And the winner is...
It 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):
- Gimme Friction Baby by Wouter Visser
- Runner-up ($500 + Adobe Flash CS3):
- Rerun by Andrew VanHeuklon
- Honorable mention:
- ReMaze by Felix Reidl
- Audience Prize ($289.06):
- Gimme Friction Baby by Wouter Visser
- Most creative use of the JIG logo (Nintendo Wii):
- JIGorbit by DDams
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.