Casual Gameplay Design Competition #1!


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Game Design CompetitionAdobe

Update: The contest is over, and WOW! What a turnout!!

The following is a list of entries received for our first game design competition (in no particular order). Click the game icon to go to the review page for that game (some may not actually be up yet, but eventually they will all have reviews.)

puzzle1 "Puzzle 1"
...by Tonypa
puzzle2 "Puzzle 2"
...by Tonypa
sigil of binding "Sigil of Binding"
...by John-Paul Walton
submachine zero "Submachine Zero"
...by Mateusz Skutnik
gear puzzle "Gear Puzzle"
...by David Durham
free the bird "Free the Bird"
...by Bart Bonte
the alchemist's apprentice "The Alchemist�s Apprentice"
...by Lars A. Doucet
jeweldrop "Jewel Drop"
...by Nick Redmond
quadra pair 42 "Quadra Pair 42"
...by JR
liquid colors "Liquid Colors"
...by DDams
keys "Keys"
...by Rob Allen
thief "Thief"
...by Phillip Reagan
cyberpunk "Cyberpunk"
...by Rey Gazu
instruments "Instruments"
...by Elizabeth Reynolds
clack "Clack"
...by Sean
gateway "Gateway"
...by Anders Gustafsson
wired "Wired"
...by Vlad Kvitnevski
colour connect "Colour Connect"
...by Matthew Dirks
houses "Houses"
...by Sean
weight "Weight"
...by Sean
personal universe "Personal Universe"
...by Damir


Yes, you read the title right. We're hosting our first Flash game design competition!

Here's the scoop: you, casual gamer / game designer / Flash whiz, design a simple puzzle game in Flash (version 8, AS 2.0, 30fps), something that you might find in a point-and-click game, Myst, or the like. For some inspiration, check out Andrew VanHeuklon's brilliant collection of Flash puzzles called Click Drag Type. That collection was actually the inspiration behind the theme for this competition.

Use your imagination and be creative. We are looking to create a collection of the five (or more) best entries submitted to the competition. Impress us with your game design skills and you will score fame, recognition, prizes, and maybe even a pat on the back!

The Prizes

We're looking for a ton of great entries to make this compilation really spectacular. And we've got the prizes to back it up! In addition to the tens of thousands of people playing your game and seeing your name, at least the top three submissions will also nab one of these prizes:

  • A copy of Flash 8 Professional (2 copies to give away)
  • A shiny new black Nintendo DS Lite
  • More prizes to be announced!

Winners will be judged by the JIG Casual Gameplay staff based on creativity, originality, and aesthetics. You don't have to make anything complex, just wow us with a great idea or two.

To Enter

To enter the JIG CasualGameplay Game Design Contest, all you have to do is create a simple and original Flash puzzle game and send it to us. You'll need to include the .fla file so we can create a custom interface for the collection (or support our API). Entries must also be designed for a 640x480 sized stage to make things easier on everyone. You don't have to take up the whole area, but we must set a limit for entries to conform to. Also, please set the frame rate of your puzzles to 30 fps, as that will be the frame rate of the common UI that loads the puzzle swf files.

Also, by submitting an entry to the competition, you grant Jayisgames.com and CasualGameplay.com a permanent, non-exclusive license to host the game, either individually or as part of a larger collection. We will always include credit to the original author and display a link to you or your sponsor's site, if desired.

Once you have your game polished and ready to go, send it to:
flashcontest email

Deadline

The deadline for entries is Friday, August 25th. at 11:59PM (GMT-5:00).

So, start the brainstorming and get ready to wow us!

Flash Game Design CompetitionFriends of Jayisgames: Please help spread word of this competition by posting a note along with a link to this entry on your blog or website. Feel free to use this banner to link back to us. Thank you kindly!

Many thanks to the kind folks at Adobe for sponsoring this competition. Would you like to help sponsor this or future competitions? If so, please email Jay at the contact address in the sidebar.

73 Comments

remister Author Profile Page August 4, 2006 3:58 AM

Good luck to all who are participating, I am looking forward to playing your games. I want to join, but my flash skills just basically suck :)

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Hmmm... Does the game have to look nice? Hehe, I best be getting to work... Now if only Adobe had Flash 9 out so it took less than 30 seconds to do ANYTHING at ALL on the new Intel Macs. *Sigh* At least I have almost a month...

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i agree to remister

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Not to be negative - to the contrary, I think it's great that you're doing this and would love to participate -, but wouldn't most participants already have a license of Flash? :)

One more question: is this contest open to non-US residents?

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A good question, Philipp. One that I was hoping someone would ask. =)

Since Adobe offers a 30-day free trial of Flash Professional, you can see that the competition may allow someone to receive a license for the program that may not already have one.

And yes, the competition is open to non-US residents.

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Interested Lurker August 4, 2006 11:34 AM

Can the entries be made with other Flash authoring software (i.e. KoolMoves, 3D Flash Animator)?

Some of us may have already run out of time on Adobe's 30-day trial. :-)

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In regards to using other Flash authoring software in the competition: we will allow you to incorporate other programs into your puzzle game if the resulting code compiles to standard SWF format (Flash Player 8, Actionscript 2.0) and meets one of these two conditions:

  • Your puzzle game can still be modified by us to conform to a standard UI for the compilation, OR

  • Your puzzle game is written to conform to our standard UI for the compilation.

To ensure that your game conforms to our standard UI, use the following API as a guide:

start(gameID:Number) - a function in your game that gets called by the compilation UI (GameManager class) when the puzzle is requested by the player. gameID should be stored and returned to the GameManager when the puzzle is solved, along with a Boolean indicating whether the game was solved correctly. (see gameDone function below)

reset() - a function in your game that is called when the player wishes to reset the puzzle to an initial state.

quit() - a function in your game that is called when the player wishes to quit your puzzle and return to the compilation's UI.

GameManager.getInstance().gameDone(gameID:Number, completed:Boolean) - a function in the compilation UI (GameManager class). Call this function when the player either quits or completes the puzzle, passing back the gameID passed in when start() was called, and whether the player successfully completed the puzzle.

If you have any questions or need clarification of any of this, just ask. If you need a stub of the GameManager class, send me an email and I'll provide you with one. =)

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khm, I was not able to play Click Drag Type game linked from its review.

From the API it looks like you only support Actionscript 2. It is possible to write Flash8 game with AS1, but wouldnt it have problems later when you try to add the UI?

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Tonypa - you can't play Click Drag Type? What is the problem exactly?

As far as AS 2.0 support goes, Flash 8 supports compiling code under AS 1.0 or AS 2.0. Since we will be using AS 2.0 for the compilation UI, submissions must compile using the AS 2.0 publish setting. I've added that to the comment above.

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Erm, what background colour and how many FPS?

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Any background color you want, Imok.

If you design the game for 30 FPS there shouldn't be any issues.

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Hey Jay, I emailed you a week or so ago about sponsoring a contest! C'mon!

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Hi JS - yes, I recieved your email, thank you.

This competition has been in the planning stages now for a couple of months, since before you emailed me. And because your offer is quite specific about what must be built, we'll have to consider it for a future competition.

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Hmm. I dont get it. If we have to submit the file in F8 format this implies we must already have flash 8 unless someone using those crappy authoring tools wins (which i doubt) also i doubt somone using the trial will win unless they manage to Learn and perfect AS2 in the 30 day period they have it.

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Tidenburg - Puzzles must simply compile under the AS 2.0 publish setting, and most AS1.0 code will compile without error under AS2.0. For the major differences between the two, check out this article from Adobe.

No one has to "perfect AS2" as you suggest. If you handle the API calls yourself, there is but a single line of AS2.0 code you would have to write, and I've already given it to you.

And from what I've seen over the years regarding what people are capable of doing, I am certainly not as doubtful as you. =p

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Cheers! to Lore over at Wired for posting an announcement about the competition! =)

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Wow!

Well, I'm suprised.

I'd feel terrible if I didn't at least ATTEMPT to participate.

We at least owe you that much...

Too bad the only games I've ever made are supported exclusively by the "Visualize!" browser plug-in.

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Love the logo, I wish I knew how to make games XD
Nice sponsorship and prizes as well ^_^
Can't wait to try some of the entries!

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So it's one overarching puzzle? (And not a whole puzzle based adventure?)

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Overarching puzzle? I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

We are looking for just one single puzzle per entry that can be incorporated into a compilation of puzzles.

If you have any questions about what we are looking for, please refer to the game Click Drag Type for 10 excellent examples of puzzles similar to what we are looking for.

But please don't feel restricted by those examples, as we would like you to come up with your own creative and original ideas.

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Way to go, Jay! I've shot you a plug on our site, and I can't wait to see the results.

Mmmm... Black DS Lite...

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I'm working on a game right now, dose a dungeon layer-ish game go along these lines?

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Can an "action-puzzle" game (like the "puzzle mode" in Puzzle Bubble / Bust a Move, or games like Sokoban) enter this competition ?

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I'm a little bit lost

So, I'm still o flash MX and I'm not planning to use flash 8 for this, but you wellcome AS1 and AS2, so, can I participate with my flash MX?

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Cheers BigFoot! =D

derrike: "Does a Dungeon layer-ish thing go along these lines?"

Um, no, I don't think so. We are looking for a puzzle game that you might find within a point-and-click game. You know the kind: you walk up to a panel in the wall and you see... something, and you must figure out what to do.

DDams: "Can an 'action-puzzle' game enter this competition ?"

Certainly. But the important thing to consider is that your entry, if selected, will become part of a collection of puzzle games, and should be able to conform to our UI as described above.

Also, we will be judging the entries based on "originality" as well as creativity and aesthetics, and so a puzzle bobble clone or sokoban clone, unless a fantastically compelling one, probably won't be selected.

Scheletro: "can I participate with my flash MX?"

Absolutely. As long as your game conforms to our API as noted above, you will be fine. If you would rather have us handle the UI part of it, just send us your .fla file and we'll recompile it under Flash 8 when we add in the necessary hooks for the UI.

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um, I already finished my puzzle, now I have to wait until August 25th :)

Can one person submit more then one game? And if so are those judged separately?

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Oh! I want that pat in the back sooo bad. :)

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I have got the idea on paper, but I need help (major one at that) on how to throw the idea into Flash.

For example, are there tutorials that teaches how to make something move/rotate upon clicking? Stuff that teaches how to incorporate the functions stated above (reset, exit, etc.) into buttons would be good as well.

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Andrew VanHeuklon August 6, 2006 2:21 AM

When I made ClickDragType, I didn't even make it for the public, I made it so that I could learn new techniques! My suggestion: Open up the Actionscript help and pick out some commands that you have never used (lineTo, setInterval, attachMovie). Go from there.

Don't make it too hard or repetitive and stay away from shoot-em-up type puzzles. Take something, and say how could I prolong them from doing this? This will spawn sub-puzzles (like the top portion of puzzle 1 in CDT). And keep any rogue ideas in a sketchpad or something! I would love to play a game like mine without already knowing how to beat it! Get designing, these puzzles will take you a while!

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Unknownguy August 6, 2006 4:26 PM

So, these are puzzles that are a one time solving, or multiple time?

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Nice one Jay, already designing for the compo right now!
One more question: can that puzzle already be published on my own site before (ofcourse mentioning its a JayIsGames compo entry), or should I await the release of your compilation? Cheers!

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Sorry for the late replies folks, I was away for the weekend and had jury duty today. I'm back now, so let's get to those questions...

Tonypa - Yes, we will accept multiple entries from participants, and each one will be judged separately.

Jeek - that's a good question. There are lots of Flash tutorials available on the Web:

  • Flashkit also has an awesome game dev forum where you can ask for help on anything related to creating games in Flash.

  • Adobe has tutorials for working with Flash available on its website.

  • I've also found useful things on Kirupa.com and Actionscript.org

    • Unknownguy - The inspiration for this competition comes from Andrew's Click Drag Type game, which is a collection of one-time solving puzzles; however, that doesn't have to be the case with your entry. Don't feel constricted with this. Use your imagination and come up with something that is FUN. =)

      bb - yes, of course you may publish your puzzle(s) on your own site. There are no restrictions about that whatsoever.

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Phillip just emailed this question and I thought it was important enough to reiterate this for anyone making puzzles for the competition:

"What will the framerate be of the swf that will be acting as the interface to the submitted entries? Loaded swfs will take on the framerate of the one that loaded them, so I would like to have the framerate you will use so I can perfect the timing and make sure the animations will play as intended."

Answer: Please set the frame rate of your puzzles to 30 fps, as that will be the frame rate of the common UI that loads the puzzle swf files.

I've added this to the competition description above.

Cheers, Phillip!

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you can also get tutorials at Tutorialized

they have loads of flash ones there, many specific to making games.

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Oh crap! Now I have to finish Sketchy AND do this by the end of the month! Thanks a LOT, Jay!! :)X

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Hey Hunty!

I know you are busy with your Sketchy project, and so if this is too much, no worries. Though knowing how fast you work, it shouldn't be any trouble at all, right? =)

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Can you use Flash MX 2004 because that uses AS 2.0?

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KGB - yes, you may use MX 2004.

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Hey everybody,

In the unlikely event that someone out there knows Flash but has no ideas, I have a few and no flash skills. I'd love to collaborate. Anybody? Contact at goyston [at] gmail dot com if interested.

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Jay, for your notice:
http://www.lazylaces.com/article.asp?p=2063#c91012
In case you want to respond to that.

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I just got back from holiday so only have... um...(scrolls franticly to top of page) 15 days (which is less than the Experimental gameplay comp) but im gonna make a game, if not 2, or three... we will see

and can i enter a game i made for another comp (the EGP one)?

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ooh.. and grant0, I shall pick your brains!
(I'l email you my email and see what ideas you have)

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I saw that Amor Lassie, and chose not to reply.

If someone has reservations about entering the competition, then don't enter. It's as simple as that. I must protect my efforts here as well, and anyone that knows me or has been visiting here for any length of time already knows that I work hard to protect the intellectual property rights of game developers. There is nothing I am doing here that takes advantage of that nor that will jeopardize the trust others have in me.

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giftedweasel - certainly you may enter a puzzle design that you have entered in another competition.

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great, thanks! :D

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Jay, that was an reply good enough. That's why I pointed it out in here, so that you could have an excuse to say that you have read it ;)
And I would participate if only I could do something with Flash :(
Hopefully this competition will be held every year from now on.

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as i was talking to grant0 about this:
If anyone has any good ideas but can't use flash, could you post them my way ;)

marcuspawilliams (at) hotmail (dot) com

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Does the API thing mean, every entry HAS to feature those functions mentioned? Or can we add those if we want?

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Jay- will the JIG interface have the zoom in/zoom out functions enabled when you right click?

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Hi Edgy, I don't plan to disable those controls, so you can expect that they will be available to the player.

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Alright, cool. Thanks for the quick response.

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Just have to put my two cents worth in. I won't claim to know the first thing about game design, but I know a thing or two about fairness in contests. I'm president of a writers' organization in Canada with 250 members. We run three contests per year. In our contest rules, we explain that we have the right to publish winning entries (first, second and third prize) once, in print and electronically, and then ALL rights revert back to the author. And we would never dream of taking any rights for a piece that someone submitted if it didn't win. That's just taking advantage.
(Or have I misunderstood?)

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Thanks, Sam, for your perspective.

Let me ask you a question about your own contests: How do you publish electronically a winning entry once without having a permanent license to do so?

Do you take down the page with the winning entries after ALL rights revert back to the author? If not, then you are in violation of those rights.

I think anyone can see here that all we want to do is protect the rights we have to publish the entries here in perpetuity. Suppose we get more entries than we have prizes to award. Do we just send the extras back without even a mention on the site? That seems ridiculous to me.

Take a look around. We do everything we possibly can to promote the indie game developer and shout about their achievements for all the world to see. Nothing has changed nor will change.

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I dont understand why are people so worried about the fact that all submissions would be shown at jayisgames. As a visitor I am most certainly interested to see all entries and not only 3 of them because my taste could be different from the judges and I might enjoy some game greatly even when it does not win. As a game designer I would also like to see my game shown even when it does not win because getting feedback from players is very useful. What if my game is not working correctly under some OS or there is a bug I missed or any other thousands of possible problems. More people play it, more problems are found and can be fixed and so next version can be improved.

I also do not understand how can non-exclusive permanent license to host your entry at jayisgames be restrictive. Maybe there are game makers who only create games to enter every available competition, like there are most certainly writers who resend same old story to every writing competition. I still doubt such small and fairly simple puzzles expected to enter here would be much interest in other game competitions. I am not sure how many game competitions are out there, but some (not mentioning names) sites use much more restrictive rules for entries.

The person commenting about how giving out the source fla file makes somehow possible to steal your game (ignoring that it is not even required to send fla if you include the main UI functions into your game), has clearly little knowledge about Flash and swf files. The fact is, every swf file can be decompiled and turned back into source fla, the swf is not any way more secure then fla. It may have been around 5 years ago when swf decompilers where less advanced and less useable, but currently once you post swf in the web, you may as well include fla with it as anyone interested can turn swf into fla anyway.

We had game sprites competition in FlashKit. No prizes. All entries became free to use. People still entered. Because it was fun.

I hope people enter jayisgames competition too mostly because they have fun making games and playing games :)

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Cheers, Tony! I appreciate your kind, considerate and thoughtful reply to these skeptical folks.

I'm guessing that the competition has recieved a great deal of attention, and many who are here visiting and reading the competition details are seeing us for the first time.

Come to think of it, that's not necessarily a bad thing. =)

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Jay, it might be prudent to put a link to this at the top of the home page! It is sooo far down to scroll now :P hurts my finger.

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Good idea, Imok! Cheers!

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Jay, Quick question about the API - Does our game need to include the UI for start() reset() and quit(), or will buttons for those be included as part of the UI you are creating to house these?

I am guessing the latter, and we simply need to include the functions, yes?

Thanks!

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Yes! The latter, John-Paul.

I'll take care of the UI and loading each of the SWFs, as well as the buttons for reset() and quit().

start() will be called under-the-hood from the GameManager once the puzzle is loaded. It should probably be called by your reset() function as well, but that's up to you.

I am hopeful that the API as indicated will be enough to do what I'm planning to do with the entries, though I won't know for sure until all of the entries are received. I may have to revisit the design once I see what I'm dealing with.

cheers!

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A chance to win the software that is REQUIRED to make the entries! Huh?

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Bueno: Click

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The day is nearing!

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Hi, just a quick question:
Should we add preloader?
Thanks in advance

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That's an excellent question, Damir. I may have the authors of the selected entries add a preloader to their games.

I am in the process of working out any issues involved with the entries received thus far, and the idea of a preloader may address some concerns I have.

For now, feel free to submit your completed puzzle game as is for our review. If you include the .fla then no further work will be necessary. If I wind up changing any of the entries to fit within our UI, I will send the changed file back to you for approval before it will appear in any form on the site.

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DoH! Friday! I just saw this today and PW is on vacation until next week -- let's see what we can't crank out in a couple night.

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A common problem I am seeing in the entries submitted thus far is the method used by each developer to instantiate a Sound object. The usual method of...

var mysound = new Sound();

...simply won't work for MovieClips that will be loaded into another clip, as is the case for this collection of puzzles. To fix this, simply pass a reference to the movieclip that's doing the instantiation, such as...

var mysound = new Sound(this);

Those who have submitted their .fla file to me, thank you very much. I will use the source files to fix the issue myself.

For those who did not provide me the source .fla, would you please take a moment to check your code and resubmit your swf with the change indicated above? That will save me some time to contact you when I finally get around to your entry.

Thank you kindly! =)

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I'm seeing some comments about some of the games not meeting the criteria for the competition, and though I can certainly understand where you're coming from - some of the games have almost nothing in common with Click-Drag-Type - I used Click-Drag-Type more as a source of inspiration, rather than a blueprint. I think the essence of the competition is to be creative and if they just wanted 20 Click-Drag-Type clones, I think they would have been up-front about that instead of writing "But please don't feel restricted by [Click-Drag-Type] as we would like you to come up with your own creative and original ideas".

I agree with that if they only wanted one puzzle per game, most of us are pretty off, but since the instruction actually says "design a simple puzzle game", that doesn't really limit the number of puzzles per game, does it? And does "simple" imply the difficulty or the complexity of the puzzle?

In summary: the prerequisite qualities are very interpretable.

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I wrote something about Houses and Clack on my newly new blog...

http://www.bloodymonkey.com/design/

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wow... this seems like sooo long ago... with a new compition and all...

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post spoilers

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I was interested in looking through all the entries, but the winner gets the program that he has to use to make the entry? *Am confused*

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Nick - this question has been asked before.

  1. Adobe offers a free 30-day trial on all of their software. So it is conceivable that someone with a great idea could download the trial and build a game within the competition period, which is, not surprisingly, approx. 30 days.

  2. Even seasoned veterans of Flash may work with Flash at their place of business, but do not own a license themselves.

  3. Someone may be using an older version of the software and could use the prize to upgrade to the latest (and indeed greatest) version of Flash: CS3 Professional.

I am sure there are more reasons, but I hope that helps resolve your confusion. =)

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hey jay will there be another contest this year.

im kind of new so and want to make flash games.

i was going to buy a new computer on my pay

check. and download a trial flash thing. i read

some tutorials. i just want to see if i could

enter some games next contest. i just wanted to

see if i had to wait till next year. will there

be a changed theme. THANKS (pay check on 20th july.)

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Crossy Road> Dora Endless arcade action meets classic Frogger style gameplay in this free iOS game where you control a series of hapless unlockable creatures trying to cross some very busy and very deadly roads and rapids. With a sense of humor and vibrant voxel graphics, it's both charming and hard to put down.  ...
Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property> Dora The apartment in this escape game's rent is suspiciously low, and there's a weird smell here too... so it's probably not a good sign your realtor has locked you inside! Experience a whole lot of weirdness (and a jump scare or two) in this very silly game from no1game.  ...

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