2016 saw the new arrival of a niche game jam with the very first Gen Jam or generation jam referring to procedural generated content and game design. The event was hosted at California's Gamenest; a collaborative game studio environment focused on creating and easily accessible and affordable tech space for designers to work and network.
Running for only a single day this year, the goal was, in keeping in line with it's name, to create an "art generator" or more plainly a program or algorithm tasked with, to some extent, automatically creating art assets for possible use as shortcut tools by designers to brainstorm or populate a game space.
One great example of this, and I think adorable cute as well is a sprite character mix-and-matcher created by David York and ultlixzing Oryx Design Labs' 16-bit sprite set. David broke the various pieces that made up the 16-bit characters, (separating the heads, weapons, armors and various other parts) and then added a series of color ramps tied to select groups of items that would randomize the palettes based about a series of user-defined palette groups. So gemstones stayed with a series of colors vs a different set of colors for metal armor or skin tones.
While the setup requires some time in PS to break away the pieces since David wasn't able to have easy access to the original pieces that built up the sprites; this system could be used in a similar form to quickly fill towns with placeholders or populate background sets without a high risk of duplication while still keeping the core set of assets used to a low count.
Its a clever idea and a showcase of the reason jams occur every week for every reason; there is always a better way to do something just wanting to be discovered.
Gen Jam was hosted at Gamenest in California which you can find out more information here. You can follow David York and read more indepth into his art maker as well as download the code at his own website. Finally Gen Jam was organized and ran by Galaxy Kate (Kate Compton) here and Ben Grue (Ben McGraw) which you should give a thanks for and follow them for future projects.
All images copyright of David York.