The GGJ Diversifier system is a system aimed at diversifying the games as well as providing motivation for experienced game jammers. In a sense, the diversifiers are a free-for-all voluntary list of secondary constraints, that the individual teams can choose to go for, or not, as they please. If they do go for one or more diversifiers, they get to tick off those diversifiers as fulfilled when uploading their game.
As stated above, the diversifiers are absolutely voluntary, and no points are given for taking them. If you are a first time team of students, we recommend that you focus primarily on the overall constraint, and only add in extra diversifiers if you feel sure you will have something to hand in on sunday.
Current List and description of the diversifiers for 2012
The game takes place along only a single dimension.
2. ASCII Art
(3D game... in text)
The game is rendered in 3d… but can only use ASCII text (no graphics code or libraries allowed).
(Every player is different)
The game requires more than one player, but each player has entirely different goals and rules.
4. Collaborative Casual/Hardcore
(Two players: one casual, one hardcore)
Collaborative play for two, but one player has more to do than the other (or the difficulty level is different between them).
(Two GGJ games that interact)
This game somehow interacts with at least one other group’s game.
6. Eyes Wide Shut
The game has no graphics.
(Increasing number of NPCs follow you)
The game involves a growing number of autonomous non-player characters that are always following the player character’s position.
8. Good Vibrations
(Game contains haptic feedback)
Make a game where haptic feedback (e.g. rumble or force-feedback) is a key ingredient.
(1024 players or more at once)
The game supports 1024 players (or more) simultaneously.
10. Hive mind
(3+ players control the same avatar)
Player avatar is controlled simultaneously by 3 or more people. They don’t have to, but may, control the same aspect of the character.
11. I know what you did last…
(Game changes between sessions)
The game mechanics or content will change in the next play session, based on the actions taken in the previous session.
12. It’s Not Plagiarism, It’s Research
(Everything was taken from somewhere else)
Every part of the game (code, art, and sound) must be taken from public-domain or other open-source sources, not created on-site. You must cite all of your sources!
(All art is hand drawn)
All artwork is hand drawn and scanned in.
(1000+ enemies in play at once)
The game is designed to have over 1000 enemies in play at once.
15. The Right Target Audience
(Programming during play)
The game involves the players actually programming while playing.
- Voluntary. Participants do not have to go for any of the diversifiers if they wish not to.
- Maximum of 4 Diversifiers. Even if your game or team fulfills more than 4 diversifiers, you can only choose a maximum of 4 when uploading the game, so if any, choose the ones that make the most sense and mean the most to you.
- No Score. There is no virtual or real score granted for fulfilling a diversifier, neither is there any prize for it. The diversifiers' only purpose is to separate your game from others on the website. You are not a better game jammer, just because you have taken it upon yourself to fullfill more diversifiers.
- Self-Evident. We have tried to make the diversifiers as self-evident as possible, which means that they can be verified by anyone downloading the game. This is in order to create as little administration from the organizers as possible (i.e. teams simply just tick off themselves when they upload the game what diversifiers they have), and to make "cheating" as difficult as possible (i.e. anyone who downloads the game can check that they hold true).
The motivation for putting in the diversifiers are many:
- There are more and more experienced game jammers joining, and we try to provide extra challenge for them. People are free to add extra challenges themselves, but the diversifiers are structured and uniform way to provide these challenges.
- In 2009, there was approximately 370 games available on the GGJ website. In 2010, it was 920. With a just a standard game taxonomy of strategy, platform, puzzle and a platform (windows, mac, etc) it was very hard to get an overview of the games. With over 200 sites for GGJ 2012 we expect over 2000 different games, which only makes the problem even worse. Albeit arbitrary, we hope the diversifiers can be a fun and creative way to help separate games and make them stand out.
- The Diversifier system is meant as a motivator and helper for getting participants to try to think outside their normal scope and move away from their comfort zone.
- At the Global Game Jam we find it important to practice what we preach, so since a game jam is all about innovation, collaboration and experimentation we find it equally important to try out new things.