Casual Gameplay Design Competition #9!


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Game Design Competition #9EA 2DCasual Gameplay

Announcing Casual Gameplay Design Competition #9!!

We are teaming up with our friends at Electronic Arts' EA2D studio to bring you another exciting casual gameplay design competition!

Mission
Design a browser game that incorporates the theme (see below). Since you will have just 2 months 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, Javascript/HTML5, etc.). If we can embed your finished game file on our competition page, you may use that platform to design and develop your game.

CGDC9 Theme: FriendsFor the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, we are calling for entries designed to incorporate this theme: FRIENDS. You are free to interpret that any way you choose; however, judging will include an evaluation of how well the theme is represented in your game, so we ask that you submit an explanation of how the theme inspired you to create your game when you submit your entry. Use your imagination and be creative. We will select the best entries submitted to represent the competition just like we have done before. Impress Electronic Arts and us with your game design and production skills.

The Prizes

  • 1st place:
    • $1,500
  • 2nd place:
    • $1,000
  • 3rd place:
    • $500

Deadline
The deadline for entries is
Monday, November 15, 2010 at 11:59PM (GMT-5:00).

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

Casual Gameplay Design Competition #9Friends 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.


A list of rules and requirements for entry and for judging follow...

Rules
Following is a complete list of rules that all participants, and their entries, must adhere to:

  1. All entries must incorporate the competition theme ("friends").
    Judging will include an evaluation of how well the theme is represented in your game, so we will ask you to submit an explanation of how the theme inspired you to create your game when you fill out an entry. A game may be disqualified for failure to incorporate the theme.
  2. All entries must be original works free from copyright infringement.
    No entry may be based upon the copyrighted works of another or use copyrighted multimedia assets unless permission has been granted by the copyright holder. Parodies are permitted.
  3. Game dimensions.
    Stage size can be anything up to a maximum width of 1000 pixels by a maximum height of 700 pixels.
  4. Browser-based technology platforms.
    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. Javascript games will be embedded within an iframe on the competition page for compatibility with other scripts running on that page.
  5. Loading external content.
    Your game file may load local external content only. 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. Your game file may not use iframes, scripts or other constructs that load external site content. However, third party statistics, high score boards and level sharing systems, such as those from Playtomic, Gamersafe or Mochiads, will be permitted.
  6. All entries must provide a link back to the CGDC #9 competition page.
    Your entry must include a link to our CGDC #9 competition page (http://jayisgames.com/cgdc9) 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 #9".
  7. In-game advertisements and sponsorships.
    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. You may obtain a sponsor prior to the competition deadline and include links to your sponsor's site within the game, if you wish.
  8. Site-locking your game.
    You must provide us with a site-locked version of your game so that it is not playable anywhere else until after the competition is over. The domains you must allow are as follows: jayisgames.com, casualgameplay.com (for load balancing and bandwidth issues), ea2d.com, dragonagejourneys.com and any other EA site that EA chooses.
  9. All entries must be created specifically for this competition.
    Your game may not be in general release (publicly available to play) prior to the end of the competition (December 6, 2010). This is to emphasize the game design challenge. It does not prevent you from beta-testing your game, but you must know who your beta testers are.
  10. Updates and bug fixes will be allowed during the judging period.
    In the spirit of competition, we will allow bug fixes and updates to competition entries during the judging period. However, it is in each participant's best interest to make every effort to submit the very best possible entry prior to the deadline since the judging period begins soon afterwards.
  11. The judging period will last 3 weeks.
    All entries will be made available online shortly after the competition deadline, and the judging period will then begin for a duration of 3 weeks, ending at 11:59PM, December 6, 2010. Anyone interested in judging the games of the competition should follow the rules and instructions in the "Judging" section below. All scores must be submitted by the end of the judging period.
  12. Entries containing violence or mature themes.
    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. Again, the aim here is to reach the largest audience possible.
  13. Participants may submit no more than 3 entries each.
  14. Participants must be 13 years of age or older (void where prohibited).
  15. Casual Gameplay (sponsor) reserves the right to remove any submission based on copyright, trademark, moral or other proprietary rights of any third party.

To Enter
By submitting an entry to the competition, you grant each of Casual Gameplay and Electronic Arts a permanent, non-exclusive, free, worldwide right and license to host, reproduce, distribute, display and perform (publicly or otherwise), broadcast, stream and transmit your game (as well as use the game name, your name and excepts/clips/screenshots from your game in connection with promoting your game). Credit to you as the original author of the game will be displayed.

When you are ready to submit your game: Please use the CGDC9 Entry Form for providing us with your name, mailing address, preferred link (optional), explanation of theme, and a few other details. Next, email your game file (or a download link) to: cgdc9entry@casualgameplay.com

We will reply within 24 hours to confirm your entry once your game file is received.

Judging
If you wish to be a judge, we have a set of rules that you must adhere to:

  • You must make an effort to play through each game completely that you wish to judge.
  • You must play and judge at least 5 games for your scores to be counted.
  • You must fill out an online survey for each game you wish to judge. A link to the survey will be emailed to you once all the game entries are available to play and the competition begins.
  • You must judge each game objectively and fairly, answering each survey question to the best of your ability. The survey is designed to assign a numerical value to the following categories for each entry. All survey questions will be multiple choice:

    • Theme: To what extent is the theme present?
    • Appeal & Fun: To what extent did you find yourself engaged and enjoying the game from the start to finish?
    • Innovation: To what extent does the game design show evidence that the designer explored methods or ideas that break free from traditional ideas and concepts?
    • Composition: To what extent does the author tell a good story or create a meaningful or immersive experience?
    • Technical: To what extent is the game free from bugs, accessibility and usability issues?
    • Overall: Give this game a rating from 1 (worst) to 5 (best).
  • The judging period will last 3 weeks. All scores must be submitted by the end of the judging period (11:59PM, December 6, 2010).
  • You may not judge any game(s) for which you were a beta tester.

To request to be added to the judges list, please fill out this form:
Judging is closed.
You will be notified with instructions as the deadline for the competition approaches.

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

78 Comments

The theme is friends? I smell RPGs. Hopefully. How exciting! :D

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Thoroughly looking forward to this one. The theme should provide a ton of variety!

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I'm so excited for this. Good luck, everyone! I look forward to the sappy-sweet Hallmark interpretations of the theme, as well as the looser ones.

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Oh wow, you guys only just finished #8, and already the next one is starting? Moving more quickly now, I see. That's a good thing. More little games for me to play. I don't know how to make them. :D

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Dont limit yourself Frost, last time it was a game involving chambers filled with sand(a good one too) that won.

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That is an awesome theme for the competition. I hope there are rpg entries!

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I predict CGDC 22 at the end of next year!
I also hope there's rpg's, I love those!

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A lot of different ways to translate that theme into a game. This will be a good one!

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WHAT?!?!? Why is there no small banner for us to hopelessly guess what the theme might be? D: Although the theme sounds interesting enough, let's see what games people come up with now!

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arcticwolf15 September 22, 2010 8:14 PM

Multiplayer games anyone?

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If only I knew how to create games. I'd do something for Halloween or Christmas.

"Friends From The Crypt"-A rated G zombie platformer centered on a cult on Halloween Night.

or...

"The Caroling Buds"-A music platformer where you keep in step with each Christmas tune(walking, jumping) in order to keep the bond of friendship.

If only I was a geek sigh...

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Anonymous Coward September 22, 2010 10:36 PM

Ross vs. Chandler...two men enter, one man leaves.

Someone had to say it.

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So, will this expect more 'production values' than the last competition? Because i have a conceptual idea i want to try and submit, that would have fit in with the Sandbox competition, but i feel like this is more for a full on polished game than a game that's more a showcase for an idea? Is this correct? I don't want to spend a bunch of time making something that won't end up being up to par, and probably i'm not experienced enough to have something polished in a month. I might just wait till i'm more experienced.

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Great, and now I have the Whodini song stuck in my head.

That aside, I like this theme. It's definitely open and we should get a vast variety of entries this time around

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I have a question about the mandatory site-locking. With regards to site-locking, is that for those sites and those sites alone? What about local offline copies of the game? What about the developer's personal site, and no other site?

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Three CGDC's in one year? Not all of us have that much free time, Jay...

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So, I take it that EA wants help with the rest of Dragon Age Journeys?

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Ewan Whosarmy Author Profile Page September 23, 2010 1:55 PM

Aah, thanks for posting those links Jay - forgot how much i enjoyed some of those previous competitions - think i'll go and replay some.

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So, wait. Mateuz Skutnik (I hope that's spelled right) entered the side game Submachine: 32 Chambers in the last competition. If he finishes Sub 7: The Core in time, and the player meets up with Liz (fitting the "friends" theme), I guess he could put that in the competition!

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G3k0 (Tyler S.) Author Profile Page September 23, 2010 5:57 PM

Is it possible for two people to submit a game together. I don't remember seeing this and expect it to be against the rules, but I have a good friend with whom I'd love to collaborate.

If this is not an option, I suppose him and I could produce separate entries.

Thanks.

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Since I doubt I will make a game with unbounded exponential growth I probably won't get DQed for lag on this one. The only problem is now I'm in school and currently have no ideas...

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OOH, a new one already! Cool.

Also, EA is evil! *takes a stick and whacks it at EA*

If people are going to do an RPG, a month and a half doesn't seem like a whole lot of time to get in a good one. Might be easier for those more experienced, but then again, I know nothing about creating games.

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A question on some of the wording in the rules.

"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."

"Your game file may not use iframes, scripts or other constructs that load external site content."

From my understanding, a site like YouTube essentially just embeds the player into the webpage, the actual content (the movie) is served from other servers. So that doesn't work here?

I'm trying to evaluate if I can use the Sandstone plugin to make a game.

Thanks.

[No, I'm sorry but that won't work here. You must send to us a fully-functioning game file as entry to the competition. Embedding a shell or a script that merely downloads the content from another website is not allowed. -Jay]

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Is Unity3D an acceptable platform for this event? It is can run in the browser (with the correct plug-in), and can be site locked.

[Yes, of course Unity is allowed and an acceptable platform for this competition. -Jay]

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Looking for some programmers to collab with, I'm chalk full of concepts. If I can team up with someone in the next week maybe I can get my first official game and entry into the the competition. (I'm just offering my writing skills and concepts at this point/ no programming for me!)

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What fathem said, I have quite a few ideas in my head :) If anyone wants my ideas, anyone can! You don't have to include me in your party ^_^ my MSN is runkaking (at) hotmail!com. Change the (at) to @ and ! to .

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Raddaya, the best strategy if you want someone to pick up your ideas is IMHO to post em here.

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What's the meaning of "Parodies are permitted."? Is that allowed to snatch already existed theme from other games, such as... I want to make my competition game with -let me say it- Dragon Age theme?

[The meaning of "parodies are permitted" corresponds with "fair use" under US copyright law. Courts have recognized parodies (like a Weird Al Yankovic song parodying the original song it is based on, for example) as a protected fair use. As for "theme", do you mean artistic style only? Because I'm fairly certain art styles cannot be copyrighted. You may not, of course, use any art assets taken directly from Dragon Age, if that was the meaning of your question. -Jay]

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does the "external content" stipulation mean no Facebook integration? I'm thinking of making a game that uses your Facebook friends list. I'm not really sure how I could make it playable by people without Facebook, but everybody has Facebook these days, right? :)

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As a follow-up to the facebook question, does this mean a multiplayer online game using a remote socket server would be disallowed?

As far as I know, this kind of technology is the only way to do any kind of live multiplayer interaction, it seems a shame to ban this from a competition with a 'friends' theme.

If external socket servers are disallowed, would you be prepared to host them on your servers, thus making all the data exchange internal? In my case, this is a small, lightweight java app that just needs a port to listen on.

Finally, would you allow a game with both single-player and multi-player modes, even if the multi-player mode would break if the server went down? I believe this is what you were pertaining to in the third paragraph of your comment above.

Thanks!

[Although multiplayer may be an obvious interpretation of the "friends" theme, accomplishing a solid multiplayer gameplay experience in a browser is a non-trivial task. Due to the short development period alone, we do not recommend multiplayer game entries for this competition. That being said, if you wish to include a multiplayer mode as an additional and optional mode, we will allow it, but you must use your own server for the multiplayer communications and your game must function without a connection to it. -Jay]

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atomic1fire Author Profile Page September 28, 2010 9:07 AM

I don't know about flash, but if one were to design the game to be modular (like I said, no idea about flash, or game design in general), Perhaps they could add Multiplayer, and allow it to be removed later. by just removing the multiplayer part. and the spot on the menu

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My main game-making outlet is through Interactive Fiction (I was going to learn Unity, but realised I'd have to pay a lot of money for Pro, so gave up on that).

I presume I can enter IF, as long you use Parchment player (or Leaflet?) and I send you the file to host on your own server? Because normally you have to link out to parchment to be able to play it, but could you host it like you did with CGDC #7?

Also, if Leaflet is being used, does it support different colour backgrounds?

Thanks a lot,

Pe-ads

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Thanks a lot, Jay! Sorry for not answering earlier.

I'm currently finishing off the plot for my game, and will be doing a few weeks of coding. I'll probably just use Parchment, but might try Leaflet to see if it is better in any way. Leaflet doesn't support Glulx, does it?

[No, sorry it does not. -Jay]

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I don't know how to site-lock. It's easy enough to figure out what it means, but I can't find anything about how to do it for a java applet, which is what I want to use. Do you have any tips for sites that can tell me how to do this?

Thanks!

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I feel a little silly. Once I stopped trying to look up site-locking specifically (nobody ever seems to mention it in conjunction with applets) and started looking up simply how to tell what URL you're running from, there's lots of stuff online. I should be just fine. Thanks!

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G3k0 (Tyler S.) Author Profile Page October 6, 2010 1:56 PM

I am breathing school, work, and the complete development of this game.

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call me anonymous for now October 15, 2010 8:33 PM

Now that there's just a month left for this CGDC, I've been struck with inspiration... but I have no programming experience aside from Inform and HTML (and, when the world was young, Apple Basic & LOGO).

So, a couple-few questions:

Could I submit an all-HTML game -- that is, not "Javascript/HTML5" but just more traditional HTML with the images & all the pages following the title page loading from the allowed local subfolder? (Included in this question are the issues of whether it would be possible for such a game to be "site-locked" in the sense of site visitors being unable to download the game and have it run if they put it elsewhere, and also whether non-script HTML even can be embedded in the way required.)

I saw above that IF entries are allowed, so long as they're Leaflet/Parchment-compatible. I've played IF games using browser plug-ins, but I have no idea if there's any special coding needed on the design end to stay compatible with either or both programs. I've used Inform, but never (yet) for a general-release game. Inform is also my third choice for programming platforms, because I'd prefer to be able to use visuals for the game I have in mind.

If there are any programs that can be used to make a working standalone Flash or Javascript or other browser-plugin-platform game which don't cost over US$100 that I've just overlooked the existence of, I'd be happy to learn and use one.

Finally, if there's a good, heavy-hand-holding resource for "hand-coding" a Flash or Java game, I'm willing to try learning one of those languages if that seems to be my only viable option for crafting a game that isn't text-only within a month. I've managed to do some coding in Perl... with lots of hand-holding from a Perl-fluent friend who could tell me what kind of code to use for the application I needed, & helped me with troubleshooting, but didn't have the time to just write the scripts I needed for me. I'd prefer to spend as little time as possible learning a whole new programming language (or even program) so I can focus on actually making the game, but I am willing to "do it the hard way."

Hopefully I can realize the game I'm envisioning by the competition deadline. Even if I don't, though, I like the idea enough that I'll probably finish it (and hopefully release it) eventually...

Thanks in advance for everyone's answers and/or suggestions!

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colorbomb Author Profile Page October 21, 2010 3:19 PM

at this rate, by the end of this year, well be on CGDC 213486. :)

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I see a big potential for RPGs lke Frost. Multiplayer maybe?

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Question about the link-back to CGDC9s website (rule 6):

May we use the little pic found here http://jayisgames.com/cgdc9/images/jig_competition9.gif as a banner in the main menu, for Rule 6? if not, is there any other banner I can make use of?

I find it way better looking than using plain text...

[Yes, you may. -Jay]

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RPGs! Yaaaay!

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G3k0 (Tyler S.) Author Profile Page October 25, 2010 4:08 PM

You guys wont be disappointed if I'm not making an RPG, right = P

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Maybe we will, maybe we won't. As long as it's a GOOD non-RPG game, No one will have a reason to complain. Otherwise I'll be forced to smite you.

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@G3k0 (Tyler S.): Although the theme certainly suggests RPG/adventure games, it doesn't say that it HAS to be an RPG.

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Well yes, I'm planning to start creating an one-day puzzle in the next two weeks.

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I'm so upset. They always announce competitions when I'm checking Jayisgames. I hope they extend the deadline to November 15th.

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I mean when I'm "not" checking jayisgames.
Sorry.

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@AmmarSalmi: The deadline IS November 15th.....

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I mean November 30th. Sorry, I really don't know what's wrong with me. :)

Someone has put something in my drink. He won't get away with it.

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I have a question about rule #5, external content. I have been making a java applet with the intention of adding savegames if I got far enough. I am now far enough, and after looking into things, it seems (although I may be wrong about this) that applets cannot create cookies on their own. Does it fall within the scope of the external content rule if I create a PHP page (or something like that) that can be hosted locally and read/create cookies for savegames?

[If the PHP script is to reside on the same server as your game, then that would not be considered external content. We will need to approve the function of your PHP script, though, before we will allow it on the server. Please send it over as soon as you have something functional. Thanks! -Jay]

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Isu the Mule Author Profile Page November 9, 2010 3:06 PM

I'm making a game where you have to sort different colored blobs. Red ones go down this tube, yellow down that tube, etc. Problem is, when I play the game I don't think of friendship, I think of segregation. I have since changed the blobs to vials of different colored liquid. Will I get disqualified for not incorporating friends?

Also does adding levels count as an update?

If anyone has ideas and help me out just let me know. My email is mjelppa at gmail. com

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I'm creating a game using the ChoiceScript engine created by the 'Choice Of' guys.

Jay, are you able to host those? The 'Choice Of' site has had problems with their ad serving since each click is counted as a new page.

Also, I want to beta-test the game. Is it permissible to submit a link to a listserv/Google Group? I won't necessarily know the testers personally, but access to the game would be confined to that community.

[I am researching this, will reply again later. I do not know if we are able to commercially host the engine that drives those games. As for your beta testing, the rules specify that "you must know who your beta testers are." -Jay]

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Hi! Me again.

The script that I submitted to you works fine when I use it, however I recently put it on a Java forum for someone else trying to solve the same problem I developed it for, and it doesn't work for them. We have determined that when I compile and run their code on my server, it works, but when they compile and run it on their server, it does not. We suspect PHP settings to be the cause of this, but can't test my applet connecting to their server because of java security restrictions.

What I'm getting to with all this is: can I submit an unfinished version of my game in order to see whether the cookies work on your server?

[Yes, of course. Please send it to the CGDC9 entry address. Thanks! -Jay]

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I have a question about a rule in the competition. We are almost done with the game, and are adding Playtomic stats to the game. Is this allowed?

[Yes, that's allowed, but your game must be able to run fine if the stats script fails. While it doesn't specifically list "stats", I did mean to include that in the above rule that states: "However, third party high score boards and level sharing systems, such as those from Playtomic, Gamersafe or Mochiads, will be permitted." Sorry if that tripped anyone up. -Jay]

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@Maqrkk: Like what kind of stats?

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@smjjames: We'll be adding various stats, like how many people click the CGDC9 link, read the about page, mute the sounds etc. Some are for 'fun', some are to help us figure out where we can improve on game design, that sort of stuff.

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So are my timezone calculations correct, and the game is due 4 hours and 20 minutes from now?

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@Parm

I don't think so. All submissions are due 14 hours and 10 minutes from now. It is 11:59 pm EST.

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Ah! "GMT-5" isn't something I'm used to converting, and must have done it wrong; I just checked 12PM EST and it's much closer to what I originally assumed it would be.

Thank you. :)

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Er.. 12 midnight, I mean.

I think I converted GMT+5...

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The Logical Ghost Author Profile Page November 16, 2010 2:50 PM

Deadline is passed. Entries are in. Soon there will be that marvelous post with all the lovely new games just waiting to be played to help me take my mind off my 103-degree fever. YAY!

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GAHHHHH! If my brain explodes from impatience, I'm suing! (@_@)

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Jay, is there any way we could get an estimate on when the games will be available?

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. . . Figures. 15 minutes after I gave up and went to watch House with Mom, the judging starts. Well, since I was able to play them all the next day, you'll probably be forgiven . . . eventually.

Oh, and I was wondering- if I were to name my personal favorite entry here, would that be considered giving that game an unfair advantage?

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Gotcha! I'll try that entry, then.

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Exit Fate> Dora In this free indie RPG heavily inspired by the likes of Suikoden and other classics of the genre, Daniel is a man betrayed by his country and trapped behind enemy lines who suddenly finds himself in a unique position to help end the fighting. Recruit 75 party members for your castle, take part in huge battles, and enjoy hours and hours and HOURS of play time in this massive game.  ...
The Silent Age: Episode Two> Kimberly Joe is back to finish up what was started in the second episode of this fantastic point-and- click adventure. With the fate of humanity on his shoulders, Joe needs you to help him travel through time to find answers on how to prevent the human race from going extinct.  ...
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The Rogue Puzzle Game> Satori Clear your way through the dungeon in this unique Sokoban-like puzzle game by carefully selecting which swords to shove into which monsters to vanquish them all. The Rogue Puzzle Game was picked as one of only three finalists in the Game Nomad competition and is set to be presented at Gamer's Day, Arabia's largest gaming event.  ...

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