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News posted 10th June, 2010 by Assault Andy  
So as of writing, we have 0/4 completed projects. I'm sure most of you would be eager to say that the competition was a failure, and in terms of four teams making four games, it was.

But the competition hasn't all been for nothing. Both I and all the teams involved have learned valuable lessons. It genuinely motivated lots of people to get together, make some new friends, and work on some games together. For more on this, I've taken the liberty of writing an article on game making in general and the lessons learned from this experiment.

I don't think that any of the teams should be crowned the SUPER GLORY TEAM OF AWESOMENESS... yet . So I'm not going to announce a winner. What we do have however is a playable game engine by Majestic Plural. It's really quite fun if you grab a friend. I've played it with OMC and I really enjoyed it. The network code is smooth, the graphics are tight and the gameplay is quite fast paced. With a bit of work it could definitely be a very polished game indeed. Honestly, I think it only needs some powerups and a few different levels.

As for the other teams, I can only conclude that they have all created vaporware, and, to be fair, everyone who still hasn't submitted something will receive a vaporware tag. This includes the people who "left their teams" in the last few days of the competition! I posted the rules of the competition and there were no complaints to the rules. You guys had your chance! You knew the stakes!

But now I feel mean, so I'm going to change my own rating to "I make other people create vaporware." And I'm going to challenge myself (along with the help of another artist) to create a game in the next couple of weeks. I'll only change my tag back to normal after I have completed that game, or when all of the other teams have submitted something.

There were a lot of lessons learned from the competition and in some ways, I think we're just getting started. I genuinely hope that all of the teams continue to work together and hopefully can submit a game or engine of some sort for everyone else to see.

Feel free to pay everyone out for not finishing their games provide some positive feedback for the teams to complete their games in the comments section. Or even share your thoughts on the competition. Was it a massive failure? Or did one team deserve to win?

Read my breakdown on the competition, and the lessons learned here.

Posted by Jon Lambert 10th June, 2010


Now I can join my team again, because I have a computer.
Posted by Assault Andy 10th June, 2010

I'm not going to change your rating, because I think your own "Vaporware Master" is quite suitable

Now that you have a computer, no excuses!
Posted by HitmanN 10th June, 2010

Although I wasn't part of this competition (but I might've wanted to, if I had known about it. x3), it seemed that the teams were too big from the beginning. It might've been better to go for teams of 2 people, or 3 in very special cases, instead of 3-4.

Also, I think every member should've been assigned a role from the beginning. Not inside the team, but when forming the team. People interested in taking part in the competition could've announced their preferred role (basically graphics, audio or coding) when joining, and then teams would've been formed on the basis that each has a member capable of doing one of those three things, and it would be theirs alone. A genre or theme would still need to interest all participants though, but I have a hunch that wasn't a problem at all in this contest.

That's just my uneducated opinion though.

I don't frequent the forums much, so I hope contests like this are announced in the news more often, before they start.
Posted by Assault Andy 10th June, 2010

HitmanN - The competition worked exactly as you described. People listed what their specialities were and I made the teams up to have at least one coder and one artist each. The list can be seen here:

The problem was (as I mentioned in my article) that there was a bad ratio of programmers to artists (at least twice as many coders) so I was unable to form teams of 2. I ended up giving each team 1 artist and 2 coders.
Posted by OMC 10th June, 2010

You're going to make a game? Awesome.
Posted by Assault Andy 10th June, 2010

I put you guys to the challenge. It's only fair that I try to do the same. I can't be all talk and no action
Posted by HitmanN 10th June, 2010

Ahh, ok then. I missed that thread.

Tells a bit how hard it is to keep track of stuff like this if they can only be found at the forums and if they're spread over multiple threads even.

Still, some teams had four members. I think it's a bit too much to organize on such short notice. It's much easier to collaborate with one other person, when the number of approaches to things are limited to just two, and with higher probability the work is shared equally.

I really liked the idea of this competition though. Just a bit too ambitious of a setting, IMO.
Posted by Assault Andy 10th June, 2010

I agree with you about it being easier to collaborate with one other person. If there are too many people working on a project then it's possible to feel like you don't really have to do anything, or that you should just wait until someone else tells you what to do.

If I run another one of these competitions/matchups I'll announce it on the news page and do everything more formally. I did link to the threads wherever possible. It was just an experimental idea that I had one day so I wasn't sure how interested people would be. But it seems a lot of people would like to be matched up into a team so I'll make sure to include everyone next time.
Posted by Rikus 10th June, 2010

What a great news post Andy! I dont know why teams used to work perfectly and now they dont so much. Its strange. Maybe in the past there would be a team leader for a specific game and that person would ask the other team members for help and guide everything a bit? However cant wait to see what a next comp of this sort might bring
Posted by UrbanMonk 10th June, 2010

I wish I were still in high school, would've had more time for this stuff.

In all truthfulness our team of 3 did well together, we all worked on our parts of the game, but as the deadline neared and I realized that I wouldn't be able to complete the engine in time I pretty much quit.
Posted by joolsvurn 10th June, 2010

Just because the deadline is past doesn't mean you can't finish what you were working on!!
Posted by alessandroLino 10th June, 2010

/\ Yes!

I actually liked the rating. lol
Posted by Sumo148 10th June, 2010

oh joy. I create vaporware :|
Posted by Pan-tosser 10th June, 2010

I like the idea too. It would need to work differently for me to be interested.

It would need to define some more limits some where. Limits could be added in a number of places.

I really think it be helpfull to talk about adding limits, and finding some more ridge giude lines that everybody liked.

Adding them would give a chance for anybody to win. Not just the old hats that already make awsome games, and know everything.

I also think a project designer is needed, and concepts are submitted before the matchs start.

Posted by OMC 10th June, 2010

Limits? O_o Like what? Seems like that would be... limiting.

I also don't see why it's wrong for people with more experience to do better in a competition.
Posted by Pan-tosser 10th June, 2010

It's not wrong. It just doesn't make me want to get my newie self slaughter in a competition by them.
<br />

<br />
Also reading the other threads I see trying to make a super engine slowed down progress. Limited time = limited game.
<br />

<br />
As for art limits. Number of frames in a animation limit. Number of animations a active can have limit, etc. This gives slower artist an equal chance to keep up to the production machines we have on the site.
Comment edited by Pan-tosser on 6/10/2010
Posted by OMC 10th June, 2010

I can see wanting to give everyone an equal chance, but limiting things like that is silly.
Posted by UrbanMonk 10th June, 2010

Well pan-tosser if you had entered this competition you might have actually gotten something done!
Posted by alessandroLino 10th June, 2010

Thats why we were working in teams Pan-Tosser!
Posted by W3R3W00F 10th June, 2010

Hey, sweet- a rating that fits me better than all previous ones!
Posted by Marko 11th June, 2010

Shame this didn't work out, though not all to waste - look how much more conversation this has drummed up! Surely another attempt (maybe with a few tweaks here and there) is in order in the not-so-distant-future?
Posted by OMC 11th June, 2010

I still think it accomplished its purpose. The next one should take place (not soon) after the current projects are done or dropped. Same teams plus new ones, maybe?
Posted by joolsvurn 11th June, 2010

I would be interested!
Posted by AndyUK 11th June, 2010

I think it may have been a bad idea to hurriedly throw people together actually.

It's really hard to gauge just what kind of game is possible with your teammates when you don't know what they can or can't do, how fast they work, when they're available, etc.
Another problem is the time limit, there may have just about been enough time to make a fairly poor game if we all had contact with each other every day! Fair enough, competitions need some kind of time frame, but the stricter the time the more chance of failing.
Posted by alessandroLino 11th June, 2010

I wouldnt say the chance of failing increase with the short time, but it surely decreases the quality of the games. We actually made a playable 'game', but its kinda buggy and short.
Posted by Muz 11th June, 2010

Lol, bad timing to get it ended during exam time. Shouldn't have extended it to overlap with exams. I think the turnout would be better during the summer/winter break.
Posted by Assault Andy 11th June, 2010

I think 3 weeks is ample time to make a game. It just depends on the scope of your project. The whole idea of the competition was simply to "make a game". That doesn't usually happen when games are given deadlines extending into multiple months.

Muz - If we do another one I'll run it after this current exam period

I think judging by the amount of discussion on this competition, it was a good idea overall. With a few tweaks to the formula, there might be some more teams and games to come!
Posted by Pan-tosser 11th June, 2010

Well I'm interested in these tweaks to the formula. I'm still afraid I can't complete much in 3 weeks time. I might end up just dragging down any team I'm on. Which wouldn't be fair to them. Because the teams are paired at random.

But the idea of creating some competition seems to be a hit, and really good for click.
Posted by Sketchy 11th June, 2010

It sounds like the classic conundrum...

Not enough time:
* People don't hear about it in time to enter,
* People have prior commitments during the competition period,
* It's not long enough to make a half-decent game.

Too much time:
* People aren't prepared to commit to spending a significant amount of their time on a game (esp. if it's not really their "ideal" choice of game to be making, due to restrictive rules),
* People are too intimidated to enter (the longer the duration, the better the opposition games, so the better *your* game needs to be if you want to stand a chance of winning),
* People can't stay motivated long enough, and quit the competition to do other things instead,
* People think they have all the time in the world, get over-ambitious or lazy, and wind up not completing anything at all.

It's a tough one, alright...

Anyway, good effort from everyone involved, and lets not be put off holding more competitions in the future

How about another Tourey or 20-Event competition? Those were the most successful contests I can remember.
Posted by markno2 11th June, 2010

I want a vaporware tag, too... *sobs*

Guess I'll have to spend points to buy one. >:
Posted by Assault Andy 11th June, 2010

They're totally in right now.
Posted by Muz 11th June, 2010

Not so fond of the 20-event competitions. I did love the Tourey system.

I think this competition is not bad, just that having extra team members adds like a week or more of overhead, trying to discuss what to do, how to do it, etc. Maybe next time, it should be modified - 1-2 weeks to actually do game design, team management (meet on MSN, put together a forum), and decide on the project and post a page on it. You're encouraged to not get started on the game at all here, just spend time planning it or learning to do multiplayer, etc.

Then another 3 weeks to do it. But after that you're not allowed to change games and all.
Posted by OMC 11th June, 2010

If we did Tourey 2 we'd need Peblo to run it. It would flop if anyone else did.

Must have been an odd alignment of planets that summer.
Posted by UrbanMonk 11th June, 2010

Well if I tried this again Id aim low.

I don't think I will though, I'm working on too many projects right now.
Posted by Xhunterko 11th June, 2010

Or how bout a 48 hour competition? I'll be starting a thread in the compo forums for it sometime this weekend.
Posted by alessandroLino 11th June, 2010

Make a rule that only allow ppl to enter if theyre not having exams before the deadline.
Posted by Marko 11th June, 2010

This weekend? What about the World Cup? I plan on being p***ed up most of this weekend, eating BBQ food with mates!
Posted by Watermelon876 11th June, 2010

I want this again.
Posted by alastair john jack 12th June, 2010

I can create a game in about 5-6 months.
Posted by MBK 13th June, 2010

Hahahahahahaha! ... This is the best news I've heard in awhile. Someone failing besides me all the time is good to see. I give it 2 thumbs up. Congratz!



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