Posts Tagged ‘rules’
This is actually written in response to all the comments that were made on a previous post I made about the surprising (to me) amount of high-quality music in the compo division.
First of all, thanks for all the thoughts and feedback on my last post everyone! Always nice to hear good discussion on stuff like this. Sorry for the late reply on my part, I hadn’t realized the post received so many comments (would be nice if the site notified me somehow).
Anyway, first of all let me say that I wasn’t assuming most people or even anyone in particular was cheating. I just saw a very high level of quality in compo music and that made me a little suspicious if it was supposed to all be created from scratch. Maybe it was just a statistical fluke based on the particular 30 or so compo games I played… maybe there actually was a high level of musical talent in the compo… maybe the definition of “from scratch” was a bit more lenient than I originally thought. I didn’t know. I guess I just wanted things to make sense.
I hadn’t considered that music generators like Band in a Box or Abundant Music were legal, but that’s the impression I got from those that mentioned them. If that’s the case, then I think it’s safe to assume that they may be why so many compo entries have decent music that follows the conventions of popular music fairly well (similar to tools like bfxr/sfxr being the reason so many compo entries have decent sound).
Though that would explain why I see what I see, I have to admit I find the legality of music generators to be a bit odd. I have a Casio keyboard and it features dozens of different instrument samples and accompaniment in dozens of different musical styles. I can simply choose a musical style, give it a tempo, and it starts playing a 6-part track including bass, drums, piano, etc. including an intro, outro, bridges, and fills. I would feel like using that music would be cheating for the compo… yet, if Band in a Box is legal, I don’t see how using the keyboard’s features are that much different.
I guess the question is where does that line of “creating your own music” get drawn? Using music generators is kinda like taking a bunch of sound samples and musical patterns made by other people and rearranging and tweaking them to suit your tastes. Should that count as making your own music?
If you answered yes, I have a question for you. What do you think about this?
HeroMachine is another content generator. It’s a tool to generate a character portrait for you. There are dozens of options for creating your portrait from different body parts, clothing, and other pieces and tweaking those pieces to suit your taste. Should it also be legal for me to use HeroMachine to generate graphics for my compo entry? I would argue that music generators and tools like HeroMachine are no different. They should either both be legal or both be illegal… but I suspect people would be a lot more upset about the usage of HeroMachine in a compo entry.
Interestingly, bfxr/sfxr feel like they are in a slightly different category of content generator. I think the usage of them feels (to me at least) a little more “pure” and legitimate than other content generators because the core content that the generators are based on are simply mathematical functions. These generators are not simply combinations of various “snippets” of art that were created by someone else. Though you could maybe argue that even the presets of “Pickup”, “Explosion”, etc. required the artistic input of someone to decide the range of mathematical parameters that made those types of sounds.
Well, regardless of people’s opinions on the various aspects of this topic, there seems to be one common thread. Everyone seems to agree that there should be some clarification regarding the rules of music production for the compo division. I don’t really care much either way, but I would like those restrictions to be more clearly defined.
I think the use pre-existing content, eg, royalty free images and sounds, should be allowed.
1) Publicly available code libraries are allowed.
I must admit that I myself never use pre-existing code or libraries and start all my projects from a blank canvas. I understand the rationale behind using such libraries – no need to reinvent the wheel – and I have no issue with it. But why doesn’t this reasoning apply to content? If I can use a royalty-free image of a simple space-invader why should I create it from scratch, especially if I have limited artistic ability?
Currently, this seems biased towards artists. Game developers are, above all, programmers; they may have some artistic ability, but first and foremost they must be able to program. Yet, we allow existing code libraries to be used.
Is it permissible to create, use and distribute a public code library which renders royalty free images or plays royalty free sounds?
2) “We want you to create something free of copyright restrictions” (from Competition Rules).
Surely, Ludum Dare is then the perfect place to delve into royalty free content then? It is a skill to find, assess, rework, and credit if necessary such content. This is the perfect place to practice such a skill, and a breach of copyright in the realms of a 48 hour programming competition is far preferable to a breach of copyright on release of a finished product.
3) “Photos and recordings you make of people or things are acceptable content, just you must acquire them during the competition.” (from Competition Rules).
Again, if coders complain of having to reinvent the wheel, isn’t this a far worse situation? For example, I want to use a siren. I now have to spend valuable time walking the streets, waiting for a police car to pass, while clutching a hand held recorder. It seems a bit unnecessary to me, when game development should be the priority – 48 hours is a much shorter time-frame when it comes to collecting media assets as compared to purely programming.
Can I ask a friend to play the assorted sound effects I need, and stand beside him with an audio recorder?
4) “Fonts, drum loops, drum samples, and sampled instruments are allowed IF you have the legal right to use them.” (from Competition Rules).
So samples are OK? So to circumvent the rules as they stand I can create a soundback of royalty free sound effects, package them together and claim that I am using an instrument?
I don’t see any practical difference between a “sampled instrument” and a “sample”.
I also don’t see any different between a character from a “font” (esp. wingdings) and an “image”.
I hope I’m not coming across as pedantic, or spoiling the “spirit of Ludum Dare”, but it seems to me that the current ruling as regards royalty free content fails for many reasons: It is difficult to “prove” if someone has used them or not; It is difficult to enforce; It can be circumvented in clever ways; It puts people with little or no graphic experience at a severe disadvantage.
There exist content generators, and one can procedurally create content – but why remove the option of pre-existing free content?
As an additional note, I love scrawly scratchy art and amusing sound fx generated solely for the competition – like people saying “BANG!”. Such content has it’s place, and it will always be used.
Any thoughts on this?
I didn’t understand the rules of the Compo/Jam at first and continued making my game after submitting to the compo, i.e. I thought I could submit it to both compo and jam. Turns out I can’t, so I now have a piece of content that will go into an update once the whole thing is over. You, however, can play it right now. Link to the “jam entry” is right on top of the description. Compo entry can be played the usual way
I am really frustrated right now, so you might as well show some love and toss me a few ratings
Hi, this is my first LD and I’m not quite sure if I understand the rules. First off, do we need to film ourselves doing it? And second, can we use game engines (e.g. Unity3D)?
I’ve got my game idea for the Mini-LD.
I’m interpreting the theme as follows:
- Getting it done is the most important thing
- The actual “theme” is less important
- It’s a Mini-LD, so the rules can be bent
- Therefore: It’s more important to get the thing done, so the actual “theme” can be neglected and it’s not too much of a big deal
That being said, my idea has very little if anything to do with the potential themes. I really love the idea, though, and want to make it happen.
The premise has a wide scope, though, and I’ll only be able to get a subset of it working during the Mini-LD. That’ll be a good push for me, though.
The game is about a fox that has to get eight elemental crystals (Fire, earth, water, air, and four others I’ll figure out) into their respective altar-type places to get the Forces of Nature back into balance before the World is Destroyed. The Mini-LD version will have the first crystal and a “To be continued…” at the end.
The game will be a Metroidvania where the player collects various skills. The Mini-LD version will have at least two of them.
Looking forward to this,
— Mr. Dude
Hey all.. I realized I had forgotten to post a lib I wanted to ask about using that is related to online high score ability in a flash game. Would just want to know peoples thoughts about using it for this compo.. or other compos if deemed too late.
Basically it’s just a 2 line call someone can drop into their flash project that enables online leaderboards via mochi. You don’t have to use their ad network or anything but it would easily support the ability for people to see others scores in my game.
Anyway.. thoughts? Too late for this time perhaps..? but what about future compos? It isn’t really game code per se.. but it does give a game an advantage in that online leaderboards often lead to more competition with the score motivated players.
As per compo rules, I thought I’d make available some random functions in torquescript that I might use since I don’t feel like rewriting such nonsense. They provide stuff like “generic button” behavior, gotoMount, changing the mouse cursor, having a splash screen, and “fade in / out”. No game code in there, I swear! Just some nice utility functions that I’ve come to rely on a bit heavily.
I just found this open sources lib (http://www.web-adventure-kit.com/) and i want to know if the rules let me use it for this compo.
What you experienced devs say?
ps: It is a framework to make point & click adventures in AS3.
(02:11:23 PM) philhassey: the theme voting will be in the channel .. starting around 6 hours before the compo
(02:11:39 PM) philhassey: we’ll come up with some themes around that time
(02:11:46 PM) philhassey: and then i’ll post a voting thing on my website ..
(02:11:50 PM) philhassey: theme will be released at the start
(02:12:00 PM) philhassey: then you’ve got 48 hours to do whatever ..
(02:12:45 PM) philhassey: basic idea is to spend around 12 of those hours working ..
(02:12:51 PM) philhassey: not as “intense” as a real 48 hour compo ..
(02:13:08 PM) philhassey: entries won’t be judged, but we’ll post them on the website so there is easy access and people can leave comments and junk
(02:13:18 PM) Hectigo: Sounds good
(02:13:31 PM) philhassey: i’ll post that on the site ..
(02:13:31 PM) jolle: and award trophies ^_^
(02:13:33 PM) philhassey: yeah
(02:13:37 PM) philhassey: trophies are a must
(02:14:21 PM) RobotGuy: Thanks, that’s helped alot.