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The red pony's journal,

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WoA IV - Looking towards WoA V.

Good day to everyone, with the WoA IV wrapping up i'd like to create another yearly post-mortem from my perspective on things, and what i have learned this year for next year. First of all i'd like to apologize for the initial announcement coming the way it did, I tried to silently skip out on the responsibility's for this years event, and that was in poor form, and i'm quite sorry for doing so. This year moving forward I'm going to work with khawk to try to move this contest into a more official capacity, this well likely mean some changes to the way things are handled, but for the most part i'm fairly certain this will result in a better contest in years to come. Unfortunately we are in the early stages so their's not much i can say in this regard. As for the contest itself, I feel we have begun to form a solid smaller community around it, as numerous entrants were returning contestants! I hope most of you can return for next years as well. What went right? This is really the first year that i had several volunteer judges, for the most part finding a suitable judging team is quite the challenge, and it was pretty great to have most of that burden disappear almost immediately. I also liked the idea of only taking the top 3 scores in each category, Sometimes one judge just doesn't see the game the same way the others did, so I think this helps very much in those cases where a game is being brought down by one judge, but it also doesn't necessarily dismiss that's judge's opinions as well as they might have still given it a higher score in some of the category's. This helped yield a very tight scoring regime this year, in which most final scores ended up in the upper 70's/80's. I also think the more spread out prize pool was a nice thing as well, i know the lower prize pools were fairly small, but It's still something nice to look forward to. Going forward I'd like to keep a similar prize pool, my only worry with this is handling ties. This year i decided to duplicate the prize and give it to both in that prize, but if it happens on the top 3, well my wallet wouldn't be as friendly to doing so. I may have to consider in the future how to handle such situations(split that pool, or duplicate it if it's one of the smaller prizes). This year was probably the smoothest ran so far, I've learned quite a bit on the do's and don't's of operating this event now, and It's getting a fair bit easier to manage. I also quite enjoyed competing this year, It's probably my only regret of running the contest is that i generally don't have the time/energy to throw something together. I competed the first year when cornstalk's handled things, and my performance then was hampered, and it showed in the end result unfortunately. This year i feel a bit redeemed in that regard, and am very pleased with my entry(even if i can't win any prizes :( ). Still it was enjoyable and demanding to be a contestant, and I know how orymus3 felt when having to switch gears after the contest and throw on that judge's hat. What went wrong? Competing was a bit of a double edge sword, once the weekend started I about dropped most of my responsibility's to stay on top of participation, which lead to a fair bit more work after the contest to backtrack several days and get everything caught back up. I also made an absolutely terrible mistake with DKoding's game in that i initially packaged an older build, and still feel pretty bad about that one slipping through :(. Lastly SotL turned me onto using google spreadsheets, and while i made it work this year. It was not nearly as nicely formatted as the work he did last year, the only thing i felt i did better is that i added auto detection for finding which games the judge's have judged(which actually wasn't necessary this year). what changes to expect for next year? I actually have pretty much nothing i want to change right now, and until me and khawk figure out exactly what needs to be done to make it an official competition their may be a number of changes that need to happen in that regard. Riuthamus has offered to help me construct a sort-of starter asset pack that can be used by contestants that don't have an artist, as well it seems that helper system was not used at all, so it might be a fairer compromise if instead of offering helpers, we provide some asset package that can be used. Overall this year was again a pretty solid year, and i want to say thank you to all the contestants that competed, sponsors that helped with the prizes(stormynature, and iedoc). as well as our judge's that took time out of their schedule to give each entry some great feedback(JoshP, bacterius, and NightCreature). Also one last thanks to [color=rgb(102,0,102)]Thaumaturge [/color]who once again goes above and beyond in participation, I don't think their was a dev journal you didn't comment on(well maybe a couple). Till next year! P.S: I'm open to any idea, so toss anything out you think might be worth changing, and I'll keep it in mind for next year.




WoA IV - My Results

This is my scoresheet and feedback on each game, please note the feedback is under the scores, not above them! ----
Team: 7 day masochists
Game: nameless
Download: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0ByRMOIz9rEO0NFlIUkg1MDlwVkE&usp=sharing
Members: IYP, newt
Tech: - Gameplay: 15/25
Graphics: 16/20
Theme: 10/20
Audio: 7/10
FTUE: 4/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 2/5
Total: 64
Thoughts: ----
This actually is a decent start of a potential zombie game. Unfortuantly a number of annoying issues drags down the overall score. let's start with the bad, no ability to restart after dying means quiting the game on each death. combined with the way things start that requires probably a dozen attempts before you know how to effectively get out of the center of the hoard so you can actually explore and setup a defense. bullets don't seem to have any feedback, although their does seem to be zombie health as they do stop moving if shot enough. and although the graphics are fairly good, their's a noticable flickering of lights here and there, as well as sudden lag spikes. after probably 20 attempts i called it good(my last i was able to break away and explore abit.) onto the good, the ai is actually very well done, the zombies don't seem to get stuck on things very much, and are constantly following me. the controls are also pretty good, and natural for a third person shooter. even without instructions i figured out most things, had the game not required restarting on each death the FTUE would have been fairly high. Their also seems to be a vast world outside the facility, and a pretty nice skybox as well. As for theme obviously zombies fit for undead, but i didn't see much in the way of the other options. had a number of the smaller bugs been taken care of, I think the score for this game would have been much better as i do feel their is a solid start of a zombie game here.
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Team: Aletheia Game Studio
Game: Resurrex
Download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9VrclvlENaSRE9KOVlxSGlZT0E
Members: cefleet, Rick
Tech: Godot game engine Gameplay: 20/25
Graphics: 16/20
Theme: 20/20
Audio: 8/10
FTUE: 4/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 4/5
Total: 82 Thoughts:
Wow, i spent way too long on this game. I had every intent to eat every single cop that was on the street level, i was upto about 500 zombies eaten before....before the game finally crashed :(. I coudn't do that again, so anyway aestically the game is pretty good, I get a stop motion type feel from the graphics, and watching the trex regenerate it's form is very nice. obviously we hit undead with the trex, and i'm not sure if you were going for either shadows or evolution, but both were pretty well handled imo. The controls could use a bit of work, as walking around was a bit weird. knowing what body part does what is basically a crap shoot. I did discover the tail could kill people without actually losing body parts, but how to do so consistently eluded me. The music was low key and fit together fairly well. I enjoy the game overall, and liked the 2.5Dish setting presented to the player, the cutscene was fairly funny. however not being able to skip such a long cutscene (at least nothing i did let me) makes it hard to want to start it back up. It was fairly good entry all around!
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Team: Bytetroll
Game: runic
Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/10vvhhgfhom6k9i/team_bytetroll_runic.zip?dl=0
Members: Bytetroll
Tech: self built, java, libgdx Gameplay: 10/25
Graphics: 14/20
Theme: 8/20
Audio: 7/10
FTUE: 7/10
Particiption: 4/10
Judges: 1/5
Total: 51 Thoughts:
Um, well it took me a minute to realize what i was looking at. a slot machine is an interesting interpretation, i'll give you that. I really only see the ruins element here. anyway, i'm not really sure what else to say, I've never really been big on slot machines so I wasn't sure what pattern's i was looking for. It's an interesting idea, and graphically looks pretty good. but their's not much else i can say about the game.
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Team: dmatter
Game: Gamut of Blob
Download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByC640XVJpKJN1Nhb045MTZBMWc/view?usp=sharing
Members: dmatter
Tech: Gameplay: 19/25
Graphics: 18/20
Theme: 16/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 10/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 5/5
Total: 88 Thoughts:
What a truly excellent concept. The entire game's atmosphere is reminiscent of portal, humor interspliced into your journey through the game. the only issues i have with the game is it is too short, and the puzzles are fairly easy, or have very few fail conditions. Their are alot of interesting idea's here, the mish mash of different characters that can access different area's of the level. As well the game shows it could easily handle larger levels. I'm unsure if dmatter was going for puzzler, or for a journey type game, as their is a sort of finality with all your actions that built ontop of what came before. The game is graphically very clean, and the music adds beautifully to the atmosphere created. Overall a top notch game, something that could easily be a good time waster provided a good number of levels could be made. many props to dmatter for this years entry!
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Team: Frango Digital
Game: Labrat
Download: http://frangodigital.itch.io/lab-rat
Members: devn00b
Tech: -
Instructions: https://www.gamedev.net/topic/681151-week-of-awesome-iv-the-competition-thread/?view=findpost&p=5305744 Gameplay: 10/25
Graphics: 16/20
Theme: 15/20
Audio: 7/10
FTUE: 3/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 0/5
Total: 61 Thoughts:
It took me a bit to figure out why controls would not respond for me. I was in the middle of recording the game when i noticed my fps monitor was showing 4000+ fps for his game, but when recording bought it down to 600+ the controls seemed to be more responsive. I installed an fps limiting dll and volia by forcing it to vsync at 60fps the game was now responding to input. so onto the game itself, well it's not terrible complicated. flash a light to see the level for 5 seconds, and basically memorize your way through the level. unfortuantly level generation doesn't seem to generate blocks on the outer edges, and the start/end points always seemed to stay the same. just walking along the outer edge would get you to the destination. Their are zombies you have to watch out for, but in general they didn't seem to be a problem. the main screen being like a monitor over a room was pretty nice. I didn't see much else in the game to do, it's an interesting idea that could have had a better execution in my opinion.
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Team: Grey Army
Game: Sepulchre
Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dgqzskpzrshtsbl/Sepulchre%20-%20Grey%20Army.zip?dl=0
Members: Servant of the Lord, Celesol
Tech: C++, SFML, self built engine. Gameplay: 18/25
Graphics: 17/20
Theme: 14/20
Audio: 6/10
FTUE: 8/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 4/5
Total: 77
A decent but short game. The combat mechanics are interesting, but their is no indication of turn order, or which pets are suitable for what, so i stuck with the tiger and ... dragon, lizard? thing. once you learn that health carries between fights you can abuse this by defending and healing for a few turns. even so without doing that the difficulty of the encounter's don't necisitate much strategizing. I'm unsure what the buff does(makes criticals more likely if i had to guess.) The story is short, and kindof demeanted. I also didn't like killing the one guard who was on our side...actually several people were willing to help you, except you murder them in cold blood. Graphically things are fairly nice, although i'm not sure if the background art match's with the soldiers/main character, the two styles just seem a bit different to be meshed together. The audio is a good fit for each battle, but between battles the sound would cut out at times. Things were pretty easy to get going, the only issue i encountered was at the start hitting space bar too quickly caused the game to crash.
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Team: KodingNights
Game: Ruins Of The Risen
Download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByvrLHH7mGvpVWlHekEyMTZxNTA/view
Members: DKoding
Tech: Java, own engine Gameplay: 22/25
Graphics: 15/20
Theme: 18/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 6/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 5/5
Total: 86 Thoughts:
When i initially loaded up this game on my main pc, i played it probably a dozen or so times initially, as i discovered their was a bug with level generation that prevented the player from directly accessing the clue to move on to the next level. after confering with dk he suggested i play on a different pc as the levels are randomly generated, but are keyed to each pc, so every player gets a different experiance, he also told me certain weapons could destroy the walls, something i had discovered once, but never found the weapons again. on my laptop I did get much further, the 4th in fact, unfortuantly it seems the bug struck again, as i was placed inside a room which had no way out, and no clue to be found (I had to deduct from the FTUE for this) :(. After an attempt at a restart i had reached the portal for the 3rd level when the game froze and crashed on me. I really did want to fight that boss that dk talked about, but unfortuantly I have no more pc's to play on. Overall I did find the game very enjoyable, and I quite liked the lighting and atmosphere presented. the evolution I feel was presented through stronger and bigger baddies as you progressed in levels, which seemed to be building up into some stronger enemy's. The variety of weapons presented was also very nice(with the exception of the SAW, which seemed to always ricochet back at me). I also think the shadow elements fit in very well with the atmosphere that was created. The audio was very well picked as well. controls were mostly great, other than the fact that you can't rotate while shooting, everything else worked great. I even tried with my 360 controller which worked as well. Graphically the lighting system was mostly on point, although it seemed that it was possible for the lights to stack in such a way it wash's out the color of the scene, sometimes making the particle effects detrimental to vision. speaking of the particle effects i do think they were relied on a bit too much, and could have probably used a bit of toning down in that regard. Overall this is a solid entry, I really wish the level generation didn't cause the issues i had, but I did get to play a fair bit of the game in my opinion.
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Team: Kseh
Game: Doom in the Shadows
Download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_Q81-JW_FJJODBXa2h3T2lUdG8
Members: Kseh
Tech: C/C++, SFML, self built engine. Gameplay: 15/25
Graphics: 10/20
Theme: 11/20
Audio: 6/10
FTUE: 7/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 3/5
Total: 62
This was fun, although not much to see game. Having a series of wave's of undead swarm you is fairly fun. the weapon at your disposal(aptly named a shadow orb) is uesd to send the undead(and by send, a pretty awesome decintigration animation) back to their respective dimension. of course you can accidentally kill yourself by running into the left over shadow. i got to about having 20 guys chasing me when i accidentally ran into my orb and died. firing up the game again i encountered a crash fairly early into the game when i was near the bottom of the map, and decided i'd probably seen everything with the game. the map itself is moderate size, but unfortuantly is devoid of much in the way of things to see, besides a series of dead trees. I think the game itself is a good start, but needed some more polish near the end on map design and ways to kill things/be killed by things. overall a decently fun game.
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Team: mousetail
Game: Undead Evolution
Download: https://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=32967
Members: mousetail
Tech: (not stated, speculated self built.) Gameplay: 20/25
Graphics: 10/20
Theme: 17/20
Audio: 9/10
FTUE: 6/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 5/5
Total: 77
At one hundred days the zombies shall know fear of the last remaining village! surrounded by spikes, and men whom are beyond super human(including one man with over 9000 health!) soon we shall take back the world, and be gone with the scurge that is the undead! this game was quite the time waster, the starting point is a bit challenging, and it's geneally not worth risking people to evolve so early on. instead setting up a parameter of maxed out spike's was much more cost effective, after the spike grid is setup the game becomes pretty damn easy. at about day 30 i figured i'd seen everything, but kept chugging along wondering if the zombie hordes could ever overwelm me. at day 100, and lagging down my computer a bit on each night passed, i figured no, they can't over come me. by day 100 i had mutated dozens of my citizens into unstoppable killing machines, requiring a battery of clinics to even get them up to full health after the mass of evolutions. the numerous genetic labs that lay waste across the landscape. this was all time i felt well wasted. very fun game, although graphically a bit short coming, evolution and undead are done fairly decently. Audio is fairly good and well fit as well. some of the controls could use a bit of work(a point and click game that doesn't at least support w/a/s/d as well as arrows?!) as well the ui itself is a bit odd design. overall a pretty fun and entertaining game. ---- ----
Team: Neon Light Games
Game: Relic Hunter
Download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7OCTMofiWbhOTNORThvZ2Iyc1U/view?usp=sharing
Members: slicer4ever
Tech: C++, self built engine Gameplay: 25/25
Graphics: 20/20
Theme: 20/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 10/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 5/5
Total: 100/100 Thoughts:
Come on, what score did you expect me to give myself? :P ---- ----
Team: New New Things
Game: Forbidden City
Download: http://www.georg-rottensteiner.de/files/ForbiddenCity.zip
Members: Endurion
Tech: Self built, based on DirectX8, DirectInput, DirectSound (the "Xtreme" engine) Gameplay: 22/25
Graphics: 18/20
Theme: 14/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 8/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 4/5
Total: 86
A pretty fun puzzle game in which you are limited by your latern and bound to the nearest torch. exploring the dark and not being consumed in the lack of light at first seems relativly easy, but as the level designs evolve, you get pushed to the limits. so much so that i eventually had to skip the 4th level(and what seemed to be the last real level, as the next level just had me walk forward into an end screen), as i simply could not do all 4 spirals and return to survive. it was challenging, and the spikes at times were annoying to say the least. but still the atmosphere presented is very nice. I enjoyed the game, but did find a few parts tedious. the spikes also were difficult to see, and generally required map memorization to bypass. graphically the game world kept up a very consistent style, and looked great, as well the audio was well picked out, and the background music excellent. Overall a great game! ---- ----
Team: SilviuShader
Game: Snake Undead
Download: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjPyTC_8mu6ciNk1rVDhGayymPhfiA
Members: SilviuShader
Tech: C++, self built engine Gameplay: 14/25
Graphics: 13/20
Theme: 14/20
Audio: 6/10
FTUE: 7/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 2/5
Total: 66
This is a fairly simple to play game, unfortuantly it didn't seem to want to draw on my amd card, the background loaded fine, but the 3d models seem to be unable to draw. i hoped on my laptop which has a nvidia card, and things ran fine their. i'm fairly sure it's probably a shader file that's the culprit, but still i managed to get the game to play(i had to deduct a few FTUE points for this). gameplay wise it's pretty straight forward, eat graves as you progress to grow in length, however as time goes on you shrink faster and faster. their also is a random large grave that may or may not be helpful to you, unfortuantly it seemed to be unhelpful more often then helpful so i stayed away. the minimap is a nice feature, but to be honest i didn't feel i had trouble finding graves anyway. the controls were smooth and responsive. The audio background was nice, but the sound effect for picking up things sounded like someone had tried to just make it up with their voice, and wasn't a good fit in my opinion. Theme wise the undead was somewhat present with the skulls, and i did see a shadow on the floor snatching some tomb's before i got to them, but their use isn't too intrigual to the entire game. I thought this was an interesting entry, and didn't mind playing it at all. ---- ----
Team: Slaughterhouse Gaming Corp
Game: Light of Felin
Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41065/LightOfFelin.zip
Members: Riuthamus, Jaden, MasterKG, iCompose
Tech: UE4 Gameplay: 17/25
Graphics: 20/20
Theme: 20/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 5/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 4/5
Total: 86 Thoughts:
This was a pretty fun game, that was graphically very beautiful. unfortuantly a couple bugs in 2 of the later puzzles required asking the creators for help to solve, and basically both those puzzles were bugged and didn't work properly :(. the special power the player get's is pretty awesome, however it require's quite a bit of farming to actually get to use. their are also 3 icons at the bottom of the screen that i'm unsure what they are suppose to represent. audio wise is pretty well picked, and good sound effects. One minor annoyance i found was that upon death the zombies didn't reset, this allowed them to stack up, as well the zombies were capable of pressing on the platforms, making some find their way into the puzzle your working on. Theme wise the most promient two themes were ruins and undead, both of which imo were well represented graphically. I feel this game was a bit of an ambitios project, and while most of it's target were well met, their seemed to be a fairly limited number of puzzles, and the bugs in two of them only made a short game feel much shorter. overall a pretty good entry! ---- ----
Team: Something Fun
Game: Shadow raider of Ruins
Download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwkUknY2eaT1V3BMZ25YYnRlbEE/view?usp=sharing
Members: ryan20fun
Tech: UE4 Gameplay: 20/25
Graphics: 15/20
Theme: 12/20
Audio: 8/10
FTUE: 8/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 3/5
Total; 76
Their is an interesting effect going on here with the shadow mode. i quite enjoyed it, the hub idea was interesting as well. the controls handled well for this game, however as you are the shadow it was a bit difficult to see where stairs were, so i ran into walls sometimes thinking they were stairs to the upper level. their isn't too much in way of unique graphics, but what is their is fairly decent, and as the game is mostly played in the dark their isn't much need to see anyway. overall however it was fairly easy, although each map didn't seem to give an indication of how much treasure was on the map, and their seemed to be no specefic end point other than returning to the entrance. I think a few more days of polish onto level design would have helped quite a bit, and the concepts of lights were used pretty well. However shadows is the only theme that was well represented, it seemed ruins was the second theme, but the map didn't seem to graphically have much in way of what a dungeon would look like. I liked the idea, and the execution wasn't bad, a bit more work and it'd be the start of a good game. ---- ----
Team: Stout Walrus
Game: Stellar Salvager
Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r3gkhypzxikeqex/StellarSalvager_1.0.zip?dl=0
Members: ArThor
Tech: C#, self built engine Gameplay: 22/25
Graphics: 17/20
Theme: 20/20
Audio: 9/10
FTUE: 7/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 5/5
Total: 90
Wow, what a game this is. graphically the sun and god ray effect is just amazing. however the players ship seems like it was left untextured. anyway, it looks mostly amazing. gameplay it's also very very fun. the tensions get higher and higher as you have to make risker and risker plays to get closer to the sun and find more salvage. the only thing a bit disappointing is once you do reach the base, their's no victory condition to be fulfilled, so i proceeded to dive bomb the sun and got a closest distance of 16. truely the start of a potentially amazing game, this was very well done, although their are some rough edges, it has a lot of potential. controls leave a bit to be desired as the ship rotates a bit too fast, but it's pretty easy to adjust to, however moving too fast makes making mistakes very easy, something that can be difficult to recover from in the midst of the panic of your overheating ship. the theme was very well met, in fact i might say this is the only entry that used shadows as legitament shadows mechanic, rather than a lack of light as most other entry's had done(mine included). This game was very well done overall! ---- ----
Team: Thaumaturge
Game: The Shadows Twisted
Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/58334662/TheShadowsTwisted.zip
Members: Thaumaturge
Tech: Panda3D, python. Gameplay: 18/25
Graphics: 14/20
Theme: 17/20
Audio: 7/10
FTUE: 8/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 3/5
Total: 77
another year, another difficult game by thaumaturge it seems :P. but at least this one seemed to be the easiest so far, at least for me. I started off by killing things, and thought i could slowly wipe things out, but their seems to be a spawn generator in some rooms. so it took me probably 10 or so tries before i started to become somewhat decent at the game. Their is a pretty hefty bug with spawning in that level resetting either doesn't clear everyone, or doesn't reset the spawn generators right, as dying even a few times and i start to be presented with rooms of 20+ guys and it also starts to bog down my pc. it took quite awhile to get everything down to consistently get past the first room, after a number of tries to get up the spine of the skeleton, i concluded i had to just run past the enemy's there. The hand elevator was a pretty cool set piece. I get to the circular room and have to fight about 7 or 8 guys at once, a tough battle, but i had learned moving while healing was key to survival, so i ran around in circles slowly picking off guys. then i meet mr. boss, who can fire a ridiculous number of projectiles, and if that's not enough a number of ads were also roaming around attacking me. At this point i realized i was not meant to beat this game, and called it. I probably spent an hour here to just get to the boss. most of the enemys are pretty decent, the agile melee guy and the range attacker are good enemy's. the guy who charges you and can block is annoying bastard though, the other problem with him is that his type of enemy can stack on top of each other, meaning when 1 hits, it's effectively 3 guys smacking you. eventually you learn to backpedal on him though, and he also becomes fairly managable. graphics are fairly simple, focusing on a bone structure in various shades of light blue, actually it's fairly decent to look at. The enemys are actually pretty cool designed as well and look like actual other worldly ghosts, so i give heavy props to those designs. Audio wise was a bit left to be desired, the sounds the ghost makes are something that i found a bit annoying, i think some better choices could have been made for them. the gameplay idea of taking away light to heal was pretty good idea, but i'm not so sure i liked the fact taking damage is increased, either way i learned to eventually always move due to the extra damage being dealt, at first i tried sitting in corners with my shield up, but it rarily kept me alive. Speaking of the shield, i didn't find it too helpful, this is because you can't move while having it up. I understand it'd be way too op if i could keep moving while having it up all the time, but even doing something like half speed would have made it more useful. As it is i found myself very rarily using the shield, instead focusing on a hit and run strategy to battles. I think this game actually could be pretty great, but it still has alot of rough edges that need polishing out first. ---- ----
Team: Unicore
Game: Prometheus
Download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1nSU4JSGSWiNWo0SHBtcWh2eHM/view?usp=sharing
Members: Orymus3
Instructions: https://www.gamedev.net/blog/2219/entry-2262184-build-instructions/
Tech: Unity Gameplay: 20/25
Graphics: 15/20
Theme: 18/20
Audio: 10/10
FTUE: 7/10
Particiption: 10/10
Judges: 4/5
Total: 84
A very fun tower defense(sorta) game, it's a bit hard at first to build up your towers since the waves seem to have no time between attacks, so you are left a little bit hoping that things are laid out somewhat the way you want. The onslaught of skeletons start to get pretty real after awhile, and even with 7 or 8 maxed out defense blocks i quickly got overran. Theme is pretty solid with undead and ruins, although ruins is a tad bit of a stretch with the graphics. graphically it's pretty simple, it works, but nothing extremly impressive or anything. the controls could have had some type of ui element as well, even though i was told in the beginning what buttons do what, i kept mixing up 2 and 3 at first thinking 3 was the unearth ruins button. I do enjoy the openness of level design, and wished i had a bit of breathing room to actual design defenses, as it stands it's mostly a mad rush to get things going before being overwhelmed. as well the speed at which prometheus walks is a bit slow, and if your defense has alot of objects getting around can be difficult to repair the breaking items. This was a pretty great game though, i liked it, and think it has some more potential there. ----




WoA IV - Post mortom

Ah, it's done, 1 hour to spare i might add! The level editor proved to come through, and i was able to build 4 levels, the 4th being my most massive. It was a pretty intense week, going from "this doesn't seem to look right", to "this looks amazing!" was a wild moment. having that first real level load up and the lighting system come to life was a moment of glee for myself. I'm hoping that others well think i hit my two targets of ruins and shadows. although i'm fairly certain i've nailed shadows, ruins might not get the full points as i've kinda antiquated ruins with abandoned and made the levels look like abandoned dungeons. o well, that's for the other judges to decide.

music and atmosphere i feel i've nailed quite well, the only audio cue i don't think 100% fits, but is close is the monsters scream when he finds you, it's really close to what i envision, but not exact enough. I definitely feel though the rest of the game benefits from the eerie feel with the background music, I was even able to toss in a little sound effect for walking on bones(which actually does help the monsters find you a bit better).

Performance wise i'm a bit worried, there are two issues with the lighting system, the first is that lights that can't be seen at all aren't culled before reaching the pipeline, and second without using stencil's i'm effectively copying the whole screen to another texture to composite the final light map. this means every light is basically two full screen post processing effects. I tried using a smaller framebuffer for the lights, but their seemed to be random artifacts that'd pop up. so if you have performance issues trying out my game, trying lower the window size, as this benefits in two ways. first only the tiles within the view bounds are drawn, and only the objects on those tiles are also drawn, so a smaller view bounds reduces the number of possible lights at once, and reduces the amount of pixel processing required.

AI and gameplay i'm quite happy on, all the fine tuning on the monsters i feel they are in a great place, menacing enough to be a real threat to the player. and mostly intelligent(although when directly chasing the player they can get stuck until the player is out of range, as they change to a charging system rather than using the pathfinding system in place for normal movement). I didn't feel it happened enough to warrant spending time on fixing, and honestly i probably only notice it due to how much i have played the game.

Level design i'm pretty happy with, level 1 is small and introduces the basic's(unless you get lucky and don't encounter the monster at all). level 2 introduces doors/keys and is bigger, level 3 throws in a different way to approach the game, which gives you a key and you choose which doors you want to open in search of the exit. and level 4 i imagine is where some people well say f it as it's twice the size of 2 and 3, and much more complicated with potentially 4 monsters stalking around once all doors are open.

My original idea was for a singular level in which you are being stalked by a monster, while simultaneously finding journals to unravel a mystery about the place you are in, however as i suck at making stories, and the level editor wasn't finished until late friday, i scaled back my overall intentions to what we have now. something i'm still quite pleased with, and might actually find the level editor some future use.

as for my framework, this is it's first real game it's made something after the last year has been toiled in developing it for cross platform, while i'm only distributing the game on windows, i'm fully confident it'd run equally well if i got the build environments in place for linux, mac, android, and iOS. it was also extremely nice to work with, in the past things i've developed always seemed to hinder me, and cause me to eventually scrap everything and restart, like how this one came into existence. but honestly nothing of my framework hindered me in development, perhaps i'm finally at a point where i can grow it out exponentially rather than scrapping it every couple years.

This was a good week, i'm happy with the results, and overall am proud of what i produced!

Here's footage of me running level 2. note the key doesn't always spawn there, i just kept getting really lucky apparantly(and unlucky obviously).

[media] [/media]

Game download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7OCTMofiWbhOTNORThvZ2Iyc1U/view?usp=sharing edit: corrected video audio desync.




WOA IV - Day 6

Today has been productive as all hell. having the level editor done has freed up so much time in designing things, i was a bit worried about how the shadow system would play out, but now with a real level i think it works phenominally well. Pathing generation is done, collision systems are done, audio is 90% done, ai is done. goddamn all that's left is some polish on the levels. I wanted to make a larger game with this premise that basically was a mystery of sorts(with the same gameplay mechanics), but right now i don't have the time or story to implement something of that scope, so i've scaled back to having a series of levels in which you must find an artifact(scroll right now) and then make it back to the exit without being caught. The atmosphere is fairly creepy, and the monster is now intimaditing imo. I hope people well enjoy it: [media] [/media] I'm still quite awake, so i can get a bit more polish done on the menu's before tomorrow with the level design.




WoA - Day 5

Damn it's been a long day, the map editor took way to long, but alas it is done, and i quite like her i might say. she could find use in the future. wiring up so many ui elements, was a damn chore, and am thankful to be done with the majority of it. I do need to think of a better system for storing the registered events as right now it's fairly lazy list that is iterated over whenever a ui item dispatch's an event, and well a map editor make's that quite a long list. even if i don't see slow downs i do feel their's room for future improvments with that. as for the map editor, here is the bare bones results right now: i'm not that happy with the shadows, they are mostly their, but don't have any softness around the edges and look wrong. I have an idea on how to fix them, but i really can't afford to keep tinkering with the renderer, so unfortuantly they are probably going to stay like that. I actually have a fair bit of energy left in me, so I think i might try getting the collision system in place before sleep. tomorrow comes path finding system which should be fairly quick, then just drop in a little gameplay sugar on top and we'll be off to polish land. well, hopefully that's how it'll all go.




WoA IV - Day 4

Well today i spent most all day working on my level editor. i've made decent progress with the...UI. lol, i spent way to much time making the ui fairly useful, in fact i wasted 3 hours writing in both a scroll bar, and list box for use with the map editor. I probably should have short cutted some things, but well i can create, save, and load maps pretty smoothly now. i still need to be able to populate the maps beyond just the background tile's. but i'm fairly close to that point now so i'll probably be there tomorrow. I have to lay some more foundation for my actual game world before i can start populating it.

I absolutly need to be finished with the level editor and working on gameplay tomorrow. if i'm not there by the end of tomorrow then things are going to be looking bad for me, i'm hoping i can be basically done with the level editor with a few more hours of work.

anyway, that's it for me tonight, good luck to everyone else!




Day 3 - Light system done

Today was the last day of the week i had to work, and unfortuantly i didn't get much sleep the night before so for the most part i was half tired the entire day. Eventually i just called it a night fairly early at 9, and figured i'd get some solid sleep in to be refreshed for the next day. anyway, i did stick out and got my lighting system in place: I'm pretty stoked having the system in place, my next goal is the level editor to be in place. then friday thru sunday i plan to focus on getting the actual gameplay done.




Woa Iv - Day 2

In year's past the with work, and staying on top of all entry's and organizing things has kept me from being able to attempt throwing something together. but this year i have half the week off after tomorrow, so I figured i'd jump into the gauntlet and put myself through the paces like all the other contestants :). obviously i can't win any awards. anyway, I have my own cross-platform framework i've written, and i figured this is a good chance to see how flexible it is!

my idea is to take a cross between the themes of shadow, and ruins. the basic premise is that you are in some random ruins finding artifacts, however a monster is stalking the place, so you have to stick to the shadows, the monster is quite bright, and wonders around the level searching and stalking the player, which requires hiding in the shadows of the light cast from the monster's lantern, if the player is bathed in it's light then the monster well come barring down onto the player. the main focus of the game well be for getting a high score on how many artifacts you find along the way.

it's fairly simple, but that's my immediate goal to get done, and today was mostly about getting alot of the underlying code work in place to make everything work, to which has culminated in this image:

Till tomorrow, and good luck to all contestants!




One code base to rule them all!

For quite awhile i took a break, getting frustrated with my progress on my framework. recently i've decided to come back with a new plan in mind, get it to the point that it can be used to make something. originally my goal was to fully flesh out each module, while the core and platform modules are mostly done, the original plan was to gnerialize a renderer for DX12, DX11, DX9, OpenGL2.1, OpenGL3.2, OpenGL4.5, OpenGLES2, OpenGLES3, and apple's Metal. this would obviously take awhile, i was also finding problems in unifying the OpenGL and DX api's. finally i've made some decisions to fast track development to the bare minimum of portability. this means that i currently have mostly finished DX11, OpenGL2.1, OpenGL3.2, and ES2 renders. the main goal is to unify these api's into a more generic one that doesn't abstract too much of the underlying graphics concepts(shaders, vertex/uniform/index buffers, framebuffers, textures, etc are all still relevant.) however i do make some alterations to the concept of shaders(rather than being an individual module, a shader is a complete vertex/pixel/geometry unit, and textures/buffers are bound to shaders, not slots.) overall most of these design requirments have been met, and today i've reached my milestone of supporting iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. and as such i have this image: Each one is now at a point that i can make my game with, granted i only have android to test on(something i coudn't take a pic of since i have no other camera then my android device), so i know that this code might and probably won't work on every possible device out there, but if it hits most of them i'd be happy. my next step is to get the audio module to this point, and finally the network module. once all 5 modules are done, i can make my game, and slowly finish out the framework as i go along. but for now i know that in order for me to find motivation again, i need to get to another project.




Week Of Awesome III - Postmortem

This is my postmortem for the WoA III. I have been mulling over what many of the contestants have said, what has been discussed. I tried to reflect more on how to improve things for next year. The one word i've seen thrown around quite a bit is "disappointment", not in the contest itself, but each competitor's feelings toward what they created, and where they placed. This is not a word I want associated with this contest. Everyone that competed should feel a sense of accomplishment for what they've done is no small task, however it seems to be the biggest thing i've noticed in nearly everyone's initial reactions. This I think is caused by the nature of what this week is. It's a competition, and as such placing poorly can be disheartening, I understand this very much. It makes me wonder if I should bother ranking any entrys at all(and to be honest it is something I'm going to give alot of thought to for next year). I want to reward the truly excellent entries, but not make others feel like what they worked on was for naught. I think another thing that might have been a problem is an overly large prize pool. yes it was nice being able to hand out such large prizes, but I don't like that for anyone that didn't place, they could only see disappointment from the results(this of course isn't true for everyone, but for most it seems to be the common theme). In this regard I think I will institute a monetary cap to prizes, so that it does not become so much about winning.

Secondly the theme for this year, I felt it was much better than last years, but it's nowhere near perfect. One of two major complaints were seen. First off there was the relatively obvious "use your death to advance", which many contestants seemed to want to avoid using, and I do think many succeeded in that regard. I do believe that when looked into deeply their are a number of possible interpretations, but overall it was still kind of restricting. So with this in mind, I have decided that next year multiple themes will be presented, and you well be tasked with incorporating at least 2 of the themes into your game(likely a total of 4 themes will be presented). This will also most likely mean more abstract theme concepts, but we'll see what I can collect for next years.

On the topic of judging itself, I feel some work is to be done here. Eck himself created a great scale, and I attempted to make it as a guideline for each judge to use, but I don't believe each judge followed it adequately. Secondly I also put forth some basic guidelines for how a judge is to treat games. However still I think this requires more refining to get right. Judges are still going to have their individual takes on each game, but I'd like to narrow the margin between how widely different a game is scored by two different judges. Perhaps I need to take a firmer role when I see how each judge is addressing individual games, If i see a score that is vastly different from how the rest of the judges have scored a game I should perhaps ask for the judge to reevaluate the score. Or alternatively perhaps i should only average the 3 highest scores. I plan to give this thought on how I might improve the way judging is done.

Next, I had hoped by adding a reward for reviewers, it would have given more incentive to others to give feedback and review games. Unfortunately there wasn't any real strong uptake in what was seen in terms of feedback. I'm not sure if i will keep this reward in for the future, and was a bit surprised to see so few actually partake in it. I'm really not sure what to do to encourage others to share there feedback.

I have much to think about, and I doubt i'll get it all right next year either, but hopefully next year well be an improvement over this years. Thank you for everyone that competed, supported, and helped this year! Till next year's contest!




Week Of Awesome III - My Results

Thank you everyone for bearing with the wait, you can find my results here, for individual ranking see the spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mezCu1oGOe6K4RvvpuXy6QHLo7ZvpDv3-kI4Djucuj0 and click on my tab at the bottom to do score sorting. Excellent work to all of our contestants!

Team: Slaughterhouse Gaming - riuthamus, shadowisadog, ByteTroll
Game: Vault Stone

Gameplay/fun: 13/25 - Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of extra to do after killing some knights, and they didn't seem to be any type of challenge.
Graphics: 18/20 - Graphically the game is quite impressive, unfortunately the tree's are weirdly black, and their are a number of random squares popping up in places.
Theme: 14/20 - Death himself is murdering folks, it fits the theme quite well, but i didn't find anything too interesting apart from that.
Audio: 7/10 - For the most part the audio was spot on.
FTUE: 8/10 - Very easy to play, no outside documentation was needed to know how to play.
Participation: 10/10 - Was quite active over the week.
Judges Score: 5/5 - I liked the attempt at the scale and scope of this game.
Total Score: 75/100

Overall this game was an interesting concept. I however feel like there was more that just didn't make it in time. Graphically it's absolutely probably one of the best looking games all around, but due to some glitches i can't give it the full points in graphics. Secondly some particle effects seem to linger for awhile(most noticeable the blood splatter), the environment is top notch, but it's quite small for this game, leading no where to go. Overall it is a game I think has potential, but it just couldn't be realized in a weeks time. I found the controls quite easy to pick up, but their is another icon that looks like it should have been some sort of power, I just couldn't find anyway to activate it. The knights themselves didn't seem to offer any sort of challenge either, so after a few minutes of running in circles, i ended the game. I commend this team for what they accomplished, as it is quite beautiful to look at, it's unfortunate the gameplay isn't all there to match the graphics.


Team: Koding Nights - dkoding
Game: Death is Awesome

Gameplay/fun: 15/25 - Relatively decent.
Graphics: 13/20 - Graphics fit the game pretty decently.
Theme: 16/20 - You play as death himself, whom must save the world from dying too much(else lose all those sweet human souls forever)
Audio: 7/10 - Pretty decent fit for most audio.
FTUE: 6/10 - The tutorial is nice, but some of the controls are a bit odd.
Participation: 10/10 - Great overall participation
Judges Score: 4/5 - Interesting little game i liked.
Total Score: 71

An interesting take on the theme, making death himself have to do the farming to keep humans alive so they don't die due to the rampant plagues. There are also quite a number of maps(i played about 4 before ending), however they are mostly minor variations on the same concept. I unfortunately had a tough time actually winning at any of them other than the tutorial. Pretty much whenever i would go to actually farm wheat, the game would quickly tell me that the rats have eaten too much. if i spend alot of time fighting the rats, i can't seem to get anywhere with beating the level. in all I think the difficulty of the game lead me to giving up. I also found it strange the etherol flame shoots not in the direction of the mouse, but in the direction you were last facing(where your light faces). this makes fine aiming very difficult, and wasn't something i used very often. Although it was cool to see it became more powerful as i leveled up. the lamp idea also didn't seem to actually work, i'd light up a lamp, but no rats ever came over. It isn't a bad idea, but it could have used a bit more refinement in the gameplay department.


Team: AngeReveur
Game: Death is Useful

Gameplay/fun: 18/25 - Mostly pretty decent, if not a bit hard.
Graphics: 16/20 - graphics fit very nicely, and aren't bad to look at.
Theme: 9/20 - While death is involved, it wasn't the best fit of the theme in my opinion.
Audio: 6/10 - Sound effects were very well placed, but no background music.
FTUE: 9/10 - Very easy to figure out, but the timing to jump holes felt a bit off.
Participation: 10/10 - you were pretty active about development!
Judges Score: 5/5 - i enjoyed the game, and it had a horse at the end
Total Score: 73

This game was quite a bit difficult(i chose the wooden chest), I understand the chests are used to gage difficulty, so i figured difficulty would be ordered east->hardest. instead from my understanding i seemed to have picked medium. Gameplay was quite decent, but having a single life(with no sort of health bar) made the game a bit infuriating during the ending battle. it felt much more like memorizing the order to do things then it did for having skill. Theme wise i felt the game did meet the fact that death is useful(in that he appears and needs to be "found" to kill things), but since finding him didn't really take any effort it was a bit hard to say the theme was well met. I do think if the game had more levels, finding death would be an interesting mechanic. I did enjoy the fact that i had to figure out how to beat the end boss, at first i tried jumping and shooting him, this killed me instantly when shots bounced off the ice block and hit me. I then found out the iceblock contains someone inside that i need to kill. after a few attempts i finally discovered i could kill the waller guys, which allowed me access to the top. and finally i killed him! Pretty fun, and a good game overall!


Team: Something fun - ryan20fun
Game: Chaotic Ball Carnage

Gameplay/fun: 15/25 - a bit chaotic(as the name implies), reminiscent of bullet hell type of games.
Graphics: 8/20 - Graphically the game is a bit unappealing.
Theme: 3/20 - Death doesn't seem to play much of a roll, you seem to get extra child spheres on taking damage, but it doesn't really imply anything about death.
Audio: 9/10 - Audio is actually pretty great!
FTUE: 5/10 - I wasn't really sure how to start the game at first.
Participation: 10/10 - very on point about development.
Judges Score: 2/5 - Overall i wasn't very entertained by this game.
Total Score: 52

Graphically this game is reminiscent of ryan20fun's game last year. the technicolor objects are just not very appealing to look at. the background board also kindof clashes with this design in my opinion. secondly there seemed to be different enemy types, but i really couldn't make out what is what in the game. The theme also seemed be kinda there, i think we are suppose to take it that each hit is a death, and that the child balls spawn as a response, but the implementation to convey this message isn't really there(or maybe i'm wrong on this front?) audio was actually very well picked for this game however! The UI feels more like something i'd find in a level editor or tool, then an actual game. I didn't fully feel like i was playing a game, more like a level editor that let's me test the level. Overall the game feels a bit like a bullet hell type of situation, which isn't helped by spawning into a number of enemy's blasting at you. the physics is well done, and controls are easy to work with, although i wasn't certain if i was able to jump or not, some type of shadowing system would have helped me discern where i was relative to the ground. I think if the enemy's and level design(i played all 4 levels, but they seemed to be all the same for the most part) were better fleshed out, the concept could have worked better.


Team: DifferentName
Game: Lich

Gameplay/fun: 23/25 - Quite enjoyable!
Graphics: 15/20 - Graphics are well made and fit together very nicely.
Theme: 18/20 - The use of death to quite large army's is done quite well here, combined with the secondary effect of dying yourself. quite well executed in my opinion.
Audio: 8/10 - pretty solid sound effects, although no background music.
FTUE: 10/10 - controls and tutorial are well layered out in the beginning of the game.
Participation: 10/10 - Great participation.
Judges Score: 5/5 - Very fun and enjoyable game.
Total score: 89

This game was quite enjoyable, i played several times. each time getting further into the game, and seeing even more new enemy's(i wonder how many there are). Eventually i did put the game down to write this review. The wave like nature of the game is well done, once finished in an area you can look onto your army and see the devastation you bought to the enemy. unfortunately only about 6 dudes follow you to the next area. One criticism of the game i kindof have is that i didn't feel like my skeletons were smart enough to attack enemys that were further away(giving archers an advantage), and even though i noticed some skeletons gained gear from the ones they killed, it didn't seem to make them any stronger relative to the person they killed. Perhaps it was because the enemys i faced started to become much stronger than me. One other thing i wouldn't have minded is a way to self-die so that i may enter my spirit form without having to run up on others and let them slay me. Other than that, i very much enjoyed playing this game. excellent work to DifferentName!


Team: Ovensparrow - MarioLuigiMan, Onigiri Flash
Game: DeathJam

Gameplay/fun: 5/25 - I found myself fighting the physics of the game more so then anything else.
Graphics: 10/20 - Overall the graphics are not very bad.
Theme: 2/20 - I guess the skulls count as death.
Audio: 3/10 - The background music is not very fitting of the atmosphere, and the high pitch of the music hurts my ears a bit.
FTUE: 7/10 - straight forward controls, but i did find myself fighting in corners to move pieces out of there place.
Participation: 5/10 - you posted a couple updates, but that was about it for the most part.
Judges Score: 0/5 - Very short, no real challenge.
Total Score: 32

This game is extremely short, and really the only thing that made it kindof take a bit was because the bones would get stuck in a corner, and i had to fight to get them out. I think there is a concept here, but it just didn't get the time it needed to make any real level design. The artwork itself is very simple, I think the main player is some sortof ninja dog? but i'm not sure. Audio was not a good fit, if the game was darker it might have felt better, but a lighter tone would have been better. I don't really have much else to say about the game, so this is where i'll leave it.


Team: New Old Things: - endurion
Game: Bunny Hop

Gameplay/fun: 25/25 - Incredibly well done game, levels are fun and interestingly designed.
Graphics: 17/20 - Very simple, but very effective.
Theme: 16/20 - Hit the theme pretty well!
Audio: 10/10 - Music and sound effects were matched perfectly.
FTUE: 10/10 - Very nice and easy build up of teaching you the concepts.
Participation: 10/10 - lots of great updates and communication.
Judges Score: 5/5 - Incredibly fun and long!
Total Score: 93
Wow, what a game, i can't believe this was all made in a week. the number of levels, the polish. it's all absolutely great! The death of each bunny is over the top gruesome which plays against the cutesy look so well.
Combine this with a relatively long game as well, and each level seemed to have a great progression. It also manages to quite well surprise me, where i begin to think the game might be limited, it shows me it can make large levels just as easily as small levels, and force you to think differently about your game. The controls are incredibly well done. my only criticism of this game would be that determining exactly where you are is sometimes difficult. The feeling of where exactly you are on the map is sometimes lost because the background blends together. so i became a bit hesitant sometimes on when to jump. However other than that, this game was also great at making me feel like the more i played, the more skillful i got at doing things. The only thing i wish there was some form of grading(either each level, or at the end), as it would give an incentive to come up with potentially more creative solutions to each puzzle. Great work Endurion, this game was very well done!


Team: Mud Pit - Lactose!
Game: Death and Flowers

Gameplay/fun: 19/25 - quite enjoyable!
Graphics: 18/20 - extremely lovely graphics, well done with a weeks time frame
Theme: 16/20 - death becomes a gardener, a nice interpretation of making death be useful.
Audio: 10/10 - extremely well fitting audio.
FTUE: 10/10 - very simple and intuitive controls.
Participation: 10/10 - gave us lots of updates!
Judges Score: 3/5 - fun, but rather short and easy.
Total: 86
Death and Flowers is about a cute looking death that simply wants to water his plants. I found the execution and polish here to be quite top notch, and the audio and graphics were very on par for this game. However having only 3 levels makes the overall game very short, and I was left wanting more. Some things i'd think that would improve this game is to make the game world larger than 4 tiles, and perhaps adding finding the water can as part of the puzzle. The weeds were an interesting addition, but didn't seem to serve a purpose in the actual game's puzzles.
i think overall there is potential here for a great game, and what was made in this week is a solid base, but the puzzles for what i had to play were just too simple. Still a great entry overall.


Team: Oddfellow Games - WASDMagician
Game: reincarnage

Gameplay/fun: 15/25 - not too bad, but not the best implementation.
Graphics: 12/20 - The graphics were a blend between flat colored objects and detailed sprites. with some decent shadow and lighting tossed in.
Theme: 10/20 - As you get closer to death you become more powerful, but other than more ammo i didn't notice much else to dying.
Audio: 4/10 - no background music, and little sound effects.
FTUE: 7/10 - pretty simple controls and concept.
Participation: 10/10 - Great participation.
Judges Score: 3/5 - not too bad of a game, but it could have used some more time to work out the end goal.
Total Score: 61

Reincarnage is effectively a top down never ending shooter. The menu asks you to get to the other end of the room to activate a computer, but when i get there, nothing can be done it seems. The number of enemys that swarm you becomes pretty overwhelming, and basic kiting tactics fail when their is effectively no avenue of escape. The pathing seems to work relatively decently, but i did notice some enemys sometimes run past you and just keep running into a back wall(trying to turn around? not sure). bombs are very effective at clearly large crowds, but the ammo i have only let me use them sparingly. after about 5 minutes of continuous death/killing i quit the game with no clear indication if their is anything else i was suppose to do. I think a bit more polish would have made reincarnage a better game, or some form of wave based mechanic would have provided an indication of where to go, but as it is the game doesn't have much direction at the moment.


Team: SpaghettiSauce - __Toz__
Game: A Death a Dozen

Gameplay/fun: 20/25 - decently fun puzzler
Graphics: 15/20 - the nightly mood is well set, but the ground texturing seems out of place
Theme: 15/20 - Good use of the theme.
Audio: 7/10 - Good background music, but no sound effects.
FTUE: 10/10 - Very simple and easy controls.
Participation: 10/10 - Great participation during the week.
Judges Score: 4/5 - nice addition of hidden levels(subbed a point due to a bug i encountered).
Total: 81

This game was a pretty good game, and the concept of having a certain number of total lives forces you to think about how to use your deaths. Although not overly long, the addition of hidden rooms was a nice treat i stumbled upon. The first giving you an extra live, and the second i was unable to figure out. I spent alot of time in that second hidden room trying to figure it out, but unfortunately a bug cropped up that left me unable to leave the room(each time i left it kicked me right back in). I wanted to explore and see if there were other hidden lives i had missed, but i decided to call it quits when i hit this bug as i'd already spent alot of time in the game. I also enjoyed the way each level transitioned in, and the ability to go back and forward, it was a nice touch that made me feel like i was exploring the world, rather than playing a single level. It was fun, controls were simple, and I see potential. The graphics were for the most part easy on the eyes, other than the ground and some background rocks seem to clash with the overall tone, but those are relatively easy to ignore. This game might be worth further fleshing out if __Toz__ were so inclined.


Team: Thaumic Games - Thaumaturge
Game: Powerthief

Gameplay/fun: 18/25 - fun, but potentially extremely difficult.
Graphics: 15/20 - decent graphics, but nothing too exceptional.
Theme: 20/20 - lovely twist on the use, but also makes me hate you thaum.
Audio: 8/10 - audio was mostly well fit.
FTUE: 10/10 - easy to start, controls very simple.
Participation: 10/10 - Absolutely amazing participation.
Judges Score: 4/5 - fun, but i hate/love you firebird.
Total: 85

Boy powerthief is something. All i can say is that once an enemy gets firebird the game becomes very difficult. I unfortuantly could not reach the end(although i did in 1 of his prototypes) There were a few issues i had with the mechanic itself, it's great and fairly well executed, However the number of enemys that are able to use that spell just becomes overwhelming. The thing that made me final quit(after probably 20-30 attempts) was when i walked into a room and 5 enemys all shot firebird at me at once, since i can't outrun firebird when it's shot so close, i was instantly killed. Since i so commonly used firebird, there was no way to really make the enemys use other spells. I tried to run through without firebird a few times to get them to change tactics, but they seemed to always favor firebird. I resorted to alot of different techniques to overcome this problem. for example i abused the turning speed of firebird by hiding around outcoves so that i could jump out, fire a few shots, and hide from their attacks. I also took each room very slowly so that i could face as few enemys at once as possible. I really wanted to get back to the boss i had faced in an earlier incarnation(which was a doozy of a battle). but in the end i just couldn't see a way to do it. The level generation was nice for the most part(until i got into an open field and had no way to hide). but the staggering amount of enemys you begin to face makes the game quite difficult. Secondly many of the other spells seem extremely ineffective. the shards do little damage, and have such a tiny range compared to other spells. the flaming attack seems to stop when it hits an enemy, and do no damage. and the lightning ball has potential, but is nearly impossible to use against the jumping enemys. I think had the amount of enemys that can use a spell you lost been toned down i would have been able to make it further. secondly I think some fine tuning needed to be done to player movement to make kiting more feasible(perhaps a way to dodge, or temporarily sprint). Still a relatively good game that has a number of strong points in it's favor, and kept my attention even when it was torturing me.


Team: StoutWalrus - ArThor
Game: Orc Party

Gameplay/fun: 22/25 - Very fun puzzler
Graphics: 14/20 - Decent graphics
Theme: 17/20 - Pretty nice use of the theme.
Audio: 0/10 - no audio
FTUE: 8/10 - Easy to play, but questionable controls.
Participation: 9/10 - Mostly good participation for the week.
Judges Score: 5/5 - fun creative use of the theme.
Total: 75
If only this game had some audio! but in all this game had a great puzzle mechanic, sacrificing others so that you may make off with the loot(and get around certain traps) I found myself spending alot of time on the last puzzle. I think it's a little odd the orc doesn't have to return to get the loot however. Using the numpad for sending out Orc's/rouge's is a bit questionable, and I found myself tripping over which to send by mistake sometimes. I did like the art design, but there wasn't alot of variety. The traps were decently well thought out(spikes, holes, yellow death balls). and the puzzles also seemed to have a fair bit of thought put into them. One thing i think is nice is that the last couple of puzzles seem to offer several different ways to solve them, which is a nice addition. unfortunately no audio takes away the points that would have probably put Orc Party into a potential placer, but it's still a good effort!


Team: Unicore - Orymus3
Game: Death is Useful(unsure?)

Gameplay/fun: 25/25 - Incredibly fun
Graphics: 14/20 - The cubes and sphere look nice, but the platform was given an...interesting texture choice.
Theme: 16/20 - killing you enemys to keep your placing space.
Audio: 7/10 - decent audio, but no background music.
FTUE: 10/10 - very easy to pick up and play, tutorial is well placed.
Participation: 10/10 - amazing participation.
Judges Score: 4/5 - incredibly enjoyable to play(had to deduct a point due to a bug i encountered)
Total: 86

Wow, this is such a great game to play. I truly enjoyed the hell out of it. Gamepad is absolutely the only way to play however, the keyboard 8 directions are simply too imprecise to really get anything above 130 or so. The platform growing based on beating your opponents off is a great concept, and well executed here. Secondly for the amount of time orymus3 had to develop this game, he chose something that he could execute very well. The different enemys and obstacles you have to face is varied enough to keep the game constantly interesting. If there were a way to turn this into a mobile game, i'd whole heartily recommend it, but due to the nature of the controls, i don't think it'd be very touch friendly. Overall a great game that i didn't quite want to put down, but had to, to write this review. I did have to deduct a judging point though for a weird bug i encountered, as I was shot into a blue area that wouldn't let me die(where i also discovered the "give up" button apparently does not work). forcing me to restart it. However after getting a +300 score:

I have moved on to more reviews!


Team: BecauseNerdsCanBSexy2 - Alienguard
Game: apocowlypse

Gameplay/fun: 18/25 - relatively fun, but nothing to really change things up.
Graphics: 18/20 - very good graphics.
Theme: 0/20 - disregarded theme completely.
Audio: 7/10 - most of the audio was pretty decent, but the super power sound effect was very agitating.
FTUE: 10/10 - very simple to play
Participation: 6/10 - did an alright job of keeping us informed with what they were doing.
Judges Score: 1/5 - disregarded theme, and not much variety in gameplay.
Total: 60

Well, this game jumped off the deep end that was very much far away from the theme. space cows are attempting to eat one of the last patches of grass in space existence. An interesting concept. The artwork was pretty top notch, and if the super power sound effect wasn't so out of place to the rest of the music i'd also have given high props to the music. but the gameplay is extremely repetitive(i think the cows might have even been on a static wave repeat?) finally after a score in the 380+ the cows finally defeated me. and the game kicks right back to the opening splashscreen with no hiscore screen to show me what my real final score was. This game might have potential as a mobile time waster, but i do believe some more work and thought needs to go into making a larger variety of enemys to face.


Team: YAG - lede, zylick, and janderson2005
Game: Orcs Vs Zombies

Gameplay/fun: 14/25 - not much to really do.
Graphics: 8/20 - a mismash between decent lighting and ground, but basic/untextured objects.
Theme: 10/20 - you can reanimate the dead.
Audio: 4/10 - menu music, no in game music
FTUE: 6/10 - tutorial helps, but game doesn't fully work.
Participation: 10/10 - solid participation over the week.
Judges Score: 1/5 - attempted to do multiplayer
Total: 53

I don't have much to say about this game, it looks like a potentially interesting concept. but I think a week's time was just too much for team YAG. I did the tutorial, and it's straight forward about what to do however, when i attempted to play multiplayer with actual people, they were simply unable to connect to me, and the orcs that came to me(after waiting awhile) were just too much for me to handle alone. I'm not sure if they had networking working on there end, but we were unsuccesfully making it work here. The graphics are a mishmash between potentially good looking, and simplistic placeholder art, which distracts from any other potential the game has. I think i understand how the game was suppose to work(each death allows you to spend points to become more powerful), but due to the game not working properly, i wasn't able to really explore this feature. My opinion if team YAG is up for competing again is to stay away from multiplayer. In theory it can work out nicely, but getting the judges to coordinate for a session is not easy.


Team: mousetail
Game: Lazer of death

Gameplay/fun: 16/25 - decently enjoyable
Graphics: 15/20 - nice tron like design
Theme: 12/20 - Death is somewhat useful.
Audio: 7/10 - mostly good audio, but has a lack of sound for firing.
FTUE: 10/10 - very simple controls, no bugs or issues found.
Participation: 10/10 - great participation
Judges Score: 4/5 - mostly fun, but nothing that kept my attention very long.
Total: 74

This game has a nice tron like art style, that makes the game very appealing to look at, although the coin design seems to be relatively out of place compared to everything else. The gameplay mechanics are pretty simple, but unfortunately I didn't find it very lasting in appeal. The game is pretty fast paced, making it difficult to actively engage targets. The death zone is a nice addition, but the amount of coins you can ultimately make from it is so tiny that it's not really worth going there(if you can help it). As well due to the rate that you fire at, spinning in circles and firing kills basically everything without much issue. I found the sound mostly fitting, however starting a level and not hearing any firing sound effect feels empty. Overall A decent entry from mousetail to say the least.


Team: Aletheia Game Studios - Cefleet, Matthew P., Rebecca V.
Game: To die is to gain

Gameplay/fun: 7/25 - infuriatingly difficult.
Graphics: 16/20 - relatively decent graphics and tone
Theme: 16/20 - it does fit the theme.
Audio: 7/10 - background music is pleasant on first level, but not a great fit for second level.
FTUE: 6/10 - no tutorial on how to play, learning by trial.
Participation: 10/10 - great participation over the week.
Judges Score: 4/5 - I liked that your teammates were your students.
Total: 66

Wow...this game might have broken me. It is infuriatingly difficult to play, but for some reason i was bound and determined to somehow beat this game. until i reached a point that as far as i could tell is impossible(a ledge jump has a heart that you get, which makes it so you can't jump, and no other path exists). I have no idea how i beat the first level a stroke of luck, the level was excruciatingly long with no check points, and 1 mistake means restarting. over and over and over, as a judge i do my best to beat every game i'm presented with, and as far as i'm concerned I made it as far as physically possible. This game is extremely unforgiving, requiring you to almost always carry only a single life. as it tries to fit the theme, it makes the game nearly unplayable for all but the most patient players. It took me a long time to realize i could actively control when i got up by pressing the 'w' key(before i thought it was random time based, so I usually was just pressing random keys while i waited, and didn't make any such connection). There seems to be some type of opening story, but it was not made very clear to me what it was. I did like the graphical tone of the game however, it was for the most part nice to look at. All in all the game really could have used some outside playtesting, if making it so incredibly difficult was the goal, it was well achieved i promise you that.


Team: Casey Hardman
Game: Soulwielder

Gameplay/fun: 20/25 - pretty good and fun
Graphics: 14/20 - graphics were pretty decent.
Theme: 12/20 - killing humans makes you stronger.
Audio: 0/10 - no audio
FTUE: 6/10 - I had a difficult time mastering the controls
Participation: 6/10 - Kept us somewhat informed of what he was working on.
Judges Score: 4/5 - Started to really get a hang of the controls and concept near the end.
Total: 62

Ah, this game surprisingly left me wanting more. At first i found the controls...weird(perhaps space should have been the jump, instead of dash), and a bit difficult to keep remembering the correct button to
press when either jumping or firing. I finally did start getting a solid base by the third level, using my dash to jump back and forth as mobs of enemys came after me, and really started to enjoy the game.
Then the game was over, just as i had begun to start enjoying it. Unfortuantly no audio was included, which really knocked the score down. But overall this was a good and fun entry, that while having questionable
controls, has quite some potential.


Team: That Big Fat Chicken team - brunoscholz, KalVasFlam
Game: A gift from Hermes

Gameplay/fun: 18/25 - interesting and fun concept
Graphics: 18/20 - very solid graphics
Theme: 10/20 - The theme is basically explained away in the opening cutscene, but isn't really used in the game.
Audio: 10/10 - very nice audio and sound effects
FTUE: 6/10 - had to keep restarting when i died
Participation: 7/10 - decent amount of overall participation.
Judges Score: 5/5 - opening cutscene alone for these points.
Total: 74

Gift for Hermes is a very good concept, although it seems to have a few bugs. dying nearly always forced me to restart the game(although a couple times it did reset the level). I could only make it to the 4th puzzle, since each time i restarted the game it didn't save my progress. Eventually i grew tired of having to rerun through each level for one more chance at a level i wasn't sure i could figure out how to solve. Anyway, I did enjoy the gameplay, it was a decent puzzler, and i wish i could have seen the last couple of puzzles. The opening cutscene was amazingly well done, and the graphics are extremely good, props to the artist big time! sound was also excellently picked, and gave to a very nice atmosphere. I think if the respawning bug was taken care of, and death had been better incorporated into the game, this game would have had a real shot at placing. still excellent work overall!


Team: Mussi
Game: Dype

Gameplay/fun: 10/25 - an interesting but far too short text adventure.
Graphics: 10/20 - font was a good pick.
Theme: 2/20 - um...you could die i guess.
Audio: 0/10 - no audio in a text game(but that would be interesting to have)
FTUE: 7/10 - it's a text adventure, so i had to guess at some of the possible keywords.
Participation: 10/10 - even though mussi joined late, he was participation before being an official contestant.
Judges Score: 5/5 - seeing a text adventure is pretty nice.
Total: 44

Well it was pretty great to see mussi throw something together for this week, and i applaud what he came up with. The actual text and coloring was pretty great, adding real time events was a great touch. but the game is incredibly short, still it was pretty decent for what it was, and hopefully next year mussi can give a solid go at the competition!


Team: CodeMus - IYP, GTE, newtechnology, iDingo
Game: Post of Death

Gameplay/fun: 5/25 - No clear indication of what to do.
Graphics: 15/20 - World looks pretty decent, although there is a bit of texture shearing on the hills.
Theme: 12/20 - Death seems to be crucial, i just coudn't figure out how.
Audio: 8/10 - some decent(and kindof scary) audio.
FTUE: 6/10 - not very clear on what to do.
Participation: 10/10 - good participation.
Judges Score: 3/5 - I liked the attempt at scope.
Total: 59

This game actually kindof spooked me out, I'm playtesting it in the night. exploring the real world, when suddenly gushing sounds occur, and i'm taking damage. It felt a bit like i was playing slender. even though their was no physical monster it was an interesting experience. Anyway, past that i eventually figured out i could follow certain gravestones in the death world to find my body relatively quickly. The problem was i couldn't do anything with my body, the screen would turn white as i got close. but nothing ever happens and eventually i get a game over for spending too much time there. Eventually with no real direction on what to do(i think i'm suppose to find the spot to dig and find my wife?) i gave up on the game. There's something that could be spooky and interesting here, the sunny but empty atmosphere gives me a bit of a chill down my back, but unfortunately i can't really find anything to do in the game.


Team: Calinabris
Game: Snack Snack

Gameplay/fun: 10/25 - Very slow paced, an interesting combination.
Graphics: 12/20 - Graphics were decent, but badely meshed together.
Theme: 7/20 - Not really sure how death is useful here.
Audio: 7/10 - decent background music, and sound effects.
FTUE: 7/10 - simple interface, explained at the beginning. inbalance ratio is hard to figure out.
Participation: 5/10 - not much participation.
Judges Score: 2/5 - tries to give a message on animal testing.
Total: 50

I can appreciate the attempt at a message on animal testing, I'm just not really sure a game Jam is the best forum for sending such a message. Anyway the game is very slow, making playing pretty easy. I think the idea of meshing too game concepts is interesting, but it wasn't very well executed here in my opinion. I also had no indication of what food gave copper or zink, so randomly ate things until an inbalanced was triggered, and mice were tossed down the screen. Overall I think more time should have been spent on the gameplay mechanics and polishing.


Team: hu3 team - rodolfodth, devn00b
Game: Try. Die. Repeat.

Gameplay/fun: 25/25 - extremely fun, and enjoyable
Graphics: 20/20 - Graphics fit together amazingly
Theme: 16/20 - excellent use of theme.
Audio: 10/10 - perfectly fitted audio.
FTUE: 10/10 - very simple and easy to pick up, no bugs encountered.
Participation: 10/10 - great participation
Judges Score: 4/5 - very fun, but kindof short.
Total: 95

An extremely awesome game, the narration is very reminiscent of Portal, the entire game just feels like a portal like game, and it is executed and polished extremely well. I enjoyed the puzzles presented to me. I loved the wacky designs(and i also enjoyed that this served some purpose depending on the puzzle). This is a clear example of simple, but effective. I really can't say more than to give this game a glowing review, it is a tad short. but the ending twist with the boss fight was extremely fun to play with. Great solid game.


Team: Great White North Productions - XXChester
Game: Army of the Undead

Gameplay/fun: 18/25 - real time like features, but a bit difficult to kill in groups.
Graphics: 14/20 - decent graphics
Theme: 17/20 - your a ghost, and killing others makes more of an army.
Audio: 7/10 - sound effects were decent, background noise was a bit much though.
FTUE: 8/10 - tutorial was helpful, except it say to right click to select, when it's left click, and ghosts were ungroupable once they got ontop of each other.
Participation: 10/10 - great participation during the week.
Judges Score: 5/5 - I quite enjoy real time strategy type of games.
Total: 79

Army of the Undead is a pretty fun strategy game, you try to keep as many of your guys alive as possible while killing as many enemys as possible. I found running in a large group usually ended in failure since no matter what the enemy was always able to get at least a single attack off. So, i found 2 ghosts could instant kill any enemy(although 1 or both might die). but 1 ghost could handle 1 enemy and survive if at full health, so I started off by killing, and then using my new full health ghost to kill the next one, this began my army. the levels get a bit harder because multiple enemys would need to be fought. However i eventually would chase them all together, then kill as many as i could in a single blow. I didn't like that the ghosts grouped ontop of each other however, which made individual control hard, and i had to be careful which ghosts i sent out. I wish the enemys had a bit more variety(maybe patrolled areas?) but for what could be made in a week, it was a good entry, and a fun play!

Congratulations to all that competed!




LightWave - Phase 1 finished.

Today i'd like to talk about a new framework i've been working on. Honestly i expect myself to be the only person to ever reasonable use this framework, but it is a challenge that i one day hope will not only be beneficially to me, but to others as well. After about 2 months of work, i've finally finished the first phase, today i intend to write about the end goals of my framework, and what the framework will do.

What is Lightwave?
Lightwave is actually designed to both a simplified windowing, input, rendering, audio, and networking framework as well as eventually an advance rendering engine for use in future games. the framework and the rendering engine will be completely separate in terms of usability, the goal of the framework is that simple 2D and 3D games, as well as eventually the rendering engine can be built off of it, without ever having to touch any underlying os specific code, and maintain a single code base for various platforms. the framework itself will deal with all of the various platforms to try and present a uniform code base that can work on the targeted platforms.

What is Lightwave targeting?
The first goal to reach is support of windows, mac, linux(ubuntu distro's to be more specific, but anything which uses the x11 window library for managing the windowing segment should work.), iOS, and Android. writing a framework that uniformly supports both desktop, and mobile inputs is not easy to say the least, and at the end of the day it'll be up to the application end to ensure it supports all the inputs for desktop and/or mobile versions of there game.

How will the framework be designed?
the framework is being split into 5 modules:
This component is the basis of the entire framework, it's intended to have a good math library(vector2/3/4, matrix, quaternion, and various necessary math operations for writing 2D and 3D games), independent byte order reading/writing mechanisms, UTF-8 text support that supports both dynamic and static stack text allocations, support for custom allocation schemes, several multi-threaded safe containers(such as FIFO queue's, maps, link lists, etc), and finally a high resolution timer class(a bit redundant with std::chrono, but it simplifies the use of std::chrono). The core module will surely see some expansion as the framework is worked on, but at the moment it's goal is to remain c++11 compliant, and require no external dependency's on any of the targeted platforms in question.

This is the juggernaut of a module which makes of much of the meat of the framework, it consists of alot of platform-specific code, to present a uniform interface to applications, this module supply's cross-platform windowing support(this however acts as a semaphore for android and iOS unfortunately), file and directory i/o support, input device support(such as mouse, keyboard, gamepad, touch, etc), software keyboard support for android and iOS, switching display modes for the primary window. it is my hope that i can contain most of the platform specific code here, and minimize the amount of platform specific code modules that depend on this module will require.

LWVideo module is one of the main reasons that i wanted to build this framework, the design of this component is to feature several key features that are to be independent from the underlying architecture that is used but still maintain some of the general requirements for both 2D and 3D games : shader, video buffers, meshs(built ontop of video buffers), framebuffers, textures(2D, 3D, Cubemaps), images, and font rendering. each of these classes will be created from a base video driver class which implements DirectX11, OpenGL3.3, OpenGL ES 2.0, under the hood to present a uniform interface to the application. I'd also like to make note of the font rendering being handled here, although a goal of the framework is not to get very high level, i have come to the decision that rendering text is nearly universal requirment of any application, so it is to be done here, instead of in the highlevel rendering engine.

LWAudio module supports a uniform audio interface for applications to use, each audio component is owned by an AudioDriver object, which controls universal volume. each Audio object controls a series of stream objects, and each stream is actually playing or not playing audio at any time. the audio component will not be very advanced, this is mostly due to my shortcoming in audio handling in general. I'd considered playing with openAL to play wav, and FLAC files, with possible mp3 support(although mp3 support presents potential legal issues).

The networking module is relatively simple, the underlying object is the LWSocket object, which supports either UDP or TCP packets, reading and sending data between sockets. above the LWSocket object is the LWProtocolManager, each socket is tagged with a protocol ID, and when it receives data, it will call the appropriate callback for that protocol, it also supports non-blocking listening for any incoming socket data. finally the LWPacketManager and LWPacket classes support simple encoding and decoding of packets of information, the LWPacket class is intended to be derived by the application for w/e packets it requires, and registering them with the LWPacketManager for any protocol the application is listening for, rather that be a custom protocol, or well known protocol.

These 5 modules are intended to make up the entire framework, and provide applications a simple and uniform code-base that works across all targeted platforms, without having to delve into numerous different languages, and design decisions imposed by different platforms. with phase 1 completion today, i've created the bare-bones for each of my targeted platforms, with a full event loop being ran, and basic window, and input completed, alot of work is still required, but today is the day when i finally start to branch out and flesh out each module. I'll likely update this journal once i've reached another major milestone.




The judge's post-mortem

So with the Week of Awesome II coming to a close, some folks have asked me to also write up a post mortem on the entire event. I'm not the best at writing up these sort of things, but i'll see what i can get up.

When did it start?

Maybe a bit odd to start out with, but i'd like to start with why i decided to continue doing the WoA contest this year, in place of Cornstalk from last year. A little over one year ago alot of contest talk was being had from members such as cornstalk, and Alpha_ProgDes. Articles was getting a solid handle, and the CrossBones title was started to be handed out. In it's wake Cornstalk took it upon himself to create this contest, in total we saw 16 entrys, which was pretty fun experience overall. Since then, both Cornstalk and Alpha have become less active on the site, and it seemed to be evident cornstalk wasn't going to do a second week(at the time i created the contest, it said he had been last active in june). So even though i didn't do so hot last year, i still wanted to try to do something like it again this year. Being a full week long event set's the WoA in a slightly different category then most other jams of this nature imo, where alot of jams jump from 2-3 day weekends, to month long affairs, the WoA was intended to be a 3 day jam stretched across a week so that people with day jobs didn't have to feel as stressed out about being limited in time. Obviously some folks use all 7 days, and others might only be able to jam in a quick session during the ending weekend, but overall we had hoped the WoA's time frame would allow people in many different situations to be able to compete in a way they feel comfortable with. So with august soon coming to a close, i Decided to take up the mantle to build a second WoA contest that would hopefully improve upon the prior year's.

What went right?

So what went right with this year's WoA? Participation was insanely high, we saw over a 100% growth in entry's this year then last year, where we had 16 entry's last year, we saw 34 this year! People were posting like crazy, and the added participation points really gave an overall great atmosphere with the ongoing development over the week. Everybody had their own struggles, many folks were pulling out there hair coming down to that last day, reading about people trying to cross out intended feature after feature with only a single day left was enjoyable to see. The level of work put into each project is insane. And too see it come together over the week was great, I loved every journal i read, every post i read, every screen shot, and every video. It was all pretty awesome. I'm also happy that with the help of stormynature, lactose, orymus3, and 0sok we were able to put up 5 positional prizes this year, and overall had much larger prizes to hand out to everyone. The judging was also handled so much better this year imo, as that is what i had originally set out to change i'm fairly happy with the way it turned out.

What went wrong?

too be perfectly honest, from my perspective not a whole lot went wrong. Unfortunately it seems Aurioch has gone MIA since the ending of the competition. The amount of work to judge each entry also took a fair bit longer than I had expected it too, while 34 entry's doesn't sound like a whole heck of a lot, when you combine that with having to think critically about a series of category's, as well as add in critique's/reviews on each entry, the time consumption quickly adds up, and is what took up much of our time. In the end though it still took only a week for nearly every judge to finish up, so it wasn't too bad overall. Also after reading a reply riuthamus had in the judge's thread, it has given me cause that next year might see a redesign of the scoring system to better facilitate the offset from harsher judgments. Another issue I found was the time that went into keeping up with every person involved, tracking down journals/blog/individual posts to evaluate participation points, and the effort that went into sorting through each judge's score was much greater than i had anticipated, This has already led me to start thinking of ways to better handle things next year, so that I don't end up losing so much time to the more trivial tasks i found myself doing this year.

What can i expect next year?

Me and stormy are currently in talks about how to create a better competition for next year. The first thing we are hoping to do is to better promote the competition overall, while the main competition is likely to be held in August, we will most likely start promoting it a month of two ahead. This year's competition had about a month's delay from announcement to the actual contest really helped to spread the word, and generate a fair bit of interest. At the same time we hope to bring much larger prize base to boost the level of participation. I'd also like to better facilitate the use of social media to leverage during the competition, through video feeds such as twitch, posts from facebook, and twitter, etc. We did have a twitter tag this year #gdnjam, but it didn't receive the type of love that I would have like to have invested into it. Overall It's going to be an even bigger competition next year, and I truely hope i'll see alot of returning faces.





Week Of Awesome II - My Scores

here you will find all my reviews/scores for the week of awesome II contestants: https://www.gamedev.net/topic/661418-the-week-of-awesome-ii-the-judge-thread/

Team: Orymus3:
Game Link: http://orymus.com/mmony/Delivery_WoAII_Orymus.zip
Game: Delivery
Archive Link: /Delivery/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - Game was fun, but also maddening at times
Graphics: 18/20 - Graphics flowed together and worked nicely for this game.
Theme: 15/20 - Theme is put in pretty decently, however the only toy is the car, the rest are school supplies =-P
Audio: 8/10 - audio is very good, but a bit jarring at first, the sound effects work, but the sudden constant car rumbling noise when starting the game took a few moments to get used to(perhaps a semi-long fade in on audio would be good)
UX: 6/10 - User experiance is very good, easy to start/play and the sticky in the beginning is all you need to know, but i felt like turning with the car was a bit slow. however i had to knock off 2 points with no menu or settings, and forced alt+f4 to quit out.
Part: 10/10 - Great overall participation.
Judges: 5/5 - The game was enjoyable, and imo can be put in the tune of those "worlds hardest games"
Overall: 82

This game was fun, and had a great learning curve to it, it starts out slow introducing you to a new element each time you cross to a new desk. eventually adding them all together for some interesting mechanics. the game starts to become quite maddening once your on the last 3 check points, each try requiring me at least 20 tries to make it through(that damn 3 ruler jump, with the eraser at the last ruler was a particular pain). The inclusion of a boss was a great touch, but also insanely tough to beat. you had to effectively cruise through the bumper stapler's without messing up so you could gain some distance from the boss, and if your very lucky, slide above the pencils and down onto the ruler as quickly as possible before the boss descends on you). The game was very challenging at the end, but not so challenging i felt like it was impossible(the boss did start to feel that way though). I think there is some great potential in this game to be marketed like those "worlds toughest games", it has a better difficulty feel to it overall that while very tough, makes me keep trying as when i lost, i felt it was a mistake i made, and not the game's difficulty itself. another thing to note with graphics is the background was very simple, and had a nice parallax effect going on which helped with the sense of depth to the room, however as it's a classroom, i'd expect to see some papers on the ground, and perhaps desk chairs around the desks your running in between. One last graphical note is the shadow cones could have likely used something at their source that made it look like the shadow was coming from somewhere, rather than randomly appearing in space.

The game surprisingly also has a minor story in it(spoilers ahead), that is conveyed in the sticky/paper notes you find on the desks, it appears the child is slightly disturbed and is "listening" to the toy car to do things(which is likely why the teacher want's to see the kid after class), and by the end you learn the kid's mother has likely died, so he's more than likely in a mode of grief than anything else.

Team: Cefleet:
Game: The life of a bear
Game Link: http://aletheiagamestudio.com/builds/lifeofbear/
Archive Link: Web based game, follow game link
Platform: Web

Gameplay: 18/25 - Gameplay was very simple, but the first puzzle was insane to figure out.
Graphics: 15/20 - Graphics were very nice, had a few laying issues though.
Theme: 20/20 - Theme was spot on, all the toys you encounter are alive, but your the only one they've ever seen that coule move, it's an interesting twist to the idea of toys being alive.
Audio: 8/10 - Audio was pretty great, and was a nice melody while playing.
UX: 7/10 - very simple, and easy to pick up, but walking behind the tree killed me several times as i wasn't certain how close i was to the dog.
Part: 10/10 - cefleet was updating and commeting on alot of folks works
Judges: 3/5 - I was about ready to give up on this game after about half an hour of trying to figure out where that damn stone went.
Overall: 81

This was a pretty decent game overall, but it started to drive me crazy thinking maybe the developer forgot to actually include a use for the first part of the puzzle. BUT HE DID, AND IT WAS A BRILLIANT USE! Seriously though after i figured out where the stone went, the rest of the game became a breeze to get through as the rest of the puzzles had some type of hint to go by(and i had already found the stick). the cutscenes were very will done overall, and I quite enjoyed them(in fact i was so sad for the ending cutscene for awhile). I think a few additional puzzle scenes in the house would have been great, but alas we only had 7 days and am grateful for what we got. I did notice some graphical laying issues, for example when you first start you can walk under the swing, but later you are able to walk above it. also the collisions had a few issues, nothing detrimental/game breaking but i'm doubtful the teddy could fit through the fench(not the outer wall fence, the inner wall by the garden). still this was decent fun, if not a bit hair pulling in the beginning.

Team: Technogoth:
Game: The last toy in the box
Game Link: http://neonjesterdesigns.azurewebsites.net/TheLastToyInTheToyBox
Archive Link: Web based game, follow game link
Platform: Web

Gameplay: 25/25 - The enginous of this game!
Graphics: 13/20 - Graphics were a bit rough, but they were used very well!
Theme: 20/20 - Your a toy abandoned looking for other toys that live, i think it hits the nail on the head
Audio: 7/10 - audio was well placed, perhaps some special effects to go with it would be nice.
UX: 6/10 - It took me about a minute to realize exactly what i was doing, but as i discoved how things worked, i fell in love with this game.
Part: 6/10 - I coudn't find too much commenting technogoth did towards other competitors, so he didn't earn as many points here.
Judges: 5/5 - seriously enjoyed this game, it's still a bit short, but i loved every minute of playing it.
Ovarll: 82

Alright, this was a huge surprise, when i loaded up the game at first i thought i had to click on things in the image. eventually i realized i had to click on the actions, and do things, this was fine and dandy as i worked my way in searching for toys. eventually i saw the time, and realized it was ticking down. so alright, i got 6 minutes to play this game i guess. i eventually realized how to level up things, and finally understood how everything fit together. so after making my way out of the toy box, i had ~10 seconds left, welp not bad for a first try. then i did an action...and the game didn't end! now i had 30 minutes to do things, so first off i restarted because i wanted to do things a bit better now that i knew how it worked(and i wanted to see what happened if you stayed in the toy box). I had to quickly turn on fast mode, as waiting for each action started to become a nuisance, and i continued to play. and just slowly discovered the level of depth this game has to offer, weighting choices you make to stay and level up an attribute, to search for another item, or should i leave?! these are the things i had to ask myself. once i made it into the world, i still had some time to spare, unfortuantly each time i played, i never had the strength to hide the toy box. but i learned on each play through, more i became better. always my first action was to conquer the maze. then i took to the rat king, and saved my princess(burning myself to death once along the way), i pillaged the castle(note i discovered a minor bug in that i used the marble twice after having given it to the king, i also apparently used it to defeat the knight). then i tried to fix the princess, but the game ended here on me. and after having played it for a good while, i felt i should move on even if i wanted to see more!

This game was just...amazing in my opinion, it's so simply, but offers so much. truthfully i'm very tempted to build a game in the same type, the mechanics for the game are just down right amazing, that option of choice leaves you a million different ways to do things. the inclusion of a combat component was a great touch to the game(i had to run from spiders after i had only 1 heart left from fighting the giant rat). It's so well done, and i truly hope that Technogoth will continue to work on it.


Team: dmatter:
Game: Save my toys
Game Link: http://www.gilldave.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Save-My-Toys.zip
Archive Folder: /Save my toys/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 22/25 - Game was very fun to play
Graphics: 18/20 - Graphics worked great, and clicked together very nicely.
Theme: 15/20 - Toys are certainly moving, but are they really aware, i mean sure they escaped from Dr. Freinkstein, but who just walks off platforms to there doom?
Audio: 10/10 - Background music, and the sound effects work very nicely.
UX: 10/10 - the ui was very well designed.
Part: 10/10
Judges: 3/5 - I took off a couple points only because it crashed on me.
Overall: 88

This game would be absolutely amazing as a mobile game, the idea is simple, just help the toys reach the exit. and the execution is well done, you are given 5 possible objects to solve the puzzles(each with their own limits depending on the puzzle). the level of difficulty is fine tuned, introducing new elements in the first few levels to give you an idea of how things work. the fact that their is no "begin" button also works in the game favor to add pressure to the player to finish building the level before the toys make it to the end. However i did have to skip level 8 as i simply could not figure out any meaningful way to do it. I was on the last level still working it out(although i had gotten the key, i couldn't figure out a way to get to the exit). this is when the game crashed on me unfortunately, and since there were no more levels afterwards, i figured i had a good idea about the game. still it was very well executed overall, and the amount of polish that went into the interface and music is great. I know the story sets up that the toys are suppose to be escaping, but truthfully they aren't doing very much besides walking back and forth, which is why the theme score is a bit lower. The graphics were very well done as well, simple but effective, and then menu and opening cut scene was a very nice touch. overall i was quite impressed with this game.

Team: "Still Flying" - Eck, Laurie, Kaylee:
Game: Toys GI
Game Link: https://www.gamedev.net/blog/1922/entry-2260272-the-week-of-awesome-ii-day-7-crossing-the-finish-line/
Archive Folder /ToysGI/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - The concept is well done, and is basically a tatical unit simulator.
Graphics: 15/20 - The graphics were faily alright, each unit had some nice animations on there own, but alot of it didn't seem to flow or fit together very well, perphaps something other than a blue background would have helped.
Theme: 16/20 - Toys vs monsters isn't a bad idea at all.
Audio: 7/10 - Individually the sound effects and background music wasn't bad, but the sound effects seemed a bit out of place when played with the background music is all.
UX: 7/10 - Without reading the readme instructions it would have taken a bit to figure out some of the stuff, having the info in-game about what hope was, or some form of a tutorial would have been nice. the ui also could have used a bit of work.
Part: 10/10 - Had superb participation in the jam.
Judges: 5/5 - a fun game that has potential.
Overall: 80

This game seems like it suffered abit from the time constraint, I see a great game here, but with only 2 levels there's not much to do after you've beaten the boss. The enemy's are fairly easy to destroy with a platoon of piggy's(always use 1 race car so the monsters don't get all the hope on the battlefield). An endless mode would have been great, but beating a match, then sitting through the cutscene(which you can speed up by holding space) to fight the boss took a bit of the fun away. more bosses/levels would have been great, but again i suspect this is where time killed it. Another aspect that would have been great is some type of toybox/closest background instead of the plain blue would have likely went a long way as well imo. A few ui improvements imo would have been to get rid of the 2 red lines that represent the attack range, and instead when an monster or toy is selected(or the mouse hovered over them), draw a circle to represent how far they can see. also the unit selection could have used a bit of work, on a few occasions i selected a unit to attack, but instead my unit just walked over and sat on top of the enemy unit instead) perhaps some type of highlighting what the mouse was over would have aided the game quite a bit. The gameplay mechanics themselves i think were well done, but a bit more balancing could have gone into it to make the enemy's harder(the green Greedy monster never even got a chance to attack me most of the time). perhaps if the enemy had more forces it would have caused me to be a bit more tactical, but because there were usually only 4 or 5 enemy's, and i could buy generally many more forces, i didn't have to think too hard about how to beat the enemy. I still want to stress i enjoyed this game, but it could be much better imo.

One final note is that i personally didn't find an issue with having to show stats, since i could click on an enemy to see details about them, i generally always just checked out my enemy's before i approached them.

Team: Ryan20fun:
Game: Toy Mission
Game Link: https://www.gamedev.net/blog/1924/entry-2260275-the-week-of-awesome-ii-day-7/
Archive Folder: /Toy Mission/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 15/25 - The gameplay was...unique.
Graphics: 12/20 - The graphics were very colorful.
Theme: 5/20 - I know it's called a toy on a mission, and some of the cubes have faces, but i don't really feel like there was much of toys being alive.
Audio: 7/10 - Background audio was pretty nice, and the sound effects when collecting a point wasn't bad.
UX: 5/10 - I had to read the readme to figure out i had to click play before i could actually play(i feel a bit stupid, but since i had to do it only once, i'm not sure why this wasn't defaulted to on)
Part: 10/10 - Overall great participation in the jam.
Judges: 2/5 - Honestly I felt like this was more of a test of a physics simulation then a game.
Overall: 56

This was an interesting game to play. It seems ryan20fun had issues on the 3rd day with getting in actual models, and had to revert to squares/spheres, as well as scaleback the game design. As it stands though there is no time limit, and the scores from collecting the smaller squares don't get shown after you beat a level(nor does there appear to be hiscore system). so after playing all 3 levels there didn't seem to be much reason to replay them. I want to congratulate ryan for submitting something though, it takes alot of effort to get a game done and tossed in, and i'm sure this was a great learning experience for him. if the competition went on for a few more days I'm sure he could have gotten alot more done though, and I hope to see him compete again next year with this years experience in tow!

Team: Lootheo:
Game: The Night of the Living Toys
Game Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jbiindg1n2qfjto/LivingToys1.3.zip?dl=0
Archive Folder: /Living Toys/
Platform: windows

Gameplay: 15/25 - The game itself was decent, although rather repetitive and easy overall to play.
Graphics: 20/20 - Had some very good graphics, the room felt like a childs room overall
Theme: 10/20 - The toys themselves aren't alive, more like they are being played with by some other entity.
Audio: 10/10 - Audio has great, background music and sound effects worked great together.
UX: 6/10 - It took me a little bit to realize i was actually shooting(perhaps some type of projectile would have helped).
Part: 7/10 - Had rather good participating.
Judges: 4/5 - The game was a clever idea, i would have liked to see something that made if feel less repetive, or more challenging.
Overall: 72

This game was a rather clever idea imo, the goal is to prevent the entity that is controlling the toys from waking the kid, you sit at the center of the room disabling any toys he brings to life. However this makes the game relatively easy, generally only losing because some of the toys slowly but inevitably get closer and closer each time they are possessed by the entity. The entity moves more quickly the longer the game progresses, but with a mouse it's still relatively easy to track him, since once you've disabled his toy there is really no reason not to follow him(the flying toys will return to base, but the soldier toys would simply stop wherever you disabled them). In total i think there were 6 unique toys, and a few ones that don't get possessed sitting on shelves/desks, I really like the concept, but a change to the control methods, or gameplay for the player to stop the toys would have likely made a significant change to how someone approaches this game. The audio and graphics were top-notch, and felt like it fit the setting perfectly, and everything clicked together very nicely. However overall the repetitveness of the game makes it a quick one to play, and leaves little reason to return.

Team: thesikaoz:
Game: Action Average Joe
Game Link:
Archive Folder: /AAJ/
Platform: Flashplayer

Gameplay: 18/25 - Gameplay was fun, reminding me of the older mario brother games were you had to prevent the turtles from reaching the pipes.
Graphics: 13/20 - Graphics were a bit rough, action joe was fine, but the goblins could probably have used a bit more work
Theme: 15/20 - Your an action figure that was brought to life, although you seem to be the only one that can move.
Audio: 8/10 - Audio was pretty good, and the sound effects fit together pretty nicely.
UX: 10/10 - Relatively easy to understand and play.
Part: 10/10 - Had super great participation.
Judges: 4/5 - Was a pretty fun game, but a bit rough around the edges, and had no end game.
Overall: 78

So this was an fun game to play, reminding me of the classic super smash bros game where you had to prevent the turtles from reaching the pipes, instead you must protect the toys from being attacked by the goblins. the platforms even appear to be made out of lego's, and Action Joe looks pretty good. but the goblins seemed rather large for the level, and sometimes would bounce between the platforms when falling down. The gameplay was simple, and the added custom change component kept me going for awhile to see all that if had to offer. Overall the game does become rather simple once you are down to the last toy, since all you have to do is sit slightly in front of it, and keep attacking. still it was a pretty simple, but well defined game that had me playing for awhile. my first game i lost when a goblin made it past me at the 198 mark, however the second game i was above 350 when i finally decided to quit playing. The audio worked very nicely with the game though, and i can see if this game were polished up a bit more, it'd probably make a fun time-killer mobile game.

Team: Endurion
Game: Building Blocks
Game Link: http://www.georg-rottensteiner.de/files/BuildingBlocks.zip
Archive Folder: /BuildingBlocks/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - A solid build the path game.
Graphics: 17/20 - overall the graphics were relatively simple, but were put together pretty nicely(even the splash animation when a guy fell into the water was a great touch).
Theme: 15/20 - Toys that come to life and follow a set path i suppose. =-P
Audio: 10/10 - Good overall audio quality, sound effects were very nice and worked well.
UX: 7/10 - I didn't realize the spanning white text also gave you instructions on what the controls were, and figuring out how to rotate a piece took a little bit. also having the block count in the top right wasn't a bad place, but i didn't see it for the first couple of levels.
Part: 10/10 - Great participation with everyone!
Judges: 5/5 - An overall solid game that had alot of polish to it.
Overall: 84

This was a very well put together game, the entire thing felt like it was a finished or near finished game. However i could only get about 6 levels in(the bridges and gaps level) before i could find no way to continue. I pondered over that level for awhile trying many different combinations before finally giving up. Then i messaged Endurion on how to get past that level, and felt like an idiot for not being able to solve it. So i managed to get through the rest without much issue, this game was more about figuring out the puzzle to solve the level, then being pressured into it, which gives the player time to sit back and think about how to approach things. The physics could have potentially used a bit of work, as having the toy soldiers fall the second they got to a ledge seemed unnatural, but this is really a minor complaint about the game. The edit mode looks interesting, but i didn't spend any time with it, however seeing a full level editor make its way in was pretty impressive to say the least!

Team: AzureBlaze:
Game: Your Soul Alone
Game Link: http://azureblaze.idv.tw/ursa.rar
Archive Folder: /ursa/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 18/25 - A decent platformer that relys on brains more than timing.
Graphics: 15/20 - Graphics were pretty nice, but i'm not sure if all the platforms really looked like they belonged together.
Theme: 17/20 - The bear is up and moving, and the cutscenes/story is so very nice.
Audio: 10/10 - Audio fit the game very nicely, and created a nice undertone as you played the game.
UX: 4/10 - I had to give this a bit lower score as the color combination system was a bit difficult to grasp.
Part: 9/10 - Great amount of participation in the jam.
Judges: 3/5 - This was an interesting idea, but with only two levels there wasn't much to it.
Overall: 76

Your Soul Alone was a pretty interesting game concept. The game is essentially a large puzzle on remember what colors constitute what pieces work where. The difficulty comes more from a perspective of not remembering fully which colors combine to make what, if you remember all your colors, the game is probably pretty easy, but i found myself struggling a bit trying to think if certain platforms would fall out from under me if i stepped on the next mat. The game also suffers from having only 2 playable levels, it gives you a taste of the game, but that's all you get. The cutscenes through were a great edition to the game, and manage to tell a full story with such simple, but powerful and effective imagery(also that last scene i can only imagine is a solid call back to last years competition, so kudos!) Graphically the game doesn't feel like it all fits together, the bear works with the colorful play mats, but the white platforms, and enemy particle effects feel a bit out of place for the game. Still i found myself wishing for more levels, as i believe some very interesting puzzles could have been created, and i feel like this game could be used as a great method for teaching colors to people. At the same time, i feel like a revamping of the ui to indicate multi-colored playmates and what they effect would have helped quite a bit. Overall an interesting idea, that leaves me wishing for more.

Team: RenegadeNinjaNL:
Game: Toys in space
Game Link: http://renegadeninjanl.itch.io/toys-in-space
Archive Folder: /Toys in space/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 22/25 - This was a very fun and enjoyable game, it gives that feel of FTL but with it's own very unique style that i quite enjoyed.
Graphics: 20/20 - The graphics while not heavy on artwork, were so consistant and worked very well together.
Theme: 10/20 - It's not so much about the toys being alive, as you are rescuing the toys lost in space.
Audio: 10/10 - The audio sounded wonderful, every effect, bullet, and background sounded great.
UX: 7/10 - The game wasn't too difficult to get into, but some of the controls felt a little off, using ctrl for actual selection instead of more commonly used keys.
Part: 7/10 - Had a decent amount of participation during the competition.
Judges: 5/5 - I loved this game, and found nothing technically wrong with it.
Overall: 81

This was such an enjoyable game, i played it a number of times, improving my score on each playthrough. the balance of piloting, vs shooting, vs collecting was well done. the art style was very clear, and very consistent within itself, and even if it was black and white, it had a great atmosphere, the ship itself was very well designed. The audio worked quite wonderfully and only added to the overall atmosphere. The enemys each were unique in there own way, and only 1 felt very annoying as it kept spawning wherever you moved off to. Still that didn't bother me much as i spent much of my time in the seat as a gunner, i wonder how much effort went into thinking about how far apart certain seats were. The fact that the pilot seat was so far from the crane/gunning often left me in a position where i found it easier to run back and forth between gunner and crane operator than to move the ship. The ship being vertically locked at first felt a bit weird, as it limits your capability when you are in the pilot seat, although considering the scope of the game it's understandable why you couldn't move vertically. Overall i had fun playing this game, and hope it makes it out into the wilds as potentially a mobile game with a bit more polish under it.

Team: Thaumaturge:
Game: Darkholm
Game Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/58334662/Darkholm%201.0.exe
Archive Folder: /darkholm/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 18/25 - The gameplay is there, but the difficulty factor is insane.
Graphics: 15/20 - The enemys and players looked nice, but a bit out of place with the actual background and levels.
Theme: 15/20 - Toy crocodiles, and headless babies wondering the halls!
Audio: 8/10 - The audio felt mostly right, the only times that audio didn't work was with multiple toy crocodiles in the room that caused a weird stacking of sound as they moved around.
UX: 7/10 - the ui isn't bad, but the controls could have used a bit more work.
Part: 10/10 - Had super solid participation, Thaumaturge was really all over the place with this competition!
Judges: 3/5 - When in the controls screen, clicking on a control to change it would immediately exit the game.
Overall: 76

I really really tried to beat this game, I could generally make it to the second level, but no matter how much i ran, or fought death was always around every corner. after a solid hour of repeated tries, i finally called it and said i simply did not have the luck to do it. I think there were several things that lead to this outcome though, First of all the controls could use a bit more work, when you stopped moving, you'd still glide forward slightly. Since you would be walking into a room this would sometimes mean certain death as you'd enter a room, see a hole directly in front of you, then die before you could react to stop walking forward. This was worse on the second level because sometimes the toy crocs were right next to the door, and if you weren't moving, you were sure to be hit, which meant death pretty much either way you went. Also the combat system felt relatively flaky when combined with the slight gliding you do when you try to stop. Because your attack range is so short, and enemy's move so quickly, it makes it difficult to hit them without being hit yourself. This makes it worse with the wooden stick since that requires several hits to actually kill anything, if you didn't have the the iron stick, it simply wasn't worth it to engage enemy's. Secondly the random room layouts, this works nicely for a rogue like game, but when there are countless ways to instantly die in this game, it becomes near impossible in my opinion to not make a mistake. Which brings me to the third thing that i think makes this game so daunting, it does not feel like a skill based game, I felt like i needed more luck to get through it then anything else. When the high number(and fast) amount of enemy's occupy each room, the game is sort of a dodge them while making it through the doors, combined with the random layout of each play, i never felt like i could get better at the game, I more felt like i simply needed to keep playing until things aligned just right that i made it through the game. Some folks are into those games, but i'm not one of them. It's hard to justify continuing to play when you don't feel like you can actually do better on the next play through.

Team: mousetail:
Game: Toy Crush
Game Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6xoa8jx6c5xouj9/Toy%20Crush%20Setup.exe?dl=0
Archive Folder: /toycrush/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - Overall the game concept is relatively simplistic.
Graphics: 13/20 - The graphics were not too bad, although they seemed to be more of a mishmash of things then feeling like they all belonged together.
Theme: 15/20 - Play toys coming to life and attacking your fort.
Audio: 8/10 - Audio was relatively fine for the most part, i feel like some of the sound effects could have been a bit better.
UX: 8/10 - Until i read the instructions i didn't realize i wasn't suppose to shoot the knights, but other than that the game was pretty east to pick up.
Part: 9/10 - had a solid amount of overall participation in the competition.
Judges: 4/5 - Found a minor bug that a cannonball for some reason dropped out of the sky randomly on a couple of occasions, it didn't effect anything, but i'm not sure why this occurred.
Overall: 77

This was a decent game to play, the concept was nice, and i could see it being a good time waster mobile game. The little green leaf's were nearly impossible to completely stop, but were an excellent source of combo points. The graphics themselves weren't bad, but seemed to be a bit mish-mash in overall design, rather than feeling like everything fit together in a similar design pattern. The game doesn't take much to see everything, so after about 3 plays i finished up, and felt i had a good sense about the game. I think adding more enemy's and/or power ups would go a long way in making it overall more interesting of a game.


Team: Multiparadigme:
Game: XOON
Game Link: 52028761.fr.strato-hosting.eu/multi/jeux/XOON.zip
Archive Folder: /XOON/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 10/25 - I get the concept to shoot the yellow enemy ships while avoiding the toy cars, but the constant movement, and of/off nature of the bullets make this very difficult.
Graphics: 10/20 - Overall the graphics weren't very appealing.
Theme: 5/20 - The toy cars are at least something =-)
Audio: 0/10 - No audio was included
UX: 5/10 - The controls could use a major make over.
Part: 3/10 - Didin't see much overall participation from Multiparadigme, but English doesn't look to be his native language, which might be why he shyed away.
Judges: 0/5 - The use of sleep to enforce delays in the program made was a very bad design choice.
Overall: 33

I want to preface this with I am not trying to be mean, or demeaning in this critique of the game, just that I'm being honest about the problems it has. Overall in my opinion this game is a clear case of what you should not be doing. First off let's begin with the clear use of some type of delaying code(sleep comes first to mind, since it behaves similar to that, I'm going to assume going forward that sleep was used to create the artificial delays). This creates major problems in that you don't handle window events, not handling window events disables closing the app, and creates the impression of the app locking up, which is something the player should never feel a program has done. This is made worse by the fact that sometimes you get combo's in the game, and it again freezes the app and you have to wait to do things. The second major issue was the control scheme, everything seems to be done in a toggle like system. if i press up, i will continue moving up regardless if i release the button, when i start firing, i won't stop until i toggle it off. since the goal is to not hit friendly toys, this makes it difficult to control your rate of fire. The third problem is how fast everything moves, it's mostly a mis-mash of units on the screen that your trying to hit, but they move so quickly it's nearly impossible to accurately attack anything. Overall I don't want Multiparadigme to feel discouraged, however the reliance on delaying code, and a design that seems like it could have used some serious QA work leaves it in a poor position for the competition.

Team: CafeCrew - 0sok, Bohee:
Game: Recolor Me
Game Link: 52028761.fr.strato-hosting.eu/multi/jeux/XOON.zip
Archive Folder: /RecolorMe/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 22/25 - A solid and fun addicting game
Graphics: 18/20 - Graphics were pretty great overall, the background could have probably used a nice parallax effect though.
Theme: 15/20 - Several toys are alive for you to take advantage of.
Audio: 6/10 - No background music, but the sound effects were spot on.
UX: 7/10 - Very easy to get into, but it took me a long time to realize that to ride the dinosaur you needed to be on the back spikes, and not just aim for the head.
Part: 10/10 - Had a solid amount of overall participation.
Judges: 4/5 - a fun and addicting game, that seemed to only have a minor technical issue with trying to ride the dinosaurs.
Overall: 82

This was a pretty fun and enjoyable game. The concept to shoot the blocks to turn them into platforms is a great idea, and provides the player a potentially variety of ways to do things. overall i got to the level where you had to go down several levels, riding the dinosaur to twice to get enough bullets so that you can get the key. unfortunately after probably 40 plus tries i had to give up. The reason i tried so long was not exactly because I'm a judge, but also because this game felt very skill base, that it was my fault i was failing, and on each attempt i felt like i was making only minor mistakes, that next time would be the time for success. The game had a great progression of difficulty, slowly ramping it up, and making you think of the best blocks to activate to solve a puzzle. In some ways it even offered multiple solutions depending on your level of capability's, rather this was intended or not i don't know, but it feels like a lot of time went into getting the controls to feel just right. The controls themselves felt extremely responsive, and many of the puzzles required alot of precision and pushing the character to the limit to make work, which i thought was a great touch to the game. Personally i hope to see more of this game after this week as i think it has alot going for it.

Team: EyaID:
Game: Shelves The Game
Game Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5pc0_HxcjLubGtFamFJZEJBaWM/edit?usp=sharing
Archive Folder: /Shelves/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - The concept is fun, and well executed.
Graphics: 18/20 - The graphics are a tad bit rough at some points, but it still works pretty well.
Theme: 13/20 - The toys aren't so much alive, as being transformed into living monsters.
Audio: 10/10 - The audio fit very nicely with the game, sound effects were spot on.
UX: 10/10 - Very simply to pick up and play, tutorial was very well explained.
Part: 7/10 - Had a pretty good amount of overall participation.
Judges: 5/5 - No technical problems, and had a fair bit of polished feel to the game.
Overall: 83

Shelves is something i could see working very nicely on a mobile platform. The lighting was done very well, and the overall atmosphere felt great. The gameplay while simple, worked very nicely overall to great an enjoyable experience. Graphically the game is pretty decent, the backgrounds are nice and crisp, and the toys look pretty great. even the hand drawn elements aren't too bad, and the games primary mechanic with the use of darkness keeps the player from noticing too many imperfections, the red of the enemys as they transform was very soothing on the black background and added to the feel of the game. The only complaint i might have is that there are only a couple of toys to actually see, even if they didn't use different mechanics, having a bit more variety would have helped keep things a bit more interesting. overall This game was done very well, and with some control changes would likely make for an absolutely excellent mobile game. I hope to see EyaID do more with it in the future!

Team: JackOatley:
Game: Mindfield
Game Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33776055/Mindfield/Mindfield.zip
Archive Folder: /mindfield/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 18/25 - The overall gameplay is relatively simple, and is mostly a simple platformer.
Graphics: 20/20 - The graphics are quite consistent, and work very nicely.
Theme: 12/20 - The toys don't seem so much alive, as you've simply gone completely insane. although to be honest, i'm not 100% sure.
Audio: 10/10 - Audio is pretty spot on, calming back ground music.
UX: 7/10 - very simple and easy to control experience, i only had a couple problems with the controls.
Part: 10/10 - Had a very great amount of overall participation.
Judges: 5/5 - Technically nothing is wrong, and it felt like alot of time had gone into polishing the game.
Overall: 82

This game's experience mostly comes from the insane story you follow, while not very long, the wacky scenario of what happens is pretty fun. The lighting and graphics for this game was pretty top notch, and the background audio felt great, I feel like this game is the basis of something that could likely be much more. I only had a couple of minor problems, first off for walking up and down slopes, i died countless times simply because i would try to jump, and move forward, but if i was on a slope, rather than jump, i usually fell to my death. Secondly while the ship is relatively small, there's no clear directions on where things are, so your mostly going room by room to figure out where something is. Again the ship is small, so it's not very difficult to find your way around, but it was still something i could see being potentially more problematic for a game with a larger scope. The included menu and graphics made the game feel like it had gotten a solid amount of polish done to it, and i quite enjoyed the insane levels things went to in the story.


Team: Shadowisadog:
Game: TeddyStein
Game Link: http://www.donaldsmay.com/Teddystein.zip
Archive Folder: /Teddystein/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 18/25 - Gameplay was relatively simplistic, not a bad idea, but could have used a bit more polish.
Graphics: 13/20 - The graphics felt like a great example of programmers art, it wasn't too bad, but felt a bit like things were mish-mashed together.
Theme: 15/20 - Your a teddy bear murdering aliens!
Audio: 7/10 - Audio wasn't too bad, some of the sound effects felt a bit out of place, and the background music was alright.
UX: 8/10 - Quite a simple game to get into, wasn't too difficult to pick up how to do things.
Part: 7/10 - Had a pretty decent amount of participation during the competition.
Judges: 4/5 - Technically nothing is wrong, but a bit more polish, or multiple levels could have contributed to the game.
Overall: 72

TeddyStein is an alright game that feels like a top down duke nukem sort of game. the ui feels very much like an oldschool fps style, but the gameplay is from a top down perspective. The graphics seemed pretty much to be the definition of programmer art style graphics, while not terrible, they could have probably used a bit more work overall. The game progressively got more difficult by dropping in more and more aliens, combined with not much ammo and you didn't last very long. The farting was a good way to keep everything away from you, although sometimes the aliens would get stuck in a corridor and you'd have no way to get around. still it was pretty fun to shoot down the aliens, and I could see some control redesigns of this making a good mobile game.


Team: sketche99:
Game: Missing Marble
Game Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68091416/week_awesome_2_final/week_awesome_2.html
Archive Folder: Unity web game
Platform: Unity webplayer

Gameplay: 20/25 - a fun arcader type of racing game.
Graphics: 16/20 - Graphics were pretty good, but it did feel like some of the in game furniture didn't click together with the rest of the scene.
Theme: 12/20 - The racer is alive, but it seems to be the only toy that has come to file.
Audio: 10/10 - The background music was just great, and added so much to the overall feeling of the game, the sound effects were pretty good as well.
UX: 8/10 - Relatively simple to get into, but the turning felt sluggish.
Part: 5/10 - Had an alright amount of participation in the competition.
Judges: 4/5 - Technically the game felt good, had multiple levels, but also had a strong reliance on the bombs as obstacles in the first 2 levels.
Overall: 75

Missing Marbles was an pretty fun game, that gave me a feeling of it being a sort of arcade style game. The goal is relatively simple, drive around and pick up all of the marbles, and the execution isn't bad. The levels look pretty nice, and fun to look at, as well the sense of scale is great. The game can be a bit challenging at points, but as you learn to memorize the routes, each level becomes easier to complete. The controls were mostly decent, but the turning at slow speeds simply felt very sluggish. Also the wasd controls seem to be different from the arrow keys(backing up with the arrow keys didn't cause you to spin), so i'm not sure what's going on in that department. I'd also like to say that i think a multiplayer component to the game would make for some very fun racing against friends, but that would require alot more work than given in the 7 days.

Team: Team Opifex - Garrett Hoofman:
Game: Ultimate Bro-Down
Game Link: uploader.opifexentertainment.com/Data/UltimateBroDown.1.1.zip
Archive Folder: /Ultimate BroDown/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - This type of game style is by far one of my favorite's, no extra fluff for the player, your just another guy in the army.
Graphics: 15/20 - The graphics work mostly well enough, but they make it a bit hard to do combat with only sprites to go off of.
Theme: 20/20 - Hit the theme pretty well with the all out toy wars!
Audio: 8/10 - The audio is pretty great, with the exception that the opening sequence between the two kids the mumbling sound just feels very out of place.
UX: 5/10 - I have to take a few points off here as the combat mechanics require a bit of a learning curve, as well some combat mechanics are not very clear with the current animations.
Part: 10/10 - Had a rock solid amount of overall participation.
Judges: 0/5 - Unfortunately i have to take away any points here, i played the game 5 times, and twice it crashed in the middle of a match, there's definitely some type of bug hidden away in here.
Overall: 78

The concept for Ultimate Bro-Down is very reminiscent of one of my favorite games, star wars: battlefront. I very much love the concept of just being another regular soldier, no super extra stuff layered on, you win based on your own merits and not because the game gives you a bunch of added fluff. This game offers a wide variety of choices as to what you can be, each offer a different play style. From using the car to run things down, to the ball bouncing on other heads, and the Trex to chomp down your enemy's. It all works very great. The mechanics for combat for some of the characters took a bit to grasp, or even figure out. For example i'm still not sure how to use the robot, i'd die almost immediately, and never seem to do any sort of attack. The Trex is by far one of the easiest to use, and get kills with. The user interface could also likely use some form of highlighting who actually killed you, as most of the time just feels like you are randomly killed. Still the graphics are pretty well done, the room/floor/castles look great, and the sprites also look pretty damn good, however by doing only sprites it does make it a bit difficult to use things like the soldier and swordsman to actually engage other sprites that are on the same plane as you are. But I do have to give props to Team Opifex on doing alot of work in 7 days, I can't imagine how they managed to pull this off in such a short amount of time.

Team: Phil_t:
Game: When it's dark
Game Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7AkuhunCLJTMlA2VVRON0xNVnc/edit?usp=sharing
unity webplayer: http://icefallgames.com/Games/WhenItsDark.html
Archive Folder: /When it's dark/
Platform: Unity player, windows

Gameplay: 23/25 - A very solid puzzler that left me wanting more.
Graphics: 20/20 - Graphics were top notch, and felt great.
Theme: 20/20 - The toys are alive in the dark, a great concept overall.
Audio: 10/10 - The use of audio in this game was great, and was done so well, the teddy bears sound scary in the dark, but the game captures such a great sense of being in light vs being in dark.
UX: 10/10 - The learning curve was pretty spot on overall, the pacing between each level was done very nicely.
Part: 10/10 - Had a super great amount of overall participation.
Judges: 5/5 - No crashing and leaving me wanting more, what a great game!
Overal: 98

I really don't know what to say badly about this game, my only gripe is how short it is, and left me wanting far more out of it. The controls were mostly spot on(the character's movement could have probably been tweaked a tiny bit). the concept is executed extremely well, and the overall tone it and atmosphere the game creates is immersive to say the least. The concepts this game brings to the table are very well done, and overall it was an absolutely fun game to play. I would have liked to see a couple more challenging levels, but I'll chalk that up to not having enough time to put together more. The graphics and lighting in this game was very well done, the boy, toy solider, and bear all looked great(and seeing the smoking gun after a bear is killed is such a great added touch.) Phil_t should feel very proud of what he accomplished this week.


Team: stu_pidd_cow:
Game: Little Jimmy
Game Link: https://8ebedac828996867f58ec67fbff67f5b4909c8ad.googledrive.com/host/0B3vKFgZoCungbkN1R2oyS1ZTOE0/LittleJimmy.zip
unity webplayer: https://8ebedac828996867f58ec67fbff67f5b4909c8ad.googledrive.com/host/0B3vKFgZoCungbkN1R2oyS1ZTOE0/LittleJimmy.html
Archive Folder: /LittleJimmy/
Platform: Unity player, windows

Gameplay: 18/25 - The idea is there, but i'm not exactly sold on the execution.
Graphics: 15/20 - Highlighting only the important stuff was a good idea, but it leaves the rest of the scene rather bland.
Theme: 17/20 - But not all the toys seem to be alive, only these three!
Audio: 5/10 - I had to take off points for the audio used for the child, it was very tedious to say the least, the high pitch, and constant use made it get old really fast.
UX: 6/10 - It's a bit hard to figure out what your doing at some points, after realizing you want the kid to go to where the highlighted items are, it's not bad, but for the most part your left guessing on what you have to do.
Part: 10/10 - Had great participation throughout the jam.
Judges: 4/5 - No problems technically, and was a pretty decent idea.
Overall: 75

Little Jimmy is a relatively short game, it has an interesting game concept that reminds me heavily of the kid's game "Red light, green light" game in which you can only move when your told to, but must stop immediately when told not to go. The idea of only texturing the objects that matter works when your not given much information to go on for what your suppose to do. However it leaves the scene mostly bland, and sometimes your still not sure what your trying to accomplish. The game has a bit of humor and story which can be appreciated, but it's relatively short overall, and doesn't take very long to finish it.


Team: sethhope:
Game: Toys of the Night
Game Link: http://www.jcamtech.com/GDNJAM.rar
Archive folder: /Toys of the Night/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 15/25 - Relatively easy, and not much of a reason to replay.
Graphics: 10/20 - Graphics were a bit rough, no animation for the main character moving, and the vision cone around the player could have used a bit of work.
Theme: 15/20 - The toys do follow and murder you, so i'll give props for that.
Audio: 7/10 - Background music wasn't bad, but there were no sound effects for anything.
UX: 6/10 - Relatively easy to pick up, but the toys seem to pass through everything, and takes a couple tries to realize how your suppose to get the code for escaping the home.
Part: 4/10 - Didn't see much participation from sethhope.
Judges: 3/5 - No technical problems were encountered, but there just didn't seem to be much to the game.
Overall: 60

Toys of the night features the player running around a house to find the secret code to escape, whilst running from several toys that chase you. The toys can also simply pass through everything, so you have to be sure to put some distance between you and the toys before you attempt to check a sign inside one of the subrooms(well the entrances to the rooms anyway.) Sethhope adds to the victory message that he only really worked on it for 2 days, so it's understandable why the game is pretty rough at this point. I see a bit of potential here, but at the moment there simply isn't a whole lot to do to return to the game, I hope to see sethhope return for next years competition!

Team: TBA - TheMasterRat, Will:
Game: Atlas of Extinction
Game Link: http://weekofawesomeii.tumblr.com/Download
Archive Folder: /Atlas/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 25/25 - What an overall fun game, fighting other creatures while trying to survive yourself, the difficulty was quite insane as well.
Graphics: 10/20 - Graphics were a bit rough, some basic animations on the creature's moving would have been a good touch.
Theme: 5/20 - More monsters than anything else, and they are remote controlled, not actual living it seems.
Audio: 10/10 - Background audio was pretty good, as were the sound effects.
UX: 5/10 - Took a bit to realize the one type of tile could hurt you, as well took me a bit to figure out how to shoot.
Part: 10/10 - Had rock solid amount of participation.
Judges: 5/5 - No technical difficultys, and enjoyable game.
Overall: 70

This game was pretty damn fun game, i loved going around beating up the other creature things, and the difficulty ramp of the game gets to be pretty insane(the final arena puts three of the most powerful guys in a circle around you when you start, barely managed to escape alive). The fact that the game doesn't reset your creation is a great touch, and the mix and match style of parts is fun to find something that you like to use. overall i settled for a more speedy guy that had a tiny bit of armor and decently strong arms. After awhile though, i had to start to resort to exploitative tactics to actually beat the game, shooting the enemy's before i was in range for them to respond being the biggest offense i committed. still i think there is heavy potential in this type of game, and it was pretty enjoyable being in a cage match style game. I hope TheMasterRat and Will well give thought to continuing this project.

Team: Moonlit House - Line:
Game: The toys are alive
Game Link: http://moonlithouse.com/thetoysarealive/
Archive Folder: Web based game
Platform: Web

Gameplay: 10/25 - A simple game overall, unfortunately without changing what moves, there's not much reason to replay the game.
Graphics: 15/20 - Graphics were pretty great, cutscenes were mostly good, but other times they seemed to be crudely drawn together, which breaks the flow between great graphics, and not so great graphics.
Theme: 15/20 - The toys seem to be moving each night.
Audio: 10/10 - The voice acting, and subtle bird noises were top notch!
UX: 10/10 - Extremely simply gameplay mechanics.
Part: 9/10 - Had a pretty great amount of participation.
Judges: 4/5 - Nothing was technically wrong with it, but it was overwhelmingly short unfortunately.
Overall: 73

This game seems like it has potential to create a very interesting story, unfortunately with only one actual gameplay bit, there isn't much to do. I'd like to note that the voice acting for the dad is very good, and sounds very natural, the kid is about the same level as the dad's voice acting, but sounds like it's been ran through some type of software to modulate the voice a bit. I enjoyed the artwork, and the actual ui itself seemed very polished, but it still comes back to the fact that the game only has 1 actual scene that distracts from it receiving a higher score.

Team: JeoffreyS:
Game: Escape From The Toy Tower
Game Link: http://geoffreysangston.github.io/EscapeFromToyTower/
Archive Folder: Web Based game
Platform: Web

Gameplay: 18/25 - An decent concept, that could have used a bit of work in the controls department.
Graphics: 17/20 - while not the most fanciest of graphics, they were relatively consistent, and didn't distract much from the game.
Theme: 15/20 - The teddy bears come to life to attack you, relatively within line of the theme, but seeing more toys would have been nice.
Audio: 7/10 - Background music was very nice and soothing, but some sort of sound effects for shooting/killing an teddy would have gone a long way.
UX: 7/10 - My biggest gripe is the requirment to move in the direction you want to shoot
Part: 2/10 - Didn't see very much participation from JeoffreyS
Judges: 5/5 - No technical difficulty's, and seeing randomly generated simple levels was a nice touch overall.
Overall: 71

This game was an interesting game to play, essentially you must make your way down the tower, as each room gets larger and deadlier. throw in the added benefit that you can stop some toys from turning against you, and you have an interesting game mechanic. the random generation of each level was a nice touch, and does lend credence to the overall replay value. While the graphics weren't technically stunning, they were pretty consistent and didn't distract from the game at all. The controls could have likely used a bit of a change, as having to move in the direction you want to shoot meant some many early deaths. However once you learn to simply sit at the end of a corridor and mow down the teddys as they come from you, the game changes from being relatively difficult, to becoming pretty easy overall. I think the idea here is sound, and seeing a bit of change up to controls would help quite a bit, as well as tossing in some additional enemy types.


Team: Grey Army - Servant of the Lord(and artist!):
Game: Grey Army
Game Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cn6r2sswvcywhku/GreyArmy%20entry.zip?dl=0
Archive Folder: /GreyArmy/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - The concept is solid, but it could use a bit more work.
Graphics: 15/20 - The graphics were nice, but incomplete it seems.
Theme: 15/20 - Toy soldiers trying to murder some military mice.
Audio: 10/10 - Good audio all around.
UX: 4/10 - Controls seemed unfinshed, and unclear.
Part: 10/10 - Rock solid participation during the competition.
Judges: 5/5 - No technical problems, and i like the concept.
Overall: 79

Grey Army feels like a nearly complete game. It's trying to be a tactical squad shooter, but there are some things getting in the way of that. first off it seems that you should be allowed to tell you mice to shoot specific targets, rather or not they were doing this I'm unsure of, as it's very difficult to tell what your mice are attempting to target. This is because the graphics seem to be partially complete, a game like this requires alot of art asset, which is probably what set it back, but having the sniper always facing the same direction when shooting an enemy behind him is very confusing. The other big problem was the movement of the mice themselves, when trying to protect a unit by placing him in the center of the squad, he'd instead run out to engage an enemy making it difficult to actually keep some of the mice alive. The overall difficulty is pretty insane, i played for awhile, but could never pass wave 2, i'd get close, but by the near end of the wave i would become overwhelmed and lose all of my mice. This seems to also be a problem with how some of the mice do alot of damage, but others seem to do next to know serious amount of damage to enemys. Still i like the concept, and what i did play was pretty enjoyable, but the game needs alot more work in the user interface to become more compelling overall.

Team: Slaughterhouse Gaming - Riuthamus, Bytetroll, Goss:
Game: The Harvest
Game Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41065/theHarvest.rar
Archive Folder: /TheHarvest/
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac

Gameplay: 20/25 - The farming game style kept me playing for at least an hour.
Graphics: 20/20 - Graphics were top notch.
Theme: 0/20 - Unfortunately the theme was completely disregarded.
Audio: 8/10 - Background music fit nicely, but could have used some sound effects.
UX: 7/10 - Took a bit to figure out how to do everything.
Part: 10/10 - Had an amazing amount of participation throughout the competition.
Judges: 3/5 - While a fun game, i Had to contact riu about a bug that prevented you from farming.
Overall: 68

When i first started the game up, it took a bit to figure out all the buttons, and what to do, but after i got them down, i was confused because i couldn't actually seem to grow anything. After contacting riuthamus and him giving instructions on how to fix the bug(appears to be corrupted data, and i needed to delete a folder), the game worked relatively fine. So off i was playing a farmer, with clear inspirations coming from harvest moon, i could see this game filling a niche that hasn't been filled in quite awhile. The graphics were superb, the animations fluid, and the environment looked great. The day night cycle was a great touch, but the sudden jumps in shadows/light levels was a bit jarring at times, and could have used a bit more smoothing. The controls were pretty well designed, the character moved nicely, but on occasion it felt like the space bar woudn't respond to me wanting to do something. I first grew about a 9x9 patch of corn/pumpkin. And i eventually cleared the entire field, tilled it, and was well on my way to actually planting everything. This was when i realized that goal was a bit unfeasible, each time you water your crops, a full hour is lost, and if a crop isn't watered, they revert from one day's progression, until they die. This made it impossible to both plant, and water everything in a single day, and the more you planted/tried to keep alive, the less time you had to try and plant new crops. Perhaps with a lot more patience, and waiting it might be possible to fully plant the entire field, and then solely focus on watering, but that was alot more time than i had to give to the game. At the end of the day the scope for this game seemed rather large, and riu and team sounded like they ran into repo issues which ate up some of their valuable time. I would absolutely love to see more of this game though, as even just having the farming to do for some odd reason kept me hooked for quite awhile.

Team: el_juan
Game: Docent (not 100% sure)
Game Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3259nmhbhxzmymv/Docent314-Default-
Archive Folder: /docent/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 10/25 - There's something your suppose to do here, but i'm not sure what it is.
Graphics: 12/20 - The graphics actually weren't too bad, but definitely could have used improvements.
Theme: 15/20 - The toys are moving around, and even reproducing!
Audio: 0/10 - No audio or sound components.
UX: 2/10 - I read the introduction paragraph when you start the game, but once i started playing i still wasn't sure what i was doing.
Part: 8/10 - Had a pretty decent amount of overall participation in the jam.
Judges: 0/5 - I tried the game 3 times, and each time it would lock up at some point randomly, forcing me to close the game.
Overall: 47

Docent has an idea, and i'm not 100% sure what it is. I think i understand the overarching idea, the kids come in to play with the toys, you have the toys mate to produce more complex ones....but the execution leaves that to be a bit fuzzy. each time a kid came in, they would start walking around to different toys, and little icons would pop up over his head(usually much to quick for me to make out), but then the toys would randomly start walking up to each other and begin "mating" which would give me an additional toy in my chest to toss down that was a culmination of the two parent toys. However the kid would eventually lock up and stop moving, and the toys would begin to grow exponentially(actually this was pretty funny to toss toys on the ground and just watch them run over to each other.) but alas this is also where the game usually froze up, and i had to force it to close. El_Juan i like the concept, and I hope next year you can bring a similar level of creativity, hopefully with a bit better execution though =-)!

Team: Xai
Game: Santa clause and the dark order
Game Link: https://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=23985
Archive Folder: /SatDO/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - Actually i found this game to be pretty fun.
Graphics: 5/20 - Definitely pretty rough on the graphics.
Theme: 5/20 - Ummm...Santa Claus deals with toys i guess? =-P
Audio: 5/10 - Had decent sound effects.
UX: 6/10 - Had to read the readme to understand how to play, and the controls could use a bit more work.
Part: 8/10 - Had a pretty good amount of participation.
Judges: 5/5 - Fun game, no crashes, pretty decent.
Overall: 54

This game actually wasn't very bad, and is definitely the beginning of something that could be a fun game. However my only complaint is really in the space like controls of the game, they cause you to overshoot often, and trying to correct yourself takes up most of your effort. The idea is there, I would have just loved to seen a bit more work go into the overall game, but for what it is, it's not bad.

Team: Erik Rufelt
Game: Timmys toys
Game Link: http://www.rufelt.se/Timmys_Toys.zip
Archive Folder: /Timmys toys/
Platform: windows

Gameplay: 15/25 - Overall an interesting concept, but it could have used a good bit more to make it into a full game.
Graphics: 13/20 - Definitely a bit rough, but not too terrible to be distracting.
Theme: 15/20 - Toys trying to run, and being mowed down by your toy creations!
Audio: 0/10 - No audio unfortuantly.
UX: 4/10 - The ui could use a bit of work, took me a while to figure out what i was suppose to be doing.
Part: 2/10 - Didn't see much participation from Erik during the competition.
Judges: 5/5 - no crashs, and was a pretty great concept.
Overall: 54

Timmy's toys feels mostly like a prototype of a game. The core concept is there, but other than that there's not much else. I still enjoyed it for what it has, building massive towers out of the toy parts was fun, but i do wish there were a few more parts to mix and match. The camera should have been rotatable as well(or at least i didn't discover controls for it), since the ui covers up one of the platforms. I can definitely see a game like this being an absolute blast to play though, and I hope Erik would consider pursuing this game in the long run.

Team: Mussi
Game: Diorama
Game Link: https://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=23989
Archive Folder: /Diorama/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - A physics based game that feels like something straight out of LBP.
Graphics: 15/20 - The colors worked pretty nicely, the blurry toy background also was a nice touch.
Theme: 10/20 - Only 1 toy seems to be living in this game. =-P
Audio: 5/10 - While there is background music, it feels a bit out of place, and doesn't seem to loop very well.
UX: 6/10 - the game was easy to get, but the controls could use a bit of refinment.
Part: 10/10 - Had a great amount of participation in the competition.
Judges: 3/5 - No crashs, but with only 1 level their wasn't much to do.
Overall: 69

Diorama is a game that feels similar in style to Little Big Planet, focusing on physics based obstacles to work around. Granted it was mostly just a teeter tout, the feel was still the same. Unfortuantly it only features one level which gives you only a minor impression of what the game could have been. The controls were also a bit phinicky, i felt like you moved faster than you should have, and caused more of my problems for staying on platforms then anything else. Diorama is overall a short game, but one i see potential in.

Team: Herd of Nerd - doboss, supervacanea, makokvak:
Game: The Older Rolls - Toys are Alive!
Game Link: https://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=23980
Archive Folder: /The Older Rolls/
Platform: Windows

Gameplay: 20/25 - The concept is pretty nice, and there's a mild number of items you can find and equip.
Graphics: 15/20 - Mostly polygonal shapes, and flat colors for alot of it, not too bad, but could have been better.
Theme: 10/20 - I get the feeling you are a kid imagining all this stuff, none of the enemys look very much like toys however.
Audio: 7/10 - Not bad audio, but didn't feel like everything fit together.
UX: 6/10 - Took a little bit to understand how to do everything.
Part: 7/10 - had pretty decent amount of participation.
Judges: 5/5 - no crashing or anything, and the idea was pretty fun.
Overall: 70

This is a project that i think suffered from the scope of the idea. Clearly they wanted to do alot, and they did do alot, but the scope leaves much of the game feeling empty, or incomplete. There were a good number of items though to play with, everything from a golf club, to a sword, to a rack to kill stuff with, as well as using a toy tank to throw at enemys was pretty fun. I played the game until i had killed everything i could find, there was also a minor story that involved trying to murder only what i assume is suppose to be the childs mom, but she was too powerful both times i tried to face her. Unfortuantly the game seemed to suffer from some slightly wonky collision, you can pass through any raised ground, and in the building i would feel like i was hitting invisible walls, or something was holding me from moving a certain direction, sometimes resorting to running backwards to get around in the building. At the end of the day for what was done in 7 days, it is pretty impressive, and i must give props to the team for what they accomplished.


Team: Rocket Powered Operatives - Latch, sugavanus, Robert
Game: The toys are alive
Game Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z5sor4pperh7b10/Rocket-Powered%20Operatives%20-%20The%20Tous%20Are%20Alive.zip?dl=0
Archive Folder: /ToysAreAlive/
Platform: windows

Gameplay: 10/25 - The game mostly consisted of running from A to B.
Graphics: 15/20 - The player model and enemys could use work, but the environment looked great.
Theme: 10/20 - It looks like your fighting toy soldiers.
Audio: 7/10 - Audio is pretty well done, nice eriy background music, with footsteps all around.
UX: 5/10 - The controls could have used some work, the gun seems overall pointless.
Part: 7/10 - Had an alright amount of participation.
Judges: 3/5 - While it never crashed, it also didn't feel like much of a game.
Overall: 57

First off let me say that the environment looks great, but it seems it's at odds with the player and enemy's, as they both appear to be white models that are in severe need of texturing. The controls needed some serious work though, i found in the input buttons "z" is for targeting, but it seems to just prevent the player from turning with the camera, so trying to aim your weapon felt like it was nearly impossible(nor am i sure it actually does anything.) so for the most part i simply ran past enemys, and eventually found the exit. I deceided to play one more time and check out the environment, which while interesting didn't offer anything extra to the game. There's not much left i feel i can say, This just felt like something that was a basis for more, but that more didn't meet the deadline it seems.




[Week Of Awesome] My Game Reviews.

if you don't know about this competition, who made the games, or where to download them, see this post:

I am no judge, but i decided to judge the games the same way the other judges are suppose to, so without further ado, here are my reviews:

Granny v.s. zombie dinosaurs:

This game is well done, you'd think being an elderly person, with a cane that also doubles as a gun woudn't be very interesting, but the overall quality was quite high in my opinion. The graphics work surprisingly well for being mostly white/black, the pace that you move at first seems slow, then seems...right. the shear amount of ammo you get in the beginning at first seems like overkill, and honestly, it kindof is. but you soon find yourself going through most of it. I reached the stegosaurus(my final score was ~1600) before i lost dear granny smith. but none the less, the game was quite enjoyable.

Graphics: 18/20 - fit the gameplay very well, didn't leave much to anything to be desired, my only complaint would be to make the background scroll as well.
Audio: 15/20 - bullets sounded like bullets, although their were some random dinosaur screams(not sure if this meant they spawned, or were just their for the added factor).
Gameplay/fun: 17/20 - the pace is good, the action is nice, and the increasing number of varying dino's was good.
First Time User Experiance(FTUE): 20/20 - extremly easy to pick up and understand.
Theme: 15/20 - it's not that they went extict, they just came back as zombies....65 million years later!(that's gatta be some serious lag)

Total: 85/100

Bet on dinosaur racing! I don't know if humans, or other dinosaurs are setting up the races, but whatever. so, this is a pretty simple gambling type game. graphics are very simple, but get the point across. as far as i can tell, it's all keyboard control, which isn't a bad thing for this game. the races can be a bit close, but in my experience, it's hard to get a lower dinosaur to win. you can also sabotage one dinosaur to try and fix the race to a more profitable bet(which i didn't really figure out the bet ratios?) the saboteurs can also lie to you, and not do their job. overall, it's simple, and can be addicting if you've got that type of personality.

Graphics: 12/18 - I feel like this could have been solely a console game, but they fit for this type of gameplay style.
Audio: 18/20 - the background music is quite fitting for this game.
Gameplay/fun: 15/20 - it does what it's suppose to, i might be a bit biased as these type of games bore me quickly, but i can appreciate it.
FTUE: 15/20 - while easy to understand, the ratio system could be better explained in my opinion.
Theme: 12/20 - it has dinosaurs, and they clearly never went extinct, so we just used them for gambling!

Total: 72/100

Other note: i'd prefer the zip/rar file, rather than downloading an exe to unzip if for me.

Human Roundup:
I did not play this one very long. i made it to the second stage, then a stupid human kept running into the cactus, and i kept failing, after the fourth time, i gave up. the concept is simple, and interesting, you are a dinosaur whom herds humans into their pens. the music is very fitting for this game. I found it easier to run around the humans to herd them, then try to use the roar. it was quite easy to figure out what to do, and being able to change controls to w/a/s/d is a nice touch for us laptop users.

Graphics: 14/20 - the humans seem decently animated, but the dinosaur doesn't, which i found kindof odd. other than that the tiles were well placed.
Audio: 18/20 - the music/human screams(although a bit loud)/roar were very fitting for the game.
Gameplay/fun: 10/20 - while the gameplay is interesting, having such dumb ai made it difficult to want to advance much further into the game.
FTUE: 16/20 - it was relativly easy to pick this game up, and figure out what to do, controls are simple, and the idea is well executed.
Theme: 17/20 - humans still evolved, but clearly the dinosaurs have been around for a much longer time then our primitive ancestors.

Total: 75/100

Hobos of Pangea:
I played a couple rounds with the web player version, the concept is simple, go and hunt humans. the environment felt a bit lacking(the post said their were 4 maps, but they just seem to be tile palette changes, with a few random trees here and their). I'm not sure what the challenge is, as i just rode around shooting...humans? monkeys? i have no idea what i was killing. actually, i have no idea what i was riding. but i did know i was a raptor, and that's ok. one other issue was that the character is suppose to point toward the mouse i assume, but it seemed to get de-synced very easily.

Graphics: 10/20 - the raptor was well modelled, everything else could use a bit more work, and the ground was kindof patched together.
Audio: 16/20 - music fit well, sound effects worked well.
Gameplay/fun: 12/20 - i didn't encounter any type of challenge while playing, it was pretty much just shoot at the humans.
FTUE: 15/20 - very easy to figure out what to do, but the mouse de-syncs got me questioning my sanity until i played a second round.
Theme: 18/20 - it clearly fits the theme.

Total: 68/100

Dino Tamer:
Run around, and beat up dinosaurs to tame them(except the brontosaurus(i think that's what they are called)), as it seemed to just die, and never get tamed. it took a bit to figure out what the hell i was doing, the instructions don't make it clear that you have to hit them correctly with your hand. Also, my tamed dinosaurs died very quickly, and i never really built up an army or anything.

Graphics: 8/20 - i truly have no idea what was going on in terms of graphics, i can't say i'd do much better, but they just seemed to be scanned in or something.
Audio: 12/20 - while their is music/sound effects, i didn't feel like they flowed with the game very will.
Gameplay/fun: 15/20 - i did find myself playing for a good bit, but with the same 3/4 dinosaurs appearing, i got bored after a bit.
FTUE: 10/20 - their is an explanation of how to move/attack, but it still took a bit to figure out what the heck i was doing.
Theme: 14/20 - it's got dinosaurs!

Total: 59/100

Rex and the city:
Edit: got a folder from cornstalks with it all together.
So rex and the city is a rather simple game, you are a t-rex tasked with killing everything that gets in your way. I made it to the tanks before being killed, as their seemed to be no way to avoid the missiles(you duck into them, and you can't jump over them). every tank managed to get off at least one missile at me, so i died pretty quickly after they showed up. the second time around, i figured out how to kill the tanks quickly, and managed to get 100 points to destroy the city(although i really only destroyed the military).

Graphics: 16/20 - the graphics were pretty well done for this game.
Audio: 14/20 - the audio is their, their are a couple sound effects missing(such as no sound when you use your tail, or stomp on the ground after jumping.
Gameplay/Fun: 16/20 - overall the game is pretty fun, but it feels like it could have been an endless thing, rather than just 5 levels.
FTUE: 15/20 - relatively easy to pick up, but figuring out how to kill tanks effectivly took a second play through.
Theme: 14/20 - it has a dinosaur!

Total: 75/100
Dino Flight:
This is an infinite runner style game. The pterodactyl could use a bit of animation(really just make it flap damit!), but other than that, it was an decent runner game. my big gripe is that you can die instantly by running into a plane, but because of how the camera is setup, it's very difficult to judge where you need to be to avoid the plane/gun fire. it could defiantly use some refinement in my opinion.

Graphics: 15/20 - things look nice and pretty, but it could use a bit more animating of the players dinosaur..
Audio: 16/20 - sound effects sound right, and the background fits.
Gameplay/fun: 13/20 - it works for what it does, it's just very difficult, and you tend to die quickly.
FTUE: 16/20 - the big text in the beggining makes it evident on how you play, but learning about the instant k/o when hitting a plane is always a shock.
Theme: 14/20 - while you are a dinosaur, i'm really not sure if your just some clone or something(also, is this post-apocalypse world or something?)

Total: 74/100

Big Game Hunt:
Big game hunt is a pretty simply game. you click where to shoot, and kill the...dinosaurs?(i assume they were suppose to be dinoaurs, but change the black ones to white...and the game becomes a bit....naughtier...imo;-) ) so, it's wave based, they attack you or...run into the top right corner? i really have no idea why they were attracted to either me or that corner, but w/e. i played to wave 15 before i got bored and quit. it's very simple, unless it get's much harder later on.

Graphics: 10/20 - simple graphics, with 1 colored dinosaur(at least as far as i saw), and again black->white would change the entire concept imo;-).
Audio: 15/20 - shooting sounds like shooting, background music was soothing.
Gameplay/fun: 14/20 - i feel like it could have been more challenging, but i was well into the 200+ points before i stopped playing.
FTUE: 12/20 - didn't 100% understand what i was doing right off the back, but i picked it up pretty quickly.
Theme: 10/20 - it has...dinosaurs...i think.

Total: 71/100

Note: i just looked at the readme, apparently you can move, i just sat in the center shooting them.

No Better than dinosaurs:
This....was an interesting game....the graphics were very well done, but the game is incredibly short, and their really is nothing to do. also, i don't think you could stand on the tree when it's falling like that.

Graphics: 18/20 - this was pretty top-notch.
Audio: 18/20 - The audio flowed well for the game.
Gameplay/fun: 5/20 - their really was no gameplay for the most part.
FTUE: 14/20 - without the instructions on the web page, i had no idea how to open the door in the first room.
Theme: 14/20 - it's a world where dinosaurs never went extinct(or at least that's what we are told, we don't actually see any present day dinosaurs.)

Total: 69/100

Get To work:
could not get to stay started. then i started it through command prompt, and it worked, not sure why. anywho, this game started out a bit confusing, i didn't realize i had to time my sprinting with the ball in the center. but the ball moves very quickly, and i died...alot. still it was pretty fun, and i played for a few rounds. i could see this being on mobile platforms very easily(edit: actually, theirs apparently a android version).

Graphics: 20/20 - the graphics were very nice, the dinosaur was well detailed, and it was always humerus seeing my head get bitten off.
Audio: 16/20 - music flowed nicely.
Gameplay/fun: 14/20 - the concept is a simple runner, it can only hold my attention for so long, but it was also rather difficult to keep track of sprinting, and dodge cars. also, if you failed at a sprint, it seemed like the dinosaur caught you very quickly.
FTUE: 10/20 - their is a nice explanation of how to play when you click new game, but it doesn't mention anything about the bar, took me 3 deaths to realize how to play.
Theme: 14/20 - it has dinosaurs.

Total: 74/100

Dino Road trip:
This game, would work very nicely as a mobile game. the graphics were lovely, it was easy to figure out how to play(although i'm not sure if i can destroy rocks with my tail or not). and the turbo mode is pretty damn awesome. overall this was fun to play for a bit, and what isn't funner than getting some pent up road rage out of your system=-) (also, who keeps driving toward a dinosaur?!)

Graphics: 18/20 - the graphics were very well done.
Audio: 17/20 - audio flowed nicely with the gameplay, sound effects were good.
Gameplay/fun: 17/20 - it can get quite addicting in my opinion.
FTUE: 17/20 - easy to pick up, instructions in the beginning are quite clear, although learning how to eat humans correctly took a few tries.
Theme: 16/20 - since people simply stand around/drive around dinosaurs, i can only assume this isn't out of the normal for this world.

Total: 85/100

Dinosaurs only live once:
This was a fun little game, not very challenging, as the tourists seem to ski by one at a time, and only near the bottom of the screen(or at least that was the case for me. you ski back and forth picking up purple fruit, it's all rather silly and humerous. =-)

Graphics: 15/20 - the graphics fit well for this game.
Audio: 14/20 - this felt kindof like lounge music.
Gameplay/fun: 15/20 - it works, and is rather decent.
FTUE: 19/20 - it doesn't get much simplier.
Theme: 15/20 - it has dinosaurs!...that ski!

Total: 78/100

Raptor Ace:
This game was rather interesting, i only played the first level though. the quality is very good, the flight mechanics could use some tweaking(i can fly straight up, and upside down if i keep holding down/up, but not roll?) also, it'd be interesting if it was more like flying a real bird, rather than a plane that looks like a pterodactyl. so you fly around, take out other pterodactyl's, and then drop off your guys in their targeted area. had a few issues with this, mostly that missing the target, meant failure, then having to sit for a couple minutes, because you are started so far away from the dang target! i failed 3 times trying to drop the guy into the target(until i realized i could use the minimap to guide me to "stay on target"). the t-rex commander/cut scene is funny/nice addition, and i don't know what might lie beyond if i could play it to completion, but alas that's my take on it. O, and the enemy ai wasn't half bad either.

Graphics: 16/20 - looks pretty decent, a fair bit of work was put in the pterodactyl, but the island was pretty lacking in textures.
Audio: 15/20 - everything sounded right.
Gameplay/fun: 15/20 - not a bad plane flying game, but it could use some tweaks to the actual flying mechanics to better distinguish itself imo.
FTUE: 16/20 - it was pretty easy to pick up how to play, just trying to actually land the guy in the right spot is annoying.
Theme: 18/20 - it sounds like they are still ganna go extinct though=-).

Total: 80/100
The legend of Raptor:
This is my game, and i would probably be a tad biased....

This is an iOS game, although my iphone is jailbroken, i really don't feel like going through the hassle right now.
Dilophosaurus Decision:
This was the most interesting game that i think came out of this competition. The idea is rather simple, you are left to make an important decision about the future of your village. you talk to each member of your clan, and then make a decesion. While i think their is alot of possibility's with this idea, it seems like it could have used some more polish/time. i'm never made clear on what would happen with each decisions, conversation tree's seem to be available that imply i had already talked to someone else. However reading over SotL's posts, he seemed to be in a similar boat as me for time usage. overall it was an decent game, although not exactly my cup of tea, i suspect their will be others who find it more enjoyable.

Graphics: 17/20 - the graphics were fairly well done, although the text was difficult to read at times.
Audio: 16/20 - the background audio/effects were nice, and soft.
Gameplay/fun: 12/20 - i might be somewhat biased against these type of games, their is an idea here, and it is executed, but i don't find much enjoyment reading over alot of text.
FTUE: 14/20 - it took me a little bit to realize what was going on, and who was talking.
Theme: 17/20 - dinosaurs, and humans co-existing. 65 million years, and humans are still apparantly ahead of dinosaurs=-)

Total: 76/100

Final Ranking:
Granny v.s. zombie dinosaurs - 85
Dino Road trip - 85
Raptor Ace - 80
Dinosaurs only live once - 78
Dilophosaurus Decision - 76
Human Roundup - 75
Rex and the city - 75
Dino Flight - 74
Get To work - 74
Dinorace - 72
Big Game Hunt - 71
No Better than dinosaurs - 69
Hobos of Pangea - 68
Dino Tamer - 59




[Week Of Awesome] Day 2-7.

I meant to do these daily, but as the start of the week went, i found myself too tired to get any work done, and then the last 3 days have been a rollercoaster of balancing working on the game, and doing some things i had to do with people.

anywho, let's do the recap!

Day 2:
Day 2 was another long work day(i was only working 4 days this week, so each day i didn't get home till well after 5pm.) this day i actually got something done! I really wanted to at least get something moving along the screen, but sleep was calling my name, so i settled on just getting the background tiles being drawn:

Day 3/4:
Very little got done, i was exhausted from work both days, while i was out for the weekend on Thursday i really wanted to work through the night, i decided to instead get sleep, and get up early to begin serious work on the game.

Day 5:
This day i got some serious work done, i got my main character thrown together, and worked mostly on developing the framework for loading each scene, transitioning between scenes, and getting the player drawn/moving. it was quite a bit of work to get the transition effect to look smooth. Unfortuantly i didn't get the entire day to work on the game, as i had to head to my parents for a few hours.

Day 6:
This day, i focused on getting the enemy together, i also refactored my player control and created a base class called controller, this could be derived into not only the player control logic, but also can be derived into enemy units. this is where i make the distinction between what objects are in the game, and what controls those objects. it gives me alot of control over individual units, while i don't have to change anything to other classes if i want to add something like a new enemy, it'd even be possible to create different puzzles by deriving new classes from the controller, so each scene can have a variety of objects/things in them. this was a rather productive day, and i got most of the mechanics done(such as attacking/taking damage).

Day 7:
Today(well yesterday now), i finished up the game cycle, so now you could die, and keep going, this also gave me a main menu to play with(unfortunately it only serves as a gateway to play the game right now). I also spent the majority of the day designing the levels, if i had one more day, i'd have whipped up a simple level editor, but i wanted to atleast have something done, so i managed to create 10 rooms in the world, i really wanted to get at least one puzzle in, and maybe a dungeon. However i had other obligations today(picking up a new couch for my apartment), which ate away several hours. in the end, i settled on what i had.

Overall, this was fun, just wish i had more time to participate(it was really probably the worst week of august for me to actually do anything). I do believe i'm going to continue this game, but i plan to re-skin it into something else.






[Week Of Awesome] Day 1 - Sleep!

woke up early for work, worked late, got home excited but also tired. I came up with a game idea(i'll elaborate more onto it as the week goes by). i also established the initial framework for the game, but before i actually get real work started on the game, it'll have to wait till tommorow. still need an sprite artist, so if your interested pm me.

hopefully tomorrow's nightly update will actually contain something interesting, so until tomorrow!




First Update

So, i deceided it's time to create a journal of my game World Of Nova.

The Beginning:
The overall game design has been in development for ~2 years, it started as a simple project for a competition in the psp homebrew scene(Genesis compo), unfortunately after 2 months of development, my ssd failed, and i lost everything(i know i should have used backups, but hindsight's 20/20), this included my engine which i had been working on over the years, it took me 8 months to re-write the engine(which was actually a good thing in the long run, as i got to do many things my first incarnation couldn't do or was very difficult to do), and the current incarnation of nova has been in development for 8 months, however 4 months ago i threw away the build i had, and decided to start over again(it wasn't very fun, and i wanted faster gameplay), so truthfully this version has been in development for 4 months, and i'm pretty happy with it so far.

What the world of nova is:
Nova is a creature catching game, i've always loved games like pokemon, but the combat system is so ridiculously repetitive it becomes more of a chore to play, rather than being enjoyable. I also wanted to create an evolving world, where you could actually see other NPC's fight creatures while you roam the world, so in theory the world is always evolving. another key point is that not only are the Novians(what i call the creatures) evolvable, but so are the ability's that they have, each ability can involve in different ways depending on how you level up the ability, and each Novian can evolve in different ways, depending on how you choose to spend their attribute points on them, it's alot of control to the user, which in the end I know well make balancing very difficult.

Where I Am:
I've built the majority of the level editor, i've built creature editors, ability editors, and such, the combat system is is their(and working, however i've still a bit to do on this front), the general purpose AI is done(via angelscripting), the world is wrapped around, so their's no need to build in borders(this was very interesting to achieve, but creates a better sense of exploring imo.) I currently have 4 creatures, all catachable, and trainable, and 5 actions that can be learned.

Where I'm heading:
Multiplayer is what i'm working on right now, i've finished with the initial syncing algorithm, but i've got alot more to go(general actions by players and such, so their's ton for me to do on that front, however, once that's done, i should have a working demo to begin showing off which makes me pretty stoked=-).

I'm pretty happy, so here's an youtube video of a build from a few weeks ago:
[media] [/media]

and here's some pictures:



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