And the winner is...


JayGimme Friction BabyIt is difficult enough to design a game that is fun to play; harder still to design one that keeps the player coming back to it again and again. It seems that so many games today are one-off, disposable experiences offering little reason for a replay.

When we chose the word "replay" for the theme of this competition, we were looking forward to seeing games with excellent replay value. And like the "grow" themed competition before it, what we received were many varied interpretations of the theme. This is an indication that creativity of expression is alive and well within the Flash game development community, and we feel very fortunate to be in a position to help foster and promote that. However, it has made the judging of this competition especially difficult.

On the one hand we have replay value, which all games possess to some extent—even if very little. Therefore there were no disqualifications this time around: each game submitted was accepted on the basis of its replay value and thus entered into the competition without question. On the other hand, there were some wonderful mind-bending, time-bending interpretations of the theme that produced games the likes of which we've seldom encountered, if ever, before. And yet most of these amazingly creative games were paired with little replay value since once the puzzle is 'solved' or sequence of events figured out there is little left to call the player back.

Due to some confusion and misunderstanding in the comments, let me clarify that incorporating "replay value" in the entries for this competition was never a "requirement". We were pleased to see many creative interpretations of the theme in the entries submitted. Moreover, the entries were not judged on theme alone. Many other factors were considered. For example, games with exceptional replay value were awarded additional points. You can expect this to be true for future competitions as well.

One game, however, continues to nag and gnaw at us to come back for one more try, to replay the game again and again, which indicates the gameplay experience is an exceptionally rich and rewarding one. Likewise, the scoring from 6 competition judges—zxo, Dancemonkey, JohnB, Harukio, Capuchin, and myself—corroborated this experience and pointed to a single entry deserving of the highest prize...

  • First Place ($1000 + Adobe Flash CS3):
  • Runner-up ($500 + Adobe Flash CS3):
    • Rerun by Andrew VanHeuklon
  • Honorable mention:
  • Audience Prize ($289.06):
  • Most creative use of the JIG logo (Nintendo Wii):

With 18.18% of the popular vote, Wouter Visser's game proved to be the favorite among the JIG community as well. Wouter will be awarded the Audience prize of $200 to go with the donations his game received, for a total of $289.06!!

For full disclosure, I have made available a spreadsheet listing all proceeds received and how they were distributed based on the voting. We will be in touch with each game designer to arrange for the transfer of all respective voting donations. Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to everyone who voted.

Most of all, congratulations to everyone who submitted an entry! Just being able to complete a game within a short development period, as this was, is quite an achievement in and of itself. Moreover, your continued participation in these competitions makes future competitions like this possible, and we can't thank you enough. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have received such an excellent response to our call for entries, as the entire collection of entries are all quite deserving of our praise. To show our appreciation, we will be featuring each and every game from the competition in a JIG review complete with our own feedback and constructive criticisms in the days and weeks ahead.

Our sincere gratitude to the kind folks at ArcadeTown, Adobe, and Nitrome for making it all possible by sponsoring this competition...

CGDC3 sponsors
ArcadeTownAdobeNitrome

A Bark in the Dark "A Bark in the Dark"
...by Bart Bonte
Gimme Friction Baby "Gimme Friction Baby"
...by Wouter Visser
Super Earth Defense Game! "Super Earth Defense Game!"
...by Carl Foust
JIGorbit "JIGorbit"
...by DDams
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
ReMaze "ReMaze"
...by Felix Reidl
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

94 Comments

<applause>

Congrats Wouter! Doubtless a game we'll all still be playing by the time the next competition arrives! ;-)

A little sad not to see Timebot up there. I really admire that game. But I guess that's what happens in such a strong field.

Cheers Jay! You did a fabulous job with this contest! I've had hours of fun and excitement. I can't believe another competition is underway! Congrats to Wouter Visser
and Andrew VanHeuklon! Great Job!

Initially, I sort of looked down on the interpretation of replay, but, I agree with Jay, I could not stop playing . It is as fun as when I started playing it.

I'm glad it won. Excellent entries this year.

A worthy winner. Although it drives me insane (I am truly useless at it), I love both the graphical style and the "just one more go" gameplay. Well done to all involved

is it me or are all these games loading super slowly....
perhaps because we're all edging to try out the winners we haven't tried yet??

'Gimme Friction Baby' won?! What part of it would be replay, what coming back again to play it? I wouldn't really consider that a replay theme, it should have been incorporated into the game, Time Bot had a really good Replay theme, where you do something then 'replay' so that same thing happens and you do something else.

*points Kory to my explanation above*

Hold on... doesn't the spreadsheet say that Karma was second place?

Please do not confuse the Audience Prize voting with the judging for this competition. They are separate and unrelated.

Congrats Wouter and Andy! Well deserved imo. Still playing GFB hours per day.

Sean

Congrats to Wouter, Andrew, Felix and DDams!

Stunning games all around and a very deserving winner. Indeed the game with most replay value. Thanks for another great competition, Jay + team! I had a blast!

At least ReMaze has a Honorable mention. It is my favorite !!

Congratulations Wouter! I hope you enter in the next competition as well.

Congratulations to the winners. I agree with both the audience and with Jay et al. Well done, Wouter.

Why bother picking a theme at all if it's one that comes down to "make a good game, good enough that I'll play it more than once?" I was under the impression that the integration of replay into the game was the theme, and I was impressed by those few entries that were clever enough to do it. but now it turns out you were just looking for games playable enough to play more than once? Shouldn't that be a prerequisite for any game? Most of these games could have been entered in any contest. The ones that stand out are precisely the ones that you claim don't fit your intended theme.

Jay: I agree GFB is a very fun game, but like Kory (above), I kind of feel like the wool was pulled over my eyes.

The original CGDC3 announcement (back in June) said:

Here'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.

I'm not mad or disappointed in the results...just confused and curious.

Above, however, you say you were expressly looking for replay value:

When we chose the word "replay" for the theme of this competition, we were looking forward to seeing games with excellent replay value.

If that's what you wanted, why not just say that up front? Why leave it open to interpretation?

In this case, I suppose it's all for the best, because when I first played GFB I remember thinking "Wow, this is a great game...pity it won't win, since it's such a weak interpretation of the theme..."

(Congrats to Wouter for the win, of course, since it's truly a stellar game. I'm just kind of confused, I suppose.)

To dessgeega, OtherBill, and to whomever else disagrees with our interpretation of the theme, let me pose this question:

If by choosing the theme of "replay", how could we IGNORE a game's REPLAY VALUE when considering the theme?

For what it's worth, the following games received the HIGHEST SCORE possible from all 6 judges for incorporation of the theme: Gimme Friction Baby, Super Earth Defense Game, Timebot, Rerun, ReMaze, Time Raider, and A Good Hunch. The winning entries for this competition were therefore decided upon other factors.

I fully expected some to disagree with the results. We are in a most unenviable position to choose only a few winners from the fantastic entries submitted.

And I feel quite confident that we made the correct choice. Even the JIG community vote validated our choice.

Congratulations Wouter! Looking forward to Gimme Friction Baby Deluxe, using all the excellent recommendations from us hardcore JIG fans ;o)

"""When we chose the word "replay" for the theme of this competition, we were looking forward to seeing games with excellent replay value."""

Well no instults, but I think its kinda paradox, if you reduce the theme setting to one word, and let the designers play with its purpose, and afterward tell them "we ment this and this" with that word, and "he and he" got it right... :|

So in my very, very humble opinion I say either accept every interpretation within reasonable limits as equal Reasonable is excluding eg. "*grow* yourself to the solution of a usual puzzle", or "*replay* it until you got it right") or be more verbose first place on what you actually have in mind when presenting the theme.

Fuzzygrid - Please read my comment above regarding which entries received FULL CREDIT for the theme. I believe you will find that no where did I imply that some "got it right" and others did not.

We judged the competition on many more characteristics than merely the theme.

We purposely do not specify what we want to see because, frankly, we want to encourage creative interpretation of the theme. And we were very pleased with the entries submitted overall.

Congrats Wouter. I'm still playing it nightly. And in the morning. And sneak in a game or two during the day. Utterly addicting and simple.

Big congratulations to all entrants.
As usual I was really astonished by the level of quality and originality reached by each game.

And felicitations to Wouter for creating such an unique game, where each move you make contribute in creating a different challenge (and thus creating a very high replay value).

Too bad YalpeYapler didn't get a prize, It was my favorite :).

Anyway I had lot of fun playing each entry :).

I think we can also all say a big "Thank you" to Jay and all the team for running such entertaining competition. Actually, I think designing games is a game in itself, isn't it ?

Btw Jay, is it possible to know the total number of votes for the audience prize ? As the money amount is very impressive, i guess the number of vote is astonishing !

@fuzzygrid:

To quote Jay again,

"For what it's worth, the following games received the HIGHEST SCORE possible from all 6 judges for incorporation of the theme: Gimme Friction Baby, Super Earth Defense Game, Timebot, Rerun, ReMaze, Time Raider, and A Good Hunch. The winning entries for this competition were therefore decided upon other factors."

Key part of that paragraph is the last sentence. The implementation or interpretation of this contest's theme is not even an issue. It is not so much that Wouter and Andy "got it right", but that those games had things beyond the theme itself that set them apart from the rest.

Moreover, to imply that the judges were unfair in this situation simply because they were "...looking forward to seeing games with excellent replay value." is obviously a faulty arguement. They were as fair as they possibly could have been, in my opinion, by awarding the same 'implementation score' to SIX different entries.

Sean

well than that announcement sentence was just picked a bit unluckly.

Are the detailed category results available, as well what the categories are?

Also just wondering is "boundless access" also a category? Mening accessable for e.g. colorblind, great icons mode, etc... since IMHO its also not unimportant.

hmm other stuff, I think the individual results highly depends on the other entries, which is quite a bit random. The ones doing the "replay" thing sticky, just were in the unlucky event that the were quite a number of games with more or less the same basic idea.

this is of course unprovable, but I have the feeling if for example just one contestant came up with the replay idea, of doing with previous yourselfs, it would quite likely have won.

So to phrase it short, there is always the risk of someone else submitting an equal stuff, that will reduce the preceived value of both games, its kind of the "categories game" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categories_%28game%29 ) But thinking about it, this isn't necessarly bad, after all it encourages to come up with as unique as possible ideas, where you guess thats unlikely someone else comes up with somthing similar...

No, we will not be making the spreadsheet of rubrics for judging available for public analysis and scrutiny.

I will say, however, that yes, there is a rubric for accessibility concerns. Other characteristics considered: creativity of expression, visual medium, aural medium, usability concerns, as well as how engaging and compelling each game is.

Congratulations to Wouter, I had a lot of fun playing your game. Using the replay value of the game to fit the theme seemed like one of the hardest routes as I think it's a difficult thing to guarantee for any given audience.

Also, remember this is a CASUAL gameplay competition, and it's those games with the "one more go" factor that make really good casual games (surely this was part of the reason the theme was chosen).

Massive thanks to Jay and everyone for hosting the competition, I really enjoyed participating and playing and can't wait for CGDC4.

My favorite is ReMaze. Glad it got mentioned. :o)

DDams, David, and everyone else - thanks for the kind words of support. ^_^

There were a total of 209 votes/donations to the Audience Prize, which represents a modest increase over the votes received for the previous competition.

DDams> I think designing games is a game in itself, isn't it ?

Sure it is! I would go further and say most coding is somehow a game itself, as well as creating any art.

I'm very surprised that my top vote getter GFB won both the audience and judge top prize. A great game and the most "replay"able of the bunch.

Great job Jay & crew, and great job by the designers!

When Gimme Friction Baby was put up, I immediately loved it. I then decided to read the comments, and it seemed that most people were expressing their dislike of the game, its theme interpretation, or something else. I guess the disgruntled comments are the loudest.

Anyway, I was definitely disappointed with what the JIG community was saying, and I never went back to see if more people were saying nice things. (Funny I never looked at the comments again because I COULDN'T STOP playing.)

All of the games were of an incredible caliber. It was definitely interesting to play all the "play different characters through one level simultaneously", but it was an original idea that many people seemed to have. For me, puzzle games are the most captivating, because I always think 'just one more level' or 'I'll play obsessively until i finish', but then I've beat the game and it's not as fun to return. GFB is a puzzle that's different every time, and I loved it.

Great job, all game designers! I think every game was truly great, and I don't envy Jay for having to be fair about such a scrutinable theme.

and Jay+team, great job judging, having contests, and generally being awesome. I'm excited to see the next competition.

Congratulations Wouter =D
GFB is absolutely my favourite and most "replayable" game too.

Ha! with justice! (No, just kidding.)

Your support is fantastic readers+crew, you make me feel happy.

I'm very pleased to get cs3, I couldn't afford it at the moment. With the money I'll replace my old computer, so in a way (with lots of detours) i can say I put it back in the scene?

I would like to join the discussion about the theme interpretation, but since my game is the subject, I think it's better to keep my mouth shut.

Thanks Jay!
Thanks Zxo, Dancemonkey, JohnB, Harukio, Capuchin!
Thanks bioLarzen (let's put you first :)), Ms.45, breach, MickJ (your comment was the one I hoped to see), rex_kramer, Arbyn, carla, remko, Keith Peters (your my hero), tonypa (you too), Psychotronic, Phil, likephilshead, amylu, Ffire etc. etc. your comments touched me.
Congrats Andrew VanHeuklon!
Congrats Felix Reidl, you were my favourite, hope to see you back!

Congrats to all the winners, esp wouter. This is an great and original game. I enjoyed all entrants. You guys are pros, and I look forward to seeing more.

Jay, no need to justify yourself. It's your party - you put it on and you made the rules. I come to this site because it is friendly and positive, and I think your interpretation of the 'rules' fits that perfectly. I would hate to see you screen out anybody who put forth a decent effort.

Thank you Jay and staff for continuing to provide this service for all of us. Thank you for your commitment to quality and family friendly games. We appreciate you and your hard work.

Congrats to the winners and thanks for those who voted for my game.

I'm glad to have been a part of this contest, even though I didn't win a prize. I hope I'll be able to muster something up for the next competition.

Speaking of replay, the next version of my Super Earth Defense Game!!! will have a level editor. I hope you'll like it.

Congrats to wouter, and to jay for hosting a splendid competition once again. I'm still playing gfb (41 so far :) and it's just a great game with the simplest interface, great aural ambiance, and with not only great replayability, but also with the replay theme built into the game (each time you play you do the same action again and again, i.e. firing a cannon ball).

Funnily enough, i was thinking about the theme for the last competition (grow) and realized that eyemaze's grow games themselves would also have been a great idea for the replay theme.

Well, Gimme Friction Baby probably was my favorite. I also liked Super Earth Defense Game! It was fun.

I checked in here this morning, as I usually do, and was disappointed, not with the winner, but rather with some of the comments.

While the negative comments were expressed without being rude, I can't imagine being the winner, hearing the news and then checking back here, only to see them. It would certainly take the edge off my happiness to see - nice game, but it didn't deserve to win :(

I don't recall previous competition winners garnering this kind of negativity, but I may be wrong - I often am :)

Congratulations to Wouter, Felix, Andrew and DDams. Woohoo!

Congratulations to all the other entrants too - the competition was fierce and everyone did an awesome job.

I think "replay value" unfairly discriminates against point-and-click games, because they can only be played once. You should have been more clear in the prompt that replay value was being considered. Maybe I'm just sore because point-and-click games are my favorite and I like to see them win!
*loves on "A Bark in the Dark"*

WOW! What a awesome surprise to come home to after work!! (8 hours of road construction) Thank you for everyone who played and for all the feedback! Wow, I am still stunned since I was about in the middle of the Audience Award money table! Thanks again to everyone! and now a 4th competition *jaw drop*! I love this site : )

I strongly disagree with the words posted above about negative comments.

It sounds to me that you and several other on this site favor self censorship of ideas in lieu of honesty. While I do appreciate that the boards here are relatively free of inane prattle, I also find myself thinking that they are sterilized by a group think mentality that "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all."

This is in no way meant to be an indictment of jay or any particular people here, I just think that if a forum exists and is not truly open then it is meaningless.

As for my own thoughts on the competition...

I applaud everyone who entered but do say that certain games were undoubtedly more enjoyable for me to play than others. Those that I did not like, I don't admonish but instead realize that contests like this are learning experiences and some contestants need that more than others.

I feel fine in saying that I am disappointed in the results only because I preferred to play certain games that didn't win, and while I agree that the site should be able to use any interpretation of its own theme, even with the explanation I didn't much see its implementation in the winning game as I have only played it 3 times and then lost interest.

It was good to see ReMaze on the winners podium though, and it would have been better to have seen Timebot in particular get the recognition that I thought it warranted...

Now before I go to make this clear. Everything I just stated was my opinion and only that and if you strongly disagree with it then that is your opinion. However I won't be lectured on what some people define as almost-rudeness (?) and bullied out of posting what I want say. I am sure that the game developers here have thick enough skin to hear that one person out of many wasn't necessarily the biggest fan of their game especially in the face of so much admiration.

Gimme Friction Baby: addictive genre-creator
Like tetris or space invaders (except it's too hard!!!)

The result is just; and I think the judging process was fair. But, like others, I found the description of that process disquieting. Eg:

...most of these amazingly creative games were paired with little replay value...virtually nothing left to call the player back.

Jay, I think you are just being factual and objective - but it sounds harsh.
"virtually nothing". Ouch!

When so much turns on a word (or seems to...), of course people are sensitive to its interpretation. I think extra care is vital in explaining how the word was used - exactly as you have done in the comments.

Sigh. People like it better when I keep my mouth shut. :D

Sorry to see that Time Raider didn't do better. It was buggy, the logic behind the statue and spitting creature puzzles was a bit weak, and it was more of a concept than a full game, but I thought the implementation of the replay theme was great. It was fun just trying to figure out how the game worked. Unlike the other "help yourself" games, you could replay any of the characters as many times as you wanted to, in any order.

ReMaze was great, but I think I've played a very similar game before. ReMaze ran fine on my computer. :-)

I did like GFB, but the combination of luck and the ability to lose with one wrong move made it frustrating for me. The visual style was excellent.

As for my "negative" comment above, in no way was I disappointed in the results. GFB was my clear favorite from the bunch--it's maddeningly addictive, and not in a bad way. :-) Rerun and ReMaze were both high on my personal list as well.

My comment above was more confusion over interpretation of the theme, and the importance thereof. Knowing that many games received full marks for interpretation answers my concern there.

yow - you're right, it does sound harsh -- especially the way you have paraphrased my original statement. Not the way I intended to come across, of course.

It was meant as a general statement of the low replay value commonly associated with certain types of games, of which there were many entries that fit that description.

Having little or no replay value means giving the player little reason to come back and play again. This is certainly not a bad thing especially if the game was designed to be a one-off experience and the player enjoyed it: mission accomplished!

My point was that this was a competition about REPLAY, and many of the designs—while exceptionally creative—were lacking in replay value.

For any other competition that may have been ok—our first 2 competition winners have little replay value—but for this competition with "REPLAY" as its theme, the entries with stronger replay value finished stronger. This is as it should be.

Woah on "The Clap's" comment above about me "favoring self censorship of ideas in lieu of honesty" - I think you should re-read my post. I was merely pointing out how disappointing it must be have been for the winner to read negative comments and that I was personally disappointed with them.

I'm all for honest opinions and people tell me it's my worst trait. I fail to understand how you managed to interpret my post in the manner you did.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the contest, for bringing me hours of entertainment. A well-deserved victory for Wouter (can't... stop... playing...), and a shame that there couldn't be prizes for everyone. Despite not knowing a thing about Flash, I'm halfway inspired to jump into the next contest.

Whenever there's money involved, there's bound to be hard feelings at the end. I don't envy the judges. But overall, this site fosters a refreshingly positive and constructive atmosphere around the making and playing of games, and I think the owners and operators just couldn't be running things any better. Kudos all round.

I also want to say that quite a few of the entries had the potential to be really excellent games, possibly even blowing Gimme Friction Baby out of the water, but the time limit of the contest perhaps got the better of them. I agree with David's post above. For sheer concept, Time Raider is incredible, and with some of the rough corners knocked off and some of the best bits reinforced, it could turn into something really polished and fun. The same goes for Timebot, Super Earth Defense Game!, and a lot of the others. Sometimes the game felt like it wanted to be bigger and better than it was. I'm hoping to see updated versions of all of them.

One thing that the winners all have in common is that they feel finished, like I'm playing the game exactly the way it is intended to be played. Although I wanted very much to vote for the best ideas and the most creative thinking, there's a gut satisfaction that comes from playing a solid, finished game. Implementation overshadows ideas, in the end - communicating the idea is more important than having the idea in the first place.

So I'm glad that the time limit for the next contest has been extended, because I do so love adventure-style games, but they take a long time to make, compared to puzzle games. There's more graphics, more level design, more everything. The longer deadline will give these types of games a chance.

hmmm... not paraphrased, just shortened to take less space, with ellipses indicating intentional omission. I didn't intend to increase the harshness. I don't think I did. The complete sentence:

And yet most of these amazingly creative games were paired with little replay value since once the puzzle is 'solved' or sequence of events figured out there is virtually nothing left to call the player back.

hmmm... maybe it does tho. But what you just said has disquieted me all over again!

for this one with "REPLAY" as its theme, the entries with stronger replay value finished stronger.

My understanding of the theme was that it needn't be "replay value", just so long as it was "replay"... but I'm now going to agree to disagree on this - tho keep it in mind for the next theme! ;-)

BTW: thanks for the games, and the encouragement of money, prizes, publicity and loving attention for game developers. Your success is an inspirational example! :-)

Fair enough. Each competition so far has been a learning experience for me, and this experience will certainly shape my future communications as well.

Again my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone for their kind words of support. It really does make all the effort worthwhile. ^_^

Congrats to all winners and best wishes to all participants

Well, I tought Karma w'd win....

CONGRATS WOUTER AND THE REST :)

I was rooting for remaze (nice job) and timebot (you were great)..
as for the above discussion...

yow, at first I too was a little taken aback...
however as soon as I saw Jay's post about what games got full points for replay score, I was relieved. I got the impression that those that followed other meanings of the word "replay" were punished, but I soon saw this was not the case at all--it just was that the replay-able ones also excelled at other things :P

Jay, I won't be the first one to say it, but it won't hurt repeating it either:
THANKS for doing such a great job--This competition stuff is a TON of work, and I really appreciate all that you do
xD

o, btw, GFB was a ton of fun :D

I loved it--in case i did not make that clear above

Also, the voting with money is a sensational idea! Really impressive. Lots of work to make it run (hopefully you can automate it more and more). No wonder more sponsors are coming on, with increasing prize money!

@jay, I replayed sprout (contest #2 winner) quite a lot of times since then, because I enjoyed it so much, even you solved the puzzle the first time...

Wouter, gefeliciteerd!

Well deserved, I am now officially addicted to your game....

one more try!

Grats to all the winners and everyone else too for making such a wonderful games :)

Thank you Jay and all your team for hosting these competitions. I am sure many games would never be made without the competition and would not be able to enjoy them now.

As always, I think the best game won, and for several reasons:
*I expect casual game to be easy to learn and play. Some entries were just too difficult for me.
*The GFB was very much finished game. The packet was full and honestly there was not anything missing and you cant say something like "add this thing and the game would be perfect", it was already perfect. Some entries felt slightly unfinished.
*It was unique game, not only is the idea is new and fresh, but there was no other similar entry. The idea behind some other games was perhaps slightly too similar so they lost part of their appeal.

I noticed something in the spreadsheet that isn't right.
A few games with the same % of votes are receiving different amounts of money. Is this supposed to happen?

@Kupo, yes since 1 donation is one vote, regardless of the amount the voter chose to contribute to this game designer.

ah yes you're right there was so much talking about donating 1 dollar that I got a bit confused
Great job everyone!

First of, congratulations to the winner! Regardless of how one interpreted the voting criteria, it was certainly a very well-crafted game, and pretty enjoyable (though I do wish it was a bit faster paced).

I would like to add my name to the list of people who found the result surprising, however. I really feel like there was an element of "bait and switch" in the voting criteria - not maliciously, certainly, but I really thought that the contest announcement and everything else made it sound like "replay as a game element" was a theme, *not* "replay value". This was reinforced by the fact that in the previous two contests, the theme was judged as to how it was incorporated into the game, not as to how it related to the gameplayer's experience.

Anyway, I'm not a game creator so my surprise means nothing - I seriously hope none of the actual contestants were upset. I do commend the contest organizers' decision to leave the themes open to interpretation - but here, I think it went beyond openness and into misleading. And note that if the contest description had said "we want a game with replay value" - that's hardly constraining. I hope that in future contests, better care will be put in phrasing the requirements.

Ack. Pressed "post" too soon - I didn't mean to end on a critical note, but rather to end with thanking Jay and the team for running the contest, and all the contestants for their entries - as a consumer of casual games, I am very appreciative of the contest and the wonderful games it leads to.

I hope the contestants will polish up their games, fix the bugs, and release them - there are some games here I really want to play (or replay :) ) again.

I said it before and I'll say it again:

The element of the competition theme was removed from the judging criteria by giving the top 6 games FULL SCORE for that category.

Therefore, the winners of this competition were decided upon characteristics other than theme.

I think perhaps my blog post above may have caused the misunderstanding.

There IS some replay value in more linear, discovery games, when you send those games on to friends and family and watch them go through the process. This is true of all of the really good point and click games, including the ones submitted here.

"Bark in the Dark" got my top vote... but I haven't replayed it... interesting!

A game that can be completed perfectly is very satisfying - but why replay? I have nowhere to go.

Whereas a skill-tester, like "Gimme Friction Baby", has replay value precisely because it is dissatisfying. I can do better, I know I can! Just one more go...

For replay value, Perfection is a Flaw

PS I'm sure this is obvious to many of you, but the discussion here really made it hit home for me.

yow - interesting perspective with respect to replay value. I can certainly see your point.

Perhaps it is best not to seek replay value in its perfection, but rather to add some element that enhances or increases the value of a replay within a game's design.

For example: interactive narratives that offer multiple paths and multiple endings possess increased replay value.

Also, puzzle games with randomly generated content, or levels, also possess increased replay value.

Unlockable levels, achievement medals, collectibles, level editors, etc, can be found in most of the triple-A titles of today for good reason: they also enhance a game's replay value.

Enhancing replay value is difficult to achieve, and those designers that seek to incorporate elements that increase this characteristic in their games should be recognized for doing so.

Jay - you're right, and those elements aren't dissatisfying. Though some are "polish" (can be added afterwards). Are multi-paths equivalent to a longer game (just arranged differently)? Random content I agree with - but so hard to do well!

Replay in the core game... is hard. Skill-testing is the only one I can think of, because what changes with replay is in the player, not the game. It's a journey of transformation.

Ah! Another one is multi-player games - in effect, the players provide the additional content through their behaviour. Tho this also is often an add-on.

I guess the most enduring games - like chess and football - are skill-based and multi-player! :P

hmmm... games like chess and GFB have multiple paths. The deeper the player goes, the more possibilities open up, like a fractal - (virtually) infinite content. Good strategy games are like this. Lionhead's Fable attempts to be this, by having many possible interactions, but without the simplicity of a pure strategic game.

A game like World of Warcraft seems to need additional content being created all the time (apart from being multi-player). Perhaps its replay value is not due to the game itself, but the process behind it, that constantly generates new content?

I think the genius of GFB is that it's a new kind of strategy game, yet very very simple.

I would like to write a clone of it, with a less skill needed for choosing the direction - how would that sit with you, Wout and the JIG community? Flattery or theft?

I completely agree with you, yow. GFB wasn't unsatisfying, but I for sure as hell had much more fun playing "A Bark in the Dark" and "Rerun", per example. People in general would most likely be a lot more satisfied to play new point and click games with no replay value with a good implemntation of the theme "replay" than GFB over and over again just to get an higher score.

An addiction is a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity.

I felt that for GFB. I stop spamming now :-)

Aw, really, Gimme Friction Baby won? That's...disappointing. I gave the game a good try, but was completely frustrated and annoyed by it. It has an interesting gameplay concept, but it's so sterile and mindless.

I'm frankly just surprised that Time Raider didn't even get a mention. It was easily the most playable entry.

"sterile and mindless"?! xDDDD

Kupo ..."People in general would most likely be a lot more satisfied to play new point and click games with no replay value with a good implementation of the theme "replay" than GFB over and over again just to get an higher score".

Well, all i can say in reply is that GFB got the audience vote.

Congratulations, wouter!

Designing a game like this with an entirely original concept and executing it so well in the short time you had is really impressive. You did a similarly great job last time around with PLANned, and that was my favourite of the bunch for that competition.

I'll admit that I don't get on quite so well with this one, but that's because I'm easily frustrated and not very good at it. Nonetheless, I've played it far too many times, so you must be doing something right! ;)

Thanks a lot for these competitions, Jay. Regardless of the winners each time, it means a bumper crop of new games of a very high standard.

"sterile and mindless"
???
sterile like a circus floor
and mindless like an awesome fun casual game

yow: Flattery or theft? At the moment it would feel like theft.

@wouter, that is the moment where one could become a daddy of a whole generation of games, or childly call it MINE, MINE, THEFT! and ultimaetly let it die <:(

@yow, legally it sure won't be theft. This issues have been thought infront of court, and you don't of intellectual property to ideas and interface design, that judges knew very well what helps and hurts the creation of creative work.

"Well, all i can say in reply is that GFB got the audience vote."

I think the stuff is, GFB was the only game in the competition which interpreted the theme "replay" as replay. The audience may have been 50/50, or even 60/40 for the games with replays of yourself, the problem was tough since there were several of that kind, their votes was spread upon a number of games.

That will always be in that kind of competition, if another game comes in, that is more or less like the current, the votes will split upon them, and they'll lose against a 3rd game, however either may have won if it would have been the only of its kind.

I like how bun gets a "xDDDD" when he says something bad.

But I digress. If any of the games should have won, I probably wouldn't have chosen GFB. "Replayability" still seems like a lame implementation, when other games in the competition actually tried a little.

Still, it's a fun enough game. I still don't like how slow the balls move, though.

-TGP-

"...a lame implementation" ? Well that is your opinion but for the sake of discussion I will add this:

You can't blame anyone for interpreting the theme and deciding on 'replay value'. That term has been a criteria in judging games for many many years.

Also, to imply that a replayable game is any less of an acclomplishment than any of these other games would be unfair. For you to say that the other games "...tried a little" would be implying that wouter didn't try very hard. I can't say I know how much time each developer spent on their game, but I do know that his concept was completely original, well executed and addicting as hell, and I obviously don't speak for myself.

By the way, theres nothing wrong with people addressing your opinions in a public forum. You can't expect to say something negative about a popular game and not get any responses from people who disagree.

Sean

wouter: OK. I'm curious if easier aiming would make it less frustrating, yet retain its addictiveness... so it's pure strategy, without the physical skill of timing to aim... I'm sure you tried this (esp since its easier to code than what you have).

BTW dancemonkey said: "I actually like that you can't aim the turret, since I think otherwise it would have been far too simple"

fuzzygrid: yes, of course you are right; but I very much respect the feelings and mores of this community. That's more important. Also, Wouter said how it would feel (not what it is); and also "at the moment". Though I agree: a new genre (maybe as much as "escape the room"). I love it when the originator gets full credit for the genre - usually they don't.

BTW: to be clear, I was thinking "A tribute to Gimme Friction Baby", with a link to it.

I'm cannot speaking myself in the name of this community, but I got the impression also from the settings of the competition, that in everything it tries to foster creativity and creation. Altough also I am tired when I see the 1000ooo... implementation of Tetris with yet another colors, I don't see why everything must be new from start. This does include mutually fructification of creativity/ideas. IMHO it would be very sad, if just the personal "mine-feelings" of a guy, may he be a genious and contest winner, would hinder the creation of yet another possibly good game. Personally I'm very sorry to see his decision "At the moment it would feel like theft." and see it at as a big error he made, and yes it somehow makes me emotionally very angry. Sorry.

Ok, I'll try yo explain my feelings somehow, I won't feel offended if you can change my mind with good argumentation, cause this is an issue that breaks my mind often.

I'm a amateur game-designer. I like to make stuff people will watch and give them joy. I code for 2 years now, and allthough I studied a lot in the nightly hours, I consider myself as a real beginner in programming. I can't draw, well, everyone can draw, but I just feel that I can't draw a goodlooking character or scenery. I don't know how to use 3d-drawing programs. I have no knowledge on web scripting languages, like html, javascript and php etc yet, I can't surprise people with nifty web-structures or crossover applications.

What I do, purely for my own pleasure and with the hope some others will have their joy from it too, is making gameplay-concepts. I do this all day long, at my bike, at my forklifttruck, in the train, at a bench in the park etc.

My games are basically prototypes of gameplay-concepts, their value is in my opinion in the gameplay, not in graphics, not in storyline, not in highly advance coding, just in a clever idea.

Now it happened to me in the past that when I happily created something, people decmopiled the swf, changed some graphics and could sell the game easily because of it's originality. Now I don't care for the money, but I felt screwed. Whenever someone creates a nice drawing you can't touch it, everybody knows. Same with music and all other creating forms of expresion. My "art" (I know lots of you find this word disgusting in context to gamemaking, but you probably understand what I mean) is creating gameplay, and I find it hard people can take it and make something commercial out of it, while they would never touch someones drawing, because that's not done.

I find it hard to express myself about this in english, so please don't paraphrase me just a couple of words :)

Yow: you're a member at Flashkit games, aren't you? I could send you fla of the game so you can play around with it? A tribute wouldn't feel as theft, it would be really great, I'd like to thank you for the idea alone.

@wouter, I fully understand you feel screwed if someone feels
a) *decompiles your stuff*
b) sells it a bit upstyled
c) without giving any tribute
--
this BTW also really illegal, since they violated copyright if they modify your files (decompiling/recompiling is still modifing, altough just decompiling to look how it works is legal)

However how does it look like this
a) another hobby programmer (like you) sees the idea
b) codes a new game with some modifications tributing to that idea
c) puts it online for free enjoyment/use
d) gives you tribute
?

Yeah, that's nice, I could probably do that too. But you never know what's someone intention when they ask you: hey Wouter, is it ok if I make my own game, copying your gameplay? So my first answer was and probably will be : AT THE MOMENT that FEELS kinda awkward. I understand now Yow's intention is good, I don't see problem, I even like the idea and would encourage him to do it.

Wow, thanks Wouter! Yes, I'm at FK too, with the same name, "yow".
Whatever I come up with (don't expect too much!), I'll send it to you first.

Ramble warning:


I agree with your "prototyping" comment - I think the concept of GFB is an act of genius. But polishing something, so it is appealing to a wider audience - graphics, music, sound effects, bonus features, online high-scores, and even multi-player version and alternate controls - can all be added-on straightforwardly. It's just a Hollywood remake.
But a new game concept can never be "added-on"!
I am very sorry to hear what happened to your other games!!! I can believe your other original concepts were also very attractive. If all they needed was professional graphics, Flash makes it very easy to add them (a key source of Flash's success, I believe). Unfortunately, this is a familiar story for creative people. :(
I understand you do this work for its intrinsic value - but also for others to enjoy. Clearly, many people love GFB, exactly as it is - but some other people would seem to like it more with some minor (easy) changes? Those people are currently deprived of the enjoyment. This is like a gap or vaccuum, that draws people in, making them want to fill it, complete it - like straightening a crooked picture. That's no excuse for ripping you off - but if you create a gap, maybe it's a herald, issuing a challenge to you, asking you to fill it...?
I imagine Jay's competitions brings different talents together eg: programmer + artist + musician. I would encourage you to make some money from this, *but* I accept that it is not a motivation for you (and perhaps even it would decrease your love of it, if money became a motivation in itself). And "mass-market appeal" definitely means losing the pure clarity of The Idea...
Or maybe nothing needs changing!!! Like someone and Jay said, a Nintendo DS version (or on a phone). I don't know. But I hope you make some money from it. That would be cool... and just.

PS. "art" is the right word, in my opinion :)

Jay: I'm sorry I paraphrased you into two words. I didn't realize that's what you meant. And I was trying for emphasis on that one. :(

fuzzygrid: thanks! Sounds a bit like the demo scene, and underground music, where people build on each other.

PS: Jay, the "Preview" button gives a different view from what ends up posted, eg. for /n inside a spoiler, for and . I'm surprised, because I thought both would call the same code...

A very minor issue. I can live with it - this is just a heads up ;)

And my above post itself didn't come out in the same way as the preview! :P The "for and ." had an italics tag (i) and a hard rule tag (hr).

Sorry yow. You're right, the preview still needs a little work. It actually shows more HTML than the comments will allow.

These are the only allowed HTML tags: a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler

Anything else is filtered. You may use em instead of i for italics. And no horizontal rules, sorry.

Ok, I just now added support for i for italics. It's not valid XHTML, but I can live with that. I still prefer not to allow horizontal rules, though, as I am feel that their use could make the comments more difficult to read and tell apart from one another.

I will work on getting the preview so it is a bit more exact to what is published. Cheers!

@Wouter: Actually, I think it's better not to send my the fla please (yet, anyway). I really appreciate the offer but I'd feel too much pressure and responsibility! Also, I'd like to try to work it out for myself, as an exercise. :-) I'm new to Flash (though I've been coding for years).

I'd still like to send you what ever I do, first. It would be interesting to compare it with how you did it!

yow, there actually is an argument for the certainty created by the time-based aiming. Click my name for the link, to Cyranix explaining it on the Fun-Motion forums.

@axcho I don't know if the uncertainty of the time-based aiming is essential for the addictivity of the game - but I'm curious.

I noticed something: it is quite easy to play the first ball so it leaves a gap on the side; and then aim the second ball into the gap, so it canons three times, destroying the first ball, and leaving the second... somewhere. With perfect aiming, this is repeatable, and probably trivial to leave the second ball somewhere so it is a repeatable pattern. Allowing unlimited scores (Wouter was concerned about this kind of issue).

Assuming this is true, it would be nice to modify the game somehow (in a natural, logical way) so that those repeatable patterns don't occur. That is, to prevent the repeatable patterns deterministically, rather than through random elements in timing. I don't know if this is possible, but if so, it would make it a pure puzzle game, like chess.

It's many fans wouldn't like this change; but the "almost fans" might (and others, who didn't post at all). I don't even know if I would like it - but the newtonian concept is appealing to me.

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