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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: Gameplay Compo Competition Results!  (Read 12978 times)
Lachie Dazdarian
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« on: January 25, 2011, 04:06:38 PM »

Man, I have a splitting headache. And I'm not very productive lately. But back to the issues at matter. The results of the Gameplay Combo competition are in! The theme of this competition was to create a game that combines different gameplays.

Check the original rules here: http://games.freebasic.net/forum/index.php?topic=458.0

The submission period lasted from 2nd November of 2010 till 17th January of 2011 and in that time I received 6 valid submissions.

The entries and final scores:

Chack by Mitchell: 15/90 (6th place)
Face Invaders by Brick Break: 20/90 (5th place)
Bad Cave Guy by Kristopher Windsor: 24/90 (4th place)
Adventure for Breakfast! by ssjx: 52/90 (3rd place) - 50 $ prize
Plix TowerDefense ver.1.0 by Tusike: 64/90 (2nd place) - 100 $ prize
Witchcraft Adventure ver.1.1 by N3trunn3r: 73/90 (1st place) - 200 $ prize

Witchcraft Adventure ver.1.5 (post competition release): http://catbone.freebasic.net/downloads/Witchcraft%20Adventure.zip
Plix TowerDefense ver.1.2 (post compettion release): http://www.mediafire.com/?lnf9ehhhhhwh8mt

Winner, Witchcraft Adventure:



2nd place, Plix TowerDefense:


3rd place, Adventure for Breakfast!:


Congratulations to the winners!

As you see, I decided to award the 3rd place with 50 $ as well. I think the first 3 games really stand out from the rest, and I feel the effort invested in them should be rewarded.

To the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place holders, please contact me via email (lachie13@yahoo.com) with info on how you want to be paid (PayPal or MoneyBookers), with needed payment details. I hope that won't be a problem for anyone.

I wish to thank all who participated. Each entry counted for the overall success of the competition.

For the detailed scoring and my final thoughts continue reading.

-----------------------------------------------------

Witchcraft Adventure

Game design (34/40): An entry that came like a very pleasant surprise to me, because N3trunn3r kept it a secret until the final moment, while it boasted in quality in all aspects. From the starts it appears like a very well produced game, developed by a dedicated and concentrated designer who had a clear goal and sense of what a good game must deliver. Witchcraft Adventure introduces a really cool and novel idea of combining two types of lite-RPGs, one first person and the other top down. But the novel idea is that the player, after dying while in the first person point of view (scene by scene movement), continues playing as a ghost with a top down point of view. While a ghost he can pass through the walls, explore the area, and then revive himself on specific locations. While just not being a great idea, it results in really cool and different gameplay, where dying and reviving works rather nicely with one another and adds a whole new level to the first person RPG experience. I also like the fact that the game is more adventure oriented, where the RPG elements are very present, but kept on a smaller scale, a scale that suits my personal preferences. I'm not saying that this influenced on my score. I'm just glad that this cool idea was introduced in a game I could immerse myself easily. There are some problems with this concept, where dying can be used to kill difficult monster with sheer persistence, but then again, this can be considered a part of the gameplay. Nevertheless, it doesn't feel perfectly right.

Gameplay (7/10): While the idea of letting the player continue to play the game as a ghost after dying in different perspective is great, this game suffers a bit in few gameplay aspects. One annoying element of the game is the necessity to eat and drink to survive, which in itself is not a bad feature, but when the player is pit against complex maps and is forced to explore a lot, this becomes a problem. And despite the fact that you can almost always help yourself by eating grass or drinking from puddles of water (which is slow but maybe has to be like that), once you spend all the "regular" food and water in the level it doesn't fix the situation completely - the food and water depletes too fast. Perhaps for the future version the developer should consider lowering the ratio of food and water depletion for each move. I can understand how he made the game a bit unbalanced in this part as he was play testing the maps he was quite familiar with. The other problem is the sense that you can abuse the ability to revive yourself by having an option to kill a strong monster with several tries, which I mentioned earlier. You can always come back again after reviving. Not sure if this is fixable, but should be noted as an imperfection of the concept. But despite all of that, the sheer amount of features/content the game offers, interesting puzzles, challenging but beatable levels, well coded engine, novel idea of two perspectives that is fully integrated in the gameplay, is all enough to make this game very enjoyable and rewarding.

Progression (4/6): It is very good, but due the dungeon graphics being quite limited in its variety and somewhat daunting maps, the game can feel a bit monotonous and discouraging on some places. But despite that, each level introduces new content, new characters, new puzzles, all enough to reward the progress in the game.  

Replay Value (4/6): The game has quite few secrets you can miss, and the experience you gather by completing it once can make playing it again a much less frustrating experience. Nevertheless, as this is more a story than gameplay driven game, I think the motivation to dabble with the game's tricky places might not be the same the second time around.

Graphics (5/7): Wasn't sure about the score in this category, but one point up wouldn't mean anything. The game graphics are well designed, retro, and quite skilfully drawn. The graphics in the story intro are a bit improvised, and you do feel the lack of variety in the look of very dungeons.

Sound/music (6/7): Bunch of well picked/made sound effects, cool and very suitable music tracks, original performed speech in the game intro. What could I ask more? I don't know. For the music to be original? Also, for some reason the music in the game started and stopped playing at random (I assume), diminishing the experience.

Personal likeness (3/4): I would love the give the maximum score to Witchcraft Adventure in this category, but my positive impression of the gameplay declined a bit after prolonged playing. All of this I commented above. The other issues is the low resolution most people can't play full screen (including me) and clunky save/load feature (this sort of game NEEDS more save game slots!). I do think this is an excellent game with a great concept, but it's not great itself.

Community vote (10/10)

Total: 73/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/WitchcraftAdventure_ver11.zip
Latest version: http://www.kaninens.se/pub/Witchcraft_Adventure_Patch_1.4.zip
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/wadventure2.png

***

Plix TowerDefense

Game design (31/40): Plix TowerDefense introduces a really cool concept of combining resource management and classic tower defence game, which in its design already mixes different gameplay elements. This game combines these two separate sections wonderfully, where in one area you need to build mines/structures and guide the resources into your main building, while in another area you need to stop the invading plixoids to reach the first area by building defence towers. You also control a shooter which moves between these two areas (sections), but it will be mainly helping the towers in the tower defence area. If the plixoids reach the red zone (tower defence area exit) and enter the main area, 3 droids are spawned there for each plixoids that passes and then the only weapon against them is the shooter. On the top of all this, the game features various defence towers, ability to upgrade both them and the shooter, option to build various upgrades and additional buildings in the main area as well. Destroying plixoids brings money, while in the main area you gather energy and steel. All of this is used to build/buy stuff, while energy is also needed to power the towers and the shooter's weapons. The game does lack some sort of story and purpose to all of this, and the whole content of the game appears detached from something tangible. It all feels symbolic.

Gameplay (8/10): None of this content would carry much weight, if it wouldn't result in fun gameplay. And this is where Plix TowerDefense succeeds, in my opinion. The resource management part is not just a filler of some sort which could be easily automated, but it requires planning a careful decision making in order to have enough resources to support your towers and be able to buy upgrades/new towers in right time. The tower defence part also doesn't fail, with featuring several different types of towers to build, ability to upgrade them, ability to use the shooter, and above all different types of plixoids that add a lot to the variety and excitement of this section of the game. The game does feel a bit unbalanced/under-tested in some parts, and I would have to give benefit of doubt to believe that all of its elements work perfectly. It is definitely a type of gameplay that requires much more play testing to tune it to the best possible state, for which the developer didn't find time during this competition.

Progression (5/6): Very good. As the game progresses new types of plixoids are introduced with new modes of moving/attacking, and you also earn/gather more resources to buy/build new types of towers and buildings. In other words, the game features a very good influx of new content as you advance in it.

Replay Value (5/6): Also very good. The presence of different difficulty levels, two game modes (one excludes the resource management part) and even cheat keys, all add a lot to the overall replay value.

Graphics (4/7): The graphics are very simple, but also very clean and consistent. They appear symbolic, inline with the vague theme of the game, but everything is well placed and coherent.

Sound/music (2/7): A couple of useful sound effects, but nothing better to note of.

Personal likeness (3/4): Plix TowerDefense features a very potential concept that is already fun to play in the imperfect state it was released for the competition. So we can only hope it will improve if the developer continues to work on it, in this form or in the form of a sequel. Simply, an original, fun and exciting game that could become much more if it had a chance for better (commercial) production.

Community vote (6/10)

Total: 64/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/Plix%20TD%201.0.zip
Latest version: http://www.mediafire.com/?lnf9ehhhhhwh8mt
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/plix_td2.jpg

***

Adventure for Breakfast!

Game design (24/40): ssjx delivers once more a competition entry that is adequate in all aspects, but doesn't quite impress in any area. It is a short (10-20 minute play time) and very cutesy designed top-down action/adventure game, in the vein of The Void. It is a story-driven game that connects various mini-games through the main area the player happens to be placed in (a village, I guess). In order to solve his mission (gather various items) the game hero must visit different parts of the map, each containing a mini-game of some sort, although most of these areas are based on the main screen by screen scrolling engine (pac-man area, boulder dash areas). It is not a terribly innovative way to deal with the competition theme, but it is an approach I personally find appealing, and because of that was excited about this very entry. Still, I wish ssjx's game offered more varied and challenging mini-games, with the emphasis on varied.

Gameplay (5/10): The main engine and the mini-games are adequately coded, and it all works as it should (clean gameplay). The problem is in the very mechanics of these different gameplays Adventure for Breakfast delivers. In my opinion, they fail to be both varied and challenging enough. And because of that they don't provide a sense of excitement and urgency. Adventure for Breakfast is basically a pleasant stroll through the park. But thinking about the title now, maybe that was the point.

Progression (4/6): Being a plot-driven game it unlocks new areas as you progress, revealing new content and story details, definitely motivating you enough to complete it.

Replay Value (1/6): Erm...not so sure it has much of replay value. Being so short and easy, I don't see much excitement in playing it more that once, two times maximum.

Graphics (4/7): Very nice and balanced retro-graphics, on which I don't have much to complain on. I only dislike the usage of the default font and the lack of better looking title screen, and interface in general. In other words, more work could have been done on presentation.

Sound/music (2/7): 4 sound effects in total. Although well picked, it's...4 sound effects in total. I also wish ssjx's picked some retro tune to play in the background (optional, of course).

Personal likeness (2/4): A very solid quick game by ssjx, definitely worth playing once, but I doubt it will stay terribly long in your memory (unless ssjx makes a sequel). ssjx has all the tools to make a very good game, but I think he's style calls for more dedication and time concentrated on one project. These small games are fun, but in the end don't leave much impact on the player. But don't get me wrong. I think I'm the same type of developer who simply needs more time to deliver something more lasting and of more substance.

Community vote (10/10)

Total: 52/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/abreakfast_v04.zip
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/abreakfast2.jpg

***

Bad Cave Guy

Game design (9/40): Bad Cave Guy is basically an ASCII UrthWurm clone with a shot-out boss level. I have the same complaint on this game as on Brick Break's Face Invaders, where there is basically a single gameplay with two levels, which change very little in the gameplay mechanics (but still more than in Face Invaders).

Gameplay (4/10): The game is very short. It is challenging, although a bit unbalanced in that sense. The cave part is moderately difficult, while the boss battle is insanely difficult (more unfair than clever in this). Being an UrthWurm clone, it is a single key controlled game, which has it's perks.

Progression (2/6): The game does deliver two different levels, and there is a sense of progress and excitement once you reach the boss battle. Nevertheless, a disappointment follows once you realize the game ends after that.

Replay Value (2/6): Not sure about this, because I didn't figure out the scoring in the game, nor the score is displayed while you play it. With that in mind and the game being overly difficult as it is, I can't say that racking up a higher score in Bad Cave Guy is encouraged, although you are motivated to some extent to play it until you beat it.

Graphics (2/7): Simple ASCII graphics of single color. They get the job done. For what it's worth.

Sound/music (0/7): None.

Personal likeness (1/4): An ok ultra-short ASCII game that failed to impress me in how it deals with the competition theme.

Community vote (4/10)

Total: 24/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/badcaveguy.zip
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/badcaveguy.jpg

***

Chack

Game design (9/40): All points go to the premise of combining chess and pong and the way these two game modes are connected (the advantage in pong given to the player who took the opponent's figure), but nothing further was really done to pack this into a proper game (I assume that there was no time as the game was developed in haste toward the end of submission deadline). Both gameplays appear unfinished and bugish. The very chess interface was solidly done. But despite seemingly original premise, it's still a question how much even a properly polished game of this sort would be attractive to play. Chess players would be annoyed with the fact they would have to confirm their good moves with a pong game, while action gamers would be annoyed with chess rules applied to the movement of their figures on the playfield. In my opinion, a battle of varied pong paddles of some sort on a sector-based playfield, but still with some rules that give the advantage to attackers, would be very interesting to play.

Gameplay (2/10): Simply not complete. The chess part is functioning, but I don't think any proper chess AI was imported/implemented. The pong part is ok, but you can't go much wrong there, and there are cardinal bugs present, like being able to move off the screen. For some reason runs too slow on my PC as well. Also, the game lacks some sort of pause and indicator that shows you between which two chess pieces the pong battle is about to start. When it's computer's move, you have no idea which chess piece it attacked.

Progression (1/6): Not sure how to rate the game in this category. It's a rather straightforward game, not introducing anything new later in the game. If it had different types of paddles for different figures or something...I don't know.

Replay Value (1/6): More for curiosity sake, than to actually experience anything new.

Graphics (2/7): Very crude and simple graphics, but adequate for what the game is trying to do.

Sound/music (0/7): None.

Personal likeness (1/4): In one sentence, Chack is an interesting concept hastily packed in a barely function game.

Community vote (0/10)

Total: 15/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/chack2.zip
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/chack1.jpg

***

Face Invaders 2020

Game design (8/40): The problem I have with Face Invaders versus the competition theme is that it doesn't really exploit the idea of the competition properly. Actually, it seems like it employs a cop-out. Basically, the game delivers a single gameplay with two types of exchanging levels, where in the first the enemies invade from the bottom, while in the second from the right side of the screen. Nothing is changed in the gameplay mechanics. Also, none of the game elements are connected with some goal or story. It's just some dude shooting at boxes and lizards while standing/sitting on a floating platform. The lack of any other dynamic in the game, particle effects and more flashy design, all add to my overall lack of impression.

Gameplay (3/10): Another huge grip I have with Face Invaders 2020 is the absence of any real challenge. While the main concept of a mouse controlled shooter provides the possibility of fun gameplay, Brick doesn't dabble with that much, and the game ends up being an endless shootout against unnamed foes that never gets interesting and challenging. It's good to note that only few slight changes in increasing enemy speeds and numbers with advancing levels would make the game challenging and a legit time waster. Like this, it's only a potential prototype of game, not a proper game by my standards.

Progression (1/6): The game stops its progression when you see it's all about two types of levels exchanging. Nothing new and interesting happens after you discover that.

Replay Value (1/6): Very low, if not zero.

Graphics (2/7): The graphics, for the little content they deliver, are adequate, but 3 simple sprites and 2 generated backgrounds can't call for a higher score.

Sound/music (0/7): None.

Personal likeness (1/4): A potential start of a proper game, but never actually brought to that stage. Hope Brick will provide an additional version with few needed tweaks. This is a very nice concept to practice one's game design skills on (by adding particle effects, more levels, by making the game actually challenging, etc.), without spending huge amount of time on these tasks.

Community vote (4/10)

Total: 20/90
Download: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/FaceInvaders2020.zip
Screenshot: http://games.freebasic.net/Competitions/Competition3/faceinvaders1.jpg

***

And that would be it. Phew! I hope nobody was offended by any of my comments. My intention was to be realistic and constructive.

I really do think the results represent the delivered quality. In the end I felt that Plix TowerDefense had more approachable and fun gameplay, but not to that extent to overcome other qualities of Witchcraft Adventure. Above all, I really do think that N3trunn3r's concept is more clever and original than Tusike's, and in the category of respecting the competition theme Withcraft Adventure wins.

Once more, thanks to all who participated. The competition was definitely a success, both in quality and quantity, and because of that, I appreciate each effort.

All the money for this competition was financed from ad revenues on this site, and I will be left a bit tapped out after this competition. So I can't promised the next competition too soon, as all the people who promised to donate for this competition disappeared. Let's hope someone willing to donate will show up in a couple of months so we can organize a new competition sooner than in a year time. This is fun!

Thanks guys! Continue making games and everything will be all right. Wink
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 05:37:43 PM by Lachie Dazdarian » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 04:23:35 PM »

Great job Lachie, with the organization and everything. I also think the results are fair, Witchcraft Adventure definitely had more work and detail put into it. I'm glad you decided to add a 3rd place prize, I was secretly hoping you would in case I got 3rd place:) But our 3 games definitely stood out so it wasn't uncalled for. I'm a bit surprised that none of them deserved a 4/4 personal likeness score though:) And I finally made a good game!
Congratulations to N3trunn3r and ssjx as well!

-Tusike
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KristopherWindsor
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 04:50:41 PM »

So I cut some corners on my game development. Grin

Replay Value (2/6): Not sure about this, because I didn't figure out the scoring in the game, nor the score is displayed while you play it. With that in mind and the game being overly difficult as it is, I can't say that racking up a higher score in Bad Cave Guy is encouraged, although you are motivated to some extent to play it until you beat it.

Function highscores() As Integer
  Dim As String scores(1 To 10) = {"1000", "0960", "0954", "0946", "0870", "0850", "0834", "0802", "0796", "0779"}
 
  For i As Integer = 6 To 31
    Mid(buffer(i), 21, 40) = Space(40)
  Next i
  Mid(buffer(7), 21, 40) = Space(14) & "High scores" & Space(15)
  For i As Integer = 1 To 10
    Mid(buffer(i * 2 + 10), 21, 40) = "  Kristopher" & Space(19) & scores(i) & "000  "
  Next i
 
  display()
  For i As Integer = 1 To 150
    Sleep(20, 1)
    If Inkey() = Chr(27) Then Return false
  Next i
  Return true
End Function

Congrats to the winners though. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 08:59:09 PM »

Yes, congrats to the winners.
Quote
practice one's game design skills on (by adding particle effects, more levels, by making the game actually challenging, etc.)

What are you implying? I do this all the time. I just didn't have time for this one. Particle effects would be cool, but I'm not great with FreeBASIC. :(

I completely agree with judging of the first three, but the last three I have a problem with. Here's my scores:

Chack and Face Invaders 2020 - tied for 3rd, due to fun, cross platform gameplay with great graphics and replayability, plus not too challenging
Bad Cave Guy - 4th (or 5th or 6th or whatever) great attempt and concept, but flickers too much. Not tested at all on other platforms.
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 09:23:18 PM »

Even I voted for the winner's entry (amount of work done; latter realized that intro was exported from flash right?), I've hope that Adventure for Breakfast will win, I have the most fun playing it... Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 02:12:24 AM »

Congrats to N3trunn3r & Tusike! Thanks to everyone that voted for my entry!

Totally agree with the review of my entry and thanks for adding the 3rd place prize!
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 02:55:20 AM »

Congratulations to the winnars!
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 10:22:52 AM »

Thanks you all for the flowers! It is great to hang around here in the forum, just to wait for the next comment Cool

I really worked hours on Witchcraft. Personally this competition was a test for me too see if I can make a proper Indie game that people really like.
As for the next step I will make a new website.
I already talked to Plasma from Phatcode for hosting it.
More on this later...

See forward to the next competition!

And yep StefanPN, the intro was made in Flash(I'm a webdesigner, just besides... Tongue)
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 02:25:17 PM »

All my life, it is people like you who will overshadow me.
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 03:44:42 PM »

When's the next compo? I'll will participate.

(And GJ to the competitors in this one)
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 05:34:53 PM »

congratulations.
good work everyone.
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Lachie Dazdarian
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 11:58:02 PM »

Not sure about the next competition. Maybe summer? Depends on the sponsors, if any appear.

ChangeV, do you plan to comlpete your game any time soon? Really curious about it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2011, 08:39:57 AM »

Just realized I should have given Face Invaders and Bad Cave Guy 4 points in the community vote category. This has been fixed. Doesn't change anything, but let's keep it mistakes free.
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 09:31:37 AM »

I am still adding enemies, traps and first boss for platformer part.

I work on game at least 1 hour (just before zzz) every day, but it will take a while to complete.
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« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2011, 03:17:19 PM »

Not sure about the next competition. Maybe summer? Depends on the sponsors, if any appear.

Could I host a competition without money? I always thought the "cash prizes" thing was overkill.
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