Make Something That Makes Something At ProcJam

Last year’s ProcJam produced talks worth watching about the current state of procedural generation, while the game jam’s participants produced a number of fun games to play. Now the dates and speakers have been announced for ProcJam 2015, which will run November 7th to November 16th.

ProcJam challenges people to “make something that makes something.” That can be a game, as in the case of last year’s The Inquisitor in which you attempted to solve a procedural crime, or it could be a generative tool designed to produce wallpaper patterns or strange planets or anything else. Yes, I am a generative tool, thanks. Anyone can take part in the jam from the comfort of their home, and this year ProcJam have commissioned an art pack of Creative Commons-licensed tilesets and character sprites for you to use in your creations, in case you don’t personally have art skills.

[Disclosure: the art pack was created by Marsh Davies, who writes and makes videos regularly for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and I am seeing him tonight because we do a podcast. He’s lovely.]

Meanwhile, if you’re in London or like livestreams, there’s a day of procedurally-themed talks happening on November 7th. These can be watched online at the ProcJam site and there will be talks from Kate Compton, who worked on Spore, Alexis Kennedy of Sunless Sea and Failbetter Games, and Tom Betts of Sir, You Are Being Hunted’s Big Robot.

[Disclosure: Tom Betts works with Big Robot and Big Robot was founded by Jim Rossignol and Jim Rossignol founded RPS and I work at RPS. Jim GMs our D&D games and it has been too long.]

ProcJam is organised by Mike Cook, whose own procedural project is Angelina, an AI that can “automatically design videogames.” Mike is also a games researcher and… and…

[Disclosure: Mike Cook is an occasional contributor to RPS, having written the excellent, five-part ‘Electric Dreams‘ series, exploring the role of artificial intelligence in videogames, the future it promised us, and the future it might still give us. I commissioned this series, but have never met Mike. I’d like to.]

You’ve got a month to plan if you want to take part. What would you make to make?

11 Comments

  1. Arexis says:

    I love all the disclosures. Not sure if it’s humorous or a genuine attempt to keep the harpies at bay.

    • AngoraFish says:

      RPS disclaimers always contain a good dose of snark, but I for one appreciate that they at least do them.

  2. Malarious says:

    Wow, I had no idea The Inquisitor existed. It’s eerily similar to a concept that I’ve been kicking around for a while and plan on making someday. Throw a bunch of fleshed-out NPCs with unique personalities into an archetypal “locked room” murder mystery case, with one of them being randomly chosen as the antagonist. Everyone scatters and searches for evidence, clues, with the antagonist aggressively hiding his tracks.

    Victory would be achieved not by simply figuring out who the killer was, but by convincing the majority of the survivors that your suspicion was correct.

  3. Ross Angus says:

    … or it could be a generative tool designed to produce wallpaper patterns …

    Well, how interesting you should mention that. I did that very thing a few months back. Haven’t submitted it, though.

    • Llewyn says:

      Right, I’ve found one. Just need someone to print a couple of rolls now…

      • Ross Angus says:

        Make sure their printer understands the W3C Gradient spec, and it should be golden.

  4. TomxJ says:

    Forgive me for being naive. I’ve never really made a game, but I feel I may as well give it a go; so how does one enter these?

    Do you just make a game, clock its hours and submit? Or is there an entry form? I like the idea of the Asylum Jam too, maybe there would be a way of combining both as they’re in the same week.