And the winner is...


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6th Casual Gameplay Design Competition

JayToday another Casual Gameplay Design Competition comes to a close, and we are fortunate to have experienced yet another outpouring of unique and creative casual games from the flourishing indie game development community. We are grateful to those who rose to the occasion and submitted an entry before the deadline, as it isn't easy creating a good game that is fun to play within a short development period.

Small WordsWe are here to honor all of the games that were entered, as well as award a few prizes, too. Thanks to our kind and generous sponsors: Armor Games for making it possible to award the top 3 Flash games with a prize (Thanks Dan!); King.com for their kind support (Thanks Lars!); Serene for the wonderful logo and graphics for this competition; and to everyone at Casual Gameplay for just being awesome. It is due to the efforts of all these people that we have the following prizes to award, so please show them your kind support as well.

And now, to the people who have made this, our 6th, competition so memorable. We appreciate your efforts and your dedication to the art of game design and to the creation of casual gameplay.

For the Audience Prize, this time we used the votes and ratings directly from each of the game pages. Small Worlds received almost 22 hundred votes, ranking in at a commendable 4.8 out of 5, earning it a comfortable lead and the well-deserved prize.

Once again, congratulations to everyone who submitted an entry! Just being able to complete a game within a short development period 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, again, 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.

Following is a list of the top 10 games by score:

  1. Small Worlds
  2. Full Moon
  3. How My Grandfather Won the War
  4. The Fantasy of the Sord
  5. The Fabulous Explorationsland
  6. Hell Tour
  7. Following Footsteps
  8. Beyond the Never
  9. Aubital
  10. Trees

Don't miss our CGDC #7 announcement next week (November 16)!

72 Comments

Congratulations to everyone for great stuff but in particular to David Shute for Small Worlds - a fulfilling and thoroughly individual game.

I haven't been able to view any of the competition entries or winners. Everytime I click on the links I see a page with the banner, the greenish background, a large black rectangle with a green border, but nothing else loads or looks like it should load.

I'm using Firefox - should I have downloaded anything else? I have no problems with any other games mentioned on this site, just this competition.

[Edit: It sounds like a browser extension conflict. Turn off the extensions you have installed to see if that's the problem. Or try a different browser. The first thing you should see is a short, Flash sponsor intro. If you're not even seeing that and your Flash Player is up to date, then something you have installed is preventing it. -Jay]

Why am I not surprised? :)

Great entries this time, I enjoyed it!

Small Worlds was absolutely amazing. I commend you on your victory, David Shute.

@wickedcherub - Are you running the Adblock extension? If so, it's blocking the games.

Truly a well deserved first place, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of some of the submissions. And the fact that there were so few submissions :(

Looking forward to a more active competition next year, maybe raise the stakes a bit?

@Nate: Completely agree. Maybe the theme was too constraining. Also, I'm disappointed that FotS and Explorationsland didn't make it. Apart from Small worlds, those were the two I enjoyed the most.

Pretty much what I expected!

Congratulations David Shute, Bart Bonte, and OneMrBean!

Excellent work to everyone else who submitted as well, for you all did MUCH better than I would have.

@mudeth: agreed on FotS and Explorationsland, although the winners definitely deserved it.

Can't wait for the next competition!

If I were the one giving out awards, they would look something like this:

Most Entertaining Game: Hell Tour
Best Use of the "Exploration" Theme in a Gameplay Sense: Following Footsteps
Best Use of the "Exploration" Theme in an Aesthetic Sense: Small Worlds

Kind of arbitrarily-determined award categories, but this is how the games stood out to me as I played them.

Don't get me wrong, I had fun playing the other games as well, but my main enjoyment with contests like this comes from seeing how the entrants respond to the constraints that have been given to them. For some of these games, I got the impression that the authors already had the idea for the general premise of the game before the contest came around, then made a few adjustments to it in order to fit the exploration theme. Other games looked as if they would not have come into creation at all until the author said, "Let's see, how would I make a game that encompasses the theme of 'exploration' at its most basic core?" The games in this second category were the most impressive to me, and I think they were the ones that really got to the heart of the contest.

First off, congrats to David and "small world". It richly deserved the crown.

That said, it's really depressing that the second and third prizes went to games that really didn't fit with the general theme for the contest.

Seriously, it's upsetting.

I have a game sitting around that I've been tinkering with on and off for about two years now. I could have dusted it off, done a few simple cosmetic things to make it "fit" the theme, and had a chance to be a "winner" too.

I didn't. Precisely because it wouldn't have been fair, and I'd have felt very bad if it had somehow managed to crowd out entries that were more legitimately tied to the overall theme.

I dunno, as a player, it's great to see good games, regardless of where they come from. As a dev, though, seeing these contest themes so loosely enforced is pretty much killing any desire I might have had to enter something next time around.

Hey, congrats to everyone who participated. It's a big deal making a game, especially one made from the goodness and sake of game development and challenge. Cheers!

Every year I tell myself I am going to participate and then something comes up. This year it was my wedding so I have a good excuse this year (I think). But either way, I always enjoy the game comp and the creativity that comes from it. So nice job everyone. Cheers to the staff as well.

Still waiting on the monkey challenge...

(The JIGuest above that's me, forgot the name field.)

You know, honestly, disqualifying entries that *really* don't fit with the theme might not be that bad an idea.

Perhaps, though, if that seems too draconian, just keep off-theme games out of contention for the "top billing" prizes -- maybe have a special category or two just for great games that have nothing to do with the stated theme.

I'm glad I got a chance to play the second and third place winners, and would have been quite happy with either winning "best off-theme game".

I guess what I'm saying is... if I had poured my heart and soul into making something neat and explore-worthy from scratch, I'd *really* rather it not have to compete (directly) with whatever random stuff people have on their hard drives.

Likewise, if I enter something off-topic just because I have it and want people to play it, I don't want it to be getting in the way of people who took the theme seriously.

"We don't want to discourage anyone from entering their game that was inspired by the theme only to find that it missed the (theme) mark when finished."

Have you considered having the authors send in the basic idea for their game, along with the explanation for how it fits the theme, in order to get approval before they actually make the game? I think that would help alleviate this problem.

[Edit: I like the idea of having each participant submit an explanation along with their entry of how they see the theme being implemented. The judges would then use that explanation when scoring the game based on theme. However, I believe submitting ideas on paper prior to building them would be as error prone, if not even more so, than our current system. -Jay]

Congratulations David Shute! I was blown away by Small Worlds, just completely enchanted. Thank you!

Excellent work David Shute! wonderful game! loved the graphics.......absolutely amazing!

the games in general weren't all that great IMHO for various reasons inc. the already mentioned issue of games not really honouring the theme...

however this is not to detract from Small World's victory. It's a stand out game in many, many ways and I'm sure it would still have prevailed even if the other entries were amazing.

That said I still think the competition is great and the theme a good one - congrats david shute and I look forward to next year!

cant get any of the javascript ones to work, i just get the error:

Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0; GTB6; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; eSobiSubscriber 2.0.4.16; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30618)
Timestamp: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 19:16:12 UTC

Message: Unknown runtime error
Line: 12
Char: 12118
Code: 0
URI: http://casualgameplay.com/cgdc6/recolony/jquery.min.js

[Edit: ReColony is known not to work in IE, but the other 2 Javascript entries (Following Footsteps, and All Ears) do work. In fact, I just tested them (again) in IE8 and both loaded and ran fine. -Jay]

Jay: Alternately, have them submit such an explanation of how the theme fits in when they submit the finished game... That way, it's not doing so before the actual game is made, but the explanation is still there (and even if it's not accepted as theme-y enough, people can still play it).

I really liked Small Worlds, but I wish ExplorationLand (Right?) and Imagination Escape had better ranks.

Imagination Escape I think didn't fit in with the theme, but ExplorationLand was lovely.

I loved Small Worlds, so I'm glad that won. What really disappoints me though is that How My Grandfather Won the War beat out the awesome Fantasy of the Sord and the very solid and fun Explorationland.

Oh well, to each their own.

I hated when my grandfather won the war. It did not deserve an award. Hell tour and fantasy of sword did deserve awards.

No offense to David, but I do not feel Small Worlds was deserving of 1st. Here're my awards:

1. ExplorationsLand
2. Full Moon
3. Following Footsteps

I also wish you had the award of what fits the theme best. My winner of that would be Following Footsteps.

Small Worlds, although I did not find the gameplay to be anything special, was very beautiful, and would win an art award in my competition. Looking forward to see if David can make a game just as good-looking, but with better gameplay.

Bye!

Congratz guys! Those really are nice games :) !

I'm glad that David Shute garnered awards in all three categories; Small Worlds deserved nothing less. It was an incredibly artistic game, and was the only game that really took the theme of the competition and ran with it, IMHO. Regarding Small Worlds's game play, I thought it was pretty close to perfect. If you don't think exploring multiple levels is that much fun, then you're kinda missing the point of the theme of this competition.

I read some comments about problems with the movement keys, but they were apparently resolved by the time I played it.

So, yeah, David Shute totally deserved $2000. Glad he got it. Far and away the standout of this competition.

Full moon was fun, shorter and easier than I'm used to though. I liked small worlds also, now I need to try out the others.

Just want to add my congrats to all
Winners and entrants

and to all the players for giving them all a fair crack.

Isn't this place [JIG] fab!!

Perhaps there could be alongside of the ratings stars a second rating for 'theme-yness'. Let it run from zero to five notes (get it? musical note -> theme). Each note is worth 20%, and then average out the percentage to get a modifier from 0 to 100% and multiply it by the star rating score.

[Edit: I like this idea a lot. :) -Jay]

[snip] I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of some of the submissions. And the fact that there were so few submissions :(

You can't have it both ways - either you make it clear that all entries are welcome and you accept the fact that some of them won't be up to community standards, or you specify that only experienced game developers should submit an entry.

Or run it like a juried art show - anyone can enter, but the criteria for actually making it into the contest is very tight. That would make the most sense to me, if the goal is quality games and lots of entries.

People might be more willing to take a shot at entering a game if they knew it simply wouldn't get in if it wasn't any good. As opposed to finding this out the hard way by running the gauntlet of Comments.

- a.k.a. Coconut Internet/Trees, just so you know where I'm coming from here. :D

Perhaps there could be alongside of the ratings stars a second rating for 'theme-yness'. Let it run from zero to five notes (get it? musical note -> theme). Each note is worth 20%, and then average out the percentage to get a modifier from 0 to 100% and multiply it by the star rating score.

Years ago, when I used to help judge fanmission contests, we used to do something very similar to that, but a bit simpler -- the theme subscore simply put a cap on how high missions were allowed to score in all other fields. It worked out more or less OK. (the game-playing crowd, though, cared a lot less about adherence to theme than the devs and contest organizers did)

And, really, thinking back to what a thankless job being a judge was, I'd just like to thank Jay and his staff for putting up with juggling all the headaches involved with an undertaking like this. I'm really glad for your continued commitment to running these things. (and for putting up with the complaints :-)

Just to add my two cents (or my echo, as the case may be)...

Congratulations to David Shute on his win. I would have been surprised had it not won--that's how much it stood out from the pack for me.

Congrats to David, even tho I still don't get it and personally didn't like it!

First of all, congrats to David. This is certainly one of the best entries, hands down. Follows the theme, excellent artistically, and while the gameplay is a little hit-and-miss, its clearly more of a hit than a miss.

I do agree that How My Grandfather Won the War, as good as a game it is, shouldn't have been so high on the list as it was. It's good, no dispute about that. Problem is that it didn't feel as integrated into the theme as most of the rest of the top 10 games. It's too bad that we players will never understand the scoring system of the reviewers (even if they spend all the time in the world to explain it).

That said, please write up an actual review on Small World. It would be a nice idea to read how the reviewers see of this game, and explain why this game is as good as it is to the entire community.

[Edit: Look for our review of Small Worlds tomorrow. -Jay]

Congrats David, on your well deserved win! It was clear that this game stood well above any other in the competition. I really appreciated your interpretation of the theme :) well done!

Forgot to add: Though Small Worlds was easily my favorite, there were two games lower on the list that should not be overlooked.

The Fabulous Explorationsland is a solid game that is definitely worth a play-through. I was surprised to see that it didn't come in 3rd or even 2nd.

Hell Tour is not without flaws, and I will admit that I grew tired of it well before the game play ran out. That being said, the art is fantastic (Who knew hell could be so cute?) and it is well worth several hours of play, even if you don't reach the end.

Thanks Jay, for another great CGDC. Looking forward to number seven! :)

Congratulations to every one for theses games.. :-)

Congratulations to a worthy winner, but also to all the entrants who took the time to create free play games. There was obviously a lot of thought and spirit invested in each creation.
JiG is the best place to check out the amazing talent and games that are out there.

I should say, that while I don't agree with the results exactly I still love this contest and Jay and co for putting it on. And I'm glad for every single submission too. I may not have liked them all equally, but that doesn't mean I don't respect the creators and the hard work they put into making games for me to play.

Lol, I only bicker because I love. Trust me, it drives my girlfriend nuts.

Am I the only one who noticed that the CGCD #7 announcement is going to take place on November 16? As in, "What if?" November 16? "As if!" November 16?

Firstly:
Thanks Jay & Co - another great competition and well done to David and the other devs! I love that there are always some really innovative games & ideas that come out of these competitions.

Jay: I guess it's too much work however is there any way of bringing back something like the old way the competitions used to work? I really enjoyed having 2 or so entries posted a day and found that you got more time to play each game. When all the entries are posted in one hit I feel that I just don't end up giving some of the entries the play time they deserve.

So I'm just wondering. How does the audience prize play out properly when other websites might advertise only one entry as opposed to the competition itself?

For example, I know TIGSource linked only to Small Worlds a while back - would that inflate the score of Small Worlds, then, since there would be a disproportionate number of people playing Small Worlds as opposed to the other entries? Was there a method to compensate for third parties inadvertedly linking to just one entry as opposed to the whole competition? In the TIGSource link, for example, while the entire competition page loaded up, Small Worlds would automatically load first. Does this skew the results?

It would be greatly appreciated if you could respond to this question. Thanks!

kule - I agree that it's easier to process all the games when they come out a few at a time, but the system really wasn't fair to all the games. The first games released were received with much fanfare and probably got more plays simply because they were first. Also, if more than one game used the same idea, the first to be published generally got more of the credit for being original, while later games were unfairly compared to earlier ones.

With all the games released at once (and in a randomly generated order for each visitor) there's no bias towards any single game based on where/when it's presented.

Jayce - just because a game gets more votes doesn't necessarily mean it gets better votes, although usually I think that will be the case, simply because the best games get linked to more often.

Small World is wonderful. Not a game per se, more of a web toy, but an excellent rendition of the theme.

Full Moon and Grandfather, woah, talk about stretching it. I like Bonte's games, but sorry, placing the world "explore" in help text and congratulating "explorers" near the end doesn't really cut it. Other then that, Full Moon is a great game but IMO, it should have been rejected due to no connection with the theme, let alone win 2nd place.

Grandfather is even worse. Again, very pretty game, great presentation, but it really has no place in a competition with the theme "explore".

zxo - It actually may. For example, JiG's audience is composed of people who want to play games. Their expectations of a game is completely different from TIGSource, which is geared toward an audience consisting of indie developers. They have different expectations.

If an RPG forum linked to an RPG game on JiG, I would suspect the ratings would lean higher than if an RPG forum linked to an action platformer just because the forum's tastes were more geared toward RPG fare. There could always be exceptions, no doubt, as your caveat plainly spells out. :)

I also agree with your input that good games tend to get linked out more often, which can enhance the results.

jayce - true, I wasn't considering where the extra votes were coming from.

I can see the sword cutting both ways, though. In certain cases, I could see RPG fans actually voting down a CGDC RPG as being too casual, or not extensive enough, (ignoring the fact that it was created in only 2 months). Plus, you also might have the issue of game designers sending their followers to their own games to vote-spam -- not that I'm claiming this happened, but it's possible. But you're right, there are numerous potential biases with the current voting system.

Requiring a JIG account would be a good way to filter out a lot of the random votes that might come in, but it also fosters a sense of exclusion that I'm not sure would be appropriate.

My favourite so far is Beyond the Never, which is totally beautiful and atmospheric. The gameplay is lovely & smooth too. It reminds me of William & Sly, even though the look is completely different. Love the glowing silhouetted shapes...

Heh, I love that idea Jay. Will be very interested to see how well it works out if you go with it.

On a side note I wish people would stop being such theme nazis. We get it, such and such game doesn't fit YOUR idea of explore. Surely you guys can recognize that not everyone thinks of exactly the same thing when they see that word?

Full Moon may not be a platformer set in an open world to explore, but that doesn't instantly mean that it doesn't fit the theme. In Full Moon you have to explore each individual scene to figure out how to solve the puzzle and continue on your journey. And throughout the game you move from scene to scene, effectively exploring the world of the game.

That's exploration. Again, it may not fit your idea of the word, but surely variety is a good thing in these competitions? I know it's what I look forward to. It's always fun to see all the different ways that people take a single concept.

Even "How My Grandfather Won the War" involves exploration of the environment with the water cannon. It wasn't my favorite game from the competition, but that doesn't mean that it didn't fit the theme.

On a side note I wish people would stop being such theme nazis. We get it, such and such game doesn't fit YOUR idea of explore. Surely you guys can recognize that not everyone thinks of exactly the same thing when they see that word?

Be that as it may, the lesson these two titles winning seems to convey is pretty much: ignore the theme altogether, just make whatever you please, and make a half-hearted claim that it fits. If people argue, just claim that you have a different vision than they do. Much, much easier to put together an entry that way.

Heck, while you're at it, ignore the deadlines, too. Start making a relatively generic game now for next year, confident that you can just apply a few cosmetic changes here and there to make it "fit", and stand a better chance to win than people who actually worked within the deadlines.

Not saying that anybody did that this go-round, and I'm hoping Jay can tweak the rules a bit to keep it from ever being a problem... but you'd better believe that designers look awfully closely at what wins contests when they decide how (or if) to participate in the future.

So, it kinda does matter, and not just as a matter of taste. I honestly like the themes, and I'd hate to see them cease to be relevant.

A game that would've worked in this competition is Frontier by jmtb02. It should at least get a JIG review. Check it out on Armor or Kongregate.

Full Moon I actually don't mind - yeah, it's not exploration of the world, but it is most certainly exploring the screen. In that sense, almost all kinds of point-and-click (and, thus also escape games) is an exploration game.

I also managed to interpret "exploration" as to figuring out how to play it to begin with. My sister has a bad habit of not reading instructions, and if you think about it, Full Moon is the kind of game where instructions are fairly pointless. Thus thats another point of view.

How My Grandfather Won the War though... I admit is a real stretch. Yeah, you're "exploring" the hidden screen with your water cannon, except you have limited ammo, you can't slow down and truly "explore" everything since everything is out to kill you.

Best of luck to CGDC 7!

Thanks, Jay.

That should probably be plenty of deterrent for potential abuse.

And, yeah, you're probably right about not really needing it... though, with the economy the way it is, it's probably best not to find out.

For what it's worth, I thought the paint cannon in How My Grandfather Won The War was one of the highlights of the game. I felt the pilot was trapped in a hellish nightmare and these glimpses of paradise were his attempts to break free. My primary motivation to keep playing was so I could see what else lay behind the scenes -- in other words, explore.

Start making a relatively generic game now for next year...

For starters, that sounds like a great way to make a terribly mediocre game. Plus, if you're planning that far ahead of time, why not just make the game you want to make, do it well, and get it licensed? Right now at Flash Game License the average license deal equals about $1250, which includes all games, good or bad. Good games are likely worth much more. Compare that to the amount you can expect to get for entering the competition -- sure there was a maximum prize of $2000, but going in you have to assume there's at least 4 or 5 games (if not more) that will truly compete for first place, meaning you should only expect a return of about $400-$500 (or less). As Jay said in the competition announcement (or maybe in the comments), money is among the least motivating factors for entering the competitions.

Anyway, it's a long way of saying it, but my feelings are that I'm not too worried about people gaming the system by slapping themes onto existing games. It's not worth it to them, and I think it makes for poorer games. I'd rather have a bigger selection of better games than a limited amount of games which fit someone's notion of a theme. But, if a suitable system can be worked out (like Jay promised), I'm all for using it to weed out questionable entries.

Absolutely brilliant. My favourites were, in order of preference:

1. Explorationsland
2. Small World
3. Following Footsteps

But overall, they were all brilliant in their own special way. Exploration is a broad topic, so it's interesting to see the different takes on it.

I would like to know, has a game ever been made that doesn't involve exploration? For me the theme here was so nebulous that no-one can really critisize any of the games submitted on this basis. By the very fact that they are games they all instantly qualify as far as I'm concerned.

I do love playing these competition games, and thank the developers who care enough to make and submit them, and I also give many thanks to Jay and his staff for presenting them, reviewing them, and giving them publicity.

"Small Worlds" was amazing.
I still intend to finish "All Ears",
hopefully it will be worth highlighting.
For the record, it was built exclusively for the theme.
Which is why I didn't have enough time :)

The problem with Full Moon and Grandfather is that to see where the "explore" aspect comes in you have to do some interpretation, and by that account each and every game ever featured on JayIsGames has an "explore" theme. Every game is in certain way an "exploration" of ways to play it and beat it but I don't think that was the point.

I think the point of the theme should be this: a player UNAWARE of the theme should, by his own account, be capable of inferring it from the gameplay. Noone would try out "How my grandgather.." and say "Hmm.. now this is a great exploration game". "Shooter", "War", "Reality vs Fantasy", "Paint", "Transform", "Cardboard", "Theatre", "Puppet show", these are all valid themes, but "Explore"? That's a stretch.

And I don't think it's about being "Theme nazi". I just think that if I was entering my own game in this competition I would be rather disappointed by the fact that the games that won 2nd and 3rd place are so obviously games NOT designed for this competition but rather shoehorned in with a few cosmetic changes. This would make me want to do what some other poster up there said - instead of trying to design a game around the theme, I would rather take whatever I think is my best quality game and try to see how I can staple the theme on it (or just let it fly as-is, hoping that the theme will be somehow inferred with the help of stretched overinterpretation).

Theme points are definitely the way to go. And, perhaps, a little bit more esoteric themes (otherwise the theme of the next competition could simply be "Game"). :)

I just got the full adobe suite. If I learn how to program flash to the point I'm able to make a quality game in about a week I might submit something for the next competition, which appears to be in a week.

Jay, I gotta say... if you assume 100% sincerity when there is money and attention at stake...

well. I guess it's your money.

Creativity without structure is not, by definition, a challenge. Like most other online mod decisions, I think you will find a lax enforcement of the rules will eventually lead to more problems than a firm one.

I would be very disappointed to see someone's efforts be disqualified from one of our competitions if they sincerely believed they were designing with the theme in mind.

I hear you, there. That's why I rarely judge things anymore -- sometimes situations come up that aren't going to be fun no matter what you have to choose. And if you don't enforce the rules (even when they've gone wrong on you) eventually you don't have them any more.

And it's really good to see you bending over backwards to look out for people who enter your competitions. Seriously, it's comforting to somebody thinking about entering something someday.

That said... you might be underestimating how bad the results of this competition look to a prospective entrant / dev. In 14 years of working on games in one way or another, I've never seen a competition I've actually been glad I didn't have time to enter. (usually it's regret I'd be feeling about now)

That's... really not a good feeling for someone who games have been their bread and butter all their working life.

Dev types can be very sensitive to rules and their spirit, and when it looks like games that more or less flaunt them are allowed to win things (even second and third places), it leaves a very bad taste.

That's all I really want to say about this. Maybe I'm just in a crummy mood (Veterans day is a solemn thing around here...) So, I wish you the best of luck trying to find a balance.

The whole point of allowing people to interpret the theme the way they want is to encourage creativity and freedom of expression. If we then come back and say "No, this doesn't fit OUR IDEA of what the theme should be," then we are discouraging that very same creativity.

I don't know. I can't help but think that the whole issue of trampling on people's artistic freedom is something of a red herring.

The question I'd ask... is does this game connect with the audience in such a way that it evokes the theme in some way, shape, or form. If nobody told you what the theme was supposed to be, could you plausibly guess it after playing the game.

It's a sad truth of art in general that the artist's vision doesn't always come across in the finished product. It's an even sadder truth that even when it does, the audience doesn't always "get" it. Game designers generally understand this. I've certainly had my share of experiments that seriously and embarrassingly missed their mark, and pretty much everyone I know has had some "brilliant" design or another turn out to be a flop. It happens.

When I read your front page review of Full Moon... I don't come away thinking "that game is about exploration!" It, frankly, reads like the review of a random "point and click" game. That's not a good sign.

When I look at your top three entries for this competition and try to guess what the overall theme was supposed to have been... I can't do it. The games are just too dissimilar. The theme might as well not have existed. That's also not a good sign.

Anyway, I've said my piece, and you're undoubtably tired of it by now.

Best wishes.

Cool competition guys.
I made a picture montage on you tube... Here!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuBqK3Mmalc

[Edit: That is awesome! :D Thanks for doing that! -Jay]

I need help with Fabulous exploration island. I got three out of the four elements

(plutonium uranium and the really long one)

and I cannot find the other
Please Help!!

the screenshot reminds me of the Grow series

Wow. Small worlds was so good that as i was playing it, my foot fell asleep, and i didn't notice. When I finished the game i started to get up, and i noticed that my foot was slightly purple, and i couldn't move my toes. Now that's a good game.

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