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And the winner is... №5

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Game Design Competition #5Gimme5gamesMochi Media

JayI think we can all agree that the Casual Gameplay Design Competitions have produced many uniquely creative, highly enjoyable and fascinating Flash games the world has ever seen. Each time we have sent out a call for entries we have been rewarded, humbled even, by the creative brilliance and selfless generosity of so many talented indie Flash game designers from around the world, eager to participate and share their creations with you. This time was no different.

The Last CanopyOur 5th competition today comes to a close and we are here to honor all of the games that were entered, as well as award a few prizes, too. The "upgrade" theme was not an easy challenge, and several game designers rose to the occasion and delivered some of the most compelling and promising games we've seen in a CGDC yet.

As before, though, choosing a small group of entries to represent the best of those submitted is not an easy task. We wish we could reward everyone who submits an entry, but for every competition there must be a winner.

Fortunately we have even more prizes(!) this time than ever before, and we have our kind and generous sponsors to thank for giving us this opportunity: Gimme5games for taking the helm as lead sponsor (Thanks Matt!); Mochi Media (Thanks Jameson, Ada, and Bob!); and Adobe (Thanks Simon, Jennifer, Kristan, and Michelle!); and to Sean Hawkes for designing the CGDC5 graphics. It is due to the efforts of all these people that we have the following prizes to award, so please show them all your kind support as well.

We would also like to thank everyone who voted by contributing to the Audience Award. The success of these competitions hinges on your continued participation, not only in the comments with your feedback and constructive criticisms, but also with your kind donations to the designers and developers for the fantastic experiences they provide us with each time. Thank you kindly for your unwavering support!

And now, to the people who have made this competition very special: the designers, developers, magicians and architects of the prize winning entries. The panel of 7 reviewer-judges—zxo, JohnB, Psychotronic, FunnyMan, Scramble125, Kero, and myself—scored the top three games higher by a healthy margin. The rest of the field was very close:

  • First Place
    ($3,500 + Adobe Flash CS3):
  • Second Place
    ($1,750 + Adobe Flash CS3):
  • Third Place
    ($1,000 + Adobe Flash CS3):
    • Gride by ooPixel (Jussi Kari, Marko Taali)
  • Best Use of Theme
  • Viral Award (most game views)
  • Audience Prize

With 23.44% of the popular vote, The Last Canopy proved to be the favorite among the JIG community as well. Easy Only! Games will be awarded the Audience prize of $500 to go with the donations the game received, for a total of $580.88!!

For full disclosure, I have made available a spreadsheet listing all proceeds received and how they were distributed based on the voting. Note: Since voting was a bit lighter this time, we are making sure everyone receives at least $25.00 for their entry. We will be in touch with each game designer to arrange for the transfer of all respective voting donations. Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to everyone who voted.

Most of all, 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. To show our appreciation, we will be featuring a review for each of the competition finalists, complete with our own feedback and constructive criticisms, in the days and weeks ahead.

Following is a list of the top 10 games by score:
  1. The Last Canopy
  2. Super Energy Apocalypse
  3. Gride
  4. dRive
  5. M.I.L.O.
  6. Pieces
  7. BFD (Bovine Flatulent Defense)
  8. Neo Tower Defense
  9. gearUP!
  10. doggnation


Congratulations to all the winners!

This is totally not just to get the first comment.


Congratulations to all the winners!
The Last Canopy was my favorite so a special cheer for them!
Looking forward to the individual reviews as well.


I don't know why my comments always come through twice when I only click post once? This has been happening all the time. I do wait until the page is entirely finished loading to comment, but still, I click post and I get a Movable Type error. Then if I go back to the page, the comment is there twice.


Yay... congratulations to everyone...

ThemePark April 7, 2008 6:33 AM

I was afraid that I would wake up today and find this. :-(

I had planned to donate some money for some of my favourite games, but I figured we would get a warning, i.e. a post, like one day before the Audience Award voting would seize. If I recall correctly we have in some of the other contests. Oh well, judging from the winners, my contributions would have changed nothing in the final result.

Congratulations to all the winners. And he he, Wan wins again. :-D


Oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god...

I couldn't sleep well last night (nervous!), and refreshed the main page for 3 hours since the voting was closed. I gave up and went out to do stuff, then Dzaid texted me the great news :D I giggled like a schoolgirl in some government office!

I'm so touched, I'm shedding (manly) tears now!

Thanks so much, Jay and team, for giving a game design noob like myself the opportunity to showcase my talent! As usual, you are a big driving force in the indie game community. I'm so glad that you think highly of the game, and I can't thank the seven of you enough. Look forward to another thank you pic ;)

And thanks so much to all you players :) Without you, there is no game. Special thanks to joye for the support, and the great suggestion of having a huge number of lives, which enabled more casual gamers to play :D

Also, a thank-you shoutout to Boston Gamer for being a fan of Ballistic Wars and The Last Canopy :)

Of course, super duper thanks to those who voted for The Last Canopy! :) Your donations shall be invested in future EOG games, including a puzzle and driving game in the pipeline!

Finally, big congrats to Lars, Jkari, Marko and Soybean. Your games were all great. In fact, I voted for Gride, because it was such a simple and awesome game :) Really great job, ooPixel!

Phew, for someone so speechless, I sure talked a lot.

Aidi, Dzaid - this is our win \^o^/ Thanks guys.


Oh btw, the sentence structure was confusing. I meant I was in some government office when I giggled like a schoolgirl :)

Charles April 7, 2008 8:25 AM

Congratulations to the winners, and massive props to Jay and the JIG team for running such a terrific contest, and for showing the rest of us what a class act looks like.

Boston Gamer April 7, 2008 10:52 AM

A well-deserved congratulations to Wan Hazmer for The Last Canopy, and to all the other winners as well! I can't wait to see what Hazmer comes up with next.

I was a little nervous for Hazmer, since it's never seemd to me that Shooters or Puzzles are as popular as Point & Click or Simulation games in the JIG community, so I'm glad it worked out.


Despite its rocky beginning, I thought this was a GREAT competition. I'm glad to see that the one truly original game, dRive, came in 4th. Woo hoo!

Many congratulations to the winners! Jay, kudos once again!


Congrats game devs. You make the web an interesting place to visit and explore in game development :).



First of all, congratulations to all winners, especially Easy Only! Games, Aidi & Dzaid, who in my opinion dominated the competition and deserved to win it.

Will there be a spreadsheet or page with the viral award results, showing which games were played the most, and how many times? Being the stats junkie I am :-)

The Chris April 7, 2008 11:40 AM

What a wonderful batch of games! Congrats to all! Especially us players!


Um... holy crap! 2nd place! Thanks so much guys!

Also, how many hits did Gride get total? 1 Million MORE than the next one? That is a LOT, man. I only barely cracked 200,000 TOTAL. Congrats, guys. That is QUITE a feat.

Would it be cool to see a spreadsheet on total hits of each game? I'd like to compare viral marketing techniques with the other competitors...


Well, it looks like I won't be moving on to AS3 quite yet then. :p

Congrats to the winners. I'm amazed at how many views Gride managed to get - I know from my own experience with dRive that promoting a game effectively is not an easy task. If it helps anyone, I just finished writing an article on Promoting Your Game - Lessons Learned.

Even though I'm disappointed not to have placed in the top three, I must admit that participating in this contest has been a very valuable experience for me. I learned a lot about effective code organization, game design, playtesting, in-game ads, promotion, and in general what a successful Flash game should look like. I am much more confident now in my ability to consistently develop and bring to market a solid Flash game. So that's great.

And my grades last quarter hardly suffered at all considering all the time I spent on this extracurricular endeavor. :D


Alas! I didn't win!

Heh. Congrats to the winners. I was fighting for innovation and grandeur with my game (MECI), but that wasn't all this was about, and those who won were well deserved.

An excellent contest, and I wish I had found out about it earlier and had time to prepare a more complete game.

Hurrah for all who submitted and finished a game on time, it isn't easy.

Can't wait for another competition!



Yes, congratulations to the winners, and all those that submitted.

Man, I thought 20,000 plays (for Tricked Out Trailer) was a lot. I've got so much to learn.



I have a confession to make. My game, "The Desert Obelisk", was the first game I ever made in Flash. Actually, it was the first thing I ever realised from start to finish in Flash. ...Actually, it's the first game I've ever made. Ever.
I have to say, I've been honestly and completely surprised just how well it's done. Even getting into the twenty one finalists was a shock.

I know I didn't get into the top ten, but hey, I made it into the finalists, and for a first-time project, I think that's pretty good myself.

I've got plans underway for better, bigger things, which or may or may not be coming soon. I've got major exams coming up soon, so it's not likely I'll be coming up with that much in the near future. After that, though...

Well, we'll see, shall we? Thanks to the staff here at Casual Gameplay for being so great, and hosting the competition, and for providing the best web game blog I've ever known.
Thanks also to everyone here for your comments, constructive criticism and votes! A game developer is nothing without an audience to enjoy what they've made, after all.

Thanks all,



Well I would have voted for it of course,but I'm a cheap person.


Oh, I forgot to add this: Everyone else in the competition? Awesome games. All of you. Top ten or not. Keep up the good work, too. :D


soybean April 7, 2008 8:46 PM

Woa.. i never expected to get "Best Use of Theme", or even win anything.. Thanks guys, I'm honored ^^.

Congrats to all the contestants, especially the winners (Easy Only! Games, Lars A. Doucet, and Jussi Kari & Marko Taali)!


Congratulations to all the winners! Will reviews of each individual game would be following? I'd love to hear what you guys thought about my game, and about every other game submitted.

armouredtrunks April 7, 2008 11:29 PM

Congratz to all the winners! Thanks for the great hours of game play that you have given to me. Especially to Soybean who's game I have been playing non-stop since it came out. I look for forward to what you put out next. As well as all the developers.


Grats to not just the winners or the finalists but everyone who entered a game into the competition. It's defintely not an easy thing to do! You guys help make JIG what it is today and for that, I thank you :)

Kunal Joshi April 8, 2008 5:22 AM

Congratulations to all the contestants, esp. the winners.

Easy Only! Games - Hats off to you guys. First Ballistic Wars, and now the Last Canopy - that is quite a track record. Penny Arcade said this about Ballistic Wars, and I think that shows the kind of quality your games have.

Great job from the jayisgames team. I think the biggest lesson I took from this competition was how much work is involved in making a game. Having the competition as a goal ensured that I was able to go from a simple prototype to a finished game, rather than leave things hanging midway. Can't wait for the next one


Congrats to the winners!

I would love to see the mochibot statistics on these too, if that's possible :)


Wow, this is simply great. We did it 3rd and won viral award with HUGE number of hits. This was the first time we had time to participate and this really is encouraging. Let's see what we will push out next :-)

Thanks to JIG team for having these awesome competitions to let us show our talents. Special thanks to Jay for giving his helpful hand when I was implementing Jayisgames button for haXe. And of course huge thanks to everyone playing competition entries - without you we developers are nothing. Thanks to all other game developers as well - you gave us a real challenge. Congratulations to all other winners - your games were truly brilliant. Actually, I think there were no bad entries at all!

I wish we can see these competitions continue. And that we can participate next time as well.

Btw, we are still getting almost 100k views/day, now that's something ;-)

Thank you all once again!

- Jussi Kari, ooPixel


hurrah! i like it when my choice wins


Ah, poor M.I.L.O. :(
I still loved you!!


Hey Andy, M.I.L.O. loves you, too! :)

I know this because he never stops talking. The mocap sessions were ridiculous.


Congratulations to the winners, and good job to everyone who entered! There were a lot of great games in this contest.

Thanks to everyone who voted for MILO! We really appreciate your feedback.

We also appreciate those of you who voted, no matter who you voted for. Jay's contests are a great way for indie developers to put their stuff out there and you guys are supporting that.

As a token of thanks, if you email me (will at studiocypher), I'll send you a fun MILO wallpaper! And no, you didn't have to vote for MILO to get it. :)


Wow, I am most impressed by how jkari grabbed 47% of the views, almost more than all the other games combined. I'm sure it's since passed the 50% mark.

That reminded me to check back on this experiment http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2007/10/28/experiment-monetizing-a-flash-game/


As another MILO fan, I'm disappointed at the outcome. For one thing, it was one of the few well-coded games that worked flawlessly for me from day one. Furthermore, it was the only game that provided depth of character and an interesting storyline thanks to the clever metagame.

Other often-overlooked aspects like neat graphics and a sense of humor, were also stellar in MILO. In my opinion, the upgrades were great as well.

I expected such an original and polished game to be among the winners, but alas, originality was in short supply and even shorter demand in this competition. :/



Many people, myself included, had trouble with the "invisible wall bug" in MILO until an update was released. It made the game almost unplayable.

That said, I really enjoyed the game too, and it was one of the games to receive an Audience Award vote from me.

linderella April 10, 2008 6:28 PM

ummm can someone help me on Pieces?

I dont know what to do after i learn how to jump FARTHER NOT HIGHER!! like ive been to that tiki taki whatever place but i dont know what to do now....


Zxo: yes, I saw in the comments that initially quite a few people had problems with the invisible wall and the directional controls in MILO. At that time I didn't think that it's the game's issue though, since it seemed to work well for just about as many people, even before the updated version was released.

Reminds me of the guy who thought that there is a problem with the competition interface, and it turned out that he was running a beta version of Firefox. ;-)

But I'm glad to see that you could enjoy the game regardless of those issues. :-) Apparently, many JiG players felt the same way, since MILO was the only game that scored double-digits in the Audience votes. It grabbed an impressive ~12 percent of the audience vote, making it second only to The Last Canopy.

All the more strange that it was relegated from second to fifth place, but I hope that an upcoming review will shed some light on that. :-)

On a happier note, I'm glad to see that the hard work them guys put into MILO got the recognition it deserves: the game received two awards at PlayExpo 2008 (Best Game for Programming and Best Interactive Narrative)! Congratulations! :-)


I forgot to complete a sentence above:

MILO was the only game that scored double-digits in the Audience votes

...besides the 1st-place winner "The Last Canopy", of course.

In good company there, I should say. ;-)


I think what The last Canopy was REALLY GOOD!!!!! This is also my first comment!


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