The iDevGames New Year's Contest

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Post: #31
Part of the goal of iDevGames contests is to advance the skills of the developers.

A Unity only contest makes the skills learnt almost pointless if at the end of the contest you do not then hand over your cash to buy Unity. I say almost because stuff like game play, test plans, asset development, project planning are of use in other areas.

This proposed contest sounds to me like a marketing excerise by OTEE rather than a contest for us. Not just a marketing excerise but one where they get someone else to do all the work for free. The sponsors of the OMG contest (can't remember their name which proves they got nothing out of me from it!) did not use the contest to get me hooked on their products.

Also the new poll is all about 3D engines / tools. Why is the number of dimensions suddenly a requirement in a contest?
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Post: #32
Andrew Sage Wrote:The sponsors of the OMG contest (can't remember their name which proves they got nothing out of me from it!) did not use the contest to get me hooked on their products.

Make no mistake, any and all sponsor of these contest expect to get something out of it. Sponsor for uDG expect to get advertising (as my shot stint as sponsor manager some years ago you have no idea the number of community stats they wanted to make sure they were appealing to the right audience with their sponsorship).

As a result of OMG Freeverse got plenty, including a new title to later publish as well as recruiting some other faces from around here. So don't think because you didn't go out and buy any of their games they did not get something out of it.

Why should OTEE be any different? Yes, they want people to use their product. Yes, iDG is probably the largest *single* audience which doesn't currently use Unity as a whole. Yes, a contest targetted here which forces people to use Unity is a good business decision for them (as opposed to an OTEE run contest which many of us would probably ignore).

As noted, I have no qualms about a Unity-centric contest as long as it is a Unity-centric and does not spread to the other contests (OMG or uDG). To make it appealing to the developers here, then the prizes need to be sufficiently tempting (after all, it is 3 weeks of the dev's time required to enter the contest. Learning a new dev tool means they need to devote even more time to enter).

For example, all non-winning entrants getting a coupon for $150 off of a Unity purchase (bringing the indie price down to a more reasonable $99). Giving the 1st place winner a free Unity Pro license, and giving the 2nd and 3rd place winners a free Unity indie license.

Of course, these prizes probably only appeal to the people who don't currently own Unity.
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Post: #33
KittyMac Wrote:Make no mistake, any and all sponsor of these contest expect to get something out of it. Sponsor for uDG expect to get advertising (as my shot stint as sponsor manager some years ago you have no idea the number of community stats they wanted to make sure they were appealing to the right audience with their sponsorship).

As a result of OMG Freeverse got plenty, including a new title to later publish as well as recruiting some other faces from around here. So don't think because you didn't go out and buy any of their games they did not get something out of it.

The new title they got meant the author of that title got money out of it. The same goes for anyone else they recruited via the contest.

The fact I entered and did not buy any of their games meant I was not affected by their sponsorship.

My problem with a Unity based contest is that if any of the entrants want to take their entry any further then they will have to pay the $250 or whatever it is to do so or start the game again with something else.

Entrants of any of the other contests could go on and develope their game without having to buy the tool to do so.
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Post: #34
Carlos Camacho Wrote:If we don't have enough Unity users in this community, than a possibility would be to allow some other similar tools. Though I'm not sure if OTEE would be keen on the idea.

From OTEE's point of view, the purpose of the contest is to get more people to try the tool. If they wanted to just attract existing Unity users they would just do this in their forums. So how many of us already use Unity is irrelevant.

I think there are three questions that decide whether iDG should run this contest.
1. Would enough people enter? (For a 21 days contest, this number could be fairly small)
2. Is the idea so offensive to the iDG community, or counter to iDG's purpose, that we'd want to turn it down?
3. Will running the contest use up time or resources that we'd rather spend elsewhere?

If the answers to the first two are "not enough" and "it doesn't align with iDG's purpose" then we should turn it down. As has been pointed out, OTEE can always run their own contest. (I think Carlos can decide #3 for himself, since he bears the brunt of these things.The only other event we'd had planned was an informal, unsponsored challenge.)

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #35
Andrew Sage Wrote:My problem with a Unity based contest is that if any of the entrants want to take their entry any further then they will have to pay the $250 or whatever it is to do so or start the game again with something else.

Entrants of any of the other contests could go on and develope their game without having to buy the tool to do so.

I can see why you'd feel that way, but I believe most of the work is still reusable. You get to keep any assets you've created (Unity uses industry standards.) You get to keep your game design. If you scripted your game logic in C# it's easily ported to C++. If in 21 days you prototype a game idea and find out that the design either worked well or failed miserably, then you've learned something very useful.

Speaking personally, I got some interesting ideas about scripting and objects from Unity's architecture that I would adopt if I developed my own engine again.

Last but not least, you've also learned whether or not you want to use Unity again. Smile

I'm not claiming there isn't some overhead and risk in learning a new tool, but I don't see much actual waste in this case, particularly for a 21-day investment. But if most people feel as you do then there's no point pursuing this.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #36
My personal opinion: I like the idea, since it gives me a reason to try out Unity, something that I never did before (because I was too lazy). Given that I don't expect to produce anything in 21 days that will ever make it really big, I don't care much about that I cannot continue development after the contest. The worst that could happen would be that I didn't manage to produce a good game, and the chances of that happening won't be any lower if I use something else. I would probably enter in a such a contest.
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Luminary
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Post: #37
The poll is broken; it's impossible to vote for no options. [edit]Fixed it![/edit]

I don't see what the big backlash against this idea is about. If Carlos wants to expend the time and energy to run the contest, I fail to see how it can be anything but a good thing for the community.

If you have no desire to learn Unity, or don't want to end up with a bunch of resources you won't be able to use again at the end, or have a personal vendetta against OTEE, or whatever, nobody is compelling you to enter.

If you have ever considered learning Unity, it's a great opportunity to get three weeks' real evaluation done for free. If you're already a Unity user, it's a great opportunity to hone your skills. Either way, if you win, you'll get a nice prize, which quite frankly, isn't all that likely for a random contest without a serious sponsor.

The only other question is whether enough people would enter such a contest, as compared to the number who'd enter an unrestricted contest. I'm personally not sure that there'd be enough people -- once you count the number of people put off by the Unity restriction, and the number of people who'll enter but drop, I wouldn't expect to see more than a couple of finished entries... but, maybe I'm wrong -- maybe Unity is such a great tool that more people will be able to finish than usual, and maybe the draw-card of a free Unity evaluation will bring in more contestants to begin with.
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Post: #38
Oh. I was confused. I thought that they were tools for us to use to make our game, not our actually game dev app/framework/etc.

I'm out. I find those tools hard to use...

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #39
With regards to learning Unity in three weeks, bear in mind that a) you can try the demo version right now, and OTEE are pretty good about giving extensions if you ask politely, and b) there's a whole forum full of people who do know how to use it, many of whom are very helpful. There's also an IRC channel (#otee-unity on freenode). I'm on that channel a lot, if anyone wants to discuss Unity-related things.

I don't like to evangelise, so I won't chatter on about how great Unity is, but I will say that people who dismiss it out of hand are missing out. Even those who want to make their own engines could learn a lot by dabbling with it.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #40
Nayr Wrote:I'm out. I find those tools hard to use...
It's totally irrational to generalize like that.

-Jon
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Post: #41
Three weeks to make a contest game with Unity is just fine, but there will always be border cases. There were lots of entries from people new to Unity from OTEE's dashboard widget challenge last year, and now the tool and community have matured a year. So there is much better documentation and many more people who can help out.

I don't really have much else to say... I think a lot of people here are really stubborn about new things.

-Jon
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Post: #42
Nick Wrote:I looked into Unity a bit and decided to change my vote as well. Unity would be too much for a single contest to be a requirement. Plus it shifts a lot of work and expectation into the art area where I do not excel in any way. Perhaps for a much longer contest (perhaps a 3-4 months next year) it would be alright, but for a single month, only the current Unity users would probably have anything worth showing off.
You can make compelling gameplay using spheres, capsules, boxes, and free fonts. I know because I've done it... in an evening. You always have to work with your strengths and weaknesses no matter what you are doing. So take a step back and think about what you actually need to make a game for a contest and how you can utilize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

-Jon
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Post: #43
Andrew Sage Wrote:A Unity only contest makes the skills learnt almost pointless if at the end of the contest you do not then hand over your cash to buy Unity. I say almost because stuff like game play, test plans, asset development, project planning are of use in other areas.
If I ever stop using Unity I now have a heck of a better idea on how to make games. Think of it as going to an art gallery. You may not like the particular work but you can learn volumes from the masters just by studying their work. And OTEE really are some of the masters.

-Jon
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MarkJ
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Post: #44
Carlos, I'm highly looking forward to OMG 2007. Hope all the plannign goes well.
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Post: #45
OneSadCookie Wrote:The poll is broken; it's impossible to vote for no options. [edit]Fixed it![/edit]

I don't see what the big backlash against this idea is about. If Carlos wants to expend the time and energy to run the contest, I fail to see how it can be anything but a good thing for the community.

If you have no desire to learn Unity, or don't want to end up with a bunch of resources you won't be able to use again at the end, or have a personal vendetta against OTEE, or whatever, nobody is compelling you to enter.

If you have ever considered learning Unity, it's a great opportunity to get three weeks' real evaluation done for free. If you're already a Unity user, it's a great opportunity to hone your skills. Either way, if you win, you'll get a nice prize, which quite frankly, isn't all that likely for a random contest without a serious sponsor.

The only other question is whether enough people would enter such a contest, as compared to the number who'd enter an unrestricted contest. I'm personally not sure that there'd be enough people -- once you count the number of people put off by the Unity restriction, and the number of people who'll enter but drop, I wouldn't expect to see more than a couple of finished entries... but, maybe I'm wrong -- maybe Unity is such a great tool that more people will be able to finish than usual, and maybe the draw-card of a free Unity evaluation will bring in more contestants to begin with.
VERY well said.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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