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News posted 4th August, 2009 by OMC  
Ah, long time no post! I have returned fresh and crispy from my trip to Cedar Point. Now, back to game making!

Remember the slew of big-time Indie competitions that we had awhile back? Well those weren't really something most of us could enter realistically. Good news is, there's something a little more up our alley!

I've been hanging around 2BeeGames for a little while now, and I definitely see some interesting opportunities. The site hosts an Indie Game Competition, where a community not too different from our own home sweet TDC uploads games in any stage of development and plays the pasnoogies out of them. The members vote and the judges vote, and the winner gets $10,000 plus a likely publishing deal to get their game on a console. Plus, aside from the Grand Prize, get this:

"Community Favorite: $5,000 for the audience favorite. All entries have the chance of securing a publishing deal, often involving a port to one or more major consoles, even without winning!"

The first round yielded quite a few good'uns (my favorites being Totem Destroyer II and Bumps) and now they're on to the second. Some of the entries are made in MMF2 and Game maker!

Head on over to the commencement blog post, create an account and then check out the developer FAQ to get oriented. You can always upload your games from there! If you want your game in the competition, you'll have to get them in before September 15th.

Mayperhaps we should do some sort of concerted effort to make a community entry? ;) I hope some of our regulars enter, it would be fantastic to see a friend win!

Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

There's one catch. You've got to be 18 or older. That's what parents are for!

As far as I can tell from reading the rules, there's no requirement for living in a particular country.
Posted by KNPMASTER 4th August, 2009

I was reading their Terms of Use and I dislike the Grant of Rights section:

Grant of Rights: By submitting content to the Site, you grant to Zoo Games, and its successors in business and assigns, a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, distribute, modify, edit, display, adapt, create derivative works from and market and promote the content, for any commercial purposes, and in any medium now existing or hereinafter developed, and to use your name, likeness, voice, performance, and any personal information you submit with or contained within the content, without your prior approval or the payment of any compensation and without notice. You also grant each user of the Site a non-exclusive license to access your content as permitted through the functionality of the Site and under these Terms."
Posted by Chrisbo 4th August, 2009

Good find KNPMASTER. Sounds a little shady. Although I really doubt they would act on that. Seems like a legit contest.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

I think all contests do that. It's a legal thing. But it is a valid concern.
Posted by W3R3W00F 4th August, 2009

Hope you had fun at Cedar Point. Wish I could go there.

Hmmm, this sounds pretty fun. I'd love to enter X as an entry, but given the fact I'd have to finish before September 15th and the other nooks and crannies I wouldn't dare. It'd prolly be 10 times worse than the other games, too.

Good luck to the contestants anyhoo.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

You can enter games even if they aren't done, and believe you me there are plenty of rotten games submitted. Play the finalists from last round and you'll realize how much of a chance you have.

I'd also like to point out that IndieGames and IGN both post about this site, and it's owned by a legitimate publisher. (That happens to have an office near me! ) So if it's a shamscam, lots of people will know.
Comment edited by OldManClayton on 8/4/2009
Posted by Jess Bowers 4th August, 2009

I used to go to Cedar Point every summer when I was a kid. Loved it. Best roller coaster park in the nation, IMO. I'm envious.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

Well, I'm rather disappointed. I haven't been in years, and the day we went I head an awful sinus headache. I came in the park in the best of moods, but when I saw stars on the first coaster (the corkscrew) I knew the rest of the day would be a bust. I didn't ride the Millenium Force or many of the other coasters I had been looking forward to. In fact I barely remember the day. O_o

And it's not like my family will be able to afford it again in the near future.

Oh well. Pity parties are overrated.
Comment edited by OldManClayton on 8/4/2009
Posted by UrbanMonk 4th August, 2009

I'm gonna enter Planet Chaos. I may not win but it'll be fun to try!
Posted by Strife 4th August, 2009

Oh man, if I could get enough of FableQuest finished to enter this... but I don't know if I can get the next dungeon completed in time for the contest. I could always try and see how Jade Phoenix fares, though based on the comments people have given me, I would need to spend time fixing that up before I submit it.

Why is time always against me? D:
Posted by Blue66 4th August, 2009

What KNPMASTER pointed out shouldn't be taken lightly. If you submit a game to their site, they are legally allowed to break copyright law and if they decide to sell your game as a design concept to a publisher and get hundrets of thousands of $$$ (and believe me I've seen the prices on those things), you would get absolutely NOTHING from it.

But on the other side, maybe that's all just for legal purposes and the people behind that are nice, mild mannered and just want to make you rich
Comment edited by Blue66 on 8/4/2009
Posted by Fanotherpg 4th August, 2009

KNPMaster, Blue66 it was a problem 'last time' and they said why it must be in such words look at Indie Games The Weblog and similar sites.

Ou and Strife something for you:

"All Games must be in a "beta" state or better (i.e., Games must be feature-complete). At least one (1) level of each Game must be complete and fully playable."

So you can enter with your projects with no worries.
Posted by Johnny Look 4th August, 2009

holy shit I just realized who zoo games are, I'm so in.

edit: Wait wtf can anyone enter any game they want, even if it was made before the contest started ?
That blows, if for example Pixel submitted Cave story, the contest would be over even before it started.
Comment edited by Johnny Look on 8/4/2009
Posted by Hayo 4th August, 2009

I would enter if that place wasn't so pixel-art-unfriendly. (meaning it's infested with photoshop graphics and blurs your avatar).
Posted by s-m-r 4th August, 2009

In regards to the rule regarding republishing, royalty-free licensing, etc. I'd like to see the clarification of that (the 2Bee rep's comment about "screenshots only" or "content for reviews") in the rule itself. If there was the intention to never publish a game submitted for the contest, then the rules would say so.

I never put such dealings beyond any game publishing company, or any company with contacts in a publishing company. But this isn't so discourage people from entering; if they want their projects to have a broader audience, then it's recognized you'll need to grease a few palms along the way. If success is headed your way, the deal you've struck with 2Bee is small potatoes, and could open the door to a number of other opportunities for developers.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

Yes, it's just a legal thing. Any and ALL companies would have that sort of disclaimer in their rules. If you want to go big, you'll have to ignore it.

Johnny Look: Games like that get bigger and better publishers without contests.
Posted by Strife 4th August, 2009

Fanotherpg - Just one level, eh? Ah, that's good. ^^; In that case, I could even start a totally new game if I wanted to.

For me, it's all about the punchline - the "OOMPH!" factor, so to speak. I like what i've done with FableQuest so far, but it barely scratches the surface of what the player will be able to do in the long run. Hence my desire to get the next few areas completed before submitting it anywheres. Realistically, if I want to do that -and- give my beta testers time to weed out all of the bugs that crop up, i'd be cutting it reeeeally close with the deadline.

So for me, it would probably be a safer bet to improve Jade Phoenix based on the suggestions people have given me and submit that, or start a new project with only one or two levels, but with a good enough concept to stand a solid chance against the more complete games.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

From IndieGames: "For those concerned about 'Rule 5' in the T&C's for the competition, Adam from Zoo Games has posted a comment claiming that it is intended to apply to 'using things like a screen shot on our website, or the ability to mention the name of the game in a press release or something like that, NOT actually publishing or porting a game.'"
Posted by Del Duio 4th August, 2009

Cedar Point: Shit, I haven't been there since I was 7 or 8 years old. Whatever year the Demon Drop first opened up. It was funny because some people got stuck at the top of it and they had to send a rescue crew up to get them.

Oh yes, and a contest too!
Posted by alastair john jack 4th August, 2009

I don't like handing my work over to others.
But thats just me.
Posted by Dr. James MD 4th August, 2009

"From IndieGames: "For those concerned about 'Rule 5' in the T&C's for the competition, Adam from Zoo Games has posted a comment claiming that it is intended to apply to 'using things like a screen shot on our website, or the ability to mention the name of the game in a press release or something like that, NOT actually publishing or porting a game.'""

If thats the case then why aren't the T&C being updated? I dunno, I'm wary about this one.
Posted by UrbanMonk 4th August, 2009

Just submit a small simple game. Not something you've put too much time into. Just look at the game that won last time. It's some kinda particle playground.
Posted by s-m-r 4th August, 2009

@ OMC & Dr. James: exactly...A comment on some blog post or discussion board is much different from having it delineated in the terms and conditions. Don't trust them.

But I reiterate: if your project is low on your investment list, then you've nothing to lose by entering it in the contest and essentially selling it off for free. And personally, I think it's slim to no chance to have one's MMF2/Construct project turned into a console/phone port anyway.
Posted by s-m-r 4th August, 2009

Off topic: and I still think that King's Island in Ohio has the best rollercoaster ever: The Beast.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

I live about 30 minutes from KI. I've never ridden the Beast though.
Posted by OMC 4th August, 2009

Oh, btw, that Bumps game was made in Game Maker, I'm fairly sure, and they're in the talks with a publisher.
Posted by maVado 5th August, 2009

I would not submit any game until this rule is adapted. They basically take ownership of your code or may end up changing it, polishing it up with good gfx and release it on there own.

For me its more like: Hey we have cash to offer, just submit your cool new and unique game ideas and if we like one of those its 10k for you and we pulish it and make 100k or more - Thanks!

Posted by Cecilectomy 5th August, 2009

must have at least one complete level? what if its something that doesnt use a traditional "level" system, like an rpg etc?
Posted by Muz 5th August, 2009

Heh, you guys are taking Rule 5 too seriously. I don't think I could make a competition game that's worth $10000 in sales. Heck, if they wanted to buy the game for $10000, I'd let them have it
Posted by alastair john jack 5th August, 2009

then do it
Posted by Cecilectomy 5th August, 2009

muz the 10000$ prize money is more of an investment. the whole point is to find new talent. we all know too well that the industry needs some fresh ideas.
Posted by s-m-r 5th August, 2009

@ Muz/cEcil/etc. : I used to work for a game company. I know that, when push comes to shove, and if there's a fresh new idea on the horizon, they will take it away from the creators and make money for themselves. Contracts are specifically drafted to allow for these sorts of behaviours, particularly when approaching inexperienced and/or naive designers and coders (if you'll pardon the above broad generalizations).

But again, if you've nothing to lose with your idea, and you want to put your foot in the door with the industry, then perhaps this would be the way to go. This goes for MMF, GameMaker, Construct, or anything out there that's first in the hands of hobbyist/unestablished game creators and finds their way into contests such as these. If game design and coding is where you see yourself in the future, a positive relationship with a publishing house can start with something like this.
Posted by Rob Rule 5th August, 2009

s-m-r is on the ball, at least with regards to the way the standard commerical games industry operates. The publisher rules the roost, so be careful what you opt into.
Posted by Strife 5th August, 2009

s-m-r brings up a really good point to me, and it's making me think this whole thing over very carefully.

If said game company does take advantage of the contract and take your ideas, does the same vulnerability apply to characters/locations/etc that are contained within your game, or are those protected by copyright laws?
Posted by OMC 5th August, 2009

I'm sure it applies to everything. If anyone's worried they could create a new IP that they haven't had a chance to become attached to in a weird... way. That way you'd still have a chance at "getting your foot in the door." Positive relationship and all.
Posted by maVado 5th August, 2009

Just be careful. If you have a very excellent and unique game idea you risk to lose your idea.
Posted by Rob Rule 5th August, 2009

A non-exclusive license would make them the copyright holders, I believe.
Posted by Steve Harris 5th August, 2009

"For me its more like: Hey we have cash to offer, just submit your cool new and unique game ideas and if we like one of those its 10k for you and we pulish it and make 100k or more - Thanks!"

For me the question is could you make $100,000 with that idea? I doubt it (not aiming that at you in particular maVado). I'd snap their hand off $10k for one of my games and that is assuming they screw me up the arse and 'steal' my game for $10k. Chances are I highly doubt they will.
Comment edited by Steve Harris on 8/5/2009
Posted by maVado 5th August, 2009

A non-exclusive license is the right to use something (could be a song or a short story or even a patented invention) on a non-exclusive basis (meaning that the owner of the property can also grant a license to someone else to use the property.) So, in summary, you get to use the thing but the owner can let someone else use the thing too.
Posted by maVado 5th August, 2009

@Steve Harris

As a clicker I would not be afraid, I rarely see any real new inventive game ideas here. Just tons of platformers and alike. Those games are not in danger. I'm more talking about having a real cool idea that for example could work on a Wii or similar. something unique. You grant them the game when you submit, if you win its 10k for you.

Now they already have the game as non exclusive license and therefor could push as a publisher. And you get a crappy deal and they earn the money with your idea.

Always think about the worst case, not saying that they actually do that, but be not blind on that case too.
Posted by Steve Harris 5th August, 2009

Having that sort of idea is quite difficult and as I said... even assuming worst case scenario, id take the $10k.

A cool idea is just that. Getting it on to the Wii by yourself = difficult. Upfront costs are extortionate.
Posted by Muz 6th August, 2009

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Heh, the main reason I steered clear of the games industry is the reputation they have of shaving every last cent they can from you. But heck, I'm taking a few steps in the high-tech business world and it's the same thing. In the business world, often, the best you can hope for is for some venture capitalist to buy you out and give you a stream of 10% of the profit. Even the founder of a company will rarely get more than 20%.

I'd be wary of entering something as heavy as Tormishire in this, but heck, I'd use this as a chance to finish one of those other light ideas lying around. I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, though. It looks like a "star search" thing and they do themselves no favors by ripping off new talent before they can milk them.
Comment edited by Muz on 8/6/2009
Posted by OMC 9th August, 2009

Blog comment by Tony: "And clayton..that derivative works junk was long gone during the last contest!"

Looked through the rules. Looks like it is a bit more clear.

"non-exclusive license to display, exhibit, modify for use on our websites, transmit, the Games in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the internet, and for the purpose, of the Contest Entities and the Contest Entities' goods and/or services limited to, the hosting of the games on the site, advertising or promotion of the Contest and the Contest Website without further consent from or payment to you"

Later on it says by accepting a game they don't automatically guarantee that ideas similar to the submission that already existed will not be used. From what little I read it doesn't say they keep the right to steal your idea if it's fresh.
Posted by Aloan Moreira 9th September, 2009

I was googling about copyright and was led here.
I bet you all know me: Cliffall's sole developer.
Since some of you are talking about legal stuff,
I'm kind of puzzled about my game. If I were to sell it the way it is, can Activision do me any harm? and if so, why? although my game is "so far" a fan game, it does not include any direct text reference to the original game it was inspired in, but it does contain big similarities, like the crocodiles, the main character, the gameplay. That's why I'm kind of scared and thinking if I should or need not pursue a lawyer just for that!
Comment edited by Aloan Moreira on 9/9/2009


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