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Upcoming Unofficial GameDev Competition

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EDIT/NOTE: This topic was from a competition in 2013 -- there is another contest being run this year (2014) which you can find HERE.


Note: This thread is primarily for the organization/administration of the game dev competition. The thread which will have the posted theme and to which entries should be submitted to is located here. Be sure to check that thread the second the contest starts to get the theme!
Update: The theme has been announced and the competition has officially started! Check the competition thread to see it!
Update #2: The competition is over!
Hey ya'll. We haven't had a competition in awhile. Therefore, I would like to create a competition. Here's what I'm thinking:

The Week of Awesome

The Week of Awesome will be a 7 day game development challenge/competition. People will have 7 days to make a game from start to finish, with prizes for the best! It should be a heck of a lot of fun, and 7 days should be enough time that you actually finish something. Please note that while I think 7 days is plenty of time to make a game, it's not enough time to make a large game (even with a team of 3 people). Dream up something awesome, but also realistic for you to complete. I want people to finish their games!
This is not a competition for programmers only. Teams of up to 3 will be allowed, and I highly encourage a diverse team (i.e. graphics, sound, and programming, or whatever your game might specifically need). Too rarely do graphics/sound people participate in game dev jams, so I'm really hoping they will form/join a team and participate in this competition.
The Internet. It'll all happen here on
August 19th to August 26th, 2013. Specifically, it will start Monday, August 19th at 12:00AM (00:00 in military/24-hour time) (that is, Sunday night/Monday morning) and it will end Monday, August 26th at 12:00AM (00:00 in military/24-hour time) (that is, Sunday night/Monday morning) (a full 168 hours from the start time). All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (UTC/GMT -4).
Rules are slowly evolving, but currently:

  • There will be a theme
  • The theme will be announced at midnight when the competition begins; games must incorporate the theme in some way
  • Games must be made during the 7 day period of the competition (i.e. you can't submit a game you made previously or are making now)
  • You may use any library, game engine, tools, art, or audio to develop the game, provided you have the appropriate license to do so (if licensing is required for what you use); note that this means you may use code, art, and audio that you or others may have made in the past (the explicit limitation is that you may not use existing game logic (i.e. you may use libraries and engines, but you still have to actually make the game during the 7 day period))
  • You may target any platform (but at least 3 judges must play your game, so if you develop for something the judges don't have, you can't be accepted as an entry; I'll post a list of platforms judges have before the competition begins)
  • People may work in teams of up to 3 people (a person may only be on one team, though)
  • Games must work on the judges' platforms (that is, if you have a bug in your program and it works fine on your computer but not on a judge's, you must fix it for it to be judged (during the 7 day period; no work/updates/fixes may be done after the 7 days); at least 3 judges must be able to evaluate it for it to be accepted as an entry)
  • If only 3 judges can run your game (and not of all the judges, if we have more than 3), you will not be punished/penalized (that is, judge scores will be averaged)
  • You must develop for one of the following systems (because the judges don't have unlimited hardware/platforms to test on):
    • Windows 7
    • Windows 8
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Google Chrome (latest version)
    • IE 9
    • IE 10
    • Safari (latest version)
    • Firefox (latest version)
    • Opera (latest version)

The contest will be judged by the following categories:

  • Graphics: 20 pts (that is, does it look good, aesthetically, and do the graphics contribute to or detract from the game experience?) (note: it's not a contest of who has the most realistic graphics; rather, this category is about how well the graphics help the game express itself and create an engaging experience for the user)
  • Audio: 20 pts (similar to the above, but with audio)
  • Gameplay/fun factor: 20 pts
  • First time user experience: 20 pts (that is, is it easy to install and run and start playing?) (clarification: your game doesn't need an installer; in fact, a download-and-play (without an installing process) is probably even preferable; what I meant by "easy to install" is that it includes all the necessary dependencies (or has good instructions for obtaining/installing necessary dependencies) such that a user can easily run you game without having to fight it; you'll also want to include at least some minimal instructions or a tutorial/in-game hints/tips).
  • Theme: 20 pts (that is, how well the game incorporates the theme)

The categories will be summed for the total score (100 pts being the max possible score). At least 3 judges will judge each game (hopefully every judge can judge each game, though); the judges' scoring will be averaged together when computing the final score for an entry. Judges will break any ties for the top 5 entries.
There are currently 4 judges, though I wouldn't mind having a 5th:

  • Alpha_ProgDes
  • Cornstalks
  • Gaiiden
  • jbadams

There will also be a People's Choice award. This award will be given to one game which the community votes for. The voting will be done in a thread for a period of 1 week (168 hours), and will take place after the competition period has ended. If there is a tie in the People's Choice award, the judges will break the tie.
Submitting a game should be done by posting a download link to it in this thread. Alternatively, you may send it to me by PM. I will download it and provide a download link to the general public (so once you post it and I download it (I will tell you when I have received it), you can delete it from your post so as to not waste upload MB limits here on GDNet). If your game is too large to attach to a post in the thread, upload it to some file sharing site (Drop Box, Google Drive, etc. (try to avoid crappy file sharing sites)) and post a link to it. If you have issues or struggles, PM me.
First place winner:
+X participation rep points (thanks!) (actual value not yet specified)
$75 (USD)*
2 early adopter licenses for Spriter (thanks jbadams!) (valued at $25/each) (if there is a 3rd team member on the winning team, one team member will get an extra $25 while the other two members get the Spriter licenses) (if there is only 1 person on the winning team, only 1 license will be given)
Second place winner:
$40 (USD)*
(if the first place team only has 1 team member, then the second place winning team will get the extra Spriter license; in the event that the second place team has two team members, one member will get the Spriter license and $7.50, and the other member will get $32.50; if there are 3 members, 1 will get the Spriter license, and the two other team members will get $25 each)
People's Choice winner:
$20 (USD)*
Every person who submits a working and valid game:
+50 participation rep points (thanks!)
If you'd like to contribute to the pool, let me know!
Interested People
I have looked through this thread and come up with a list of people who have said they are interested in participating. If you form/join a team (whether it's a 1-man team or more), please let me know so I can remove you from this list and add you to the Teams list. This "pool" might be useful for forming teams. I suggest you form and organize your team (and plan who will do what) early. If you want your name added to this list, let me know!

Here is a list of teams I have been informed of. Remember, teams are limited to 3 members. If a team has < 3 members, feel free to PM the team and see if you can join them, if you'd like (teams: let me know if you're not interested in extra/new members so I can put a note letting people know not to PM you; also please let me know if your team changes). If you form a team, please let me know so I can remove you from the "interested pool" and add you to the team list.

You may leave your team at any time (though I suggest you don't be a jerk and leave your team stranded). You may join a team at any time before the competition. Once the competition starts, you may still leave your team, but you may not switch to a new/different team. Additionally, once the competition starts, you may join or form your own team at any time, provide that you (and your members) were not previously on a team.
Q & A
Why 7 days?
I wanted something short, but long enough that most people can still finish something (if they don't dream too big). I think 7 days gives you enough time to quickly make a game, even if you're busy with work and/or school, as you have several days you can work, even if it's just a few hours each day.
What if I don't have 7 days to dedicate to a competition?
I don't expect people to dedicate all 168 hours to making a game. I specifically chose 7 days so you can develop a game while still taking care of normal, every day life things that you have to do. (If you don't dream too big, you absolutely can finish a great game in 7 days while still working or going to school).
Where will updates be posted?
This thread. I will modify this post to be up to date at all times. You can check its history if you're curious about past states.
Can I participate?
Of course you can! Unless your country/state/city says you legally can't. I'm no lawyer.
How can I help?
The biggest help would be to get excited and participate! Also, spreading the word and encouraging others to participate would be great. Prize donors would be appreciated (even if it's small; it'll grow the pool).
I want to be a judge; what should I do?
Just post here or PM me letting me know. I'll put together a list of actual judges later. I'm hoping to get ~5ish.
Can judges participate in the competition?
I'm not decided on this. If they do, they will not judge their own game. If we get a lot of participants, probably not. If we don't get a lot of participants, then I'll probably let judges compete. Let me know what you think about this.
Why are you doing this?
I think this will be a fun event that will help to grow/strengthen the community. I like having fun.
Any hints/tips?
I'll try to put together a good list of hints/tips, but I'd recommend picking your weapons of choices now (language, libraries/engines, target platform, etc. and making sure your development environment is all set up). I also recommend you don't have 3 programmers on a team. Get an artist and/or a sound engineer on your team. They'll help make it pretty (which yes, is important).
Do I waive any rights to any of the work I submit? Can I sell my game after the competition?
You get to retain all rights to the work that you submit, so don't fret. The only thing that is required is that the game you submit for the competition must be allowed to be downloaded by the general public (even after the competition ends). If you update or progress your game after the competition, you don't need to make it publicly available. You also get to retain all source; source code is not required for judging.
I have a question you didn't answer!
Please ask it! Here, in this thread. I'll answer it and put it in this Q & A.
*Paid via: Google Wallet (which means you'll be able to send money via Gmail/Google Wallet if you currently haven't received the necessary invite to do so), or Amazon WebPay, or an Amazon gift card for the cash amount, or a Steam gift card for the cash amount (you pick). If there are multiple team members, the amount will be divided evenly among the team members. If there is a remaining penny or two (due to not being able to perfectly divide the $ by the number of team members), the extra penny (or two) will be randomly given to a member (that is, if dividing $10 amongst 3 team members, two will get $3.33 and one will get $3.34).

Edited by jbadams
Added note about newer contest.

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I'm interested in entering with a solo project; the ideal time for be would be to have the competition start less than a month from now.


Mini-teams are allowed (multiple people may form a team, but two people cannot work on the same thing (that is, 1 programmer, 1 artist, 1 sound/music creator, etc.; you cannot have 2 people programming, or 2 artists, etc.; of course, you can work solo or have one person do multiple jobs, but you cannot have two people doing the same job))


I actually think this could (and maybe should) be made less restrictive. In my experience it's pretty hard to keep a team together with multiple people working on the exact same thing, so anyone who is able to gain an advantage by doing it probably has earned it. Additionally, there are some people who are only really interested or able to do one task, and I see no reason to stop those people from joining a team that already has someone doing something similar.

Even ignoring all that, there's a practical concern of what actually defines "same job"; what about when one person writes the "engine" and the other person writes "scripts"? Are music and sound effects really the same job? Etc.

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I'm quite game for a week long gamejam(the sooner, the better for myself).

7 days is a fair bit of time to come up with something though, which is both good and bad(finding a full week to dedicate to the project woudn't be easy, but i think if i look at it like a casual week of coding to make something, that'd be interesting.)


Hey ya'll. We haven't had a competition in awhile. Therefore, I would like to create a competition. Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Mini-teams are allowed (multiple people may form a team, but two people cannot work on the same thing (that is, 1 programmer, 1 artist, 1 sound/music creator, etc.; you cannot have 2 people programming, or 2 artists, etc.; of course, you can work solo or have one person do multiple jobs, but you cannot have two people doing the same job))

I'd have to agree with cowsarenotevil, this should be relaxed a bit, I know with prizes it should be a bit limited, but perhaps 2/3 people max on a certain aspect, rather then one. or perhaps a team size limit, rather than a subject limit, which would mean better utilizing people for certain roles. alternatively, you could have tiered prizes for different sized teams, for example 1/2 people teams would pull from a different pool than 5 people teams.

  • Let me know what time frames would be best for you. I don't think we can necessarily pick a week that will work for everyone, but we can pick a week that works for most people. It can be any time this year (heck, we can do it in December if that works best for everyone). I'm personally hoping we can do it in the next 1-2 months, but like I said, we can go as late as December.
  • I'll need a few judges, but we can worry about that later

anytime is pretty much good for me, other than perhaps a couple days in late august(planning on moving at that point).

  • There will be some small prizes. I'll try to put something together, though (of course, if anyone wants to help contribute to the prizes, that would be sweet).
  • Exact judging rules will be announced later, but at least 3 judges will judge each game
  • I'm currently on the fence on whether judges should be allowed to participate or not... if they do, they won't judge their own game, for sure. Let me know what you think about this.


I could potentially help out here with prizes, pm me when we get closer, and i'll see what i can do to help out=-).
as for the judges participating, you could have a fourth special judge which is used when judging a judges game. alternativly, you could do a voting system, where people play the games, and vote for what ones they like, with the judges votes giving more weight to a particular entry. Edited by slicer4ever

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I just hit the thread before going to bed... so... biggrin.png (time to write ph34r.png)


I'm all in for any competition around, at least if I'll have time. Anyways I could also do a bit of support. So ad my support:


- I could provide some (definitely at least few gigabytes) FTP space for either games + possibly pages with interface to entry contest, update some info, images and game archive (I could host them + quickly put them together, but I'm programmer, not web-designer so they probably won't have uber-graphics. If you'd like to discuss this, shoot me a PM.


- Of course in case I wouldn't participate or you'd need judges, I could help out a bit (especially with Linux/FreeBSD entries).


Personally I'm against the voting system, the problem is, games with pretty screenshots will get more downloads and thus more votes. On the other hand console-only games or pixel-art games won't get that much downloads, and so they probably won't win either (even though they could provide more fun). Or .... biggrin.png ... every player would give a 0% - 100% grade, and the success would be defined by average value (and now, fear the console-based entries with tons of jokes! biggrin.png).


And as for prizes, I could ask a company or two that I've worked with, whether they would be willing to place a copy of software/game/... into the competition. Of course I can't do that till the competition will start or be-100%-sure to start.

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I could potentially help out a lot with prizes, but it would be based on number of people competing and potentially based on a very narrow category. I've been thinking about starting a game competition for a while now, but my job has been keeping me very busy!

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As far as prizes go, everybody who actually completes this contest should get X * 100 points and a tag of some sort (ex: Crossbones+) at the bare minimum.

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Topic stickied, and I've sent out the link to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers. smile.png


I'm happy to volunteer as a judge for Windows and browser-based games.



We'll discuss how else the site could potentially help or contribute and get back to you!

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Thanks for the feedback so far! I think there's been enough feedback within the first few hours of me starting this thread to go ahead and say "it's happening." Of course, I'd really appreciate more feedback and I'd really appreciate you sharing this with friends and others; I want this to be a ton of fun! I've updated the OP with more details incorporating some feedback from everyone. Main changes were:

  • A tentative date was picked
  • Team members may work on the same "jobs" (but a restriction of 3 members has been placed)
  • I've mentioned the possibility of a "people's choice" award (I want the main competition to be judged by judges, but I'm not against the idea of a community selected "people's choice" award)


Vilem Otte: Thanks, I'll let you know about the web/FTP stuff. I've got a couple servers, but I may end up needing some help with things depending on how much time work takes up. I'll PM you sometime.


jbadams: Thanks for the support!


Alpha_ProgDes: That's actually a decent prize idea. I've been thinking of rep points or badges or whatever that people could earn, though I guess we'll leave that up to GDNet to decide.


Everyone who's mentioned they can potentially help with prizes: I'll PM you when we get closer to the date; thanks!

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