Casual Gameplay Design Competition #3!


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Game Design Competition #3NitromeAdobeArcadeTown

Update: the competition is over. Thanks to all who entered!!

Following is a list of entries into our 3rd Flash Game Design Competition (in no particular order). Click the game icon to go to the review page for that game.

A Bark in the Dark "A Bark in the Dark"
...by Bart Bonte
Gimme Friction Baby "Gimme Friction Baby"
...by Wouter Visser
First Place &
Audience Award
Super Earth Defense Game! "Super Earth Defense Game!"
...by Carl Foust
JIGorbit "JIGorbit"
...by DDams
JIG Logo Creativity Award
Speck Oppression "Speck Oppression"
...by Komix
Timebot "Timebot"
...by David Durham
Parley "Parley"
...by Matt Slaybaugh and Joe Versoza
Replay 2 : The Sequel "Replay 2 : The Sequel"
...by Caleb, R. Emmett and longhorn54
Rerun "Rerun"
...by Andrew VanHeuklon
Runner-Up
ReMaze "ReMaze"
...by Felix Reidl
Honorable Mention
Time Raider "Time Raider"
...by Rey Gazu
Space Pilot "Space Pilot"
...by Alex Kaplan
The Turtles of Time "The Turtles of Time"
...by Dom Camus
A Good Hunch! "A Good Hunch!"
...by Philipp Seifried and Markus Mundjar
Yalpeyalper "Yalpeyalper"
...by Tonypa
Music Dodge "Music Dodge"
...by Daniel Gutierrez
Paracaidas "Paracaidas"
...by Scheletro
Robot Goal "Robot Goal"
...by Ja.Games
Karma "Karma"
...by Zapak Digital Entertainment Limited

Wooty tooty flip-bam-booty!
We're hosting our 3rd Flash Game Design Competition!

(and again the crowd goes wild! RAWR!)

Here's the scoop: you, casual gamer / game designer / Flash whiz, design a game in Flash—minimum requirement: AS 2.0; AS 3.0 is also fine—that incorporates our theme (see below). It doesn't have to be complex nor large in scope, in fact since you will have only 4 weeks to complete your design, simple ideas are probably the way to go.

Game design competition #3 theme: replayHere's the catch. Your game design must incorporate this theme: "replay".

You are, of course, free to interpret that any way you choose; however, the extent to which your game addresses the theme is left up to the competition judges to decide.

Also, your game must not have been in general release (publicly available to play on the Web) prior to the deadline of the competition (see below).

Entries not meeting the requirements will be disqualified. See below for a list of additional specifications including stage size and a couple simple API calls your game must support.

Use your imagination and be creative. We are looking to create a collection of the best entries submitted to the competition like we have done before. Impress us with your game design and production skills and you will score fame, recognition, prizes, as well as a proper review of your work by the JIG Casual Gameplay review staff.

The Prizes
As before, we're looking for a truckload of great entries to make this competition really spectacular. And we've got the prizes to back it up! In addition to seeing your name in pixels and the millions of people who will play your game, we have some very nice prizes to award:

  • 1st place:
    • $1,000 (courtesy of ArcadeTown)
    • (1) Flash CS3 Professional license (courtesy of Adobe)
  • 2nd place:
    • $500 (courtesy of ArcadeTown)
    • (1) Flash CS3 Professional license (courtesy of Adobe)
  • Audience award:
    • as before, determined by JIG community popular vote and worth at least $200 (courtesy of ArcadeTown).

In addition to the above prizes, your game will be eligible to receive a bid from ArcadeTown for publishing there as well. Several games from our previous competition received a generous sponsorship from ArcadeTown, and they are on board once again with their support for the indie Flash game development community.

Winners will be judged by the JIG Casual Gameplay staff based on creativity, originality, aesthetics, and how well it incorporates the competition theme. 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 Competition, all you have to do is create a simple and original Flash game incorporating the theme and send it to us.

Game Design Competition #3NitromeAdobeArcadeTownLike previous competitions, your game will appear in a collection for the site, and so it must support our specifications and our very simple API listed below. If you do not know how to support our API even after reading the specifications below, you will need to send us the final .fla file 48 hours prior to the competition deadline so we can add the appropriate support for you.

By submitting an entry to the competition, you grant Jayisgames.com and CasualGameplay 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. Please provide us with your name, shipping address, and preferred link (optional) when submitting your entry.

Once you have your game polished and ready to go, send it to: competition3@jayisgames.com

Deadline
The deadline for entries is
Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 11:59PM (GMT-4:00).

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!

Our warmest appreciation and kind thanks to the sponsors of this competition:

Specifications and the finer details of submitting an entry follow...

Specifications
Your game will be loaded from an external swf into a common UI. Therefore, there are a couple of issues you must be aware of:

  1. Your stage size must be the same as the UI, 640x480.
  2. The background color of the common UI will be black (#000000). Therefore your game must either look good against a black background, or you will need to include a rectangle filled with the color you wish to appear as the background, and of the same size of your stage, on your main timeline.
  3. Frame rate should be set to 30 fps, as that will be the frame rate of the common UI that loads the external game swf files.
  4. Your game will be loaded with _lockroot set to true, which means references to _root in your game will continue to reference the main timeline of your game; however, you may not use references to _level anywhere in your code. (If you do not know what this means, you probably don't have anything to worry about.) -- this applies to games using AS2 only.
  5. For Sound objects to function correctly in loaded SWFs, when instantiating new Sound objects you must pass a reference to the movieclip that's doing the instantiation, such as:
    var mysound = new Sound(this);. If you leave out "this" your game will have no sound when loaded. -- this applies to games using AS2 only.
  6. Preloading your game will be handled for you, therefore you do not need to include a preloader with your game (but having one shouldn't cause any problems either.)

The common UI is designed to provide a consistent interface with which to easily navigate through each of the competition entries. To facilitate a smooth and functional common UI, your game must support our very simple API: applies to both, AS2 & AS3 games...

  • start() - a function in the first frame of your game that gets called by the common UI (GameManager class) to start the game. This function will not be called until after your game has finished loading. Therefore, your game should remain on its first frame until it receives a call to start().
  • reset() - a function in your game that is called to reset the game to its initial state/menu. It must exist so the GameManager can call it when the player selects "reset" from the common UI controls.
  • quit() - a function in your game that is called to quit the game and return to the main competition UI menu. It must exist so the GameManager can call it when the player selects "quit/menu" from the common UI. This function must make the following call: GameManager.getInstance().gameDone(); // use this exactly as written.

If your game contains a win condition, be sure to create an appropriate ending to the game. Do not simply call the GameManager's gameDone() function without some congratulatory message to the player first, or the player will be disappointed and points will be taken off your entry. A few entries did that in our first competition and players were confused as to whether the game had been completed correctly.

A stub compilation UI shell (AS2) from our previous competition is available to test your game with. Since the API hasn't changed at all, it should work unmodified for this competition as well. A final stub using competition 3 graphics (see comments) will be made available within a week of the deadline. If you have any questions at all about these specifications, please post a comment here and we will address it.

118 Comments

fullyalive93 June 13, 2007 6:55 PM

I can't wait to see the entries, i had fun with all of the other games that were entered in past competition

-glenn-

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:')

these always impress me.

i have to say it was a pleasant surprise when i refreshed the page to find this. and a nice break from gcse stress to look forward to this.

a month to go!

:')

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Why the limitation to Flash 8 and AS2.0?

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Jay, you are my hero!

The creative potential by this competitions has until now been tremendous. And the 2nd brought up a series of game of higher quality than the standart things.

I'm already looking forward on testing the new games.

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O.O

RAWR

RAWR

RAWR

(see crowd gone wild above...)
woo hooo!!! another competition already!!!
I was thinking about entering the next one, but i am still teaching myself flash, so maybe the cgdc4... :)

i am super psyched now..
thanks jay

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The Flash 8 and AS 2.0 specification is due to my own limitations at the moment. At present I am unable to compile to Flash 9 and test loading clips that use AS 3.0.

I didn't think that would be a problem since the new version was only just released weeks ago.

However, if someone is willing to help with getting the competition UI up and running using Flash 9/AS 3.0, then I'd be willing to relax that restriction.

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The flash game competitions are always great times to be around. Looking forward to this new crop of games.

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UnknownGuy June 13, 2007 7:43 PM

I second the dropping of the restriction about AS3 and F9.

I just love AS3 too much. :P

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lopsidation June 13, 2007 7:43 PM

Meh, I'm horrible at actionscript... oh well, there's always next (insert unit of time that elapses between competitions here)

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Anonymous June 13, 2007 8:10 PM

sweet

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Okay. Flash 9 and AS 3.0 it is.

Tips for migrating your AS 2.0 ways to AS 3.0.

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I guess I am confused from your orginal post.

Here's the scoop: you, casual gamer / game designer / Flash whiz, design a game in Flash (version 9, AS 3.0

Do you want the game to be programmed in Flash 8.0 and AS2 or are they supposed to be only in Flash 9.0 and AS3?

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Greg - sorry for the confusion.

We will accept games in either F8 AS2 format, or in F9 AS3 format.

In other words, AT LEAST Flash 8, AS 2.0.

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Zorelei June 13, 2007 8:53 PM

One month? Ouch.

Luck to all who enter.

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Samus Man June 13, 2007 9:12 PM

I have something that may very well sound like a stupid question...is Flash CS3 the same as Flash 9?

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Hi Jay! I'm not gonna talk about F8 AS2 or F9 AS3. I'm just gonna say RAWR! Can't wait for the entries.

I love your competitions and the games the whiz kids pump out. They always stay true to your themes, as diverse as they can push them.

And I love the Nitrome artwork for this month & the competition. They're so "ickle" (for lack of a better word). They're cute and well done. :o)

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Desincarnage June 13, 2007 9:20 PM

Third edition already? Wow, that goes fast =O

If I make a game and win, can I trade prize money for that custom JIG Gameboy Advance? =D

I can't wait to see the entries! ^^

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Should be a good year
when do these things end anyway

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Wooty tooty flip-bam-booty! (x infinity) (HA!)

Yay! Another one! You really crank these out jay, and that means people who can't program but love to play, like me, are happy! :) How would you get started in Flash programming? Just wondering.

Also, what happened to the famous Click at the end of each review? Play (Name of Game) works too, but I kind of miss the Click.

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Howdy!

Some people have been asking for a tutorial, and Jay gave me the thumbs-up to go ahead and post this "getting started in Flash" tutorial I did for the Texas Aggie Game Developers (a student club I work with) a while back.

www.fadupinator.com/files/flash_tutorial.zip

The tutorial is provided "as-is." It originally suplemented a live presentation with me doing stuff by hand so people could see, so I apologize if it doesn't have all the pretty "now click your mouse over here" stuff you get in most tutorials in the web.

However, what it DOES do is provide you with a good, solid structure and framework for games in Flash so that you can write robust, object-oriented games.

Also, it comes with some FREE Creative-commons graphics and music for you to use pretty much however you like.

I've not tested the tutorial on the general internet yet, but hopefully some of you should be able to make a simple flash game fairly quickly after having stepped through this.

I provide "snapshots" of the game's progress with each major step, so you can jump to any one of them if you get stuck and reverse engineer in any stage you like from blank file to final version.

Note: this one uses ActionScript 2.0 and Flash 8 - but you don't have to use AS 3.0 or Flash 9 except for really high-end and fancy stuff. Eventually we should all probably migrate to AS 3.0 for various reasons, but AS 2.0 is more than good enough for now.

Let me know if you find any errors or have any suggestions on how to make the tutorial better! It's not guaranteed to make you a flash master, but hopefully it will de-mystify the whole process.

email(in anti-spam mode) :
Lars dot Doucet at Gmail dot Com
website:
www.fadupinator.com

Sincerely yours,
Lars Andreas Doucet

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Should be a cool year

on a completely unrelated sidenote I made this little command for both Yubnub.org and sugarcodes.com
that allows people to search the casual games/Jayisgames
site tags
by typeing in jtag tag
for example jtag arcade would give you the most current entries for any post JIG has for arcade
its mostly a fan/boredom thing but it searches the tags directly using the 2 command line like sites
and yubnub has a few extra time saving ways to search including a firefox plugin and IE7 plugin so anyone can search through as well

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atomic1fire - when does what end?

likephilshead - the Click has gone away in favor of Web standards as recommended by the W3C. =)

Thanks Lars for the link to your tutorials. =)

There is a lot of good information available on the Web, you just have to Google for it. Metanet software has some great physics tutorials available. And Flashkit has a fantastic game development forum with lots of active game dev pros that monitor the discussions.

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andreas June 14, 2007 4:29 AM

So you're gonna have two versions of the external .swf that loads the games? Since you can't use AS3 to access functions in AS2 .swf files..? Perhaps I'm confused.

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Well way to go Jay looking forard to seeing the entries yet again:) and oh the header for the page (nitrome design) is abso-bloomin-luetly fantabuloso.

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Hooray! I love these so much that the mere title brought great joy to my heart.

On a slightly less dramatic note, these are always great events. The quality of games is always consistently high and I know that I'm guaranteed a great game to play every day for a week or so.

Personally, I'm hoping that at least some of the entries actually focus on replayability. The most replayable game I have ever found is N: Way of the Ninja. Hopefully one of these entries can beat that.

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Jay,

Love these competitions, but do they always have to be limited to flash? Flash is quite pricey and I imagine that's a significant barrier to entry for a lot of people. I know it's nice to wrap all the entries up in a spiffy Flash menu, but I think it would be pretty cool to have something for non-flash developers as well. You feature Java applets and downloadable games in your reviews, why not allow those technologies?

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I just was curious as to the deadline
since we start seeing some good games then

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andreas - Yes, we will have two versions of the collection, if necessary: one for F8 AS2 games, and one for F9 AS3 games.

While not an optimum situation, I realize that as the industry is in a transition between two very different versions of the Flash platform, to require only one or the other would limit the field of developers able to participate.

The main focus here is with the game designs, and not the platform they are written for.

And on that note, in response to Cam, you have a good point and we'll definitely consider it for future competitions. That being said, downloads, Java applets and Shockwave games present compatibility issues and limit the audience who may play the competition games. One of the main reasons we offer Flash licenses as prizes is due to the fact that we understand how expensive it is and we want to provide opportunities for people to obtain a professional license of the program.

I do appreciate the feedback.

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aw, so I can't enter? (what with me still using flash MX :D)

*sigh

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Flash MX supports AS 2.0, which is technically the minimum requirement, so yes, you can enter if you wish.

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Technochocolate June 14, 2007 2:35 PM

My jaw literally dropped when I saw this.

Thank you, Jay!

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Can you use MochiAds to preload your game?

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lopsidation June 14, 2007 3:12 PM

(or whatever prevents your double-spaces from being erased)
[Edit: use <code> tags to preserve white space in your comments. I've wrapped your ascii art below for you. -Jay]

Since I'm horrible at actionscript, I'll post my idea for a replay-themed game and maybe someone else can do it.

You control a stick-figure character who can go left, right, jump, and commit suicide. You have to have all the buttons in a level pressed before you can continue to the next. The problem is, once you step off of a button, it unpresses. So, you need to commit suicide on the button so that you start the level over(where the REPLAY theme comes into play) and your corpse holds the button down. If you touch one of your corpses, your guy dies from shock, so you need to plan carefully so you don't clog the passages with corpses. There can be "happy spots" also, so that if you're there, you can jump for joy higher and you can't commit suicide.
Here's an example in case I'm being really confusing.

G=your guy B= button H=happy spot X=wall -=empty space D=exit door

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX To solve this, you need to go into the
XXXXXXX---XXXXXX happy place, jump up, commit suicide in
XXXXXXX---XXXXXX the air so that your corpse falls on
XXXXXXX---XXXXXX the button, and then start over
XXXXXXXHHHXXXXXX (replay!), jump over the corpse that's
XX-G---HHH---D-X holding the button down, and exit.
XXXXXXXXBXXXXXXX

Feel free to make this, I won't sue!

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lopsidation June 14, 2007 3:17 PM

Sorry about posting twice in a row, but maybe can we also have Game Maker competitions in addition to Flash, Java, and downloadable? it's REALLY EASY to make and program games in Game Maker (hence the name).

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SamusMan June 14, 2007 3:58 PM

Just a quick question...can I submit a game coded in AS2 but developed in Flash 9?

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lopsidation

Im not representing Jig in any way whatsoever in saying this as its just my oppinion (have nothing to do with jig just a reader and fan)

but isn't JayIsGames/CasualGameplay supposed to be for online games save the weekend download
unless they expand the idea to game maker games
or create a spinoff blog/weblog/review site for them
I doubt it would happen

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Yeah, great!
It's cool to see that there's no restriction on the type of game (arcade/action/puzzler) you want to make this time. The theme itself is very open too in my opinion, if it also means that a game with high replayability (due to random generated content or score-/time based challenge) is within the line the judges expect the entries to be? (I'd like to see a reply by one of the judges if I'm saying something totally not true here, thanks!)

Nice idea lopsidation, that would be a very original approach to the theme, and I can see it working. With the same sort of approach I think there's also still room to make (the by the JIG-community so beloved) pnc games. Pnc-games are normally building up linear and once you played them you're not coming back to them very quickly, that does not really fit with the 'theme'. But you possibly can make a game that can only be solved by restarting (replay) the game from the beginning with the difference that the inventory and/or the states of certain rooms are still intact.

Cheers!
Wouter

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"Flash MX supports AS 2.0, which is technically the minimum requirement, so yes, you can enter if you wish."

Huzzah!

I'll try and get an entry in this time (though I said that the last two times, and I never seem to have enough time for that sort of thing these days :s)

Thanks Jay!

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A few more answers to questions...

Regarding the use of Mochiads - Although I unequivocally support Mochimedia and its revolutionary Mochiads system, the preloading of competition entries is done by the competition UI, which effectively makes the Mochiads preloader redundant and useless. Sorry.

Regarding Game Maker games - presently Game Maker is only capable of exporting to .exe files, which run on the Windows operating system only. And since I use a Mac, support for Game Maker games is not likely. Yes, there is a GameMaker for the Mac, but it is unrelated and incompatible with the Windows version. Sorry.

Regarding AS 2.0 and Flash 9 - Yes. Perhaps the specifications should read Minimum requirement: AS 2.0. I'll update the announcement above accordingly.

Regarding the theme - Yes, it is intentionally left open to interpretation, and I am excited to see creative interpretations of it already appearing here in the comments. That being said, games with replay value, via randomly generated content or time/score based challenge, of course fit the theme, but that is not a requirement.

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ThemePark June 14, 2007 5:33 PM

Iopsidation, that sounds like a very good idea, and especially original! I hope you'll somehow be able to make it, it would be a shame for a good idea like that not to be entered into the competition.

Now, when the 2nd competition was up and the theme was Grow I had thought of participating but declined. Now that the theme is Replay I feel even more tempted to try and make an entry for this competition.

But the thing is, although I love making games and don't have problems getting ideas, I have never actually finished a game, nor worked with Flash, it's been ages at least. And since I do not desire to drag the quality of the entries down several knotches, I was wondering out of curiosity, how many of the people from the last 2 competitions are actually experienced game designers.

A few come to mind like tonypa, Wouter, Bonte and probably others, so there are quite a few professional, but have there never been any newbies like myself? I certainly hope so, that would give me a bigger incentive to actually participate in this competition. :D

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ThemePark,

I was a newbie when I submitted "The Alchemist's Apprentice." I'd made some simple flash games before, but nothing all that great, so I stuck with a pretty simple "Myst" like interface. The only way to become established is by getting your feet wet :P

Look forward to seeing your stuff!

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chibidani June 14, 2007 7:54 PM

ThemePark,

Not sure if i'll get an entry done, but i'm sure intending to try, and while i've done a bit of work in flash, i've never made a game before, so i think that makes me a newbie too. So you've got one other joining you :)

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Maybe I'm just not in a good mental state to get really creative, but I'm having a seriously hard time trying to think of any ideas revolving around the replay theme. *ponders furiously*

I'm concerned because it's already day 3 and I haven't started anything yet, which is bad, because game development always takes about three times as long as you think it will. :-P Start yesterday, folks, seriously.

Oh well. Maybe I'll figure something out.

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Well, I think I might enter this year (call it my way of putting back all the great stuff I have taken from JIG)

Lopsidation: Thanks, cool idea, might use it and make your game dream come true. (maybe)

Jay: OMG! this theme (replay) is insane! It has sooo many different interpretations!

If you do see a game in the competition by 'Grosie' then I hope you will enjoy it (if I get round to making it.)

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themepark says: "A few come to mind like tonypa, Wouter, Bonte and probably others, so there are quite a few professional, but have there never been any newbies like myself?"

I don't really like to be called professional, especially since I'm not :). My game 'Planned' for cgdc2 was my first game I finished, I try to learn flash for 2 years now. I am for sure not a very good coder, that's why I put everything in the idea and in the style. I don't think flash is that much harder to understand than gamemaker. You just have to have some patience and be willing to learn.

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I totally agree with Wouter. I have used Game Maker before and found it harder than Flash.

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Neat, gonna try and finish the game this time - I have an idea that I think could prove to be fun and perhaps even innovative.

Got one question though. You see I have a friend, who has a friend *cough* who is insanely paranoid about worthwhile flash's being spread around junky/spammy/scrapper casual-game-site-wonnabies if they're not secured properly.
So are we allowed to insert simple snippets of code into the game so that it can be ran only on specific site's.

That would make the job a bit harder for the testers/judges, forcing them to upload the game to the server or do a work around before running the game - but would give the author the benefit of deciding where his work will be published.

If allowed - what are the urls that should be included?
http://jayisgames.com/
http://jayisgames.com/
...?

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NW - Although I can appreciate what you want to do, there just isn't presently a secure way to protect your Flash games from appearing on other sites without your permission. Nor can I provide a list of allowed URLs since that list is subject to change. For example, we had to create 10 mirrors for the last competition since we were getting at times 10,000 views per hour. The domains for each were, of course, different.

As an alternative, I suggest inserting a http://mochibot.com script into your game with which you can track the sites and domains that host your game. That way you will know where your game is at all times, and can contact any sites that you wish it removed from.

Also, if you follow the instructions as detailed in the API specifications section above, your game should not function unless it receives the start() command from the GameManager class. This is also not fool proof, but it will reduce the number of sites able to host it.

If you have any more questions about this, please feel free to email me directly. My address is in the sidebar.

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As opposed to the comment from Cam about the price of Flash, I've started programming with actionscript 3, using Flex2 and the flashdev ide for absolutely $0,00 cost. You won't be able to put stuff on a timeline or hand-draw vector art, but you wil be able to program graphics and embed bitmap art.
It will cost you seas of time though ;-)

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I was just to post about Flex too (Amoebe got here faster lol), but yes, you can make Flash content for absolutely free with Flex 2 SDK:

http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/downloads/

Notice that "Flex Builder 2" is commercial product, only Flex SDK is free.

Things to remember:
* you should only use it for F9/AS3, I am not sure it even can produce older versions.
* it is very hard to learn, much more difficult then Flash.
* you wont be able to use any fla files, these are for Flash only. But you can create same swf files to be played by Flash Player.

I recommend looking at this tutorial first to see how Flex SDK basically works:
http://www.senocular.com/flash/tutorials/as3withmxmlc/

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So, just to clarify, if you're running Flash 8 you can't enter, is that correct?

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No CowboyRobot, from what I have gathered, if you are running Flash 8 with AS2, you can enter. But if you are running Flash 9 with AS3, you can also enter, but your game might be put into an AS3 Game interface which is seperate from the AS2 interface so that the two programming languages dont fight.

Correct me if I'm wrong (It will save me time making a game) but I think this is correct.

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Have re-read and noticed it would be less confusing if it read:

minimum requirement: AS 2.0, version 9 with AS 3.0 is also fine

does this makea bit more sense Jay?

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ThemePark June 16, 2007 10:04 AM

Time for a little update. :P

About the GameMaker suggestion, I second that. Of course, as of right now, it would be a bad idea but from what I've gathered they plan to release a version of Game Maker at some point that allows you to create games that can be played online.

wouter, fair enough, point taken. I must also admit that I had remembered you as having produced a lot more games on JIG than is the case.

But when I use the term professional, which btw is meant solely as a compliment, I do not think in terms of programming and coding. What seems professional to me, are the games that have a great gameplay and great graphics, so in that sense IMHO you deserve to be called a professional. All I was saying was that I am impressed with the high quality, both graphics and gameplay wise with your 2 games. But of course I shall refrain from using that word about you from now on, as you request. :)

I myself am rather good with programming, and am very creative when it comes to game ideas, if I do say so myself. :P But I seriously lack in the graphical department, which is why I prefer to call myself a newbie and keep my expectations to my own game on the low.

And I see tonypa has also noticed this new competition. Well I guess that means I might as well give up in advance. Nah, won't do that but the competition certainly got a lot harder! But it's all in fun anyway.

CowboyRobot, from what I have gathered from the comments so far, ANY version of Flash that uses AS 2.0 or 3.0, can be used for this competition. That be Flash 8, Flash 9, Flash MX or whatever other Flash versions there are, if any.

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"ANY version of Flash that uses AS 2.0 or 3.0, can be used for this competition. That be Flash 8, Flash 9, Flash MX or whatever other Flash versions there are, if any.

Yes, ThemePark has it correct. Thank you, and sorry for the confusion folks.

The version of Actionscript is the limiting factor here because the API depends on at least version 2.0 to function properly. Flash MX was the first version of Flash to allow you to compile a SWF using AS 2.0, and hence that's probably going to be the earliest version of Flash that you will be able to use.

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Thinking of entering the competition? Are you having designers block with respect to the theme?

William over at http://www.casualgamedesign.com just published an entry in which he discusses the theme and several different perspectives on its interpretation. Good stuff!

http://www.casualgamedesign.com/?p=51

And about the REPLAY theme, we have Amor Lassie to thank for suggesting it. It really is a brilliant idea. =)

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Digg this folks

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Hi folks,

I suggested this REPLAY theme for Jay because after previous competitions there was some discussion concerning the 'replay value' (or 'replay ability'). Personally I found only very few games that really lured me to come back and play again. One of them was Sean's Houses since it could be solved in number of ways.

Of course everyone may interpret the theme as they like. However, as a 'serious replayer', I hope to see games that make me coming back. I also have one suggestion. I just found these interesting sites:
http://www.conceptispuzzles.com/
http://picturepuzzle.sakura.ne.jp/
I wonder if you could have puzzles that are different each and every time you restart them?

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Amor Lassie, creating such puzzles, like Wouter's "Count Out" (Sorry wouter, but that game came to mind :P) or tonypa's "Save the shoppers". The hard part is coming up with an idea for a new kind of puzzle, which is exactly where I seem to be stuck for the time being.

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What a pity that Wouter has already released Count Out. It might have been a good competition entry. Thank you ThemePark for mentioning it. I have been away for a while, so I have not noticed that one. And thank you Wouter for an excellent game :D

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Just checking Jay, Is the JiG stickman copyright?
I was planning on using it in my game if it's not.
(I mean either the blue one as the page icon, or the one from the cgdc2 stub UI)

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I'm pleased you brought this up, Grosie! =)

We would love for you to use the JIG/CG logo in your game. In fact, that you might receive bonus points for including it almost made it into the competition announcement.

If you would like to use our logo(s) in your game, you may do so as long as you do not claim ownership of them. A zip file for you to get vector art of the logos (in .fla format) can be downloaded directly from JIG...

http://images.jayisgames.com/JIG_CGlogo.zip

I am considering adding a new prize for the most creative use of the Jigman in a competition entry. How would that go over? Perhaps a brand new Nintendo DS Lite? Or maybe a Nintendo Wii?

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Sounds Great! I probably won't win it, but It sounds like a great prize and well worth winning!

Thanks for putting them all in a file, saves me searching for them!

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Seems I need to review my comments before I post them. :$ I left out a couple of words, I meant of course that creating such puzzles as aforementioned is easy, it's coming up with them that's hard.

Amor Lassie, glad I could be of assistance.

jay, now THAT is a great idea! That would make the incentive to participate even greater! I actually had thought of participating in the Grow-themed competition, just for the Flash license, and in the poker-tournament, just for the Nintendo DS Lite. So please give me another chance to win it! :D

Although, like Grosie, I must admit I'm sure I won't win it, as of now I'm not even sure I will be able to participate.

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Yeah, same with me. The initial idea for thae game sounded easy, but every day I try to get it further, I discover more and more problems.
*sigh* That's game design for you.

Definately hoping to enter though.

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I have decided not to do lopsidation's game after all, so if anybody else wants to, fell free.

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NeonAxil June 22, 2007 2:54 PM

Well, considering this deadline's pretty close, and the prizes are pretty neat.

I'm kind of wondering whether they have to be casual. I mean, after all, this is a casual game reviewing blog thingy. And I've already been working on a Fighting game these past few weeks that just so happens to have this theme.

Basically, is the genre of the game important or may affect judgment big time? Thanks. :]

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Yes, we're predominantly a casual games site, and previous competitions have focused on puzzle games, specifically.

However, we intentionally left the game genre out of the specifications this time, so genre is unimportant.

Creativity, originality and aesthetics and gameplay are what's most important in this competition, which leaves it pretty open. That and it has to incorporate the "replay" theme.

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This will be... epic!

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Can anyone post up a template for using the Flex 2 SDK? I'm greener then the grass on the Scottish planes when it comes to flash, but have been playing with the Flex SDK. Problem is, when I try adding in the quit method I get an error back.

Src:
public function quit(): void{
GameManager.getInstance().gameDone();
}

Error:
MyGameCanvas.as(58): col:
11 Error: Access of undefined property GameManager.

GameManager.getInstance().gameDone();

Sorry if this is a stupid question but I don't know the answer :)

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Hi Jeremy,

That is not a stupid question, and I'm working hard to find an answer for you as quick as I can. Unfortunately, I have no experience working with the Flex SDK, so I'm relying on other developers for help with it. I'll post an answer here just as soon as I find out something.

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Jeremy,

Are you using AS2 or AS3?

The problem appears to be that since Flex does not have any reference to the GameManager class definition, it won't compile. You need to find a way to dynamically reference a class, and I found this Adobe tech note that may provide a means of doing just that...

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/communityengine/index.cfm?event=showdetails&productId=2&postId=1764

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I have no experience with using Flex, so I can only point to information that may help. You'll have to do the leg work of determining if it's useful at all.

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Jay, I think I'm using AS3 though I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about Flash nor Flex :). I've worked in several languages, and for a long time have wanted to pickup ActionScript and Flash as a hobby. Your little competition has given me an idea, and hopefully enough gumption to do just that. We will have to see.

I'll read up on the link you posted and if I find an answer I'll post it up here for others to use if they so choose (can't guarantee the quality due to my statement above).

Thanks for the quick reply,
- Jeremy

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Jeremy - it looks like I'll have to prepare an alternative for those using AS3, the API code listed above will likely work for AS2 code only.

If I understand correctly, I'll need to create a SWC library for you to use during compile time.

It will likely take me a while to get my code converted over to AS3 to support those using it, so my best advice is to not worry about it until I post an updated API for those using AS3.

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the_corruptor June 25, 2007 5:51 PM

I started an entry, and am currently polishing, but realized I didn't know one important thing: how many files are we allowed?

That is; are we limited to simply one swf?
May we have multiple files (provided they are nicely organized in say, a folder)? I assume that it is the multiple files option, but I wanted to make sure before I go past the point of no return.

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the_corruptor - no, there is no set limit to the number of files you may submit with your game. If you do submit more than one, though, it would be nice if you included a README.txt file with your submission with a listing of files your game requires.

cheers!

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I am close to tears ...

The 30-day trial of Flash MX I was using decided to run out after 5 days. How very disappointing.

Looks like I'll have to bow out of this comp and try to get a full copy of Flash for the next one. Any Java-version of these comps would go down well with me :)

I look forward to seeing another high caliber round of gaming goodness.

*cheers encouragement to participants*

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Pixel_Squared July 1, 2007 6:37 PM

Hey there, i'm really interested in entering the contest, just wondering if me being in the UK will stop me from being able to enter?

Certainly hope not!

thanks in advance!

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Hi Pixel_Squared!

Anyone anywhere in the world is free to enter. =)

The winner of our last competition lives in New Zealand, and the 2nd prize winner is from Sweden.

Looking forward to receiving your entry!

And to all: Just 2 weeks left!

I will have AS3 versions of the stub soon for those that need it. I'm still working on it!

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Pixel_Squared July 2, 2007 11:19 AM

Thanks for the reply. just wanted to clear one more thing up before I start.

Are you expecting full games with a large number of levels? or working demos with maybe just 1 or 2 levels demonstrating gameplay, graphics and design?

obviously im going to try to make as many levels as poss, but if your only expecting afew levels worth, that will mean I can spend more time on the quality, instead of quantity.

thanks again

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That's a good question, Pixel_Squared, though I am unsure how to answer. When you say "working demos" are you suggesting merely game prototypes? Because I would have to say that most of the entries received in previous competitions were not game prototypes nor demos, they were complete games.

That being said, the scope of the games received were of a smaller scale due to the length of the development period allowed. This is expected.

I encourage you to make a well-rounded game play experience the best you can within the time frame allowed.

Here at JIG we always emphasize quality over quantity. =)

I hope that helps.

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For those using AS3 for your competition entry:

I am still working on a AS3 stub, but I do have a SWC library you can now use to compile your games with. It contains the necessary Class definition for the GameManager so that your game will compile and run within the competition UI. The file may be downloaded from here...

http://jayisgames.com/cgdc3/as3/competition3.swc.zip

You will need to import the package:

import com.casualgameplay.competition3;

If you need instructions on how to use a SWC library with your project, please check out Colin Moock's excellent book Essential Actionscript 3.0. Highly recommended.

Alternatively, let me know if you need specific help, and I'll do what I can to post help here for anyone interested.

Cheers to Darron Schall for pointing me in the right direction.

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Hey,

I use a for..in loop in my code to perform a search... like this:

for (var item in this)
{
var obj:Object = this[item];
if (obj instanceof RedShipSmall)
{
shipToCheck = obj;
trace(shipToCheck);
{
}

The trace outputs: "_level0.TheLevel.RSS1" (and so on)

I then use this to perform an action on RSS1. Does this violate:

4) ...you may not use references to _level anywhere in your code.

if it does, how can I get around this? I've never seen this _level0 notation before, so not sure what it means.

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T - you're fine as long as you don't specify _level0 in your code. The following explanation assumes you are using AS2.0 and not AS3.0...

The main timeline of any SWF is generally both _root and _level0. However, when one SWF is loaded into another (as will be the case with the competition UI) _level0 still points to the main SWF's main timeline, not the main timeline of the loaded SWF.

For example: let's say we have two SWFs, the competition UI that we'll refer to as "A", and your game SWF that we'll refer to as "B".

When the competition UI (SWF "A") starts up, both _root and _level0 point to A's main timeline.

Next, "A" loads an external SWF "B". To your SWF, _root is your main timeline, but _level0 is the main timeline of "A", not "B".

This is why you cannot use _level0 in place of _root in your code.

It may sound confusing, but as long as you don't have "_level0" appearing anywhere in your code, you should be good.

If you have any doubts, download the stub and test your game with it.

If you still have trouble, please let me know. I've gotten many, many games working with this API before, and it's not difficult at all to do.

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TheSimpleAndy July 7, 2007 2:57 AM

Jeeze, fourth of July plans / relatives really throw a wrench into development! time to crack open the Mt. Dew and crack my knuckles... it's officially crunch time > <

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Hey Jay, could you confirm an OK from Adobe to enter this competition using an Education version of Flash?

I'd guess it is OK, but clarity is good - esp as they (most excellently) sponsor the competition!

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Educational versions are acceptable to use for the development of a competition entry.

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Thanks Jay. Useful info to know.

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hey Jay

was wondering what you meant about the sound instantation? If I were to place sound files in frames of an _mc to play them would I need to do this sound instantisation?

Good luck to the other contestants.

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Hi Diggle -

Including sounds on your timeline require no instantiation (Flash does it for you), so you're good to go. =)

Only if you are using actionscript to create new sound objects, as in...

var mySound:Sound = new Sound();

do you have to worry about what I wrote in the specifications.

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Daniel Gutierrez July 11, 2007 12:32 AM

Quick questions,
var soundFile:Sound = new Sound(this);
Throws an error in AS3, and I have no idea what to do instead? The file works fine without it, but I'm not sure if what you said about needing to instantiate the Sound object applies to AS3?

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Hi Daniel,

No, the notes in the specifications above are for games written in AS2 only.

The Sound class has been changed considerably in AS3, and I believe those issues have been resolved.

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thanks a lot Jay!

I'm not sure I'll be able to finish it on time though :-( but I'll try. Going to be a close shave if I do...

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the_corruptor July 11, 2007 1:00 PM

I'm in the same spot as Diggle, I don't know if I'll be able to finish my entry in time. Wish me luck!

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Good luck! ^_^

And for those using AS3, I have completed a stub you can use to test your game with:

http://jayisgames.com/cgdc3/as3/CGDC3_stub.zip

To use the stub, just replace the included game swf with your own named the same (game1.swf). Then, to load your game, you need to first click on one of the carts along the top, and then click on the screen of the handheld. It's still in a somewhat unfinished state, but it should work well for testing purposes.

Also, to be able to compile your game with the API functions as noted above in the specifications, you will need to download the Competition3.swc library and import that into your project. Here are instructions on how to use the library:

  1. In the Flash authoring tool installation folder, under Configuration\Components, create a new folder named Competition3. (On Windows XP, the default location for Configuration\Components is: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Flash CS3\en\Configuration\Components. On Mac OS X, the default location for Configuration\Components is: Macintosh HD:Applications:Adobe Flash CS3:Configuration:Components).

  2. Copy the competition3.swc file to the Competition3 folder created in the previous step. Copying the competition3.swc file to a subfolder of Configuration\Components adds it to the Flash authoring tool's Components panel.

  3. In the Flash authoring tool, open Components panel (Window Components).

  4. Select the pop-up Options menu in the top-right corner of the Components panel, and choose the Reload option. The folder Competition3 will appear in the Components panel.

  5. In the Components panel, open the Competition3 folder.

  6. Drag the Competition3 component from the Components panel to your game's Library.

  7. Make sure you import the package in your code:

    import com.casualgameplay.competition3.*

Calls to the GameManager should now compile without error.

Remember, this is FOR AS3 GAMES ONLY. Please let me know if anyone has trouble using it.



If you are using AS2: I do not have an updated version of the stub available yet. However, the Competition #2 stub should still work fine for you. Please use that to test your game with.

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will our games be marked on sound (presumably under audio aesthetics)? I don't want to drag the quality of my entry down with poor sound effects if I can provide better quality graphics instead.

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Daniel Gutierrez July 13, 2007 6:27 PM

Are we allowed to include external files to be included in the same directory as well? Or does everything have to be inside the one swf?

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Diggle - yes, sound implementation is one of the metrics we score on, but relatively speaking, it doesn't account for a significant portion of the overall score.

Daniel - external files are OK to use. =)

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Daniel Gutierrez July 13, 2007 7:01 PM

Ahh, good, thank you :D
(also, I'm always amazed on your fast response time jay =^^=)

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"A final stub using competition 3 graphics (see comments) will be made available within a week of the deadline."

Any word on this?

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Sorry, one last question. I have a high-score board linked to my database, is that going to cause problems since it will be calling an external URL? Disabling it isn't a problem, but figured I'd ask because it'd be nice to keep it in there.
Thanks,
Daniel

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l0ser - I posted it here in a comment on July 11th.

Daniel - I believe that will be ok.

(and Daniel, no, I never sleep and am in front of my computer 24/7, or so it seems anyways) ;)

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Haha... I was just thinking to myself "I wonder what're the odds he's still up and'll get back to me tonight..."
Good to hear though, thanks for the info Jay :D

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yay!

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in that case I will bide my time and bring out a fully developed game. I will enjoy seeing the implementations on the "replay" theme, and probably will not incorporate it into my final project.

Still, this competition gave me something to work for and I've learnt a lot. It would be an honour to have JIG review my finished game as then I can take the criticism more meaningfully (as I will have finished all aspects of my game then).

I am looking forward to playing these new games, as well as participating in the next JIG competition, hopefully with more success.

Much luck to all the contestants!

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Oh. I thought that said the AS2 one wasn't available yet. Nothing will change on the AS2 one, then?

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No, nothing will change with the AS2 version (apart from the graphics and game selection interface). The basic core of the UI will remain the same and if your game works within the framework of the #2 UI, then it will work within the one for #3.

I apologize for the confusion. I decided to create 2 versions of the UI to allow both AS2 and AS3 games to be entered into the competition, and as a result, I'm a bit behind with finishing them up.

It will be close. =)

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Why does it have to be in flash T.T?!?!

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If I have a good idea for a replay-themed game incorporating the Jigman, but I won't be entering it in the contest, what are my options? If I want to use the Jigman's likeness in my game, do I have to include a link to JIG? Do you sponsor games? If I want to have my game sponsored by another site, can I still use the Jigman?

Thanks in advance.

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Question about the AS3 API. Is quit() implemented yet? Or does the player just remove all objects at the moment? I have a timer that gets removed, and when I call quit() myself by hitting an exit button, the code removing the eventListeners runs and the console pops back up fine. But when I use the pop-down console to quit, an error is thrown because the timer with the eventListener attached keeps running even after the console pops back up. Any clue what I can look at that I'm doing wrong?
Thanks,
Daniel

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Oh, sorry, also the call to reset() works perfectly, from both in-game and from the UI, so I think i've setup the import and similar correctly.
Sorry for the double post,
Daniel

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Daniel - the first version of the AS3 stub did not call your game's quit() function if the Quit/Return to Main Menu button was chosen from the console.

I have uploaded a new AS3 stub that does call your game's quit() function if Quit is chosen from the console.

I hope that addresses the trouble you were experiencing. Please let me know if you encounter any difficulties with it.

http://jayisgames.com/cgdc3/as3/CGDC3_stub.zip

(same filename and location as before, just a newer version)

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axcho - no, I am not giving out permission at this time for anyone to use the JIGman in games not submitted to the competition.

If, however, you would like to run your idea by me, I may choose to approve the use of my logo in your project.

If interested, please send an email to my address located at the bottom of the left hand sidebar.

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w00t! we've finished it!

3:00 am (GMT -1)... phew!
(I had to get this off my chest)

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Philipp July 15, 2007 9:24 PM

(erm, GMT +1, for what it's worth)

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Hah, WOW it's due today, I could've sworn we had 'til Wednesday. Oh well, my semi-polished game just hit their inbox.

Anyone have any guesses for how many entries there are going to be, or, know how many entries there were in the last two(sorry, my first contest of the three)?

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Alex, I think the first design competition had about 20 entries and the second about 10.

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FYI, here are the stats...

  • 1st competition: 21 entries from 18 game designers.

  • 2nd competition: 14 entries from 14 game designers.

  • 3rd competition: 18 entries from 18 game designers/teams*.

*Some entries were submitted this time represented by a development team of 2 or more people.

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