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14.09.2014 - Check the results of our latest game dev competition here: http://games.freebasic.net/forum/index.php?topic=606.0
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Author Topic: Antagonist Competition Results! (published on 31st of Jan)  (Read 10909 times)
Lachie Dazdarian
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« on: January 31, 2010, 02:35:53 PM »

Ok, the results for the antagonist competition are in. The main theme of the competition was to create a game where the player controls (plays the role) of the antagonist in the story/gameplay.

Check the original rules here: http://games.freebasic.net/forum/index.php?topic=382.0

The submission period lasted from 22nd November of 2009 till 18th January of 2010 and in that time we received 4 valid submissions.

The entries and final scores:

Revenge of the Bricks by Kristopher Windsor: 28/88 (4th place)
Pac-Man: Ghosts by ssjx: 49/88 (3rd place)
Bowser's Story by ShawnLG: 53/88 (2nd place) - 50 $ prize
Slime Quest
by ChangeV and JawsV: 64/88 (1st place) - 125 $ prize

Winner, Slime Quest:


2nd place, Bowser's Story:


I wish to congratulate the winners and thank all the participants for their effort. It is appreciated. Also, I wish to thank all the people who contributed to the competition with their comments and WIP that didn't get completed before the deadline. Hopefully you will find motivation to complete your games outside the competition.

To the 1st and 2nd place holders, please contact me via email (lachie13@yahoo.com) with info on how you want to be paid (PayPal, MoneyBookers or bank wire), with needed payment details. Thank you.

For the detailed scoring and my final thoughts continue reading.

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Pac-Man: Ghosts

Game design (24/40): Pac-Man: Ghosts respects the antagonist theme of the competition very well, maybe the best of all competition entries. It isn't, however, very innovative in this. The designer decided to reverse the roles in the well know "pacman game" concept by making the player control the ghosts. Unfortunately, ssjx fails to develop this idea much and turn it into something interesting. No new features are introduced that would exploit the different nature of the altered pacman gameplay. The game remains stuck on its initial premise. ssjx even dropped some of the original pacman features like the ghosts' "base" in order to make the game function (better) with its level of AI complexity (for pacman and ghosts). These are all similar complaints I had on another ssjx's game submitted to a previous competition I organized. A very potential start that is never developed much further from its original form.

Gameplay (5/10): Somehow this game suffers a lot by making the player control 4 entities. For the most time I felt left out of the action and not in control. Also, the removal of the ghosts' base unnecessarily shifts the gameplay objective from stopping the pacman in eating the dots to surviving. The lacking gameplay is probably for the most part a results of underdeveloped AI, but I have certain doubts that this sort of reverse-pacman gameplay, with single screen levels and such limited number of features, has serious potential. Pac-Man: Ghosts doesn't tell us much about the potential of a reverse pacman gameplay and fails to show a way. The game is most fun to play when you have 4 ghosts at your disposal and can plan an actual strategy in order to corner the pacman. But when the pacman eats one of the red dots and gets the ability to eat the ghosts for a limited amount of time, you become terribly vulnerable and usually are left on a single ghost, and catching the pacman with a single ghost is close to mission impossible. The gameplay dances too much between extremes of fun and frustration, or in other words, it's quite uneven.

Progression (3/6): Pac-Man: Ghosts only offers 3 levels, while I think that the game would work much better with 6-9 levels. For the current level of difficulty this feels like a perfect amount. In the current form the game loops through the available 3 levels and increases the number of red dots and their time with each new cycle diminishing the sense of progression.

Replay value (3/6): The game's scoring system and relatively challenging default high scores give Pac-Man: Ghosts a solid replay value, but somewhat random nature of the gameplay doesn't make this game very appealing to players who value influence of the skill factor in games.

Graphics (3/7): Very basic but adequate graphics. Nothing was done to make the game look a bit more polished, while the very basic look of the game doesn't posses that retro "vibe". Minimum amount of animation, no background, simple look of the walls and sprites, ... As I said, very basic.

Sound/music (3/7): Simple beeps and blops. Better that nothing. Still, I would appreciate some retro tune playing in the background too.

Personal likeness (2/4): Yet another game by ssjx that promised a lot in the beginning but didn't mature properly. It's a small game that deals with the competition theme adequately, providing adequate but underdeveloped gameplay, and adequate sound and graphics.

Community vote (6/8): Pac-Man: Ghosts received 5 votes out of 14 total, earning 2nd place in the community vote.

Total: 49/88
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/pacman-ghosts06.zip
Screenshots: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/pacghosts1.png, http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/pacghosts2.png

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Revenge of the Bricks

Game design (15/40): Revenge of the Bricks is an interesting twist on the breakout gameplay, where the player moves the bricks by dragging them around the playfield, either to ram them into the paddle or protect the "levelup" brick. Nevertheless, it all feels very underdeveloped, being a 24 hours effort. The game leaves too much space for additional features and ideas one would like to see added on the existing concept. Again, I can only speculate how well they would work and what are the limits of this basic idea. Revenge of the Bricks is closer to a prototype than to a proper game.

Gameplay (3/10): My biggest issue with this game is the very feature of being able to drag the bricks around the playfield with mouse in real-time and without restrictions. It makes the game feel clunky and your main foe, the paddle, too vulnerable. You simply play the game until it becomes so fast it's unplayable and then you lose. The scoring saves the thing partially, but you can never avoid reaching that stage of the game where everything becomes unplayable, and in this game this happens rather fast.

Progression (3/6): It's a level-based game, but the levels are not much different one from the other. As I said earlier, the game becomes faster with each level, but maybe too fast too soon to the point of being unplayable.

Replay value (2/6): The game does feature scoring, but high scores are not saved. It does leave space for better scores with practice, and with that the game has some replay value.

Graphics (2/7): Very rudimentary 32-bit colors graphics with basic alpha transparency applied on moving objects (which create the "trail" effect). Non-existent background.

Sound/music (0/7): No sound or music.

Personal likeness (1/4): It's an ok and playable game design, but too underdeveloped for my tastes.

Community vote (2/8): Revenge of the Bricks received no votes in the community vote, ending on the last place.

Total: 28/88
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/revenge_of_the_bricks.zip
Screenshots: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/revenge_bricks.png

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Bowser's Story

Game design (21/40): ShawnLG approached the antagonist theme of the competition on the least imaginative way, and that it through the story. The game places you in the role of the main antagonist of Super Mario games, and that is Bowser, leaving the gameplay very similar to the original Super Mario game. While not being innovative in dealing with the competition theme, it develops its story and approach consistently, gives appropriate nods to Super Mario game characters, and on the very end pits you against Super Mario himself. I should mention that the game plays the end "sequence" on a really funny and clever way. Compliments on that idea.

Gameplay (7/10): I enjoyed playing Bowser's Story the most of all the competition entries. ShawnLG succeeds in providing a clean and bug-free platform engine, enjoyable to play, and designs a respectable amount of medium-sized and very challenging levels to beat. The game has a standard auto save game feature that saves the game after each completed level, not compromising the challenge value with that. It also comes with few secrets and bonus levels that are not mandatory for the completion of the game. It does lack powerups, bonus items and scoring in general. Still, this is the best FreeBASIC platform game yet, which shows that we are still missing an excellent FB platform game in our community. Bowser's Story fully deserves to hold the top of FB platform games until such game appears.

Progression (5/6): Very good. The story develops with each completed level, slowly revealing the details of the main foe Bowser will have to face eventually. It does feel slightly to run in circles, but overall, I was satisfied with the way the game lead me to its end.

Replay value (4/6): The length of the game, bonuses and many areas you can miss even if you finish the game provide a decent replay value, but what would help here much more would be scoring of some sort.

Graphics (4/7): The game comes with rather nice graphics. Bowser's Story features 3 worlds that exchange and make 9 levels total (+ 2 bonus levels), each world featuring its own tileset. The amount of enemies is minimal and they are satisfactory drawn/animated. The game looks colorful, but the graphics overall do appear a bit too blurred. The lack of parallax scrolling and similar "eye-candy" effects are notable.

Sound/music (5/7): Non-original music from Super Mario and sound effects collected from various sources are well compiled and serve their purpose perfectly in creating retro atmosphere.

Personal likeness (3/4): As I said earlier, this is the competition entry I enjoyed playing the most. Bowser's Story is a very well designed platform game with minimal amount of flaws that should satisfy any platform game fan. It simply lacks more content to be excellent. But for a small-scale game, it provides just enough levels of adequate size and complexity not to fell small, and it's just enough difficult to be challenging but not frustrating.

Community vote (4/8): Bowser's Story received 2 votes out of 14 total, earning 3rd place in the community vote.

Total: 53/88
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/BowsersStory.zip
Screenshots: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/bowser1.png, http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/bowser2.png, http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/bowser3.png

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Slime Quest

Game design (28/40): I was split on which score to give Slime Quest in this category. In a way this game deals with the competition theme on a similar way like Bowser's Story, by placing the player in the role of a known antagonist, here a JRPG monster, but not expressing this with the change in the gameplay mechanics (or only little). The game could very well feature different graphics for the player's creature and the enemies and you would get a game completely outside the competition theme without touching anything else in the gameplay (hrm, maybe the slime trail feature). Slime Quest, on the other hand, is a very interesting game with curious gameplay elements (like the slime trail) and a story that treats the game like the switch of roles didn't happen, making it all rather amusing and odd.

Gameplay (6/10): Slime Quest is a challenging and relatively fun game to play. You control a slime in single screen areas. Each area is filled with breakable objects and various characters that walk around it and shoot long-range weapons at you. You weapons are the slime trail you leave behind and the short-range punch. To advance to the next area the player needs to find a key, either hidden in some object or character. Each area has a time limit to be completed. The ultimate goal is to escape the city consisted of 12 areas, but this can be achieved taking different routes. Typically for ChangeV, this game has a very good scoring system, plus some medal bonus that requires crazy tasks to be completed in order to earn it. Slime Quest succeeds to be a challenge both for crazy score hunters and common players just eager to finish the game. I still didn't manage to complete the game myself. It's quite difficult to be honest, and later areas are rather daunting. Nevertheless, the game never feels impossibly difficult. Slime Quest is a game that awards patience and skill you attain by repeated playing. Still, the game lacks certain depth and additional features that would make unlocking the later areas more rewarding. Maybe if ChangeV had more time Slime Quest would end up being a much more varied and innovative game.

Progression (5/6): Very good. The game gives you room to breathe and attain the initial basic skill in the first areas, and slowly becomes more difficult. It is good that you can see your distance from the goal, but not the very goal. The city map is a very good feature. There are several relatively different areas the player can discover, so progress is rewarded. Too bad the player can't find new weapons or special items later in the game (like limited fire balls or something like that).

Replay value (5/6): Also very good. The game's scoring system, smooth learning curve, and the fact the final goal never feels too far, motivates you to keep trying again and again. Slime Quest does not feature a save game option, but 2 continues you have at your disposal make the situation less frustrating, especially because of the arrow that points to the key after each lost life.

Graphics (6/7): Excellent. JawsV is undoubtedly a very skilled pixel artist, with great sense for retro game design, so anything he decides to work on is bound to be excellent. Of course, the game features a rather limited amount of graphics, and there is always room for more dynamic and flashy look, but what this game provides is perfectly enough.

Sound/music (3/7): Only basic sound effects are provided. They are satisfactory, but nothing impressive. No music.

Personal likeness (3/4): ChangeV delivers another excellent competition entry, but unlike with my previous competition and his UminvaFB, I didn't enjoy this game especially. It does all well, from graphics, smooth engine and solid gameplay, but it didn't hook me like Bowser's Story did. Still, it's the most balanced of all entries, manages to respect the competition theme both from the story and gameplay side (the slime trail saves the thing in this aspect) and without doubt deserves the first place in this competition. Well done ChangeV and JawsV.

Community vote (8/8): Slime Quest received 7 votes out of 14 total, earning 1st place in the community vote.

Total: 64/88
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/slime_quest_v03.zip Screenshots: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/slime_quest1.png, http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/slime_quest2.png, http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition2/slime_quest3.png

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Once more, congratulations to the winners and big thanks to all the participants of the competition.

When the competition closed I was pretty much sure of the results, and when I finally scored the games it ended how I expected it would. Not all category scores were final in the first few days of scoring, but none of the small adjustments I did later influenced on the final results. I really do believe the results are fair and award the overall effort very well.

I consider the competition semi-successful, both from the side of number of entries and the way the submitted entries dealt with the competition theme. I don't think any of the entries managed to exploit the potential of the theme. I could blame the awkward holidays time for the competition, but somehow I feel an opportunity here was missed for more interesting concepts to be presented and later developed into more serious games. Rarely when the momentum of a competition is lost something continues on it. But overall I'm happy with the total sum of effort. We have 4 new FB games and with several other that have been released during past few month the next FBGD update will be a hefty one.

Until next competition, happy game design. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 08:46:21 AM by Lachie Dazdarian » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 03:35:45 PM »

Wooo! 4th place! Cheesy
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mambazo
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 03:38:16 PM »

Gratz to the winners! And well done to everyone who participated Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 05:37:58 PM »

To claim the $100 contributed by APIStudios please send an email to contact@apistudios.com, this part of the prize is only payable via Paypal.

How those $100 are to be split (if at all) between 1st and 2nd place is up to Mr Dazdarian


In addition, contestants that want their project added to the APIStudios site should also send an email to contact@apistudios.com (Note that an APIStudios/File-Pasta.com account is required)
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 11:51:37 PM »

Thanks for keeping this moving and putting the effort into the scoring and reviews, Lachie.  The games were fun to play.  : )
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 12:01:44 AM »

I found something in Bowser's story while ago...

Bowser not bouncing when he stomps on 2 toads.

When bowser stomps on 2 toads, he will not bounce up. He just lands.
If he stomps on 1 or 3 toads(odd number) he will bounce up.

I think flipping Y velocity is the cause of problem.
When stomping on one of 2 toads, he will bounce up(flipping Y velocity).
And at the same time, he stomps remaining toad and bounce downward(flipping Y velocity again). killing 2 toads in an instant.
I think that is happening in the game.

I think something like this may solve problem.
velocity = -(abs(velocity))
It will force velocity to negative value on even and odd stomping.
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Lachie Dazdarian
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 12:10:57 AM »

Yeah, I noticed that too, but kinda accepted that glitch for my own benefit. Tongue

I forgot to mention that Jattenalle was kind enough to sponsor the competition with 100 $ and big thanks to him for that. Jatte, I will send you (via Paypal) the remaining amount of money (depends on ShawnLG and how he wants to be paid) and emails where you should distribute them. If you can be patient for a while as I should receive my new credit card this week which I applied to just for this purpose.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 04:29:29 AM »

If you can be patient for a while as I should receive my new credit card this week which I applied to just for this purpose.
No worries, throw me a PM or e-mail when it's time Smiley
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