Casual Gameplay Design Competition #10!


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Game Design Competition #10Armor GamesArmor Games

Announcing Casual Gameplay Design Competition #10!!

The CGDC turns 10 this year with this competition and we are very excited about our partners this time around. Armor Games has once again pledged their unwavering support, Mateusz Skutnik with his Pastel Games crew will be providing a unique opportunity to those who participate, and the Casual Gameplay team will once again produce the competition and provide support for the community. Together this promises to be one of our most unique and exciting competitions ever!

Mission
Design a browser game that incorporates the theme (see below). 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(s), you may use that platform to design and develop your game.

CGDC10 Theme: ESCAPEFor the 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, we are calling for entries designed to incorporate this theme: ESCAPE. You are free to interpret that any way you choose, but because of Pastel Games' involvement this time (see "Feedback" below), we're hoping that the competition will produce some great point-and-click, escape game adventures. 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.

Feedback
Something new that we're doing this time is based on our partnering with Mateusz Skutnik and his Pastel Games team. Besides creating all of the competition artwork this time around, Mateusz has pledged to provide feedback and coaching for all of the competition participants. They will critique each individual entry and offer suggestions for improvements. This is a great opportunity for game designers to get a private consultation from the design team behind some of the best Flash-based, point-and-click, escape/adventure series, such as Submachine, Daymare Town, and Covert Front.

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.

Deadline
The deadline for entries is
Monday, September 03, 2012 at 11:59PM (GMT-5:00).

Sponsors
We thank our sponsors for their kind support:
CGDC10 sponsorsArmor GamesPastel Games

Casual Gameplay Design Competition #10Friends 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 ("ESCAPE").
    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 for compatibility with other scripts running on the embed page.
  5. Loading external content.
    Your game file may load local external content only. Use a subdirectory named the same as your game within which to store the external data files, 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 high score boards and level sharing systems, such as those from Playtomic, Gamersafe or Mochiads, will be permitted, but your game must still function if played offline.
  6. All entries must incorporate competition sponsor's branding.
    Your entry must include the Armor Games Intro Animation (here is a Flash 8 version for those who requested it) and Logo on your game's main menu with active links back to the sponsor's site. You may, optionally, also include and link the Pastel Games logo on your game's menu. If you're using a browser technology other than Flash, you may construct a simple static splash screen instead using the Armor Games logo, link that back to the sponsor's site, and display it for 3-5 seconds before your main game menu.
  7. In-game advertisements.
    Competition entries may include a pre-roll ad (any source), if you wish, but your game must still function if played offline. Ads between levels will not be allowed.
  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, and all subdomains thereof.
  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 (September 26, 2012). 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, September 26, 2012. 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.
  15. This competition is void where prohibited.
  16. Casual Gameplay 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 Jayisgames.com and CasualGameplay a permanent, non-exclusive license to host your game, either individually or as part of a larger collection. Credit to you as the original author of the game will be displayed.

When you are ready to submit your game: Please use the CGDC10 Entry Form to provide 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 us.

We will reply within 24 hours to confirm your entry once your game file is received. If you do not receive confirmation within 24 hours, please contact us at our contact address found in the site footer.

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, September 26, 2012).
  • 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:

You will be notified with instructions on how to score and submit your scores once you've been approved and on the list.

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

78 Comments

dsrtrosy Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 12:37 PM

YAY!!! I've been on pins and needles the last few days watching the countdown. While the escape genre isn't my absolute favorite, I do love the idea that "Escape" can (and probably should and hopefully will) be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I think we'll get lots of entries!! You include IF in the list of games you can embed, correct? I'm excited to see what happens!

[Yes, anything is fair "game". :) -Jay]

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dylpickles Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 1:12 PM

This should be a very good competition. I'm excited.

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nerdypants Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 1:17 PM

Oh, boy! Escape games are my favorite. This will be a really fun competition.

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 1:42 PM

Oh Jay, you punster you!

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Very excited to see the entries on this one! I love escape games.

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I think it's going to be interesting to see the different ways this theme is interpreted across different platforms as well as the one you'd expect. :)

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Just to be certain, this rule:

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 (September 26, 2012). 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.

... would also prevent a person from submitting a game that had been previously in development (but NOT release) and which happens to fit the theme nicely?

[As long as your game hasn't been released yet, it meets this condition. While our intention is to create a level playing field for all entries, we realize that some games may have been started before the announcement, and as long as it hasn't been released yet, you may submit it. -Jay]

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Exciting! It's been a while since I've really been into escape games, but I look forward to seeing what you creative game designers come up with.

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I'm glad we are able to sign up to be a judge! (or maybe I never noticed this option before?)

I love escape games and I'm looking forward to play all submissions!

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SirNiko Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 6:12 PM

It's been way too long since we've had one of these!

I'm personally hoping we get at least one good entry with a metroid style clock-is-ticking escape while everything crumbles around you type of game.

Looking forward to another crop of extremely good entries!

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dman334 Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 8:09 PM

Oh wow! This will certainly bring a lot of new and creative ideas to the genre! And I'm so glad that we get to sign up as judges this time! a must do for future competitions! Hopefully this competition will promote more immersive atmospheres, more realistic textures, easier navigation & inventory systems, interesting storylines, and in general bring improvements to the genre they choose!

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I hate those games, lol, this is an opportunity to understand them and maybe love them!

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This looks good. I think I'll make an entry for this one. Hmmm, escape...hmmm.

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elle Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 10:03 PM replied to Don Calaca

There are many ways "escape" can come into play. Although point-and-click adventures are recommended for the Pastel Stories team's expertise, there is a huge spectrum of different games in that genre. Moreover, escape is the designated theme not the requisite gameplay device, so there's even more room to grow in that area. I bet something you love will turn up. Probably even more! :)

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elle Author Profile Page July 9, 2012 10:14 PM replied to sphax

Signing up to judge entries has been an option in past competitions, but you have to sign up a certain time in advance to qualify as a judge. So if you want to judge this time, no reason to delay in subscribing...you can submit the form right now.

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wql8928 Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 4:40 AM

Escape!!! There's so much to expect this time!!! Actually I hoped Mateusz Skutnik to be a candidate...

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@Elle: Just received my confirmation e-mail, thanks ;)

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themanmann Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 6:36 PM

Is there a minimum age to judge? I assume it's the same to enter. If this is the case, I have signed up to judge. Also, is there a set number of judges, or as many as necessary?

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Jdpeach Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 7:37 PM

I do not like escape-type games. I really REALLY want to; it is exactly the thing I WOULD like, but I don't.

I'll keep a close eye on this one. Maybe I'll find one I like! Or (more likely and I would be happy if this were to happen) I can see what people can come up with for "Escape" You guys have surprised me with the past two competitions!

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cjquines Author Profile Page July 14, 2012 8:54 PM

I smiled the smallest of all smiles known to man
when this post appeared in my RSS feed
The day and time stopped before me
As my neverending gaze pierced the screen
The clock stopped
my heart popped
as I clicked the link
it opened
to my eyes...
The world did not matter
What mattered
was this.

CGDC10!!!

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I have some questions:

1) Can the Armor Games intro and the Pastel Games logo be done in a graphical style that fits the art of the game?

2) Do family members count as individual participants or must they be in a group?

Thank you.

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Thank you very much :D

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I have a question about allowed game contents..
I'm not sure how "scary themes" would influence the ESRB rating. There are escape games out there that involve monsters or the sudden appearance of ghosts. You know, haunted houses, etc.
I'm not talking about 'prank maze' extreme type of thing but I don't want my game to be disqualified because something disturbing happens suddenly once or twice.

Thank you :)

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cjquines Author Profile Page July 17, 2012 8:09 AM

Awww... Jay, thanks. What's your second favorite?

Also, I'm gonna judge. All the games. And then accidentally my save files. The whole thing.

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Just to check: I assume the fact I'm the UK isn't a barrier to entry?

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I have another question: Does the Pastel Games logo must be put (optionally) in the form of an intro or on the menu as a link?
Thank you

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Thanks, you may expect an email to come for approval.

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A couple more questions:

>> but your game must still function if played offline

I think maybe I'm reading too much into this because I'm not sure if it's possible to make a browser-based game that can be played completely offline... but if I load all my images, etc the first time you load up the page (online) and then store them locally so that next time you can be offline... that's OK, right?

>> Site-locking your game.

I can do this, but since I am using HTML5, it's hardly difficult to get all my source code and images and then remove my site-locking manually. Will this be an issue? Do I need to try harder to obfuscate the code?

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>> You don't have to do anything to support that in your game other than not including any scripts with blocking calls to a remote server.

I'm confused now. How could that be so? If I have an image in my game (and in a way, it's nothing but images), it would either need to be on a website somewhere ("local external content" which I assumed would be in a folder that I zipped and sent to you and was then hosted by you) or on the user's computer. I can put in minimal effort (or so I understand it) to make it so that it downloads the first into the second, but you still need to be online the first time for that to happen.

Or are the games in this competition supposed to be downloadable?

Thanks!

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Ah, I think I realized what you mean.

>> if I were to load up your game files in a browser on my computer that's not connected to the Internet

You are saying, I think, that IF you had the game files you could play them as such, however that won't be the case, and so it's OK for users to need an internet connection.

BUT that's going to be an issue for me. Until yesterday I was developing locally, but I keep running into issues and I had to switch to developing online. This is because I can't use the pixel detection functionality of the canvas locally:

http://blog.project-sierra.de/archives/1577

Particularly, "If you run this locally, you anyway will get this exception because, locally theres no domain, so [some browsers think] for sure: different Domains >> Panic!"

Thanks.

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Ah! If I can count on the user having a connection to the competition server, I'm happy. (As I said, I figured I was over-thinking it... but better to ask and be embarrassed than to discover the week or day before the deadline that I've been doing it wrong).

Thanks for your time & patience.

PS. A local webserver should work but should not be necessary. Thanks. :)

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torginus Author Profile Page July 30, 2012 5:50 AM

Hi!

We are a group of young aspiring game developers, looking to take part in your contest. After reading your announcement page, we still have a few questions, namely:

Is there a formal registration process, or do we only have to register at the time of submission?
Is there a size limit to the game?
Is it possible to test the game live on your website, before it gets released to the judges, to ensure it is working properly?
Can we update our game after submission, but before the compo deadline?
Can we submit bugfix patches after the deadline, should some ugly issue (like the game not working for a percentage of users) arise?

Thanks in advance :)

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Another questions :)

1. Should/could I put jayisgames logo somewhere in the game?
2. Would it be considered as breaking the rules if I posted a production screenshot or two via twitter?

Thanks!

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Hello Jay:

1) I'm thinking of reworking the sponsors with your site logo like scriptwelder but I can't seem to access the link you provided.

2)Is it okay if I use a similar game template to one of my other published games (it's actually my only published game so far :P).

Sorry for asking too many questions, might post some concept art on my deviantArt page :D

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Thank you, and yes, in a way it will be different from my other game.

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For those of us using art assets and code bases with Creative Commons 'Share Alike' clauses:

At what point can we release the source of our games?

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I'm thinking of my game world including a well of a red liquid that's never specifically referred to as blood, but is implied to be so. I hope this is fine for the ESRB Teen rating?

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1. I'm working on a game written in AS2 by the old Flash 8 tool and Armor Games Intro Animation (ag_intro_2011.fla) cannot be loaded or embedded (ag_intro_2011.swf) in it!!! What to do?

2. I'm not sure for others, but I lost all July because this competition is announced during summer vacations!

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Hello again,
I've sent you an email with custom sponsors logo for approval :)

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Hey Jay, I've sent a do-over of the sponsors, hope it's okay.

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Thank you :D

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I'm sorry Jay, but something has happened and I won't be able to make it D:

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Submitted!!

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Reposting a question from Twitter as requested :)
Putting an in-game link to a walkthrough www page - requied/forbidden/appreciated/don't care?

As I understood the answer is ok for the walkthroughs.

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Is AG Intro for Flash8 prepared?
How (or when) Mr. Skutnik can be contacted to provide a feedback for an entry?

Thanks for your answer.

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Clipartman Author Profile Page August 25, 2012 9:38 PM

I love these contests! Can't wait to see the entries!
For my entry I am working on an interactive Youtube game, like The Dark Room or Mad Men: The Game. Would this be an acceptable format for the contest or would this violate the "only one file" rule?

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Clipartman Author Profile Page August 25, 2012 10:03 PM

That's fine. Thanks a lot!

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Just a little suggestions on behalf of all Unity people: we cannot insert SWF animations into our games, so the only way to do that Armor Games intro is to make a sprite animation out of it (that is, export 224 png slides from the fla file). As a result of this, my whole game is 14 megabytes with sounds, music and all, and the intro is another 20, which is, as you can imagine, completely unreasonable. So for the future compos I'd like to suggest that you come up with unity a scene with this animation made within the Unity engine. Other that that, thank you for this opportunity. Looking forward to playing other people's games. Cheers.

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Hi Jay. You're missing one important point here, I think: I made a Flash game with Unity. Since that was the case, I decided to better be safe than sorry. Hope I'm not disqualified from the competition for the Armor Games' sponsored prizes :-)

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Thank you very much, I will send another version of the game in an hour or two. I assume that by "link" you mean that clicking on it leads to the sponsor's site.

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I was rushing with finishing the game when bad bugs attacked. Got most of them, but its likely there is stil some in the code... Just in case: Do I send bugfixed versions to the same @ ?

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Just thought I'd let you know, after all my questions and so on, I'm not going to be submitting a game. It's just not ready. Hopefully someday it will be, and be worthy of being reviewed by you guys... but not today.

:)

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Participating in the judging was very cool as it brought me closer to the gaming community. All the games were unique and some interpretations of the "escape" theme were completely unexpected and enlightening to my somewhat rigid view of escape games. All in all, a completely fun and interesting experience. Looking forward to many more. Thanks for letting me be a part. Kellmira

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