Make Something That Makes Something

5 Ways To Enter PROCJAM Without Programming

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment

If you’re interested in entering PROCJAM but don’t fancy writing any code, here’s a few ideas for projects you could do. Got any more ideas? Please leave them in the comments! PROCJAM is just a few days away now, and has over 330 people signed up on We’re so excited for the jam to start!

1. Dice Tables

One common use of generative systems is to make things for pen-and-paper roleplaying games. For example, you write down twenty ideas for things you might find in a chest, and then when someone looks in a chest you roll a 20-sided die and look down the list to see what people find. donjon is a site with a lot of very cool generators, and Chaotic Shiny’s site has an incredible number of them. Dice are a really simple way to get a source of randomness, and you can make dice tables on the bus or in your lunch hour with just a pen and some paper. Tie lots of dice tables to together to tell stories, or invent planets or generate fortune tellings.

2. Cards

Like dice tables, shuffling a deck of cards is a really easy way to randomise something. Get some blank cards by chopping up some paper, or design them online in something like Google Docs. Then design something that uses the randomness of these cards in a fun way. The card game Once Upon A Time has cards for characters, events and places and then players improvise a fairy tale using each card they draw. Carcassonne draws little roads, towns and farms on cards and then players build a world map by placing them next to each other. Maybe you could make a deck of cards with heads, bodies and legs and then randomly match them up, Exquisite Corpse-style? If you like, you can scan in your cards and share them with everyone on!

3. Tend A Garden

By this we don’t mean a literal garden (although if you want to submit a garden to PROCJAM, that’d be rad) but instead, find an open-source bot or ask a botmaker if you can help expand a bot’s content. Lots of bots have word lists or other data they use to generate things (@botsburgers has a list of pop culture and food ingredients, for example) but over time these lists become used up. For PROCJAM, you could put your writing hat on, find an existing procedural generator, and double the size of its word lists. This would be a huge contribution to that particular generator. Team up with an existing procedural generator for this year’s jam!

4. Curate Some Data

A PROCJAM entry doesn’t have to be a generator – you can also make a tool or something useful for the bot community. Darius Kazemi’s Corpora is a big list of data that’s been formatted and organised in a special way for people to use in their generative software, and anyone can add to it. Someone has added a list of named colours and their RGB values. Someone else has made an indexed list of all the Tarot cards and some interpretations of them. Someone else lists common occupations. Every new file that gets added to Corpora is a huge and useful tool for people who make generative software – why not add your favourite data to the set? Characters from High School Musical? List of modifiers for Starbucks coffees? Breeds of dog? Your work might help dozens of other people make cool things.

5. Make A Cheap Bot, Done Quick

Okay, we’re cheating a little bit here because CBDQ bots look like code on first-glance, but they use a very clear and very clean language to write down templates and lists of words, and it only takes ten minutes to get a bot running on Twitter. No weird API keys, no programming languages – you just write your generator like a dice table, and get it running online. You can do spectacular things with it, and keep adding to it long after PROCJAM ends!

Whatever you make for PROCJAM, be sure to have fun, and let us know what you get up to so we can enjoy it and share it with everyone else. You can comment on our site, tweet at us with the #procjam hashtag, or submit on We can’t wait to see what you get up to!

Schedule & Livestream

Published / by Mike / 2 Comments on Schedule & Livestream

The day is finally upon us! At 1pm (London time) we’ll be live on YouTube with eight incredible talks about procedural generation. If you’re coming to the event, we’re in downstairs in the AIR Building on the Penryn Campus of Falmouth University. You can catch all of the talks at this livestream link right here:

If you miss out on the stream, the same link becomes a video afterwards, so you can go back and watch anything you missed! Here’s our schedule for the day:

1.00pm: Welcome to PROCJAM (Michael Cook)
1.10pm: Data Games (Gabriella Barros)
1.40pm: Five Strategies for Collaborating with a Machine (Emily Short)
2.10pm: Procedural generation and the labour process (Jamie Woodcock)
2.40pm:  ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ Coffee! ☕️ ☕️ ☕️
3.00pm: Making Smarter Dice (Adam Summerville)
3.30pm: Cyclic Dungeon Generation (Joris Dormans)
4.00pm: Applying Generated Content to an Existing Game (Becky Lavender)
4.30pm:  ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ Coffee!  ☕️ ☕️ ☕️
5.00pm: Personality Schemas (Tanya Short)
5.30pm: Making Things That Make Games (Mark Nelson)
6.00pm: Closing (Michael Cook)

A packed day! Be sure to click through to YouTube and take part in the chat, including asking questions for our speakers to get them read out. Plus you can chat on Twitter using the #procjam hashtag. The day is finally upon us! We’re so excited!

Our PROCJAM Speakers For 2016!

Published / by Mike / 1 Comment on Our PROCJAM Speakers For 2016!

For the third year running, PROCJAM will be having a day of talks to inspire people and get them in the mood to make things! This year’s talks day is happening on October 21st at Falmouth University in Cornwall as part of their ‘Games As Arts/Arts As Games’ festival. The talks will start around 1pm local time (GMT+1) – but we’ll put up a full schedule before the event day with exact times, once we’ve nailed it all down. We’re really excited to meet lots of local communities who are interested in procedural generation!

We have eight amazing speakers from a variety of backgrounds, with lots of cool work to talk about. Without further ado, here’s our 2016 speaker list:



Gabriella Barros – a PhD student and game developer at NYU, looking for new procedural generation techniques. One of Gabriella’s research interests is how to safely and sensibly use open data to generate games, like writing a murder mystery game using Wikipedia.



Joris Dormans – a games scholar who did groundbreaking research on game design and procedural generation, and then put his ideas into practice, building tools like Machinations and games like the newly-released roguelite Unexplored.



Becky Lavender – a game developer currently working at Playtonic Games on Yooka-Laylee, who has previously worked with amazing people like Peter Molyneux, and done awesome things like publishing research on generating Zelda dungeons.



Mark Nelson – a researcher who did pioneering work on automated game design and creative design, is one of the editors behind the incredible PCG Book, and is currently working at Falmouth University on applied automated game design with The Metamakers Institute.



Emily Short – a game and narrative designer (Emily’s games include the legendary Counterfeit Monkey, and First Draft of the Revolution), interactive fiction writer, and one of the forces behind the landmark Versu game engine and the Inform interactive fiction engine.



Tanya Short –  creative director and designer at Kitfox Games, who most recently released the innovative Moon Hunters, a procedural mythology game. Tanya writes extensively about the design and application of procedural generation to games, and is currently editing an amazing textbook on the subject!



Adam Summerville – a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz, who is currently researching ways to use machine learning in procedural generators. He’s come up with some innovative applications to games like Mario, and believes there’s a lot of exciting untapped potential!



Jamie Woodcock – a research fellow at the London School of Economics, Jamie is a sociologist specialising in digital labour, and has recently gotten involved in the study of eSports. Jamie is interested in how technology affects how people work, including tools and automation like procedural generation. How does procedural generation change the way we create and work? Watch Jamie’s talk to find out!


It’s going to be a terrific day of talks, and all of them will be streamed live on YouTube where you can ask questions and chat with other jammers. We’ll have recordings up later for people who can’t catch the event live, just like we did in 2015 and 2014. Don’t forget to tune in, on the afternoon of October 21st (GMT+1). We’ll have a direct YouTube link here and on our Twitter. We’ll also be announcing the proper schedule very soon, with exact times.

2016 Art Packs Now Available!

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment


This year’s free PROCJAM art packs, made by the amazing Tess Young and Khalkeus, are now available to download! Both art packs are huge, filled with 2D and 3D assets that are perfect for mixing up into procedural projects, or anywhere else for that matter! We hope they help inspire you and make PROCJAM easier to enter, as well as being useful throughout the rest of the year too!

Click Here To View Our Art Page!

We’ve revamped our art page to include previews of the packs, and updated it with last year’s very first art pack by Marsh Davies, too. The jam is under two months away, so there’s plenty of time to play with the art and think about what you’ll make! And don’t forget to tune in to our talks day on October 21st – we’ll be announcing our speakers very soon.


PROCJAM 2016 – Where And When

Published / by Mike / 2 Comments on PROCJAM 2016 – Where And When

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PROCJAM is back for another year of making things that make things, learning about cool new ideas, and sharing cool things you’re making with everyone. It’s September now which means it’s time start announcing things, so how about some dates?

PROCJAM Talks Day: 21st October at Falmouth University

Our annual day of talks will be taking place in sunny Cornwall at Falmouth University, as part of the Metamakers Institute’s ‘Arts as Games/Games as Arts’ festival. We’re indebted to Falmouth for helping fund PROCJAM this year and we’re super happy to be taking the PROCJAM talks to a new part of the country. As usual, we’ll be streaming our talks live online for free, so be sure to tune in!

PROCJAM 2016: 5th November – 13th November 2016

Our talks day is moving, but our jam isn’t – the jam will be taking place in early November, with nine days to take part including two weekends. As usual, you can start early, finish late, or bend the rules however you like to make it easier or more fun for you to enter! We’ll be sprucing up this year’s page soon with more information, but you can sign up there already if you’re interested!

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More news to come this month!

We still have loads to tell you and show you – including announcing all our speakers, our two 2016 art packs for you to download by the uber-talented Khalkeus and Tess, and news about our zine Seeds. If you’d like to send something in for Seeds, from some screenshots of something you made, to a few hundred words about an idea or a project you’ve got going, there’s more details here. I’m super excited to get the jam going for a third year!

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Seeds: The PROCJAM Zine Needs You!

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment

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This year for PROCJAM we’re trying out something new – a kind of family newsletter for the PROCJAM community, to let you share things you’ve been doing, are planning to do, or just have been thinking about lately. It’s a zine called Seeds, and we’re going to publish it later this year around PROCJAM, in PDF and (hopefully) special physical copies too. We’d really love you to send in some writing, or just some beautiful art, and make this a huge zine packed with fun ideas and creations from as many people as possible! Click here for more info:

Find Out More Here!

Seeds is meant to be a zine for you. It’s for you to tell the world how you made your last PROCJAM entry, or what you’re going to make this year. You can talk about a problem you can’t solve, or explain a new technique you’ve developed. You can talk about a game you want to make, or a dream you had, or your favourite generative art, or you can write nothing at all and just send us beautiful screenshots to fill up a page with. If you’re a game developer, tell us about your latest work! If you’re an academic, tell us about your research! If you’re an artist, show us some of your work! Seeds is a place for everyone to carve out a page or two and talk about whatever matters to them.

If you have any questions, any worries, anything holding you back, leave a comment here, ping me a tweet, or email: zine at

PROCJAM 2016’s Artists!

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment

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Last year we started a new trend for PROCJAM – releasing free art packs full of procedural-ready art bits and pieces. This was all to help people get started on their procedural projects more easily, as well as help out educators as class resources. I’m delighted to announce that we have more art packs on the way this year! The response to the call for artists we posted a few weeks back was incredible – we had six times as many applicants as last year, so thank you to everyone who sent in their beautiful work and also spread our advertisement. The response was so amazing that we’ve managed to find some funding (thanks to the lovely PROSECCO network) for two artists!


PROCJAM Needs An Artist

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment

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One of my favourite things we added to last year’s PROCJAM was a free art pack for people to download and make games with. Marsh Davies did an amazing job on the pack and it got used in a bunch of games, plus we now have a resource to use forever in lessons, tutorials, and future jams. I want to continue that this year by getting another artist on board to make a new art pack. If you’re interested, I’ve included some details below and some info on how to apply. We’ll have more exciting announcements over the summer about the jam!

We’re looking for an artist to create a pack of art that is useful for procedural projects. This means art that can be stitched together, layered on top of each other, recombined, recoloured or reshuffled in different ways. You could make cool tilesets for maps, a wardrobe of clothing items and characters to put them on, a bunch of icons and symbols for creating randomised card decks – you’ll have total freedom on what you want to make for our jammers to use!

  • The commission is for £500 worth of art.
  • There is no minimum spec on the art pack – make however much art you like, we completely trust you to not overwork yourself (we know the commission isn’t much)
  • The art is due by August 31st so we can start promoting the jam with it.
  • We have a preference for low-resolution 2D ‘pixel’ art because it’s easy for everyone to scale up and reuse. However, if you’d like to do something different we’d be excited to hear ideas!
  • The art is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license – people can use it for whatever they want, but they have to credit you as the artist.

The closing deadline for this is June 6th – if you’re interested, please send an email to cutgarnet at with the subject line ‘PROCJAM Art Pack’ and link me to a few samples of your work.

Happy New Year!

Published / by Mike / Leave a Comment

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Happy 2016, Jammers! I’m just crawling out from my PROCJAM-induced winter hibernation, which means it’s time to slowly start thinking about PROCJAM 2016. It’s happening, we don’t know what, where or who just yet, but it’s definitely happening. We have exciting things planned for this year besides just the jam itself – there’s hopefully going to be more talks, more resources, and I’m working on a special tool for procedural generation that will hopefully help people get more out of the generators they use and make. More on that as I develop it further!

Last year we commissioned a special art pack of procedural-friendly sprites for people to use, and loads of you have already put it into your games and jam entries. We’re so happy and would love to do it again – but we need sponsorship to pay an artist. We’re exploring possibilities, but if you know of anyone who might be interested in sponsoring one of the coolest generative software events of the year, do get in touch with us!

Other than that, I hope 2016 is going well for you – let us know if you make any cool stuff, and we’ll speak to you later in the year with more updates.