uDevGames 2011

⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #1
Hello iDevGamers,


Yes, it's back. The rules are being ratified, the website is written, and the coding is ready to commence. It's time to start preparing for uDevGames 2011.


Proposed timing:
Coding Period: July 1 (Friday) through Oct 2 (Sunday night)
Voting Period: Oct 3/4 through Oct 13. Winner announced Oct 14

No entry fee as of now (was $10 in 2008). It's not really necessary and I think will limit entries.
Postmortems are still required.
Reviews of prizes are not required.
File size increased to 40 MB max compressed (was 20 MB in 2008)

Categories are:
Best Overall Game (Public vote)
Best Gameplay, Best Graphics, Best Audio, Best Story, Most Original, and Most Polish (Entrant votes only)

Rules: (Nearly identical to 2008)
http://www.sethwillits.com/temp/uDevGames2011Rules.pdf


This is a last call for thoughts and tweaks.




So what needs to be done?

Sponsors
Call for sponsors. I have a contact list, and will need some help contacting them. If you have good contacts, start working em. Wink

Promotion
In order to make this year's uDevGames a great success we need one key element: good promotion. We really need to spread the word about uDG wide, far, and often. You ALL can easily help with this. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, slashdot, Reddit, whatever. A simple tweet from all of you goes a long way if you bully your followers to retweet you. As far as standard contacts to news/blogs/etc, will need help with that too.
Quote this message in a reply
Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
"Only one entry per team is allowed. A person may contribute to multiple teams."

So

Team A:
Me

Team B:
Me

What's the point of this rule? Either disallow a person from contributing to more than one entry (not a good idea I think), or just allow multiple entries if someone really thinks they can do so.

It still mentions $10 entry fee.

I dislike 7) as it goes against standard Mac OS X application packaging, however, I understand the purpose.

The provision for copyrighted 3rd-party libraries is to allow Game Maker and Unity and so forth, but it does seem to create a loophole where an entrant could create a "3rd party" closed-source engine for only their entry...

Why require source submission as a dmg rather than a zip, which is much easier to create?

I don't understand "For the six “peer” categories, each entrant will score every entry besides their own. However,
the final score for an entry is calculated by the average of each team’s score. A team’s score is
the average of the team members’ submitted scores" at all...

The FAQ still talks about the entry fee.

Regarding the fee, are you sure you can shoulder the bandwidth burden? Last time I entered I got about 3000 downloads of my game, and that was when the platform was a lot smaller, and I wasn't a winner... Average uDGs seem to have about 20 completed entries, if 20 20MB entries each get 5000 downloads, you'll be on the hook for 2TB of bandwidth ($300 on S3), and that figure could easily be off by a factor of 4 or more.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #3
Agreed on this point: 1 entry per team, a person can only be on 1 team.

Regarding 7) Most people will have a zip or DMG. It can have the damn file in it. I don't see an issue. Also both should be allowed.

Regarding source: if a person has the correct "builder" installed (Unity, XCode 4), then building it should be as easy as clicking "build" / "run" / "whatever the fuck environment they did it in", and it should just work. fiddling to try to get someone's build to work is a motherfucking pain. Of course, this is just personal pickiness

I don't think I see it mentioned that not submitting a post-mortem, voids you from prizes.

Also I do agree that the bandwidth could be astronomical depending on popularity. There are more maccies now than ever.
Quote this message in a reply
Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
Oh boy! Oh boy! I think the timing will even work out well for us this time.

The rules seem fine to me, though I agree with OneSadCookie that it seems fine to let people work on more than one game if they want.

Should we maybe make it a requirement to put your game in public source control? The game already needs to be open sourced. GitHub and Google Code both give you plenty of disk space, free hosting/bandwidth and they don't go away because the developer abandoned them. It seems like that could kill a few birds with one stone. Even if the person doesn't want to use version control for some unfathomable reason, they just have to check it in at the end.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #5
Skorche as long as you're willing to help complete noobs check it in? There could be some very young, unexperienced developer who have never used source control before, and asking them to do any more than zipping their folder (MAYBE THEY'LL EVEN STRIP OUT THE OBJECTS AND EXECUTABLES), could be rough?
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #6
I didn't yet remove any entry fee talk because it'd mess up every other rule number and there are several rule number references throughout. Smile

I actually am unsure of how much bandwidth would be necessary. 2008's entry list was a little low. 2004's was 40, 2008 was half of that. I hope 2011 will be higher, but assuming 25ish, $250 won't break the bank, but it certainly will help if the bandwidth costs that much. I know I'll end up paying for it either way.

Regarding teams, the rule was in there so that if you were doing art / some small part, you could contribute to two teams. If it's one person one team only, it excluded that. I seem to recall the sentiment that if someone actually made two entries, they'd be at a disadvantage anyway because of time.

dmg vs zip. I don't recall the discussion. I'd like a zip myself now because it's easy to poke inside the file list programmatically. All of the old assets and binaries and things are all zip anyway. I probably was a stickler on dmg in 2008.

SCM: During the contest, the code is private anyway, so it shouldn't be available. If it's just checking in at the end, there's the noob problem, and the opposite where everyone picks a different system (which would drive me nuts if I'm having to go those pages to download), or we force everyone to use the same one which may impede the original developer from updating their code after the contest and we didn't pick their scm.

The benefits to it being in an scm: potentially free bandwidth and easy updating by the developer after the end of the contest. But they still can go away (original dev deletes their account or the project — think years), and it being the developer's account I don't know that it's easy for anyone from iDG or elsewhere to submit changes to it — especially if the original dev never maintains the account. Versus something like, all code is imported to an scm account maintained by iDevGames, and the original dev can have an account and has authoritative access on his game, or everyone has r/w access to everyone's games. Something. It's a complicated thing and it's simpler to just do .zips and if scm is interesting, do it later on.

Either way, with the zip, no code or binaries will be lost because iDG has a copy of everything submitted. That's always part of the plan.
Quote this message in a reply
Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #7
SCM: Code is supposed to be private until the contest end? Is there any particular reason for this? I mean I guess you could end up with a guy that steals everyone's code and somehow makes his entry into a superentry, but I don't really see that as plausible. If it's going to uploaded to a public SCM strictly at the end of the contest, that seems sort of pointless then.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #8
I don't know about giant super entry, but taking other people's code without their permission (and forcing your code to be available during the coding period in the first place) isn't in the spirit of a competition is it? During uDG you can get as little or as much feedback as you want. If you want to make your code viewable or let others use pieces of it, you can, but you don't have to. So making it all public opens a can of worms of source review and checking for plagiarism. If everyone's code is private, that trouble is avoided.
Quote this message in a reply
Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
I think requiring it to be checked into github at the end, and the binary uploaded to github, is pretty reasonable. Installing git isn't hard (either git-osx-installer or Xcode 4), checking into github isn't hard, and many people will use git anyway now that Xcode 4 makes it the default. Then you just have to clone their repo into an iDG account to preserve it. It can be part of the competition requirement that there be a README file with instructions for building, and github has a system for providing precompiled binary downloads. Seems like it'd solve a lot of problems.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 452
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #10
I'm pumped for the contest!

My opinions here. I see the point where a centralized repository for all the contest entries would be nice. It's nice organizationally, and you won't have a few un-downloadable entries because of expired links, etc.

As for hosting, during the big voting period, people could host their entries themselves, if possible. I don't mind hosting my own game, and I'm sure others feel the same way. Newbies without web hosting can still use the archive download. Those who are using a public SCM repository can link to that. I tried to look for stats back for uDG, but they seem to have expired, so I'm not sure how many downloads I got. From what I can tell, it was less than 400.

I don't think anyone could usefully plagiarize anything from another member. If they were going to plagiarize, they'd take something from a previous contest- even the author probably wouldn't remember writing that code. Plus it'd be from a finished game. Cheating at uDG would be like kicking puppies, anyway.

Finally... last year there was a rough consensus to add an award for "technical achievement" to the list of categories. This would represent something technically cool, like writing a game that does real time raytracing, even if the game sucks. (etc)
$300 seems like a lot for 2 TB of bandwidth. And OSC's estimates seem on the high side to me. Anyway, $300 wouldn't be busting the bank either.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 449
Joined: 2003.08
Post: #11
I'm on board with the letting anyone enter as many times as they want and everything looks ok (obviously with the edits regarding the entry fee). I say until the code is submitted an entrant can do whatever, keep it private, post it publicly, whatever they wish.
Alex
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #12
(May 29, 2011 10:08 PM)OneSadCookie Wrote:  The provision for copyrighted 3rd-party libraries is to allow Game Maker and Unity and so forth, but it does seem to create a loophole where an entrant could create a "3rd party" closed-source engine for only their entry...

Seems like this would be fine, since the library has to be available to the general public prior to the start of the contest. I suppose they could create something with an unnecessarily arcane/private API that only they would reasonably be able to use, or something that's very specific to the game they'll be creating, but it seems pretty unlikely that anyone would go to that much trouble just to get some extra work in on their game ahead of time.
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #13
BitTorrent.

It'd be handy to have one single large download which contains every game. That'd be a perfect thing to have as a torrent if was served by more than 1 person Wink
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #14
Ok, so in 2008 the 20 MB limit was removed. I found mention of that from Jon in the Unity forums. Although the rules I have still say it was there, many of the submitted games are over 20 MB. A couple are close to 100 MB. Average size is just over 30 MB.

Remove limit again?
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #15
40 MB average for 40 games, downloaded 5000 times is 7+ TB of bandwidth, which at Amazon cost is $1000+. Grr.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply