uDevGames 2009 Discussion

Nibbie
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Post: #46
I might be the new guy in the contest and on the forums, but I figured I would add my 2 cents:

a) I am all for the 3 month system- it creates deadlines that must be met, forces you to create under pressure, and makes sure that those developers participating are committed to the contest. I can only imagine that a year long contest would bring in 3 times the number of developers, only to have 2/3 drop out, forget about it, or only focus on the contest for the last few months... Admittedly not scientific, but if you don't have time to develop something within a three month time period, how will that change over a year-long time period? That year would mean that the developers who can produce something playable in three months would have the upper hand (by giving them yet more time to tweak and test), and anyone without the time would still be at a disadvantage.

2) I think the key in making sure that no one comes into the contest with a finished game is the developer diaries- I didn't post as much as I should have, but I tried to keep up a decent history of what I was doing, as did most of the other developer's whose games garnered an award. I think that keeping a dedicated developer diary and documenting one's game from concept to execution should be a requirement: sure, it wouldn't prevent someone from building something years in advance and entering into the contest, or prevent a minor studio from entering their now-opensourced game, but it would definitely be a deterrent! I know I wouldn't want to try to fake three months of entries documenting how I built a game (that was finished before the contest started,) and I would hope that everyone involved would look on my sudden appearance at the end of the contest with beautiful, polished code out of seemingly nowhere as a good indication that I wasn't playing by the rules.

3) I think the general media quiet around this year's contest had more to do with the fact that it was the first in a few years... after a hiatus, it suddenly comes back? What did anyone expect? A relatively small, Mac-only, indie-developer contest is ignored by the press... Now that the contest is finished successfully, I think we should all continue to talk about it, start getting everyone excited about the next contest, and make sure that all the sponsors are happy. All that has to happen is that more people participate and become interested in next year's contest than this years, and it will be more successful, etc. ad naseum
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #47
DoG Wrote: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.

Good point. I had actually thought the opposite initially. If you have one contest with a big number of games including really well done ones in the unlimited time category then it'd bring more attention to the little guys, but with so many games, and so little time... honestly, which ones is Joe Average* going to look at with his limited free time?


(*Would Joe Median look at the same ones? Rolleyes)
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Moderator
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Post: #48
DoG Wrote:The rules are not as unclear to me, on this part, as they seem to you.
...
And yes, a fully finished game entered would be rightfully disqualified.

You must've missed the part where I said it is already finished. Wink

So according to what you're saying, the rules would indeed disqualify me from entering. That's exactly why I think the rule is exclusionary. I don't *want* to do anymore work on it. I already did the work on it. Nobody (except Gatti and kodex) have seen it. I just think it'd be kinda cool to enter it, but I can't because of the way the rules are structured. Sad
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Post: #49
FreakSoftware Wrote:(*Would Joe Median look at the same ones? Rolleyes)

LOLLOLLOL I just caught that!
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Member
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Post: #50
Quote: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.

I agree with this completely. A decision really needs to made on this, we can't keep walking on both sides and expect a fair result. What if Justin had started LFJones a year ago? He would have won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in every category. Just because the winners are usually games that are made in the time-span of the contest doesn't mean they always will be. If this continues, the next winner will be a game that was started on five months ago, that no one has a hope of catching up on.

And what's this (see page 2) about Carlos slowing us down? Would you do all of his work yourself next year?

Yes, independent judges are the way to go, but they should be people with good computers Rasp

When in doubt ... read the Read Me
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Post: #51
Shunter Wrote:And what's this (see page 2) about Carlos slowing us down? Would you do all of his work yourself next year?

I don't know about others, but FreakSoftware can probably handle the full deal (and then some) from what I've seen.

BTW, that's not to say that I think Carlos did a poor job. I know a lot of folks would quickly disagree with me on this, but I think Carlos did alright, especially considering how many punches he's taken this contest. Sure there were some bumps, but hey...
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Post: #52
AnotherJake Wrote:So according to what you're saying, the rules would indeed disqualify me from entering. That's exactly why I think the rule is exclusionary. I don't *want* to do anymore work on it. I already did the work on it. Nobody (except Gatti and kodex) have seen it. I just think it'd be kinda cool to enter it, but I can't because of the way the rules are structured. Sad
Yes, and I think that is the correct course of action. You wrote your game a long time ago, and it's done. You cannot enter it in a new contest. I would stick to that.

If you want to post the code or a playable for us to look at, that would be cool, but the time limit is what it's all about with these contests. Creativity under pressure!

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Member
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Post: #53
diordna Wrote:but the time limit is what it's all about with these contests. Creativity under pressure!

Naturally I disagree and so does science.
Stress is a killer. Stress causes loss of synapse integrity, memory loss,immune
deficiency, increased abdominal fat, heart disease and an early death.

You gain nothing by forcing creativity into a vice.
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Post: #54
I have to agree with igame3d on this. When I was in my twenties, things were naturally a lot easier to push through deadlines. I'm at the age now where I literally refuse to be controlled by deadlines (longer-term deadlines than say a couple weeks anyway). I've lived long enough to know first-hand what it'll do to me, and those around me too. I hope you don't take me as talking down to anyone, but seriously, you younger guys have *no idea* what it's like to age. Stress is an absolute killer. Mark my words: if you guys are around in ten years and still doing uDG, this three month thing will be ancient history.
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Post: #55
Zylex Wrote:We think the voting of the next uDevGames should be completely different namely by external judges.

I strongly agree with this. It would, in my opinion, make the devs freer to focus on what really matters here - creating games - while improving the contest and making it more professional in general. Hard to find reliable judges? Maybe, but with a bit of digging and discretion in who is chosen I don't see why it should be a problem. If none of the game making related professionals out there give enough of a hoot about this contest to get involved, maybe this contest is irrelevant. One possible idea is to ask sponsers to provide a judge along with the prizes...
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Post: #56
igame3d Wrote:You gain nothing by forcing creativity into a vice.

uDevGames 2003 was the first time I ever released a game. It wasn't that I didn't have the capability before, I just never had anything realistically pushing me to do it, so my projects would flounder, drag on and on, and never get anywhere near a release. Knowing that I had a 3-month time frame and was competing with other developers had a dramatic effect on my focus, and I got the project done and released. This was a major turning point in my life, and it's thanks to the contest and its time limit.
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Post: #57
I am also new developer here, and I agree mojiferous %100.

I really liked the 3 month timeline. It gave me a kick in the pants to get off my lazy butt and write a cool game. Now that I'm through the contest, I am excited to keep working on it. The hardest part about writing the game is starting it. The short deadline motivates you to do that.

I also enjoyed reading other peoples progress in the developer diaries, and enjoyed keeping one and releasing prototypes. I got some great feedback from it, and it helped me improve my game. It should be a requirement to keep some sort of dev diary. It doesn't have to be long or involved, just an update as to what is going on. Shouldn't be hard to do if there is anything going on.



mojiferous Wrote:I might be the new guy in the contest and on the forums, but I figured I would add my 2 cents:

a) I am all for the 3 month system- it creates deadlines that must be met, forces you to create under pressure, and makes sure that those developers participating are committed to the contest.

2) I think the key in making sure that no one comes into the contest with a finished game is the developer diaries

3) I think the general media quiet around this year's contest had more to do with the fact that it was the first in a few years... after a hiatus, it suddenly comes back?
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Post: #58
pinguoren Wrote:
Quote:We think the voting of the next uDevGames should be completely different namely by external judges.

I strongly agree with this. It would, in my opinion, make the devs freer to focus on what really matters here - creating games.

Huh


How does having judges for voting which takes place after the games are submitted, allow entrants to focus better on what happens before voting even starts?
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Member
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Post: #59
FreakSoftware Wrote:Huh


How does having judges for voting which takes place after the games are submitted, allow entrants to focus better on what happens before voting even starts?

I didn't say this was affecting people's making games before the deadline. It was after the deadline came that the proverbial fan got hit. Devs who obviously didn't have time or commitment weren't voting and needed to be threatened into voting, there were various attempts to change the rules, debates raged over whether or not voting was properly conducting, etc. All of which requires time, energy and focus.
Does or should game development end with the end of a contest? Wouldn't you rather be free to keep working on your project or start a new project and know that your contest build was in good hands and things would be run well and smoothly without a big political effort on various sides?
Maybe I am alone in desiring what I do - it's possible that for a lot of the participants the chance to vote and debate is as valuable as the chance to make something, which is perfectly valid.
But no, I didn't see the contest as a distraction before the deadline, until that point it was a good motivator.
Hope that explains things.
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #60
pinguoren Wrote:I didn't say this was affecting people's making games before the deadline. It was after the deadline came that the proverbial fan got hit.

Oh I see how you meant it that way, now. All is clear.


-


Generally, my only beef with judges is that I feel no one is really better qualified to judge than anyone else, when everything is so subjective. If there were enough of them... like, at least fifteen of them... then maybe I could be convinced, but just 5 or so isn't nearly enough, and finding a big number of unbiased "experts" or "industry people" for a small contest isn't going to be easy. And then you're asking a whole of those people to try *every* single game (if there 30+ like there were in past contests).
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