Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6!


Game Design Competition #6

Announcing Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6!!

Wooty tooty flip bam booty! We're returning back to basics with a competition in which the emphasis is simply on casual gameplay design.

Mission
Design a game that incorporates our theme (see below). It doesn't have to be complex nor large in scope. Since you will have just 6 weeks to complete your design, simple ideas are probably the best way to go. You may use any browser-based technology platform you are comfortable with (Flash, Unity, Shockwave, Javascript, etc.). If we can embed your finished game file on our competition page, you may use that platform to design and develop your game.

CGDC6 Theme: ExploreFor the 6th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, we are asking for entries designed to incorporate this theme: EXPLORE. You are free to interpret that any way you choose; however, the extent to which your game embodies the theme is left up to the competition judges to decide. Use your imagination and be creative. We will select the best entries submitted to represent the competition just like we have done before. Impress us with your game design and production skills.

The Prizes

  • 1st place:
    • $1,000
  • Armor Games Awards:
    • $500 - to each of the top 3 Flash games for a non-exclusive license to appear at Armor Games. ($1500 total to be awarded.)
  • Audience award:
    • $500 - determined by JIG community popular vote.

See below for a list of judging criteria and additional specifications and requirements for entry.

To Enter
By submitting an entry to the competition, you grant Jayisgames.com and CasualGameplay a permanent, non-exclusive license to host your 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 use the CGDC6 Entry Form for providing us with your name, mailing address, preferred link (optional), browser-based platform used, as well as a few other details.

Once you have your game polished and ready to go, send it to: competition6@casualgameplay.com

Deadline
The deadline for entries is
Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 11:59PM (GMT-5:00).

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

Sponsors
We thank our sponsors for their kind support:
CGDC6 sponsorsArmor GamesCasual GameplayKing.com - play free online games
If you are interested in sponsoring our competition, please send inquries to: sponsors@casualgameplay.com

Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6Friends of Jayisgames: Please help spread word of this competition by Tweeting this announcement, sharing on Facebook, or 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. We need your support!! Thank you.


Judging criteria, specifications and the finer details of submitting an entry follow...

Specifications
We have made significant changes to the competition this time around designed to emphasize the fun and challenge of designing unique and innovative casual games under constraints. To this end we have simplified the process of participating and broadened the range of developers able to participate. We have only a few requirements that you must meet when submitting an entry:

  1. Your entry must include a link to our CGDC #6 competition page (http://jayisgames.com/cgdc6) visible on the main game menu. A link that is integrated into the overall design of your game is acceptable and encouraged. Text should read: "Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6".
  2. Stage size can be anything up to a maximum width of 800 pixels.
  3. The browser-based technology platform you use to create your game with must produce a single file with which to embed on a standard HTML page (no iframes or other constructs that load external site content). Your game file may load external data however, if necessary. Use a subdirectory named the same as your game to store the external data files in, and be sure to include them when submitting your entry.
  4. Competition entries may include a pre-roll ad (any source), if you wish. Ads between levels will not be allowed. We wish to keep commercialism to a minimum while emphasizing the game design challenge.
  5. For winners of the Armor Games Awards, you will be required to provide a version of your game without ads to host at Armor Games in exchange for the prize.
  6. If you wish to provide us with a site-locked version of your game so that it is not playable anywhere else, you may. The domains you must allow are as follows: jayisgames.com, casualgameplay.com (for load balancing and bandwidth issues).
  7. Your game must not have been in general release (publicly available to play on the Web) prior to the deadline of the competition. Again, this is to emphasize the game design challenge.
  8. If violence or mature themes are necessary for your game, please use the ESRB Teen rating definition as a guideline to the limit of what is acceptable.
  9. This international competition is open to anyone unless restricted or prohibited by local laws.


Judging
Each entry will be judged based on a set of rubrics, or metrics, that have been established for these competitions. The characteristics we look for and score on are as follows:

  • How well does the game embody the overall theme of the competition?
  • How well does the game design show evidence that the designer explored methods or ideas that broke free from traditional ideas and concepts, thus showing imagination and creative expression?
  • Was the game engaging? How well did it "suck you in?"
  • Was the game compelling? To what extent did you find yourself going back to it until you completed it?
  • Was the game fun? To what extent did you enjoy playing the game?
  • How well does the game design promote or contribute to "replay value"?
  • How well does the author make use of the visual medium?
  • How well does the author make use of the aural medium?
  • How well does the design address usability concerns?
  • How well does the design address accessibility (deaf, hard-of-hearing, colorblind) concerns?

Each rubric is scored based on the following scale: (S) Exceeds expectations; (A) Very good; (B) Satisfactory; (F) Fails to meet criteria, or less than satisfactorily.

If you have any questions at all about these specifications, please post a comment here and we will address it.

113 Comments

Congratulations Serene - I LOVE your artwork!!!!!

Because we have an ifiction client on the site, can we enter in that medium?

Neat! At last!

What happened to the previously greater prizes and other various sponsorships?

[Edit: We changed the focus. Instead of offering increasingly larger prizes (that didn't result in increasingly better games) the focus here instead is on the challenge of designing unique and innovative casual games under constraints. In our recent survey of developers, prize money was the least motivating factor for participating in one of our competitions. So, we've rebooted our competitions, back to where we started them. -Jay]

Explore wins! Interesting! I already have an idea in mind for this competition :)

Oh, and congrats Serene on your artwork :) It's wonderful. At first glance I thought it was On from Eyezmaze who made it. I hope that's a compliment for you :)

Gratz Serene, I absolutely adore the artwork. It fits so well with the explore theme. It would be sooooo much fun to be able to jump into your pic and explore it :)

I look forward to trying out the games for this CGDC. If the entries are as varied and enjoyable as the entries in the previous competitions then I can safely say that we should be in for a real treat.

Good luck to all the developers who enter.

Thank you thank you thank you for all the comments! Yes it was inspired by eyezmaze work and will be doing an 'explore' game with the design above. haha

While I was hoping for my own suggestion to win, this is FAR from a disappointment to me - my secret vice is obsessively exploring every single facet of a game. ;) (not much of a secret now, is it?)

Oh wow. my theme actually won. o_o
...
*is surprised/honored*
...
Also I thought that On made the picture for a second! Good job on making that effect, Serene!
Looking forward to the games that the developers will make...

Aw. Well, at least my theme won.. congrats Serene

Also I decided I would make a JIG account, because it would make commenting a whole lot easier. :3

I am SO GLAD Explore won! I also really liked Serene's artwork...

Wow, that's some amazing artwork! No wonder that is the winner!

I'd like to chime in with Maqrkk and Sheer_Cold. I too thought at first glance, that it was On that had made the artwork, completely forgetting that there had been a contest for that. And to be compared to On is the biggest compliment, I can possibly give.

I though it was a beutiful game there for a sec... dang! :D

Lovely artwork Serene

VERY excited to see the results of the competition, would so love to enter but just about to have a kid so I don't think I'll be doing anything but changing nappies for the next few months (years)

j

Tip for the last judging rule; make in the options menu an option for subtitles and maybe something for colourblindness...Like make some puzzle with symbols instead of colors.I can't wait for the games!

Is Java allowed? It is browser-based.

Are you sure you mean JavaScript, and not Java?

Awwwww..... Explore......I wanted failure or breaking the 4th wall. Maybe someone will make a zelda ripoff. :)

wow...no 2nd or 3rd place prizes?

Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing different interpretations of this theme. There's nothing wrong with a well made point-and-click, which lends itself well to the theme. But I'd also really love to see someone who took the theme and ran with it in an unexpected direction.

The JIG community is nothing if not surprising.

And talented.

And awesome.

Have I mentioned what great taste in shoes they have?

Explore? That's a bit...boring, in my opinion :L. There are many games where you just explore...I was hoping for sandbox or...something more different X]

And oh god, I just realised that the explore theme is going to lead to MANY point-and-click room escape entries...I hate point-and-click room escapes! D:

I can't wait !!

this is gonna be fab!!!
How do I get to be a judge???

Im going to go and buy the biggest teapot & mug
for this

I guess I better get started on my entry for the contest. I swore I would not miss it again. Plus its a great theme!

I'm fine with explore as long as its only a secondary thing, not that you only explore.....I really hope someone makes something zeldaish.

Aww, Explore I had the fewest and weakest ideas for.

Failure and 4th wall, surprisingly, I had excellent and fully-fleshed out ideas for. I had even started working on character art.

Explore is leading to... I dunno, I hadn't done much thinking on it, too enraptured by the other ideas.

I second, third, fourth and FIFTH ganondox wish for a zeldaish adventure!

There are far too few good zeldaish games on the internet, available for free. I understand why this is though, and I know Ahriman's Prophecy exists and the creators do not ask for much in return for their other games. But still. :(

OR a Dizzy style game. Dizzy was the best game ever. :D :D :D

(Pst - sorry for the double post!)

this should be interesting, considering the broader scope this year.

Are Facebook games acceptable? I can imagine all kinds of great exploration in a social setting, but it will also limit syndication opportunities for the game if/when it wins.

Thoughts?

Oh, I was hoping for 4th wall... Oh well, as long as there aren't too many point and click games or room escapes, explore will be just great! Can't wait for the games to come rolling in.

Huzzah! Finally!
Now, to wait for the games to be playable... :D

I'm very excited that this competition is going now. Good luck to everyone. Brownie points if you include more than one of the themes from the finalists (it might even help you narrow your focus). I could see how failure and explore could go well together.

Could we see the artwork others submitted?

nate8nate: Yep. You will get to see the other artwork. Check the new You Are Games column this coming Thursday.

my ecstasy cannot be translated into mere words. But, i shall try. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There, i tried

I have an idea that will need to retrieve data from an external server using HTTP calls. From my little bit of research it looks like the hosting server needs to allow this, so will this cause a problem embedding it into your site?

If so, I guess I'll have to come up with another idea.

[Edit: If your game does not require the external connection to function (as with posting scores to a high score list), then it will be permitted. If the game does not function without the external site connection, it will not be allowed. -Jay]

It's really a shame that explore won over failure and breaking the 4th wall. Explore is well-worn territory. Perhaps explore won because the other two split the majority "Hey, let's have an interesting theme!" vote? If not, that implies that explore won by an outright majority, which implies the voters are a bunch of yawnbots.

explore does not necessarily mean room escape, or point and click, who says that being able to play with things in a sandbox game isn't exploring?
especially if there are causes and effects.
a platformer could add exploring, look at cave story, or nifflas games, or the cgdc game inspired by nifflas, or 3d games with secret areas?

Well, at least it's better than Failure; after playing the Karoshi games, I didn't want to have to go through it again. Kinda sad Surrealism and Art didn't make it through, but oh well. Explore is just as good. Maybe someone could incorporate those other two into it anyway? That'd be nice.

Besides that, I like to explore things. Just kind of wander around.

I love the pictures, reminds me of eyezmaze,
anyways, theme should drag out some interesting games.

me = yawnbot

me = happy yawnbot want to explore now kk ^^

Vienna: everyone gets to be a judge if they are doing it the way they did last time... we give tips to the games we like best, and whoever gets the most tippers wins. you need paypal tho. also everyone could leave comments about each game, the more helpful the better ^^ dunno if they are gonna change the process this year...

You guys make me laugh. No matter which theme won out, someone hoping for a different one would end up disappointed. Personally I think EXPLORE opens up more possibilities. With FAILURE we'd just end up with a lot of games where you have to die to win and with 4TH WALL, there'd just be a bunch of characters talking at us through the screen.
While a few of those might be fun to play, there just isn't enough for me to want to spend the time to develop and build a game that won't end up being very original.

Theme for CGDC #7: Failure at the 4th wall!

Is there any way that games made in GameMaker could be integrated into your webpage and qualify for the competition? Sorry, i dont know very much about it.

I was hoping for Pandora's Box or Breaking the Fourth Wall, but Explore is good too :)

I wonder when the first games go up?

Would I be allowed to do a

php based browser game, which you would than sadly indeed have to get on this site with an Iframe

?

I got quite some ideas already for that in the theme Exploring, and id wish to give it a try. However, I can understand if that was not what you were aiming at.

My congratulations, looks very good, i like it

I would like to include a highscore table, but I'm not sure how I'd need to set that up for a site like this. I'm using java.

Will entries to this competition also be eligible for the Best of Casual Gameplay awards?

ARG
I can't take the suspense, I want to play these games NOW!!!!
Or maybe later, I haven't decided.

It's back! Wooty Tooty flip bam booty! I'm so happy, as you can tell by the preceding nonsensical remark.

I guess no one at JIG is too worried about offending the guy at EYEMAZE. It's kind of a blatant rip-off of his style and ideas. I guess he could be flattered. Or not.

[Edit: Being inspired by another artist's work is a whole lot different than ripping someone off. While the styles are indeed similar, they are also very different. We're not worried at all. I'm sure On would be flattered to see his work inspiring other creative people. -Jay]

Can you enter more than one game?

And what do you do with the entry information - name and address and such - that's kept private, right?

Regarding the use of Javascript...
I think it's AWESOME!!!

Second, does it need to be completely bundled in one external javascript file? Ideally, I'd like to use a mix of HTML tags and javascript. While javascript can create tags on the fly, some browsers don't like that.

Here's my recommendation... I submit ONE HTML page (with Javascript) that displays everything in a DIV that is 800width x 600height. You copy and paste that HTML and Javascript into your JayIsGames page template. Keep in mind it will have quotes within quotes within quotes. Your content management system hopefully supports that.

Does that work?

Even if I bundle everything in an external .JS file, short of using a popup I'm going to have a dependency on the JayIsGames page. i.e. It will need to provide a DIV that's 800 x 600 with an ID we agree on so I can write to it. Using a popup will probably fail due to the popup blockers (these days they don't even tell you they block), most people will simply think my game is broken.

One more javascript thing...
I absolutely need to break the 1 file rule.

I completely forgot about images.
In Javascript, there is NO way for me to embed images unlike Flash (which can embed them in the .swf). Hence, I'll need the images on an external folder ON the JayIsGames site, ideally relative to where the JayIsGames page is.

i.e. If the games page is /2009/08/bigpants_game, the images will be in /2009/08/bigpants_game/images

Is that doable?

Alternatively, you would give me an absolute folder with images and I would use that.
i.e. If the games page is root/2009/08/bigpants_game, the images will be in root/somewherelse/bigpants_game_images

i realize this is not nice, but is it possible? i will send you the game in advance.

Not a problem... however a previous comment indicated that if the external files were required for the game to work, the game would not be allowed. In my case, all the images would come from my site (not JayIsGames). Hence, the game would only work if my site was available.

I hope this is still okay.
Thanks for the hassle.
I really need to learn Flash or Unity :)

Thanks for answering, Jay!

Bigpants, couldn't you just put the images in the subfolder he was talking about? Forgive me if that's a stupid question.

what about a metagame style thing sort of like the one in M.I.L.O

ps does anyone know how to get javascript to work for a form entry seeming as php is out

what about if I created a flash minibrowser that could be used and would only grab local files, so if you typed a URL into it's address bar it would automatically get the file
from the site.
would that be acceptable?
*does a quick google on flash html parsers* or maby a simalar thing in java (not javascript) that could be exported as an applet.

This is a bit extreme but, does anyone know of a mathematical way to determine how several polygons drawn in a 2D representation of 3D stack in relation to a "camera"? I ask this because I suddenly got the urge to try to make a 3D engine in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). The work has actually gone surprisingly smooth but there are many problems. To fix the stacking order problem for each frame, I created several functions that compare the center point of each polygon to the point-location of the "camera" (where you are standing), thinking that polygons with the lowest distance between center and camera should be drawn last, and thus appear on top. I proved this to be flawed later. Right now the camera can move back and forward on the X and Z axises but no Y movement (jumping) or rotation (planned for following the mouse, with 2 axises) have been implemented.

So to summarize, for every position (and eventually rotation) of a camera, I need to determine what shapes are closest to the camera so that they can be drawn last (on top). And yes, I doubt I will make the deadline, lol. This is just one of a great cavalcade of issues, and this is all based on Opera 10's SVG support (currently).

Thank you to JIG and Armor Games for adding some more prizes to the pile!

Now if only I can get my game done in time. I have the idea, and a good start. However, Much work to go...

Is Flash CS4 acceptable? Yes, I was waiting for this, let the midnight sessions begin!

Sweet, the competition ends on my birthday! I guess I'll have one more present to look forward too! (Or technically as many as there are games)

Oh dear... I've been working on an entry but I've lost a lot of time due to illness and other things, and I'm really not sure I'll make the deadline. I've had over half the time and I have well over half the game to make.

I'm not so sure if I'll be able to make it in time for this competition. :X I'd really, really, *really* like to but things are only getting worse and progress isn't going any faster.

Would I be allowed to make a core entry submission and then upgrade it a day or so later? If I try cutting back any more from the game there's no point in working on it any more. I'm so bad at managing my time sometimes. :X

I have a question about rule 7, about not releasing the game prior to the deadline. Obviously I have no intention of doing so, but I do want to release incomplete prototypes and concept art for the game. Will this disqualify my entry?

ugh, this is annoying... i thought it was a really cool theme, not looking forward to being swamped with point and clicks, would like to see games in the vein of pieces or... well.. anything made by nifflas... ever

I love point and click games. It was MOTAS that got me interested in internet games in the first place. When a new episode of MOTAS, Tipping Point, Trapped and so on comes out, it's like a little mini Christmas for me.

I say just in case the people who were planning on point and click games read this section and feel discouraged.

Can I have sponsor's logo(s) on the game? And to what extends? I think I could negotiate some sort of sponsorship with 'you get the game after competition over, though your logo would be there at the competition'.

thanks

OMG! I have been staying up every night till 2:00 am trying to get my game done in time. This extension will certainly be helpful, though I was probably going to make it.

Now I can really take the time to make the game shine.

What would be a good resource for information on how to develope a game for this contest? Very basic, almost so basic most people would feel like it was too obvious.
I'm good with the idea aspect, and art aspect, but nothing else.

Okay, just so I don't miss the deadline because I'm delusional or still asleep and dreaming - it's been extended to the 18th, right?

[Edit: Yes, deadline is now October 18, 2009. -Jay]

Emily - what platform?

Thanks Jay. I think I have too much of a clear picture of what I want to do to make collaboration easy or fair for the other side. If not for this contest, at the very least I'll have something to enjoy.

Escape Velocity, this is where the make it as obvious as posible part comes in. I'm assuming the answer to your question is I'd like to use flash or java.

Yeah, Emily, you'll either have to learn how to code, or find someone willing to do the coding aspects for you. To make a game with Flash, you'd need to buy Adobe Flash. I think it won't be as hard as you think to collaborate, though; it's not very uncommon for one person to be the artist and designer, and another just to code it all together. If you're a good communicator and you think your idea has merit, I'd give it a shot.

Emily:
to look forward collabs, the best in my opinion is to go to flashgamelicense.com , register as developer, go to the forum, and post your idea and sample art in collab forum.

I can't help you a lot to code since I only limit myself to be able to code point and click games. I use flash and learned my first steps from foundation-flash.com and action script gaming university book.

Deadline is now October 18, 2009. Thanks, now I have more time.. I'm trying to get my game done in time.

Emily -

I'll throw in my two cents in case you don't want to go the collaborator route. If you have Flash, there are literally thousands of free tutorials with source codes out there, and countless blogs and forums with help sections that answer just about anything you'd ever need to ask. The Flash community is extraordinarily generous with its time and talent.

Find a tutorial for something you'd like to be able to use in your project - say, drop and drag to initiate an action - and learn by customizing the source code for yourself. I don't know why, but Flash made a lot more sense to me once I could see it in action, as opposed to just reading a tutorial. Maybe that'll work for you too.

Cool, Oct 18, now I might be able to finish something too.

Lots of very helpful people using this site. Thanks a lot for the responses.
I do have access to Flash, and I have made simple applications with it before. The standard make my name spin around with assorted pretty objects most tinkerers like to make.

I'm gonna go find some tutorials now :)

Hey, before I go over board, what should be the maximum size for a game?
I'm halfway done and it's around 8 MB.

I second that comment. What is a good size for a flash game. I'm up to 1.9MB and I need to still add the music track. What do most of the games (ie. like say 'Finwick') come in at?

Thanks.

My sponsor asked if there is any fixed date of when we can publish the game elsewhere? Thanksie!

My game is nearly complete. I am just working on tweaking the final version a bit with some final additions. I'm I so excited that I actually completed a game for this. I am really looking forward to checking out all the other games as well. Gotta love Casual Gameplay Design Competitions. I love seeing all the creativity.

Are there any rules saying that I must create all of the content? In particular: Rather than making my own music, I'd like to find some free music and use that with the permission of the creator. I'd have the right to use the files, but they'd have been created before / not for the competition, and I want to make sure that's not an issue.

I've decided not to enter the contest. My game won't be done in time.

The contest has served its purpose for me - it generated a lot of initial momentum and interesting ideas. Thank you for that. I just have to remember not to worry so much about deadlines!

I was kind of hoping for another extension, but on the other hand ... if I have to look at my game for one more week, I might gouge out my eyes with a movie clip.

I guess I was wondering about the entering process. I filled out the form but didn't see where or how I send in the SWF.

Thanks for your info. GJG.

Whew, we made it in. Movement code's still a bit screwy but hopefully we'll get points for creativity. Best of luck all, looking forward to seeing all the entries!

Hey guuuuys!
I made a youtube slideshow (because I was bored) about the games in the competition! Check it out here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuBqK3Mmalc

How exactly do I vote on the games?

Ok, thanks.

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