And the winner is...


Game Design Competition #8

JayToday marks the end of another great Casual Gameplay Design Competition, one that asked browser game developers to design to a "SANDBOX" theme. A lofty challenge to be sure, and we got to play some outstanding games as a result. Our kind and sincere thanks go out to each and every one of the participants.

Submachine: 32 ChambersWe 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 their awesome and constant support for our competitions (Thanks Dan!); and to everyone at Casual Gameplay for their support. 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.

CGDC8 sponsorsArmor GamesCasual Gameplay

The judging for our competitions is now handled by the JIG community at large, and all the games were scored based on theme, appeal, fun, composition, and technical merit. We appreciate the effort everyone put into judging the entries fairly and objectively. The results of your efforts are presented below.

And now, to the people who have made this, our 8th, competition a success. We appreciate your efforts and your dedication to the art of game design and to the creation of casual gameplay.

For the Audience Award, Submachine: 32 Chambers received over 900 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. Look for reviews of the top games here on Jayisgames.com in the coming days and weeks.

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

  1. Submachine: 32 Chambers
  2. Tile Factory
  3. [Together]
  4. A Llama, a World, and a Plan
  5. ZOO Director
  6. Cap'n GoldGrubber's Treasure Hunt
  7. Sand Trap
  8. Gold Machine
  9. Ebul
  10. Rare Breeds: Petunia

We have published the community scores in a spreadsheet showing the average scores in each category for each entry.

25 Comments

Congratulations to the winners!

Mr. Skutnik must be pleased. XD

I am sad ): . Should have focused on fun gameplay and slap sand art as the theme.

Heh, no surprises there. Once I saw a sub-machine game, I knew that it would be the winner.

Once again, Murtaugh steals the show-- and his game was barely sandbox-related at all. It's like he prevailed for absolutely no reason other than that he was Murtaugh.

I believe "Sandbox" was meant to be open to interpretation. Whether that be a box full of sand you play in, rooms full of sand you must escape from, or the current idea of free roaming. Therefore, M. Skutnik followed the rules. I can't say I'm surprised he won, but by comparison most of the other games were boring or difficult to understand. It is a win well deserved and we should congratulate him. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Fact is, "sandbox" is a theme that's VERY open to interpretation. Just because someone hears it and immediately thinks "open-world gameplay" doesn't mean someone else won't immediately think... um, well, sand. Doesn't mean one is more correct than the other, especially since we have always allowed the developers to come up with their own interpretations, and the audience to decide which they liked best.

Congratulations to the whole competition! You all did a fantastic job and put out some real quality work.

Honestly, I had no doubt this game would win. The others seem to hastily built to compete with a submachine game. On top of that, submachine has a history, so it can introduce old and familiar elements to its gameplay that will instantly identify with its fanbase. I'm also not surprised about the other top ranking games (tile factory, [together]) because of their emersive gameplay.

Congrats to the winner and good job to everyone who entered.

Congratulation to all the entries. And Thanks to JIG and Armor for presenting the venue. It's a win-win for all of us.

@SonicLover

In a way, I feel that is true as well. Submachine games consistently get top ratings here, though I've never felt that they are particularly outstanding in their genre.

But let's take a look at the numbers.

(spoilered for length)

The categories in which you could make a good argument that the name recognition artificially boosted the ratings are for Theme and Composition (telling a story); its hard to argue that it wasn't Technically quite good, and the other scoring categories are quite subjective in nature.

The use of theme in Submachine was almost identical to that of The Sand Boxes, yet it somehow pulled nearly a half-point higher in score.

Also, while there were certainly elements of good composition, I feel like some of the "immersive experience" was based on prior installments of the series, and not on 32 Chambers as a standalone game. But, I would argue that the Composition of 32 Chambers should be rated --at worst-- average among all the contest entrants.

So what happens when we change the Theme score to match that of The Sand Boxes (2.95) and the Composition to be the average of all entrants (2.79)? The final rating is 4.00, which still leaves it first place.

Basically, despite any unfair advantage 32 Chambers might be perceived to have from name recognition, it was still a deserved winner.

Congrats to Mateusz, Johnathon, and OneMrBean on their prizes, and to all of the entrants for all the time and effort that went into their entries!

"For the Audience Award, Submachine: 32 Chambers received over 900 hundred votes..."

Wow, 900 hundred!

Having said the above, one thing I felt was missing from the scoring rubric was a question about creativity or thinking outside the box. This has been one of the standards for previous CGDCs, but was not included for CDGC8. I think having creativity be one of the scoring points for future contests would encourage entrants to take some chances on experimental forms of gameplay and reward them with better scores.

Saying that Submachine shouldn't win because it has 'brand loyalty' only has merit if the JIG competitions were specifically held only to encourage new game designers. But that's not the case, since everyone is invited to join.

And if you talk about excluding entries because they don't meet the competition specs, should Rare Breeds : Petunia be excluded on the basis that it's not even a game, since there was no goal, scoring method, or achievements to earn? It's more of a webtoy, but was allowed to compete.

My only objection would be that the Submachine game was probably in production longer than the competition length, even if only in the mind of its designer.

The theme 'sandbox' was exciting to the community not because sand is cool, or a box full of sand is awesome. Sand isn't cool. A box full of sand isn't awesome.

The exciting bit was 'sandbox' as an open world exploratory type game. Allowing the theme to be interpreted as literally sand-filled boxes was a bad idea, imo.

Cool new banner. I knew Mateusz would win.

I think sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of what it takes to make a Flash game. If people were expecting the Flash version of Grand Theft Auto, they're going to be disappointed, because the game makers only had a short amount of time to do EVERYTHING--come up with the idea, create all the art, do all the coding, do all the testing, do all the sounds, etc etc.

Submachine: 32 Chambers is a great game regardless of anything, but considering the restrictions of time etc that were placed on its creation, for me that ramps it up to amazing.

The competition was great, people did their best to make, play and judge.
This was another great Casual Gameplay Design Competition, and the best part is that Mateuzs won for the 1st time (this being his 2nd time I guess).
Thank you JayIsGames :-D

And now I'm wishing I had voted.

"Cap'n Goldgrubber's Treasure Hunt" is fun. I think I will replay it for achievements sometime. It would have been nice to have a "mute sounds" button in addition to "mute music."
"Together" is very cute, but a royal pain. The noise caused by the snake made of static grates and the hearts move almost too fast to catch. I was unable to reach the top "zone" no matter how far I flew. The hearts would also double back occasionally into a zone where I had already collected it. Annoying.
"Tile Factory" dragged on. That type of game is just not one I enjoy, but it was good nonetheless.
"ZOO Director" - I didn't even try, just took one look at the main screen.
"Submachine:32 Chambers" - I don't see the point of Submachine games.

I haven't gotten to the other games, but the top 5 are cute and nicely animated, even if I didn't like the gameplay.
"Together" would have gotten my vote simply for the animation and music (ignoring the giant static snake). "Cute" and "adorable" don't even begin to describe it but I can't think of other words.

I mentioned this before but wanted to say it again--I was blown away with how fun the games in this competition were! I played some that were far outside of my "usual" choices and fell in love with Rare Breeds: Petunia. I sprinted through Submachine: 32 Chambers. And although I've tried almost all of the levels, I'm still working my way through Tile Factory, which I thought was as good--or perhaps even better--than the Codex of Alchemical Engineering games...two of my all-time faves.

Congratulations, winners! You all deserve it! And congratulations to all of the developers for a great collection of games.

Sand Trap only made 7th? Seriously people, you need to try it through chrome.

Congratulations to all winners and competitors.
Making a flash game takes patience, creativity and a pure love of Video games.
Thanks to JIG and Armor for promoting the untapped wealth of the Flash video computer
geniuses out in Video Land waiting to be discovered. Loved the top winners!

meh sub-machine. /me pours sand down my swim trunks.

If "Sand Trap" isn't ported to cell phones with the motion sensors then Gopherwood Studios is crazy. They'd make a MINT with that one.

Just checked the spread sheet and am disappointed that neither Sand Trap or Zoo Director didn't make it to the top 3. Zoo Director had it all happening - experimental, creative, funny...
[Together] was a sweet game but it didn't seem to cover any of the competition's criteria accurately.
Congratulations Mateusz Skutnik :) for a well deserved win, and Jonathon Duerig for Tile Factory.
Great fun to be a part of the JiG community and checking out great new games.

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