up before hand, whether or not you should be preparing yourself for a month of game making.

Also, I think that MAGS should stay at once a month. If you increase it I'll think we'll end up getting the rebound effect, which is basically that the more we increase the amount of time available, the more lazy everyone will become (and the larger their scope will be). Think of it like studying for your exam one day before the exam, regardless of how much time you had to study, or leaving your lights on more because you now have an energy efficient light bulb.

VampireWombat

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #42 on: 19 Apr 2018, 13:40 »
With all the talk of RoN and the additional mention of Maniac Mansion Mania, I have an idea.
What if we started something similar specifically for MAGS? Each month those who participate could choose to have their assets added.
I'm thinking maybe 2 or 3 series could be started. Modern, scifi, and maybe fantasy or such.
Or divide each series into different graphics style.
Maybe one month could be specifically for starting each series.
« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2018, 13:55 by VampireWombat »

Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #43 on: 19 Apr 2018, 15:44 »
Now, these are just my personal reasons and may not apply to others, but the two main reasons I don't participate in MAGS as much as I'd want to are:

1. Too often the topics feel a bit too specific, and if I manage to come up with something, it usually so late into the month that there's no time left to make anything resembling a worthwhile game. More broad and general topics that can be interpreted in different ways would make it easier to come up with a fun game concept.

2. The rule about not being allowed to use pre-existing graphical assets. For me, that's probably what takes me the longest to finish when I work on a game, and reusing GUI elements and inventory sprites of generic items would save me a lot of time. It also feels pretty limiting to not be able to re-use character sprites, since I have toyed with the idea of revisiting or expanding upon characters I made for previous MAGS entries, but I just don't have the energy to redo every single sprite for a character I've already worked on, not because I have any good ideas on how to improve the sprites, but just because of a rule in a competition.

I understand the reasoning behind this rule, but I don't think it's necessary. While it could give members who already made games and sprites an advantage over those who hasn't, there's always RON assets or they can ask other members for permission to use their sprites and backgrounds. Now, while there is a possibility that some might try to make entries made entirely out of re-used assets, I still think most will only use it for the things they don't have time to draw and animate before the deadline and still try to make as much original content as possible. The alternative doesn't necessarily mean that all contestants will make good original graphics, I've seen several entries where they ended up using ugly placeholders due to time constraints.

DBoyWheeler

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #44 on: 20 Apr 2018, 00:21 »
Also, my own two bits on this topic...

For those who do enter, if you're needing help in some aspects, don't be shy to team up with someone, or ask for some teammates.

The person might not be planning a MAGS entry himself/herself, but he/she might be willing to contribute in some ways (like maybe a few backgrounds, or even a music track or two.  Even if it might be a bit of proofreading or testing the game, don't be afraid to ask for help).

selmiak

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #45 on: 20 Apr 2018, 10:45 »
reusing GUI elements and inventory sprites of generic items would save me a lot of time.


somebody please use this:
https://github.com/caesarcub/AGS-SCI-Template

maybe we can add some generic inv items to the template, like rope, lighter, flashlight without batteries, gun, flamethrower...
« Last Edit: 20 Apr 2018, 11:06 by selmiak »

Danvzare

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #46 on: 20 Apr 2018, 11:26 »
maybe we can add some generic inv items to the template, like rope, lighter, flashlight without batteries, gun, flamethrower...
tin opener, bucket, pole, hook, pole with hook. You know, the items that appear on almost every adventure game. I think I actually compiled a list of about fifty items which appear in multiple games... for some reason.

TheBitPriest

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #47 on: 21 Apr 2018, 03:24 »
Quote
@TheBitPriest - I like your thinking. Saying that, if we were going to have a mix of broad themes and specific challenges, why don’t we let the topic setter be the one to decide each week whether or not (or how strictly) to have a ‘original art only’ rule?

I think that could work. However, the reason I suggested alternating between broad themes and specific challenges was:

1. Participants could anticipate the scope of the contest ("June is here in a week... I can expect a broad theme. I'm in!")
2. The contest wouldn't be weighted too heavily in one direction or the other.

« Last Edit: 21 Apr 2018, 03:25 by TheBitPriest »

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #48 on: 21 Apr 2018, 08:07 »
Quote

1. Participants could anticipate the scope of the contest ("June is here in a week... I can expect a broad theme. I'm in!")
2. The contest wouldn't be weighted too heavily in one direction or the other.
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
As it's my topic for May I will be going for a broader topic with scope to interpret as you so wish with no asset use restrictions.
I have several topics for May in which I am deciding which one to pick...




tsa

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #49 on: 21 Apr 2018, 10:33 »
Maybe it's just me, but I think maybe the invisibility of the MAGS competitions on the web and on this site in particular is one of the reasons it's not attended well. I can't find a MAGS thread or MAGS pages on this site, and the 'official' MAGS website http://www.mags-competition.info/?page=current seems to not have been updated since January 2018. Why not make some easily visible links on the home page of the AGS website and udate the 'official' MAGS site?

Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #50 on: 21 Apr 2018, 12:29 »
On the subject of theme choice... Not sure if it will help anyone or not but here's a brief summary of themes and turnout for the last 30 competitions:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
* Mar 18 | make three playable characters and differentiate the gameplay between them | 2 entries
* Feb 18 | pick genre, setting and location from predefined lists and include a pet with an extraordinary gift | 4 entries
* Jan 18 | hidden and misinterpreted true motives | 3 entries
* Dec 17 | invisibility | 1 entry
* Nov 17 | contest/competition | 4 entries
* Oct 17 | fears/phobia, + 1 room requirement | 5 entries
* Sept 17 | past and future mixed up | 3 entries
* Aug 17 | the Bible | 3 entries
* Jul 17 | same place frequented by character 3 times as key element of the plot | 3 entries
* Jun 17 | rescue | 8 entries
* May 17 | fate | 2 entries
* Apr 17 | misinterpretation/mistaken identity | 1 entry
* Mar 17 | difference in size | 2 entries
* Feb 17 | same location at multiple time periods | 2 entries
* Jan 17 | transformation/metamorphosis | 3 entries
* Dec 16 | pickpocketing | 2 entries
* Nov 16 | afterlife | 3 entries
* Oct 16 | remake an existing game into a different genre | 2 entries
* Sept 16 | pure evil | 5 entries
* Aug 16 | must include monkeys, poor quality vehicle, giant banana | 5 entries
* July 16 | extinction | 4 entries

* Jun 16 | non-cliche historical setting + real personnas (optional) | 3 entries
* May 16 | must include gas, "It's all right now" quote, someone named Jack + Jack jumps and toothless bearded hag (optional) | 4 entries
* Apr 16 | natural disaster | 2 entries
* Mar 16 | changing seasons | 1 entry
* Feb 16 | RoN | 2 entries
* Jan 16 | Black Death | 6 entries
* Dec 15 | depleted/running out | 3 entries
* Nov 15 | monsters + must include rhyming | 6 entries
* Sept 15 | Stephen King, must include 2 rooms and 2 characters exactly | 2 entries
What I feel the most popular themes have in common is that they are flexible and not too ambitious, in a good way. Basically, when I think say "monsters" or "contest" or "rescue", a bunch of simple short game scenarios immediately springs to mind and whilst none of these games would probably be very original or imaginative, they could be quickly and effortlessly planned out. Coming up with a working MAGS game plan shouldn't really take any of the precious little time we have to actually create the game.

Also, not all themes that scored 4+ entries are vaguely defined - some in fact use detailed requirements, see the monkey theme from Aug 16 or Jack theme from May 16 for example. Personally I'm not a big fan of these "include x, y, z and your game must be f" subjects because (admittedly more as a player than a creator - I rarely participate) I feel the competition is more captivating when the entries are themed rather than connected by randomly chosen elements. But it does seem to stir creativity if the combination turns out to be flexible enough.

As for the use of pre-existing open source graphical assets, it feels like something that could improve the turnout but I'm not convinced if using RON resources for this purpose is a very good idea unless the MAGS entry is an actual RON game. It is a free to use library, but a library dedicated to a specific series so using it for random MAGS games *kind of* defeats the purpose to me. But then again I'm hardly an expert on RON policy, someone better versed in the subject might want to comment should this option ever be seriously considered.

Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #51 on: 21 Apr 2018, 17:29 »


As for the use of pre-existing open source graphical assets, it feels like something that could improve the turnout but I'm not convinced if using RON resources for this purpose is a very good idea unless the MAGS entry is an actual RON game. It is a free to use library, but a library dedicated to a specific series so using it for random MAGS games *kind of* defeats the purpose to me. But then again I'm hardly an expert on RON policy, someone better versed in the subject might want to comment should this option ever be seriously considered.

I'm not a RoN expert, either, but at some point in time, before the establishment of a RoN Canon, folks began offering up characters and backgrounds for public use. I can't help but feel those folks would be sad that the canon was preventing the assets from being used to tell any story, be it one for the RoNiverse, or one for the more general worlds of MAGS. If the MAGS entry doesn't lend itself to a Zombie Mayor, or Death and an Alien building sandcastles, they can be left out. It may be up to the denizen lurkers within the RoNiverse to decide whether it's a RoN game, or not. Just don't kill off any existing character, unless you made it.  (laugh) And even then, someone may just resurrect him, or her, or it.

Cassiebsg

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #52 on: 21 Apr 2018, 17:39 »
Well, the way I see it, even if they are RON assets, they are free for use. So nothing to stop one from making a game with them and just adding a note "Not a RON game" or "This is a parallel universe to the RON universe" or something. That way you can do whatever you want with the characters and don't need any previous knowledge of them or the universe they live in.
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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #53 on: 22 Apr 2018, 00:34 »
I agree that public domain assets should be allowed for use.

Slasher

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #54 on: 23 Apr 2018, 10:32 »
I had a thought.... There are some members that are great at drawing, animating etc that to a newbie might be a bit daunting and put them off entering when they look at their own work.

To stop this from happening what if members could only show images/videos/Completed game link in the last week of the contest before voting starts?

I myself am guilty of this...

What do you lot think?

Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #55 on: 24 Apr 2018, 02:14 »
I'm not sure but I will say that I'm more likely to complete a mags if I don't have to do every graphic from scratch. That being said there are pros and cons.

Retro Wolf

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #56 on: 26 Apr 2018, 15:23 »
I've been working on a little project where AGSers combine all their unwanted and old artwork. Could be useful for MAGS if allowed.
Just look at Ocean Spirit Dennis, in his world they allow people to use freely available art in their game projects, look how happy he is. Click him, go on!


Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #57 on: 30 Sep 2018, 20:27 »
Hi there,

for me its great to do teams.
Well there are two sides of the medal, to do teams can be difficult to handle and there can be some issues in imagination,
but for me doing all by my person blocks a lot of my mind. While doing graphics i thinking bout the story, while that about the puzzles and the other direction.

On the other hand im really bad in programming, creating puzzles and write good dialogues.
Cant be good in everything.

Doing teams can be take a lot of responsibility if everybody has his own realm.

I havent much time, because having a stressy job an family, but i want to make a mags game.
So i like to build a team where i create the graphics in my own monochrome pixelart style.
A game which is totally reduced but full of fun.

Searching for AGS progammer and somebody who can do good puzzles and dialogues.
I just doing the graphics efforts.

If there is anybody, who has already experience and wants to join please write me.

Greetings from Bavaria,
Christian

Jack

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Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #58 on: 30 Sep 2018, 21:55 »
I don't think there's a problem with MAGS in itself, it's probably more that people don't have us much time as we used to, or when we do it's not at the right time.

More teams is a good idea. One possibility is to remove the theme constraint. I'm not much of a fan of the change to allow old content, it feels like it goes against the spirit of a game jam, but it could be a time saver. Public domain assets are a different matter in my opinion. Perhaps that distinction should be made, between a game someone has been working on for x months, vs a game someone made within a month using whatever they could find or make.

The best thing would be to grow the community. But how could we do that?
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2018, 22:02 by Jack »

Re: MAGS Discussion - How to get more participation
« Reply #59 on: 30 Sep 2018, 22:12 »
I support the use of public domain assets of all kinds.

I had an interesting thought about participation as it relates to teams.  There are many reasons someone might not want to initiate a team, so what about a draft?  What I mean is that people can sign up for MAGS as an artist, programmer, musician, writer, or whatever, and then teams can be assembled taking one from each category.  Of course some categories may not get participants, so there's that to consider, but I still think it's an idea that could work.  And the team assembly can be done before the start of the competition.

So maybe this isn't for every MAGS, but maybe drafted teams could be an option for a MAGS rule in some future competition.