Announcing the 3rd Clockwork Game Jam Event (2019Q3)

There are still games with 2 or fewer ratings. The voting finishes in 8 hours, could everyone please do their best to vote so everyone has a fair chance.

hey @PIXbits I’m 99% sure that the voting isn’t based on ratings from fellow entrants. From the jam rules, it sounds like they have judges who didn’t make the games that are supposed to handle the judging.

Still a good idea to give feedback for as many as you can, of course. But I wouldn’t stress over the current number of public ratings.

I disagree with some of the ratings, how are games such as quantum cavern placed at the bottom of the ranking list? The game telepang(I am not criticizing the game) was ranked higher in music than quantum cavern. Some games has only one vote while others had 5, if there are other judges that are voting, they should distribute ratings evenly between games. If you take a look at the Q2 jam, a judge feed back would be very helpful. Since I am a student, not much people around me does programming, I think it would also be helpful if each judge writes an anonymous, brief explanation when voting in the next gameshell jam(if there is one) so everyone can improve.


Those are valid concerns. But I am thinking that the ratings that us users give and the ratings that the judges give will be entirely separate.

I suspect the judges will not being using for their ratings at all. And I don’t expect the ratings we have given each other to matter for prizes. Because that wouldn’t make sense based on the jam rules they have posted.

EDIT: I’m thinking that they can’t use itch for the official votes though, since itch seems to insist there is a FIRST place game. When I think we all know, that spot should be reserved for the next jam ;^)

I’m really sorry I didn’t have the time to vote for the rest of the games. I haven’t even touched my GS in the last few days. :confused:
Makes me a bit sad to see Quantum Caverns so low in the list with one vote. :frowning:

isn’t users of the irl party in china for the jam end was allowed to vote ?

isn’t we need two different ranking ? one for deot/china and one for gameshell/us-eu users ?

Hey @yong, can you give us an estimate when the results of the jam will be published?

Totally forgot there’s a week long holiday in China right now, so I guess the results have to wait.

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To be frank, I am quite disappointed in the organization of this jam. There is no active communication from the organizers during and after the jam. The link to this forum thread in all the posts about the jam is wrong (pointed to Q2 jam) and it is still wrong despite I mentioned a few times to the organizers. The judging criteria and rules are not clear.

Clockwork is putting a lot of money each time for the jams. I wish they could put more efforts into organizing better. I participated in a few other jams that do not have any prizes but the interactions among participants and with the organizers were much, much better which made the jams much more enjoyable.

My suggestions to future jams:

  1. Better publicity to attract more participants. Ideally about 100
  2. Active communication channels for participants. I think Discord is the best.
  3. Clear and consistent rules. Since there are prizes, the rules should be clear and consistent. And they should be enforced accordingly.

I think there were similar suggestions after Q2 jam but unfortunately they were not implemented in Q3. I hope Q4 will be better.


Thanks for your participation in our Q3 Game Jam!

We were a little bit overstretched by the offline activities in Beijing, we are sorry that our online judging and award were left to be finished all by platform participants.

22 entries were submitted between August 23rd 2019 at 9:00 AM and September 15th 2019 at 9:00 AM. 72 ratings were given to 21 entries between September 15th 2019 at 9:00 AM and September 30th 2019 at 8:59 AM.

Therefore, for Q3 online Game Jam award, we will strictly follow the top 3 result on the platform:

Thanks! @Kirais for your advice.
We are thinking for the next Q4 Game Jam, let our community to recommend and invite judges. Each invited judge may receive a free GameShell for testing and evaluating games, we also welcome community members to promote our Game Jam on social media.
Please feel free to tell us what you think.


I can’t believe the mad lads actually did it.

I 100% did NOT believe they would go this route since it is so contrary to the posted rules. But it looks like all of the people thinking that winners would be based off itch results instead of the judges and specific guidelines mentioned in the jam rules (as crazy as that is) were CORRECT .

I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to top the “…wat?” and lowkey controversy of the last jam. But I think they definitely pulled it off.

Respect to Shift Quest, Quantum Caverns, and other quality entries that got shafted in this way.

Not trying to trash talk the winners, but I do feel it’s important to point out that I couldn’t get Do Console to run well on hardware (graphics are nice tho.) As for Space Shifter, I couldn’t make heads or tails since it’s in Chinese but it looked polished. … Road Invaders however was totally dope and runs great on hardware. So I agree it belonged in the top 3 anyway.

Sorry if I’m being too harsh or sound like a diva. But I just honestly did not think the organizers would completely blow off their judging responsibilities this way, especially without giving any notice to the participants. I’m just really surprised. And I feel bad for my fellow participants who put in good work. They deserve better than something so arbitrary and well, lazy.

Edit: Lmao so is the 1st prize from the previous jam going to be awarded now as well?

I’m wondering if someone made the “very best game” that they knew would happen this time. :rofl:


Yeah, doesn’t feel fair to let the participants decide who gets the prizes.
If you write something about judges on the jam page and then just say “nah, you are the judges now” then maybe don’t have prizes at all. After all this should be about encouraging devs to create something for the GS and right now I don’t think I’ll join another one of your jams.


I’m sorry. has options to vote by submitters, judges and public. We were using the same submitters+judges setting for the previous two jams, however, because of the number of games submitted this time, it was very hard for us to find credible judges in a short time to rate all games. One or two judges ratings could not have changed the result significantly. I feel sad for the games that receive very few ratings, given the amount of work they put into developing/adapting the games.

For future game jams, we probably need to change the rules a little bit. We have to rely more on our community to better run the jams.

  • We will still have to use the submitters+judges setting, but I would encourage our community to help us nominate and invite credible judges, judges will receive free GameShells.
  • We will reward more participants, all participants who release their games under open source license, and/or write development log articles like Quantum Caverns will receive CPI points.
  • Our moderators and active contributors to this forum deserve encouragement for their time and efforts, we will award CPI points to them regularly.

These are my suggestions, as always, we look forward to ideas and suggestions from all of you.


It sounds like you have plans for another jam, and that’s good. One thing you should definitely do if you want users to peer-judge next time is have someone create a package with all of the submitted games so that we can just drop that onto the device and play them.

I understand the challenges with organizing a jam. And not knowing how large your staff is, etc., I’m wondering if you maybe only have yourself to assist with managing these kinds of things. However I am seeing issues that I noticed you did not highlight. As a participant, I appreciate you inviting us to give feedback. So I want to make sure these issues are clearly voiced:

  • The jam rules were clearly stated, and included specific criteria for judging the games. That’s great!

  • Unfortunately, the default voting categories on do NOT account for those criteria. And so, having the default criteria used for the ‘composite’ voting results leads to scores that are not representative of the entries or their quality. For example, many games submitted were arcade or puzzle games. And those accordingly tended to have little to no story. So a voter would probably say “huh, they have no story? well it’s not a bad game, but I guess in that category they’re 1/5 right?” for the story section. Which ends up heavily skewing the ‘overall’ results.

  • Related, the criteria that were stressed in the rules were not part of the voting results, and had NO impact on the voting. For example, how the game plays on hardware, or whether it was even optimized at all for the GameShell was NOT a category that was voted on. …And that was the whole point of the jam :stuck_out_tongue:

  • I noticed that you mentioned that “1 or 2 judges ratings could not have changed the result significantly” – Unfortunately, that is not correct. Entries that did not receive many votes would have DEFINITELY benefited from judge ratings.

  • There was no consistency in voting – the rules gave the impression that there would be a panel of judges rating each game. This implies that each game would have been rated by the same set of 5 or however many people. This is a wonderful idea, because it’s the most fair. Instead, we had up to 5 or 6 (often less) people voting on any given game. However, it wasn’t the same 5 or 6 users who voted on any given game, and there is therefore no consistent scale for the results.

If for example every submitter had voted on every game, this would be much easier to swallow. But instead, it’s pretty much certain that any set of folks that voted on a game were not the same 5 or less that voted on another.

So because guidelines were laid out, but not followed, it makes it feel much less like ‘voting’ and more of just a semi-random raffle.

Anyway, the reason I’m saying all this is that I do enjoy the Game Shell. And I think that at least technically the forum is great. It uses the same setup as the NextThingCo forums, and the forums were definitely a highlight of that company and of being a Pocket Chip user.

lol I really, really want people to make fun GameShell-compatible games. And I think it’s great that you want to reward them for doing so.

Please understand that doing things like outlining guidelines for a contest and then NOT using those guidelines, and offering no contact explaining this during the whole process is a horrible way to handle things.

If for example you had decided to let everyone know this was the plan DURING the voting period, then more people would have voted on games and we would have had a more accurate set of ratings to go by.

Or if you had just said “hey, we can’t find judges… we’re going to delay the judging for another week” – people would have been fine with that.

Instead, changing the rules for the contest after the fact just cause your users and supporters to think that you really do not care about them or their time. That you do not value their work, and that you have no interest in sticking to your word. It’s just very rude. And it definitely does not inspire confidence.

For example if a successor to the GameShell was announced right now, who would really be interested in picking it up day 1? Instead, based on the handling here, I wouldn’t be surprised if a “GameShell 2” got released, and after the orders were fulfilled it starting coming out that there would be announcements of “ohhh we didn’t use the CPU we said we were going to… and it has less RAM… and no d-pad…” or “oops, the screen isn’t the resolution we said; it’s a little smaller but so what?” or things like that.

Believe me, I would MUCH rather have spent this wall of text doing a tutorial showing people on here how to make neat games in pico-8, or writing a tutorial on how to setup different emulators on the GameShell. And it’s great that you’re saying users would potentially be rewarded for those efforts. But I really have to doubt that the statement you made about ‘awarding CPI regularly [to active members]’ will happen when just sticking to your own jam guidelines proved to be such a challenge. Not trying to be disrespectful, just honest.


I second everything you wrote, thanks for taking the time.

The only thing I’d like to add is that the least that could have been done was to say “we messed that up, but we’re trying to make it up to you now” instead of saying that people will be rewarded in some unknown way for future efforts (which reminds me of the last jam where you didn’t reward the first prize because you wanted to ‘encourage’ people to work even harder on their games, something that has led to confusion then and now that this extra rule has been discarded as well, seems even more baffling).

Overall, as mentioned before, there is just no consistency and therefore we cannot trust the rules that are given to us, which makes it hard to care about the jam. So before starting the next jam, you should really take the time and write down consistent rules that work for this kind of jam.

One last thing: I personally would have preferred a longer waiting time for the results, which would have given you more time to find judges or even judge the entries yourself. That way you still would have stayed true to your own rules and there would be a lot less frustration.


If you agree, we can start implement that rule now, any Q3 participants who release their games under open source, and write devlog articles, will receive 200 CPI points.

This will be implemented starting from this month.

We need feedback on this rule change, when agreed, we could start to invite judges for Q4 right away.

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I don’t disagree with the rule, but most all the games submitted are open source. So 200 CPI points for everyone? Developers of games that are not open source could just release their source code, also I think everyone would love to write a devlog for a gameshell. Also, if those rules are implemented, would it be the same for all future game jams? Devs might not put in as much effort as the previous jams since open source + devlogs = 200 CPI points, but it’s a good way to encourage people who are new to game jams.

Hi @yong

Can you explain more about what you would be expecting from a dev log, and releasing as open source?

I don’t mind open sourcing the code; with pico8 it’s trivial to extract that data anyway. This would just be formalizing that.

But I do wonder if my artist partner would be able to ‘open source’ the character art; she has plans to use some of the sprites as part of a larger commercial release in the near future. So it would need to be something permissive of that.

Speaking of which, if she writes an article on the making of the pixel art, would that qualify as a dev log article? Or are you only wanting us to do write ups that cover the maths and logic of the program?

Are you just wanting it to be ‘open source’ so that you can include games in the future GameShell OS packages, or use them for marketing or something? If so, some license specific to that use case (sharing code for educational purposes, and allowing this specific version to be packaged in GameShell software, but not permitting the re-use of art/sound assets except by the original creators) might work better, right?

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@PIXbits, Good point. I cannot predict how many of our game jam participants would release their games under open source license (code and art) @Enargy, and write a detailed devlog or tutorial of quality content to show new developers how their games are made. To be safe, we could always put a cap on how many open source community contribution awards we will have for each game jam, say Five? In the same time, our top 1-3 award points could be adjusted a little bit to encourage more contribution to the open source community.

Again, we lack of experience and dedicated staff to run this kind of activities, but we strongly believe our community could be self-organized in some way to make it work. We even dream of one day, we could sponsor local game jams and other user group activities in your regional communities. So please take this opportunity to be owners of your own community.