uDevGames 2009 Discussion

Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #31
If we assume that every game was voted on by the public, the 872 total public votes amounts attracting 43.6 voters.

If we account for your best friend voting, and you're mom, that leaves 3.6 random people that voted.

Here's the public response at IMG to the contest, besides 99% apathetic dead air.

Quote:Frankly, I thought the selection a bit underwhelming this year. In some of the past years they had better and more varied games.
Quote:Yes, Laserface Jones ran away with most of the categories. Fic is the big weenier.

Thats it, three months work multiplied by some forty people and
thats all the Mac community has to say about it.
Not a single person at MacLife, PCworld, The MacObserver, ThrifMac, MacObserver, infoworld, Macworld.uk, or MacWorld cared enough to comment.

Five pages of Google hits for "uDevGames 2008" and nobody but
Carlos and the devs has anything at all to say about the contest
other than the observation by those two inside mac gamers.

These rules people want to stick to have made this contest irrelevant.
Size limits, meaningless.
Dev tool limits, meaningless
OS and Platform limits, detrimental

Dev time limit, results with 80% of games being unfinished, promoted to the public, and frustrating them at the least and pissing them off at the extreme.

Only 4 of twenty devs even bothered to promote their games and the contest.
70% of devs didn't even bother voting for 90% of games until Carlos threatened disqualification!

I think that shows that even 70% of the devs don't care about the
contest beyond their own game and that of their friends.

Unity released the Windows version today.
Think about that.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 623
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #32
What does Unity releasing the Windows version have to do with anything?

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #33
There will be PC users who could make Mac games, and there are Mac users who will be focusing on releasing to Windows, iPhone as well for many.

The contest won't attract these people because they might need feedback about their month of work nine months to 2 hours before the contest start.

They release their work in any way and they are disqualified.

The rule doesn't encourage anything useful.
There is absolutely no harm in losing it.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #34
Multiplatform releases have always been permitted in uDevGames. However, since this is a Mac game development community, it's completely against the site's purpose to suggest that we start allowing games that don't run natively on the Mac. Now, since it was redefined recently as a Mac and iPhone game development community, there may be something we can do for iPhone releases. These have significant logistical problems, though, as previously mentioned.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 245
Joined: 2005.11
Post: #35
Bill, if I understand you correctly, what you are proposing is essentially a "Best Indie Game of 2009" award. There's certainly a place for an award like that, but it is a very different thing to what uDevGames sets out to be. Surely the point of uDevGames is that people are writing their entry specifically to enter the competition, and the accompanying blogs and post-mortems are intended to illustrate the entire development process.
People who want to work on a game all year aren't doing it specifically for the competition. Sure, they'd appreciate an award or two, the publicity will help them out and so on, but that award just isn't uDevGames, it is something else. I have no problem with it existing, but I actually like the time-limit based competitions and would have had a game entered in uDevGames if I hadn't had so much other life stuff going on in January and February. As it was, I had to drop out, but I don't resent the time limit for that.
Quote:The rule doesn't encourage anything useful.
I suppose that may be true (other than giving the developers something to focus on, and assuring them that there new game isn't in competition with games which have been in development for years), but it defines the form of the competition for me. I think I'm going round in circles now, but I think that the time limit is what defines uDevGames. Without that it would be a completely different competition - so bearing that in mind, why not just think of a new name and establish another competition?
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 623
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #36
backslash Wrote:Bill, if I understand you correctly, what you are proposing is essentially a "Best Indie Game of 2009" award. There's certainly a place for an award like that, but it is a very different thing to what uDevGames sets out to be. Surely the point of uDevGames is that people are writing their entry specifically to enter the competition, and the accompanying blogs and post-mortems are intended to illustrate the entire development process.
People who want to work on a game all year aren't doing it specifically for the competition. Sure, they'd appreciate an award or two, the publicity will help them out and so on, but that award just isn't uDevGames, it is something else. I have no problem with it existing, but I actually like the time-limit based competitions and would have had a game entered in uDevGames if I hadn't had so much other life stuff going on in January and February. As it was, I had to drop out, but I don't resent the time limit for that.

I suppose that may be true (other than giving the developers something to focus on, and assuring them that there new game isn't in competition with games which have been in development for years), but it defines the form of the competition for me. I think I'm going round in circles now, but I think that the time limit is what defines uDevGames. Without that it would be a completely different competition - so bearing that in mind, why not just think of a new name and establish another competition?

Agreed. With what Bill is describing, why not just enter the Apple Design Awards?

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008.12
Post: #37
I'd be curious about what percentage of my votes came from PC users. I published my game cross platform, many of my friends are PC users, and the boards that I posted to from whom I got great positive feedback were all cross platform forums. I have always had a bad reception whenever I try to post on the IMG forums. They seem very cliquish and immature.

It makes me sad that there is no good place to talk about mac games. Except here of course. I've really gotten to like this community and would love a forum here to discuss games that we like to play, not just those that we are trying to develop. Discussing good games helps get creative juices flowing.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 749
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #38
igame3d, the top competition for independent games is the independent games festival. http://igf.com

It is however very tough competition, costs $100 just to enter and requires the finalists to go to the actual festival in san francisco and display your game for 3-4 days.

udevgames is on a smaller scale, which is not bad, unfortunately this year very little notice was given to the outside public until the last few days. Also calling it udevgames 2008 made it sound already over when it started.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #39
I'll try to state again that from my point of view, the contest rules are exclusionary to some of us who may be able to contribute valuable code to the community through the contest, but don't wish to lie about when the code was written. So what if I have a game that's already sitting on my drive and I spent three months on it back in the day? I could poke and prod away at it and maybe make it better during the contest, but there's nothing to prove that some of the current entries weren't already on someone's drive too. (NOTE: I'm not trying to insinuate anything about any of the entries)

I'm just saying that it doesn't make sense to have that rule because it is completely unenforceable, and it is exclusionary. How many great games have we missed out on seeing because of it? No one will ever know. The mob seems to simply assume that making a new game in 3 months and blogging about it while high on Mountain Dew and pizza is the only way to go.

mattness Wrote:I've really gotten to like this community and would love a forum here to discuss games that we like to play, not just those that we are trying to develop.

OT: We used to have discussions here about games in general in the Assembly Room forum from time to time. Not a lot of free talk in the last year or two it seems. Please feel free to start a discussion about whatever game you like there! I will say that, as an observation on my part, the community seems happier if we leave politics out of the discussions. If politics pops up, it almost invariably goes nutz with all the cross-cultural differences from around the globe. Otherwise, game discussions in general can be fun.
Quote this message in a reply
Nibbie
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009.02
Post: #40
We think the voting of the next uDevGames should be completely different namely by external judges.

First of all Igame3D makes a very good point with his post that this Udevgames competition really lacked PR. iDevGames is a rather small community and we joined this community about 2 and a half months ago, therefore nobody really knew us. With only the iDevGames community knowing about this competion only a few random people(3.6 according to igame3D) else would vote for the games in this competition. This we think resulted in favorism for games of each other in the iDevGames community. And because we were the new-kid on the block nobody would even bother to vote for us. Also they could abusively vote a low grade cause they might see each other as competition.

If you have an external judge team you will not have a problem with the way developers vote on eachother. As some developers might judge harsh with number ranging from 4-6, some other developers will rate with numbers ranging from 8-10. This creates a mayor disadvantage and external judges will solve that problem.

We think that the voting results weren't right and as there will always people who think so, and there will always be ways to cheat, we suggest that for the next time it might be the best to invite external judges from the game industry.

Let us know how you think about this!
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #41
Zylex, yes, there was in fact favoritism in the voting. I freely admit to giving slightly higher scores to games that were developed by members I am familiar with. I thought about that clearly when I was doing it too. It's incredibly hard not to. However, as I was not in the contest, I was only able to vote in the public "overall" category, so it was diluted. But I think your point of view is highly valid in terms of the peer voting. OTOH, there was at least one well-known and highly-respected member who did a fantastic job IMHO who finished near last in almost all categories, so there does exist a counter argument. I could say more about this, but I would encourage further discussion about the current voting results and methods take place in this other thread, since that's why it was created. Although, it's pretty bogged down with other debate right now, so maybe a fresh thread on it would be appropriate if you feel compelled to start one. Wink
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 592
Joined: 2002.12
Post: #42
Zylex Wrote:We think the voting of the next uDevGames should be completely different namely by external judges.

One of the uDevGames contests years ago did have a panel of external judges.

However that caused major headaches of its own.
  • Finding judges
  • Some judges dropped out at the last minute
  • At least one had such an old Mac hardly anything worked on it
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,252
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #43
AnotherJake Wrote:I'll try to state again that from my point of view, the contest rules are exclusionary to some of us who may be able to contribute valuable code to the community through the contest, but don't wish to lie about when the code was written. So what if I have a game that's already sitting on my drive and I spent three months on it back in the day? I could poke and prod away at it and maybe make it better during the contest, but there's nothing to prove that some of the current entries weren't already on someone's drive too. (NOTE: I'm not trying to insinuate anything about any of the entries)

A few thoughts:
1) You can already enter such code (as long as the game itself was not released or displayed). There isn't a rule against it because it can't be enforced. The "can't be released" part is, like DoG said, so that you at least don't get feedback on it. (I know it's a bit silly but it's kinda going half and half on the spirit of having a fixed time frame and allowing reuse of some code since inevitably everyone wants to, should be able to, and will.)

2) Couldn't you just release the code anyway? Or is it unfinished enough that it's worthless, so therefore you must have a contest which gives you some incentive to finish it? (The latter I'm sure is something a lot of people would be interested in.)

3) For cases of the latter, I'd propose a separate contest, or maybe just a completely separate category, similar to what Bill is saying uDG should become. You could have a simple deadline to submit your game by. The can have been publicly released etc anything you want, and as long as you make it open source and allow reuse of the code etc just like normal uDG entries, you can enter the game into the category, and they'll all get voted on etc. IOW, sure let's have a contest, but keep those entries separate from the ones purely developed within 3 months (like diordna suggested). And then let's close the loophole in the 3 month category even if it's not entirely enforceable, so that the distinction between the two is clear.


-



BeyondCloister Wrote:One of the uDevGames contests years ago did have a panel of external judges.

However that caused major headaches of its own.
  • Finding judges
  • Some judges dropped out at the last minute
  • At least one had such an old Mac hardly anything worked on it

Add to that:

[*]Their opinions are still as varied as if normal people vote. It's not like they were "experts" and therefore no one could disagree with their results.
[*]Since there are fewer of them, their opinions weigh more heavily than any one person which can make one judge "not getting it" or having some kind of aversion to the type of game they are rating, even more hurtful (and the opposite).
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #44
FreakSoftware Wrote:A few thoughts:
1) You can already enter such code (as long as the game itself was not released or displayed). There isn't a rule against it because it can't be enforced. The "can't be released" part is, like DoG said, so that you at least don't get feedback on it. (I know it's a bit silly but it's kinda going half and half on the spirit of having a fixed time frame and allowing reuse of some code since inevitably everyone wants to, should be able to, and will.)
Sure I could enter it, but I don't wanna lie to anyone about it. I certainly wouldn't be confining development on it to within that three month window, and I sure as heck wouldn't want to pretend to blog about it being "underway". It seems to me that entering an already finished game is against the spirit of the current rules.

FreakSoftware Wrote:2) Couldn't you just release the code anyway? Or is it unfinished enough that it's worthless, so therefore you must have a contest which gives you some incentive to finish it? (The latter I'm sure is something a lot of people would be interested in.)
Of course I could release the code. I could sell the program. I could keep the code too. I could write tutorials around it -- or even a book. I could give it away for free. Or I could even just let it sit on my hard drive as-is and do absolutely nothing with it, except play it once in a while when I get bored. But heck, it might be fun to enter it in a contest too! The current rules seem to exclude that possibility though, as far as I can tell.

I won't lie to you, it's a game I pretty much finished for the iPhone way back in September or October (I could easily port it to Mac in a couple hours though, because that's where it was originally developed). I decided not to distribute it because I saw that it was probably going to get lost in a flood of competition, so I didn't feel like selling it at the time. Plus it's a little pet project I've worked on for many years. I've been thinking about giving it away and using it for promotion lately, but the thought also occurred to me to enter it in a contest if I find a suitable one. There are too many games on iPhone to compete anymore, unless you have a publishing arrangement, or you get lucky, or you have a *spectacular* game, and this game is nothing special. So now I'm sitting on it. I may never release it. I've fiddled with it here and there for ten years, so another infinite amount of years won't matter to me. A contest could provide excellent exposure though, and with that, it could actually stand a chance of getting some real sales on the App Store. That's why I mentioned an iPhone game contest could be red hot earlier. iPhone devs are *struggling* for exposure, and a well-publicized contest would provide that. Not that uDG did well in the PR department this round, but maybe next round.
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #45
AnotherJake Wrote:Sure I could enter it, but I don't wanna lie to anyone about it. I certainly wouldn't be confining development on it to within that three month window, and I sure as heck wouldn't want to pretend to blog about it being "underway". It seems to me that entering an already finished game is against the spirit of the current rules.

The rules are not as unclear to me, on this part, as they seem to you.

If you have a half finished game, to comply with the rules, you would have to release the source code before the start of the contest. That would, in some respect, give everyone else the same chance to pick up on your work, in the 3 month time frame, as with any other open source, 3rd party API. Of course, it is very unlikely that somebody will suddenly become an expert, like yourself, on your spaghetti code. No loss for you in that respect, and you would have had to release the source code at the end anyway.

However, should you enter a half finished game, and not do "substantial" work on it during the 3 months, the entry does not qualify. This is the only subjective judgement to be made, and this is where you would need a panel of judges or referees, who do not score, but oversee the proceedings of the contest. Also, every rule change should be decided by this overseeing panel (which udg08 lacked). The referees should be technically competent, so ideally alumni of former contests or game/software industry professionals. But I am veering off course.

Getting back to the original topic, you don't have to lie about having a half finished game before the contest start, you just have to declare it. And yes, a fully finished game entered would be rightfully disqualified.

OT, I believe the 3 month limit is alright. It's an arbitrary time period, but one which is long enough to allow some slacking and attending to the real world, while being short enough to keep track of things. A 12 month period, for example, requires a lot more investment, you would really have to produce a fully polished game at the end to be able to compete on any level. Of course, what could be interesting is to hand out milestone awards for technical merit, or somesuch, after a month, 3 months, 6 months, etc, to keep the loop closed in a longer running contest.

If you say you allow 3 month limited and time unlimited entries, you are essentially running two contests in parallel. Might of course be a good thing, as you should get a wider range of entries, but the time limited entries might just go unnoticed if there's a bunch of shiny, fully polished games in the other category.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply