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AthenaOfDelphi
27-01-2010, 09:25 AM
Hi all,

With the conclusion of the PGD Annual 2009, I requested feedback about the competition. There were an awful lot of 'did not finish's this year, so we (the admins) would like to try and find out what we can do differently to improve matters.

Different timing... themed or no theme... stages or no stages... anything you think that might help the situation.

So far I've had only a couple of responses and I'd like more. Without feedback, we'll be forced to just change a few things and hope for the best.. hardly an ideal situation when we're trying to promote Pascal and what we can do with it.

So come on guys (and gals), lets hear it... what can we do to make the competition more appealing?

chronozphere
27-01-2010, 12:39 PM
An idea might be to start a bit earlier with the compo. Most of us have summer holidays I guess, so If we start in May, most of the development time will be during the summer. :)

On the other hand, I'm a student and I have a 8-10 week holiday, whereas most of you guys have jobs and have a 1-2 week holiday. ???

I like having a theme of some kind. It's good that the entries have "something" in common. It makes them easier to compare for the judges and people will be inspired by eachothers approaches to the theme. :)

The biggest problem is that people don't seem to have much time. A possible sollution would be to organize a small scale competition. We could all make a small game within a month and submit that. The goal is to create many small games with simple graphics and simple but clever gameplay, instead of just a few big games that require high-performance PC's to run. :)

One thing I learned during this compo, is that it's better to start small and add stuff later, than start big and having to leave things out. Maybe we could turn this idea into a plan for the next compo.

We could also try something different:

A few people write a server program that hosts some kind of game. All competitors write clients that communicate with this server. These cliens are actually players that fight eachother. We could organize a championship between these "bots" and see who wins.
The advantage here, is that everyone can focus on one thing (intelligence) instead of graphics, sound, gameplay etc.. which all require much time.

Just some idea's. ;)

paul_nicholls
28-01-2010, 09:51 AM
LOL the problem with summer holidays, is which summer do you use? southern hemisphere or northern hemisphere? :)

I can't see us being able to please everyone with the timing of the competitions...

I work full time so I put in whatever time I can when I can :)

I have some suggestions:

1. a bunch of smaller separate competitions perhaps? Maybe some smaller compos with separate themes to make an overall competition.
2. we decide on a theme, and then we get all the competitors to make sprites for it. Then everyone uses these sprites to do a game.
3. we get everyone to make some random sprites, and THEN pick a theme/game type to create using them.
4. do as chronozphere suggested - make a fighting game server, and everyone has to make bots or similar to fight in it.

cheers,
Paul

NecroDOME
29-01-2010, 08:40 AM
What Chrono said about a fight-server: I did a similar thing like bot match with tanks. There is an arena present with tanks. You are assigned to one tank. That tank provides you info over the battlefield with a "radar". Radar can detect other tanks. The input for the tank was forward, backward, left, right and shoot. You only have to write the AI.
I can say: DO IT! It's very fun :).

I second Paul that you (or everyone) could provide graphics/sound. Goal is you MUST use 80% of them and make a game of choice out of it. This way you don't have to take care about the graphics/sound and could boost development time and have shorter cycles.

Next time I also would like that every judge has a mindset of the compo theme and not like "it's just another PC game". With this compo there where some comments like there is no option menu in-game (DUH, it's an arcade machine) and which button to press to insert a coin (does an arcade machine have that??). It's just a tip for the judges.
Be aware: I'm not referring to the graphics in this part.

Edit: about graphics - you can do a small compo who can make the best procedural generated tree or something...

jdarling
29-01-2010, 04:02 PM
Personally, I was on track and good to go until real life took a turn for the crapper. Nothing like kids, work, and responsibility getting in the way of a good time. Then again, I've never managed to get my entry fully complete, but hey that's the way it goes.

I still think that a starter kit is a necessity, granted it may not be required by all, but each of us has our own weaknesses. Include basic engine code, graphics, sounds, etc that are already out there (or make up some custom ones) and at least its a starting point. May people get hung up on one thing or another (graphics, physics, display, sound, etc) so providing a basic template to work from gives them a hand. If they don't need it, they don't have to use it.

Also, I like the cRobots type idea. There used to be a project similar to this written with GLScene (DRobots LOL) and lots of us played with the AI concept. I don't think its a great "replacement" for the game compo, but its a great thing to keep up and running year round. Quick and dirties can be ran against it easily enough.

Having a way that we the community (at least trusted memebers) can create and run mico-competitions would also be a good thing. This would let members setup and run competitions appropriate to their location in the world. Maybe have a twice or once a year compo based on the "best of the best" where winners from these micro-coimpetitions are teamed up with newer or lower ranked people to build an entry. Just a though.

Any way you look at it, I'm ready for 2010's competition and can't wait to at least give it my best.

- Jeremy

paul_nicholls
29-01-2010, 07:52 PM
Hi all,
as jdarling said, perhaps some sort of beginning frame-work that people could use for their projects.

How about THIS idea:

1) we decide on a theme, let's say, jump-n-run platform games, or maybe side scroller shoot-em up.

2) Then 1 or more people create the basic frame-work for the theme so people can start making their own game.

3) people then start using this frame-work and add to it to actually do there game :)

cheers,
Paul

NecroDOME
29-01-2010, 08:58 PM
@paul: I would select an existing one (like asphyire (or how its called today)) or something, make a little start in to draw the player for example and let ppl work that out.
(i think we need a new thread for this :P)

dazappa
29-01-2010, 11:52 PM
I've emailed my feedback quite a while ago ;)



Hi all,
as jdarling said, perhaps some sort of beginning frame-work that people could use for their projects.

How about THIS idea:

1) we decide on a theme, let's say, jump-n-run platform games, or maybe side scroller shoot-em up.

2) Then 1 or more people create the basic frame-work for the theme so people can start making their own game.

3) people then start using this frame-work and add to it to actually do there game :)

cheers,
Paul

As interesting as this sounds, I think that this one would work better as a non-prize-based competition.

paul_nicholls
30-01-2010, 12:47 AM
@paul: I would select an existing one (like asphyire (or how its called today)) or something, make a little start in to draw the player for example and let ppl work that out.
(i think we need a new thread for this :P)


Oh, sorry I wasn't clear on what I mean by frame-work :)

I meant that someone makes a platform game frame-work, scrolling shoot-em-up frame work, etc. which can use asphyre or any suitable generic graphics/sound/etc. frame-work under the hood.

This means someone else can create their own platform game, scrolling shoot-em game, etc. with a lot less hassle ;)

cheers,
Paul

Stoney
30-01-2010, 01:16 AM
I also e-mailed my feedback a while back. ;)

I like the idea of having a basic framework for those who want to use it. That would be great for people who are not so experienced in Pascal or don't want to start from scratch. But that there should also be a tutorial on how to use this framework.

A general-based theme like "Time", "Minimalistic", "One-Button Game", "Lights", "Electronic", etc. would be better than a genre-based competition.

Even though programming an AI is fun, I don't think it would fit for a game competition. Personally I like the whole process of game developement, designing, creating graphics, coding, generating sounds and putting all those little things together. :)

Ñuño Martínez
01-02-2010, 12:56 PM
Personally, we didn't finished our entry because I was using a very buggy version of Allegro.pas, so I was testing and fixing bugs at same time. If the competition starts today, may be I can finish it because current version is much more stable. 8)

About a smaller separate competition, the Allegro community has two 72 hours competitions, starting Friday and finishing Monday. They're Speedhack (http://www.speedhack.allegro.cc/) and TINS (http://amarillion.bafsoft.net/tins08/index.php).