Some FlowJam Stuff

I feel like FlowJams are a little unfair. There are lots of users with lots of experience in coding, who can make way better games then others. It feels a little unbalanced. I feel like it might be a good idea to make separated FlowJams for users with lots of experience, and for users who are a bit newer or in between, so people have a better chance of actually winning.


I have felt the same since some people have way lot more time than others juggling life. But I guess grazer can’t really help since he can’t accommodate for everyone’s lifestyle.
The flowjam is fair, since you are given a period of time like everyone else and you have the ability to make games as good as everyone else, but usually coding takes practice. Some of the best users on here have been apart of flowlab for many years. So I think their loyalty pays off.

Now I can see how some users team up for a flowjam which I feel can be a bit unfair at times since not everyone on flowlab can be trustworthy enough to start a team with and communicating online isn’t as efficient as speaking personally and getting things done.
Plus some people don’t have the same luxury of having a close friend on flowlab or irl that is willing to join up with a game. But I guess you can utilize your resources and nothing in the rules says otherwise.

The flowjam can seem a bit like a disadvantage to newer users compared to those who have been around longer, but there’s no one else to claim but yourself. Practice makes perfect. I’ve only ever scored 4th place on the flowjam and I’ve only been on for 4 years compared to those who have spent way more time learning flowlab than my idleness.


In most sports, they do have divisions for pros, amateurs, etc. But in coding, it’s hard to determine when someone reaches an advanced level. But even then a Flowjam is not just coding, it’s based on 4 categories

  1. Theme, this is fair to everyone, some may have more experience so they have a slightly better idea of what to do, but it’s pretty fair.

  2. Fun, this is slightly unfair because having a greater level of coding allows you to create your ideas better, but you can still make a fun game with simple coding.

  3. Art, particle effect or any visual effects with code relate to coding, but many things in the art category are literally based on art and not coding skills, but we don’t need a separate Flowjam for people good at art.

  4. Creativity, once again coding can help realize your ideas, but you can still have an interesting idea.

So a Flowjam is based on many things, not just coding. Separating the Flowjam would also be hard because who would choose the skill level? If grazer chose he doesn’t know the skill level of everyone and if it was a community-based vote some people could be biased or just not have played any games from some users. (Many users who enter the Jams aren’t even on the forums)
Teams are understandable for why they can be considered unfair, but even still having a team can cause its own problems (such as the things Maniac listed). And several high-placing games have been created for single users (I think Univeral Crumble was made just by sup3r)

Another thing to think of is the prize, would all the different categories get a Nintendo Switch or would the prize be scaled down?
Imagine if you had 3 categories for the skill levels, you would also spilt the number of people in the Flowjam. Overall if you had 90 people enter a jam, only competing with 30 users doesn’t seem as fun.

If you had winners from the 3 categories, who would be on the front page? 10 from all 30, so 30 games? No offense to anyone, but some of the games aren’t amazing and the front page is not only an area for the creator to have their games seen, but it’s also the first thing people who enter flowlab see. So the front page also works as a marketing tool, but if games that aren’t as good were there it wouldn’t be as appealing.

People are also rewarded for being good at coding and staying on the site for a long time to build up the experience to win (like Maniac said).

And as a final point, the Flowjam isn’t about winning (somewhat) it’s about the learning experience you get from it. The whole idea of a Game Jam is to make a game as fast as possible and see what can be done with it, the best way to learn is to fail fast.

Final final point, people code at different speeds.

I would consider myself quite fast at coding, but imagine in some broken universe JR is slow at coding, but still made all his examples and games.

Even though he is at a very very high skill level he might not be able to even finish a game in the 14 day period. So even if I’m at a slightly lower skill level (:sob:) I would still be able to beat him.

Final thoughts. git gud

Secondary thoughts. Overall the Flowjam is pretty fair, you can’t expect to win if you’ve only been here a month, being good at anything takes time, and the Flowjam rewards you for the time that you have spent.


Also, something unnoted, when people played my game on stream, they’d play it for like 2 minutes and go play another game, despite the fact that it takes 30 minutes to beat. They wouldn’t even try. Kind of pissed me off since they gave no feedback either. Still don’t know what the issue is. Nothing happened while I was gone.


The people rating the games aren’t pure gamers. They’re game developers, and that implies some things (most important being that they view games differently.)


I feel that. I think it also come down to game design, you have to make your game interesting enough so that people will want to keep playing it. You also have to find a good balance of difficulty, I know on some games I play if it’s wayy to hard or the controls are frustrating then I tend to give up sooner.


I agree with this a lot. Mostly what you said about the learning experience. I usually know from the get-go that the chances of me even placing are low, but I still enjoy the challenge. Competing is good to learn about your current skills and work pace. I think winning is usually a last thought, at least for me.


Well, there is like $300 console on the line, and I usually see users that I haven’t seen in a while participate. The Flowjam is made more or less to bring the experienced users out to really show what Flowlab can do. It’s a competition, anyone can enter and everyone has the same rules and time to do it.

Indie developers do have a little advantage, but with the short time frame, there’s no reason that a free user can’t win. You just have to hit each category that is voted on (usually focus on the “fun” part). Frontpage isn’t guaranteed, but the game’s that pass Grazer’s expectation usually gets them. And as for teams, it does seem unfair but the only game that has won with a team is Escape the Rewind. Just about all the games have been won by a single developer.

Also, I want to say older does not mean being experienced, you just need practice. I’ve been around since 2019 and I know many older users with Flowlab. I just found a passion to really experiment with Flowlab and share the results. A good way to practice for the Jam is to try smaller Jams on the itch, there’s always a lot of jams on there at any given time. Game jams -

Yeah, no one’s going to wait 30 minutes to play the game, especially if your trying to review all the games fairly. The game was overall not fun and there wasn’t much else to do than repeat and wait.

There are different “types” of gamers, people have different views on games.
If Game Devs aren’t gamers, then Idk who they are developing the game for…