The Linux Game Jam 2017: A Postmortem
 
First, again, I cannot express how truly humbled I am by the sheer outpouring of generosity, positivity, and collaboration that went into The Linux Game Jam 2017. You guys are amazing and it's been a remarkable experience to see you all build such great games.

Second, I want to make this an annual (or perhaps biannual) thing. Let me know @TheLinuxGamer or here in the comments your thoughts on this subject.

The rules of the jam were fairly open-ended, but in other ways I felt they were restrictive (especially the first rule).

Free Assets
Should we allow freely available assets to be used? If we do, should we allow people to build assets before the jam actually starts? Are there other rules we should implement next go-around?

At it's peak, there were 162 people who signed up for the jam. Some of those people were looking to collaborate. There seemed to be confusion as to whether that was allowed. (It was).

Lesson Learned
Next time, we definitely need to encourage more collaboration. How can we do this?

Of those 162 people who signed up for the jam, we had 54 entries. These submissions spanned, defined, and even bent genres. Some games felt incomplete (given that there were only five days to complete a build, I'm impressed that many of them felt as complete as they did.)

Question
Should we allow for more time to build games next time?

Many of these entries had innovative mechanics that made you really stop and think. There was this 4X game that (while incomplete) showed huge potential. This game that played a lot like pong (but distinct from pong) was fun and quite intense. And then this game pushed the terminal to places I'd never seen it go. The event was really a creative free-for-all and I loved it. However:

Theme
Should we have a theme during the next jam? If so, what should it be? How fine a point should we place on it without discouraging the genuine ingenuity on display in this year's event?

Games were made utilizing many different engines and built for a variety of platforms. Godot, Unity, Love, and even custom engines were used. There were browser games and even a submission exclusively for the Raspberry Pi!

"Linux"
As we all are aware, Linux runs the world. I didn't specify desktop Linux as the baseline for submissions (and I even encouraged browser games) and as a result there were games fraught with dependency hell or that were even unplayable on my CPU architecture. The question is: should we set Desktop Linux as a baseline? I'm leaning towards an reticent "No" on this one.

There were several standout titles that bubbled to the top through the voting process. 98.1% of games received a vote. In total there were 293 ratings across all submissions.

Curation
Should we allow for a longer voting process? This voting process lasted for ~24 hours.

The #LinuxGameJam2017 hashtag was used 24 times on Twitter (not counting the tweets I posted during the event). There were several developers livestreaming their coding during the event. I posted a few videos and did an interview with Bryan Lunduke about the event.

Social Media
How can we use social media to more effectively get the message out about next years game jam? How can we let people know about livestreams happening? 

Speaking of livestreams. The livestream I did ending the event features a total of 23 entires. Some games wouldn't boot, others had weird glitches that wouldn't let me play them. Still, I streamed for 3 hours, and a total of over 1,000 views has been amassed on the archive of the event.

GOAL
By next year, I'll have moved out of this place and I'll have better internet to stream. 

I'm not a huge fan of competition, but how do we feel about the idea of having a prize for the top n best games? (As ranked by a panel of judges, the community, both, neither?)

Picking a date for the next jam is pretty important to me. Should this be an annual event? Should we have the date nailed down months in advance?

And finally, I want to make a video highlighting the top-ranked games. Your thoughts?

Thanks so much. This event has been the most interesting and fun experience I've had in a long time!

With love,
Gardiner