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TDC Game Making Compo: Time Trial By Fire
News posted 7th August, 2021 by Joshtek  

Hi all, 3kliksphilip suggested that we do a game making competition so I thought I'd give it a go. So I present to you:

The basics:

  • The theme of the competition is 'Time Tral by Fire'. That is to say, the game should have a 'time trial' mode and should involve fire somehow.
  • First place prize is a special tag at The Daily Click, DC Points, and listing as a GOTM winner.
  • You can work alone or as part of a group.
  • Multiple entries per person are allowed, but we would rather see one higher quality game than multiple lower-quality entries.
  • The deadline for submitting your game is 11:59pm on Friday the 3rd of September (UTC/GMT).

Additional restrictions:

  • It should be designed to minimise the impact of randomness on the score/time so that doing well feels earned rather than merely the result of luck. This means that the time it takes to complete the game (or how long someone survives at the game) will be indicative of the skill or experience of the player rather than whether or not the randomness was on their side in this particular playthrough.
  • Any instructions on how to play the game need to be contained with the game itself, e.g. in a help section the user can access.
  • The game needs to be made in a Click product such as Clickteam Fusion, Multimedia Fusion or The Games Factory.

To be part of the competition, all you need to do is submit the game to The Daily Click and say that it is an entry for the Time Trial By Fire competition within the game's description.

Note: Because this is my first time running a TDC competition I may tweak these rules slightly after feedback, but if I do then I'll let you know.

Posted by Joshtek 7th August, 2021

Something I'd like feedback on is of people would rather the submissions were made to me in secret, or if people would rather that people just submitted submit their game to TDC like normal and then let me know that they are part of the competition.
Posted by MonadoBoy64 7th August, 2021

I think submitting to the TDC like normal and saying it's part of the competition would be better and easier.
Posted by Joshtek 7th August, 2021

Okay, I'll do that.
Posted by MonadoBoy64 7th August, 2021


Posted by Joshtek 7th August, 2021

Okay, I've simplified the rules by making taking part as easy as submitting a game to TDC in the usual way.

I'm happy to be pretty flexible about what is meant by a 'time trial' mode. This can basically be any mechanic where time is a precious resource and you are racing against the clock.

For example, you could make a game with one of these mechanics:
Type A. There is one or more tasks someone must complete, and you goal is to do it in the shortest time possible. Players might get penalised a number of seconds if they make a mistake.
Type B. There is a countdown timer and you have to survive as long as possible, and doing certain things replenishes that timer - but it gets progressively harder so doesn't go on forever.
Type C. You have a fixed amount of time, and have to get as many points as possible within that time period.

Whichever of these options, the idea is that at the end of the game you get a score which reflects either how quickly you won the game or how long you lasted at the game (optionally with bonuses/penalties added as appropriate).
Posted by Joshtek 7th August, 2021

I'd be happy to support those who have made games for this contest to convert them into Vitalize games at that hook into the Kliktopia high score table system.
Posted by UrbanMonk 8th August, 2021

Wow that's amazing Joshtek! I didn't know you guys were supported Vitalize games now! You're missing a ton from the original v-cade site though.

I remember a few really good ones. There was like a harvester game and a game with a little guy that would run around in a small screen and avoid getting crushed by moving blocks and spikes.
Posted by Joshtek 8th August, 2021

We will be adding more Vitalize in the future, but we mostly only have access to the games that are on and not all of the games work as some use a different score system which is harder for us to get working reliability. I checked and I have a Vitalize game called Harvester by Rando Wiltschek (randomw) but it doesn't work.
Posted by yma 8th August, 2021

my mega chris 4 game could be a good contribution
Posted by Tomssuli 9th August, 2021

Does the game have to be made from the scratch just for this compo or can I for example make a TTBF -edition of my existing game?

I'm a bit short of time for this month, but would love to participate some way.
Posted by UrbanMonk 9th August, 2021

Harvester was great. Maybe we could track the creator down and see if he has the source still.
Posted by yma 9th August, 2021

but seriously im working on something to this competition, with TGF
Posted by AndyUK 10th August, 2021

I had a few ideas at work today but your rule about Randomness might rule out a fairly big chunk of the game.
I want some AI players but there has to be some variation or they will all bunch up together in exactly the same place every time.
Posted by UrbanMonk 10th August, 2021

@Andy couldn't you just seed the randomizer the same way at the start of the frame? That should allow you to use random numbers, but they should be the same random numbers every time assuming the random calls happen in the same order every time.

I think that would be ok though since the same user inputs should yield exactly the same result.
Posted by Joshtek 10th August, 2021

AndyUK: So long as randomness isn't a primary determiner of how well you do it should be fine for there to be some level of variation. I just didn't want games where how well you did was largely determined by if you get lucky with the random number generator or not. I'll make that clearer in the rules.

In line with what UrbanMonk says you can use a different pre-set random seed per AI to allow for varied but consistent behaviour. You may find inspiration from the different AI pathfinder systems used by the different ghosts in Pac-Man, as every ghost follows its own different logic to decide what to do next which avoids them all moving together but also is something players can learn to exploit.

I'm pretty confident that you can implement your idea in a way that makes the ultimate score/time feel earned rather than a result of luck.
Comment edited by Joshtek on 10/08/2021
Posted by Joshtek 10th August, 2021

Tomssuli: You can make a TTBF version of one of your own existing games for the competition, you just need to acknowledge that so it can be taken into account when assessing how impressive it is.
Posted by Rikus 13th August, 2021

Ohhhhh! What a great idea! Cant wait to check them out!
Posted by LordHannu 14th August, 2021

How will the games be judged? Grafics, gameplay, sound, theme?
Posted by Joshtek 15th August, 2021

LordHannu: I've privately asked TDC Administrators their views on how it should be judged and to see if any want to be judges. Happy to take on board what others think too. Once a decision has been made I'll make another post so people can the judging system into account as they continue with the development of their games.
Comment edited by Joshtek on 15/08/2021
Posted by Jankoleti 15th August, 2021

I think the deadline should be closer, maybe give us a week, almost a whole month is a bit too much i think, but its great that we have a competition! MORE OF THESE!!!
Posted by Carnivorous id 15th August, 2021

If I have less than a month then I can't do it. It usually takes me 3 days for game concept and then figuring out the look of the game. Then I write an outline for the story and create a rough draft of all the characters, weapons, items, and areas. So... Yeah, I' need a month. Either way though I'll try to upload it even if I finish later than the deadline.
Comment edited by Carnivorous id on 15/08/2021
Posted by Joshtek 18th August, 2021

Does anyone have any strong preferences between the following methods of judging:

1. It is just done like a GOTW/GOTM, with every user getting one vote and the game with the most votes winning. The most popular game wins, potentially with a second round of voting if needed to determine a clear winner.

2. Joshtek (and potentially other judges) chooses which game(s) are the best taking into account gameplay, creativity and use of the theme (irrespective of graphics) and awards the prize to that, with bonus prizes awarded if other games show exceptionally good graphics or audio.

3. Joshtek (and potentially other judges) score each game based on graphics, sound, theme and gameplay with each category having a maximum number of points adding up to 100, and games being given an overall score based on these scores. The game with the highest overall score wins. The score can be adjusted downwards if it is simply an adaptation of a different game or if it contains noticeable bugs or problems.
Posted by 3kliksphilip 20th August, 2021

Not a fan of 1- runs the risk of turning it into a popularity contest. What if a horrible, selfish, nasty person with a lovely brother, a pretty face, a passion for upscaling and a large social media following 'encourages' their fans to vote for their work?!

3 would be the 'fairest' way of judging games, though I'd be more excited for 2. Games are about gameplay, and gameplay can be diverse- don't reduce it down to a single number! Get some experienced judges to play all the games and to express their thoughts in a detailed review of each, ordering the titles from best to worst based on feelings, and then handing out additional awards for 'best graphics' as and when appropriate.
Posted by Yai7 30th August, 2021

I made "Viva La Marshmallow" for the competition! Check it when it appears on the Daily Klik!
Posted by Yai7 30th August, 2021

The second option seems most friendly and less shameful to stand against in the competition. After all, it has a very specific rule: "Trial by Fire".


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