Rule Clarification – Base Code

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
April 11th, 2014 7:53 am

Each LD I’ve been starting with an entirely blank page, using only one library (jQuery). Part of that has been because all my games have been very different so far, but I’m thinking that if I want to do a game similar to an older one then I probably don’t want to start from scratch.



From the rules:

Base code and personal code libraries are allowed, but should be declared and shared with the community prior to beginning your entry. 

Are there any restrictions on base code / personal code libraries? Does this mean it’s legit to use most of the code of an old game, recreate the art assets, and create a sequel?

Leave a comment — How do you handle this; what base code do you start with?

6 Responses to “Rule Clarification – Base Code”

  1. Spiridios says:

    My interpretation is based on an older writing of the rules that made this a bit more obvious. Reading rule 2, though, makes me think this is still the intent. Starter code cannot have any specific game-related logic. If it’s boilerplate, like the code to get a screen up, that’s not game specific. If it’s a utility function, like find me a path between two points, that’s not game specific. If it’s “find the player, path to him, once a ray test shows a clean shot, shoot him with this bullet”, that’s game specific logic and is not valid. Unfortunately things like Unity and Gamemaker blur the line between what’s game specific and what’s not (Unity’s character controllers seem sketchy to me).

    My starter code has always been mostly utility stuff to blit sprites, render maps, detect collisions, handle game states, animate animations, etc. Though I was getting a bit down the Unity path with some things like “BulletBehavior” that could be attached to an actor and, with some glue code, give you bullets. See to get an idea.

  2. Tim Bumpus says:

    Well, there are a ton of people who use AS3 and start with the very expansive Flixel. So my rule has always been “Anything the people who use Flixel can start with, I can start with.”

  3. madpew says:

    That’s an easy one. Basically it comes down to availability:

    Can other participants obtain/use ***** as well?
    Yes -> It’s ok
    No -> Don’t use it

    If it’s your private library/basecode/engine:
    Can I publish my engine/basecode for others to use?
    Yes -> Do it, and you’re good to go.
    No -> Don’t use it.

    Flixel, Unity, Gamemaker and others are OK because every other participant could download them as well and would have the same base to work on.

    If you want to use your own engine/basecode it’s required to release it and make it available to the public, so other participants could get the same advantage from it as you do.

  4. deathray says:

    Madpew’s interpretation is definitely more liberal, and would allow for a sequel or re-skinning of a previous game (so long as the code was made public & openly licensed).

    …But in my opinion Spiridios’s interpretation seems more in the spirit of the game competition: “no re-using game logic”.

  5. Spiridios says:

    If anyone’s curious about the historical rules, I finally looked them up via the wayback machine:

    From that page: “The “must not implement game logic” rule is to discourage you from building a game before the start time, and just filling in content. ”

    That clause was eventually dropped, but I think the spirit is still valid: no creating a game ahead of time and just re-skinning it.

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