uDevGames 2009 Discussion

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Post: #16
Sticking to the current limit...

If Bungie wanted to enter the contest with Open Source Mac Halo code
and a remake of Marathon we'd say "No sorry guys three month rule,
take your previously exploited code and shove off."

Without the limit you can hope and pray and beg the devs of any
project to open source their code and enter a game and win prizes.

Its a better draw than just saying "Great work, you should open source, make it free, because I'm broke and open source sounds cool, open sores-..hehehe"
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Post: #17
Well said!

That even kills my idea that prior distribution should be disallowed. But maybe it should be a separate category in the contest so that the little guys who are willing to dev-blog for three months get exposure too. The reason I say that is because there *will* be commercial games which will be entered in the contest purely for marketing exposure. .... which again, isn't that one of the points, along with the source code?

And further.. Look, if this contest were opened to iPhone games, it would explode to unbelievable proportions. Being as how I know first-hand how tough it is to get exposure, a contest allowing iPhone games here, by a contest that has been around for a while already, would be MadMadMad super-duper red-hot. MadMadMad
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #18
A goal of the contest has always been to give incentive to new budding developers a reason to make a game. During uDevGames, theoretically everyone starts their games at the same time, and then everyone gets scored based on the merits of what they can complete in that time frame.

If Bungie came along and entered Halo into uDevGames, they'd smoke everyone. How could anyone thinking about writing a new game to enter into the contest, ever win if the rules allowed for any game developed over any time frame to be entered? They simply couldn't ever win, and that's a severe motivational killer. What's the point of trying to enter a contest you can't win because someone else can enter old code carefully developed over a much longer period of time, gotten a lot more feedback on it, and win everything?

Having a three month time limit to create your code more or less levels the playing field, since there's only so much you can do in three months, which means someone can conceive a game and develop it specifically during the contest period, and actually have a chance of winning.

I personally never have entered uDevGames because I already know I don't have the time to spare to do a decent quality game that can win. If we were to let Bungie and anyone else just enter any old massive project that's long in the tooth and popular, that just makes it worse.

I'd never enter the contest, as I'm sure others would agree.
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #19
igame3d Wrote:Without the limit you can hope and pray and beg the devs of any
project to open source their code and enter a game and win prizes.

Its a better draw than just saying "Great work, you should open source, make it free, because I'm broke and open source sounds cool

Like Bungie or any other paid-developer would really enter their cash-earning game into uDevGames to win the prizes available?

"Open source your existing game that's several years old, that everyone has already played, you give it away for free, we'll all play it, maybe some will vote for it, and you could win a prize!"

That's not exactly going to fly Rasp


They'd only do it if the game was sufficiently old and they stopped earning money from it, like Nanosaur or Quake 3.

But how is that a *contest*?


-


That said, it'd be great to get older games open sourced, but uDevGames is not the vehicle for doing that. uDevGames should focused at *creating new games*, and rewarding developers that do a good job of it.
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Post: #20
Marketing is HARD.

Like I said:
Quote:But maybe it should be a separate category in the contest so that the little guys who are willing to dev-blog for three months get exposure too.

I completely understand where you're coming from, Seth. But I guess what I'm envisioning now is a contest where existing commercial contestants are competing alongside little uDG'ers. I'm not talking literally about Bungie. The idea is that the commercial games get marketing exposure out of the contest by competing in their own category, but their participation draws larger crowds with the not-so-hidden agenda of exposing the little uDG'ers (and sharing code). I think the commercial guys would be all for that BTW. Not only would they be sponsoring and offering prizes in the contest, but perhaps even offering distribution prizes. And it would certainly help expose more talent to commercial companies.

iPhone devs would kill to be in this kind of contest.
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Post: #21
Although having iPhone games is a nice idea, how would it actually work seeing as you cannot release a game for people to vote on without using up all your 100 devices or releasing it via the App Store?


As to the much long duration contest idea from the first post - I agree with most of it.

I do find the mention of a uDG 2008 postmortem ironic seeing as postmortems for entries for previous contests took years to appear Smile
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DoG
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Post: #22
Open source was allowed anyway. So if Bungie did open source Halo *before* or at the start of the contest, they could have entered your hypothetical Marathon remake, if they did it in 3 months, which would not have been impossible. The three month rule doesn't penalize expertise, it penalizes external feedback prior to the contest start.

Apart from that, everyone seems to get worked up again, I see "let us start" everywhere. Lets face it, it's not us, its Carlos. A one man show. You can pour your heart into getting the contest running, and setting up stuff, but I strongly advise against it. There's no management position available on idevgames.com.

Carlos does not allow anyone to make decisions, not even well outside his area of competence, that much he has made clear with how udg08 went down. To be honest, he made the same point with the previous contests, too, and with how idevgames.com is run in general (apart from the forum), I just had hope things could change for this contest. No more. I respect Carlos for his past efforts, but he is the one holding back everyone else now. If you want to a contest, run it as a community, don't call it udg, and don't put Carlos in the driver's seat.
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Post: #23
Quote:During uDevGames, theoretically everyone starts their games at the same time, and then everyone gets scored based on the merits of what they can complete in that time frame.

There is very little from stopping people from working on something years before hand. As long as it's quiet. For example, 99% of Harmony's code was recycled from previous work done well before the contest. (Hey, why not Rasp)

I wouldn't mind the introduction of some new rules to ensure that everything is done in the three month span.

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DoG
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Post: #24
Shunter Wrote:I wouldn't mind the introduction of some new rules to ensure that everything is done in the three month span.

That rule would not be enforcable, so it would be pointless. It is expected that you have some code, be it public or private, to begin with, either because you were working on the game you plan to enter for a decade in private, or from other projects you did in the past. Forcing people to reinvent the wheel isn't particularly productive for this kind of contest.
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Post: #25
I find it extremely hard to get motivated about a 1-year deadline.
When it's a 3-month deadline, I stop playing video games, stop napping, stop staring blankly at the computer screen, and stop making lengthy posts on forums because I have a close deadline that I have to meet. The 3-month deadline scares me into working.

On the other hand, a 1-year deadline will be far off in the future. I can take it easy, do what I want to do, play video games, make lengthy posts on forums, and stare blankly at the computer screen, until the deadline creeps up on me and I end up doing all the work in 3 months anyway.

That said, I wouldn't mind extending the deadline by a couple of months if that would get AnotherJake and MattDiamond and others to compete, but I'm happy with the 3-month.

- Lincoln Green
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Post: #26
While I very much agree with Lincoln's points above, I think it would be interesting to try tweaking the deadline and see how it affects the contest outcome. Since we have the results of five 3-month contests now, we could try running, say, a 4-month contest, and see if the quality of games significantly changes compared to previous contests.
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Post: #27
From what I can tell, the rule about being able to enter existing, non-distributed code exists simply to account for the fact that you cannot enforce the 3-month limit. The spirit of the contest still involves a deadline, but the rules cover the case where you want to get an early start and not tell anyone, which would happen anyway.

To me, the whole contest is about indie developers starting a game in December and working on it until March, blogging about it the whole time, and releasing whatever they have at the end. Including games that have been in development for months and were intended from the start to be commercial would totally kill that for me, and you probably wouldn't see me in any future uDG contests either.

Tweaking the deadline might be interesting, but I think 3 months is the sweet spot.

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Post: #28
Another plus point of running it over the year is that it solves the problem of people complaining that the 3 months clashes with classes, holidays, favourite TV series or world conquest plans. Over the duration of a year then everyone stands a chance of having quiet periods.

Also just because it was over 12 months does not mean you have to work on it for 12 months. It gives the chance for a life at the same time.

It would also allow publicity to build over the contest and give people time to do a couple of dry runs of the voting system etc. before the public come along.
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Post: #29
DoG Wrote:Apart from that, everyone seems to get worked up again, I see "let us start" everywhere. Lets face it, it's not us, its Carlos. A one man show. You can pour your heart into getting the contest running, and setting up stuff, but I strongly advise against it. There's no management position available on idevgames.com.

Carlos does not allow anyone to make decisions, not even well outside his area of competence, that much he has made clear with how udg08 went down. To be honest, he made the same point with the previous contests, too, and with how idevgames.com is run in general (apart from the forum), I just had hope things could change for this contest. No more. I respect Carlos for his past efforts, but he is the one holding back everyone else now. If you want to a contest, run it as a community, don't call it udg, and don't put Carlos in the driver's seat.

As with DoG, no disrespect to Carlos, but over the years we have all wasted time investigating and organising things (often at the suggestion / plea of Carlos) only for them to be ignored.

The whole process of organising such a contest is something worthy of being added to you C.V. so I would not put off the idea of doing a contest. However, as stated above, run it on your own servers under your own banner. Other people successfully hold coding contests so why not?
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Apprentice
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Post: #30
Speaking as a member of the game press, I'll chip in with my opinion regarding uDevGames over the years from that experience perspective.

I was co-host on The Gamesome Mac, as some remember, and during that time we hosted the announcement of the uDevGames winners, with interviews, etc, two years in a row (2003 and 2004). In 2005, I started up iGame Radio, and in September I interviewed Carlos about iDevGames and whether uDevGames would even be held. I offered at that time to do a special show in December regarding uDevGames, but we were never able to make that work.

When I heard that uDevGames was again happening in 2008, I contacted Carlos about helping out, even about being a sponsor. I got a response or two, but nothing ever really came of it because, I got the impression, Carlos was so busy.

In 2003 and 2004 I felt like Carlos was really a part of what was happening in the community. Time changes a lot of things...among other things Carlos spent several years in Japan...and it may be that he just can't put in the effort that he once was able to. Based on my experiences and the feedback I'm reading in the iDevGames forums, that seems to be the situation.

This happens. I know it all too well, as I myself have had to make some serious decisions regarding MacRadio that I don't like. But ya can't do everything. Perhaps now is the time to take the contest, or a contest similar, and do it as a community?

But doing this requires that you create a board, basically, and decide on a leader (someone to direct things, not make decisions for everyone), and really make a choice to move this forward. Just saying, "we should do this or that." means nothing. You need to actually take the steps to do this or that.

And whatever you decide to do, you need to make sure that you engage the press more the next time around. I'm always willing to be a part of the process...interviewing developers, reviewing the games, interviewing the people in charge of the contest, and getting the news onto my site/onto my podcasts. But you need to participate in that too. I can't interview air, and it take time to find news. Much better to have it find me. Wink

I really do wish you all the best of luck because this has been a great community and a great contest, and I'd really like to see it continue.
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