SUPER GLORY TEAMS OF AWESOMENESS REPORT!
Author:|| Assault Andy
Submitted:|| 10th June, 2010
The SUPER GLORY Competition (http://www.create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=272008 ) was a 3-week (come 4-week) competition where individuals were matched up into teams and required to make a game. In the end, no games were finished although a lot of really promising looking projects were started. What follows are the lessons learned from the experiment and some general tips on making games:
1. Random people in random teams probably won't get along so great.
I tried to organise teams into groups of people with similar personalities, interests and technical skill levels. However there were only so many possible combinations of people, seriously limited by the amount of coders-to-artists ratio. While I think that the teams generally got along quite well, there were a few mishaps, most likely caused by the relatively small amount of people in the competition.
The initial idea of the competition was to create some teams in the spirit of old klikgroups such as FAIND. Old klikgroups were formed by the members themselves, often simply by DC messages to one another or by a relaxed application process on the forums. Where this competition differed was the way that people may have been matched up with people that they didn't quite get along with, and while there wasn't any evidence to support this, I'm sure.
I did however think that Stormwire was one of the most successful in this regard as all of the members are of a similar age and are quite similarly skilled. I hope they as well as all of the other teams continue to stay together, at least as clicker friends.
If I hold a future Super Glory Competition, I think it would be best to have people organise their own teams and then submit their group members to me. This would mean that the teams members are already happy working with one another and are likely to be more motivated. We could still have a pool of people who are interested in making games and are looking to join a team, but it would be up to them to contact each other and then submit a team to me.
2. Extending the competition was probably a bad idea.
As the competition organiser, I caved. I did see some really good progress in that first week, but once I gave out the extension, progress seemed to crawl to a stop. I thought I was being a bit mean by not giving the teams the opportunity to work on their games for a bit longer and at the time I thought it would be better to give them an extra week than to get a few unfinished demos (how wrong I was!).
In actual fact, I doubt that much work was done across the teams in that last week. Pressure forms diamonds.
A few people had exams and other committments that life generally brings about at the worst of times. Not much can be done about these, but I think that exams affected the amount of time that a few team member could spend on their games.
(This seems shorter than I had planned. There really was a lot of good!)
1. The teams were very motivated. A lot of work was done early on, and everyone seemed excited with the prospect of making some fun games together.
2. Everyone made some new friends
3. Free custom rating changes for most of our participants!
Game Making Tips:
1. Stop thinking so damn big!
Some of the game ideas were quite interesting and quite unique, but some of them were actually quite difficult to execute or had an excessive amount of features. Having said that, it was nice to see two teams developing Lacewing games.
Maybe next time try a platformer - those are easy to make! A main player sprite, a few background tiles, some enemies... and BAM! You have a game!
This is why I really thought that Team One would get their game finished. Their team seemed to be working well together and they had some sprites up early. But I'm still waiting on UrbanMonk's particularly boastful victory speech.
A top down shooter, or a side scrolling space shooter would have been other easy options.
It's great to have grand ideas. We all have that dream game that we hope to make one day. But also, just make a damn game. Make something small. Once you've got one decent title under your belt, then tackle a bigger project.
2. Do little bits. Lots.
If you're not moving forwards, then you're sliding backwards. As long as you keep on working a little bit each day on your games then they're going to get done. Even if you only spend an hour adding in a tiny little feature, then that's better than nothing. It is often demotivating to think about how big a project can be, and what daunting tasks lie ahead! So don't! Just start. Just work on what needs to be done at that point in time. Do you really need to be planning out all of the powerups right now? Or is it more important to have a player moving and walking around first?
The Teams And Their Games
I think that this game has a lot of potential. It's strongest point is the unique game concept, based inside an underwater nuclear power station. The graphics also have a really cool style to them.
This team was one of the most vocal. I know that they got a lot of graphical work done, with some good characters designed as well, however I think that they should have spent some more time on their engine, which is yet to materialize! Soon though, we can hope
I was sceptical that this project was even moving at all, or that the team had even really spoken to one another! That was until I saw AndyUK's graphics on the Super Glory thread. Come on guys, I want to play this one!
As mentioned on the news post, Majestic Plural made the most progress on their game, successfully submitting a playable game engine. I don't think that their game is far off completion and with a bit of time I think it could be a real classic.
So now you've seen how these four teams went.
Do you think you could do any better? Do you think you could step up to the challenge of finishing a game in a few short weeks?
When was the last time you actually completed a game?