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  • 3rd PGD Challenge: At Your Command!

    Thank you all for taking an interest in the 3rd PGD Challenge! The third challenge's theme will be 'At Your Command!'. You goal will be to make a playable game or demo that features a singular or multiple characters that you cannot control directly, but instead must give orders or manipulate them in some way to perform required functions or tasks towards a or any goals that cause you to win the game. The specific design of the game will be totally up to you!

    We've created a new event forum for you to create a new thread to post your progress, if you choose to do so and to discuss the Challenge with other competitors. You can access that right here.

    Be sure to read the full rules listed below. Failure to follow these rules, could disqualify you from the challenge or cause you to perform poorly. Please read them carefully. If you have any questions please post them in this thread provided in the 3rd PGD Challenge event forum.

    Your submissions will then need to be uploaded to an FTP account before the end of challenge date at: September 15th. We will be posting your games, screenshots and videos after that.

    Good luck to everyone and have fun creating your entries!

    The Rules:

    Unlike a normal PGD Challenge, registration is not required. However it is highly encouraged to identify yourself with reference to your PGD profile or your own online presence so that people can contact you and give you feedback on your entry to the event. ALL teams, without exception, agree to our DISCLAIMER by participating and submitting their games to this event!

    A customary method of providing contact information is to include a simple readme file in your submission file. It should normally contain your name and contact information (email address) and a basic set of instructions on how to play your game. You can include any other information you deem fit with regards to your game as it will be visible to others who try your games after the challenge as well.

    PASCAL: All entries must be made using Pascal, Object Pascal, Objective-Pascal or any of the Pascal-based languages available. The most popular of these compiler and IDE tools are Delphi, Lazarus, Oxygene, Free Pascal and Smart Mobile Studio. All future use of the term Pascal within these rules are assumed to mean any of the Pascal or Pascal-derived language dialects.

    GENRE: Any! As long as your game matches the gameplay theme, you can work this theme into any kind of game genre of your choosing.

    PLATFORM: You can target any and all platforms you wish however it is highly encouraged to support as many of the three most popular desktop operating systems as you are able to do so. This is not a strict rule, just a suggestion to allow more people to be able to try your games.

    OPEN SOURCE: We are letting the participants choose to include source or not. This will allow the games created in this challenge and their engines to be used for commercial use by their authors afterwards. The option is yours, but you don't have to include it to take part in this challenge.

    SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: There aren't any! However if people can't run it, they can't enjoy it. So we highly encourage all participants to make as many ports as possible of your entry in your submission.

    BONUS POINTS: There are no bonus points in this challenge!

    FINAL SCORES: There is no scoring in this PGD Challenge event! This one is just for fun.

    PGD STAFF PICKS: Just for fun, and as a way for everyone to get to know our lovely PGD Staff that helps take care of the website, each Staff member of PGD will be asked to pick one entry that they liked the most and write a brief blurb about what they thought about it. These are by no means winners of any other sort than you simply won over someone with a specific set of taste in games. And maybe a wee bit more glory than the rest for getting picked out of the crowd.

    SUBMISSIONS: You must submit a working executable on or before the challenge deadline.

    Each submission will be either a single archive, compressed with a common format(Zip, RAR or GZip), that contains the executable and ALL other required game data and library files that are CLEANLY organized within OR a single installer that will both install and uninstall cleanly.

    Just because there aren't any judges, doesn't mean that it's not important to have a working and stable executable of course!

    SIZE LIMIT: Though we now have unlimited space, within reason, not everyones's time or bandwidth is unlimited. To help curb insane download times, there will be a limit to the size of your entries. Your entry may not be larger than 200MB or it will be disqualified.

    The above is a limit on your entry it's self not any included media uploaded to help us show off and/or promote your game on the showcase and in promotional videos.

    3RD PARTY LIBRARIES & API: 3rd party API and libraries are allowed based on availability of Pascal headers and your ability to utilize them with your tools. The core of your game's engine must still be Pascal.

    3RD PARTY GAME ENGINES: The only 3rd party game engines allowed to be used in your entries are those made from Pascal or Object Pascal sources. Translated from C/C++ to Pascal projects are acceptable. However a significant amount of content including all graphics, dialog, music and sound must be replaced with that of either your own making or that which you are legally allowed to use for your game's release.

    ie. The Quake2Delphi translated version of the engine is allowable. The original untranslated Freespace 2 engine is not.

    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: No entry can use any copyright or registered trademark of an intellectual property other than your own without given permission from it's originators. Games not conforming to this guideline will be disqualified and not eligible for prize winnings of any kind.

    SCREENSHOTS & VIDEO: Though not necessary, it would greatly help us updating the PGD Challenge showcase without your entires to have screenshots and a video of your game being played.

    Specifically a screenshot of your game's title screen or closest possible state and a couple in-game screenshots. A video file would also help us to promote both your entry and the event it's self in any promotional videos we do in the future.


    I(We) the party registering for this Challenge as an individual or as a team, agree to allow the current and any future 'PGD Challenge Committee' and PGD Community website organizers the ability to freely distribute any submitted games to the 3rd PGD Challenge Game Jam. This permission also includes the distribution of your final entries on the showcase website it self. They would only be used to promote PGD and it's community and not for commercial gain.

    MEDIA DEPICTION & USAGE: The 'PGD Challenge' organizers and PGD Community website staff have full rights to use my entered game for advertising purposes of any future PGD Challenge or other PGD community events.

    Challenge Goals:

    THEME: This challenge's theme is Indirect Protagonist Character Control. You or your team's goal is to make a game where you cannot directly control your protagonist(s). Gameplay can be anything as long as you do not directly control any of your protagonists' movement or actions. The idea is to only influence it/them and/or have it/them interpret your commands or queue tasks for them to perform as they understand it is important.

    There is a minimum of at least one indirectly controllable character, but you can have as many as you like. You cannot control them directly with say the d-pad for movement and other buttons for specific actions that are directly activated. Instead you must design a way for them to receive a command to do something or go somewhere and have them react to it and react to that information on their own. This can be done by queuing the character(s) or by manipulating the environment around it or them. There are many ways that this can be done and you can design the game to use as many of them as you would like.

    The game goals and objectives can be whatever you like. Your only limitations are not being able to directly control the actions of any character with the player's input hardware; keyboard, mouse, joystick, gamepad, touchscreen or accelerometer.

    QUEUEING: One method of indirect control of your character could be generating a queue that they will watch and perform commands from as you make them. How they are assigned, what commands and how they are executed are all up to your own design.

    AUTOMATION & AI: Another option could be to have all your characters have some level of automatic actions or reactions that they will perform which would allow you to influence them this way. This can be any level or form of simple or complex AI system you can think of for it/them. This could optionally be used in conjunction with some form of queueing as well.

    SIMULATION: It is possible to create some form of simulation; characters, the environment or some other higher construct like an economy of some kind that you can manipulate factors causing your protagonists within to react or behave a specific way. This may be another form of Automation if not just another way of looking at it.

    INTERACTIONS: Though you cannot control the protagonists directly it is obvious that you will require some form of interaction within the game world to make it playable in some form. As such interacting with the environment around the character by directly controlling objects or specific factors it highly possible solutions. This will depend on what you want to do in your game's design. Anything that engages the person playing the game is a great idea if executed well.

    Please note that creating a single character that you can directly control to directly manipulate a separate character that you call 'the protagonist' is not truly in the spirit of what the challenge is about and should be avoided. Instead try to come up with some indirect way of controlling your protagonists that has some form of abstraction or interpretation between your game controls and your protagonists in the game.

    START DATE: The Challenge starts right now; 15th of August, 2013. Start planning and coding today!

    END DATE: The Challenge ends at midnight of the 15th of September, 2013. This gives you just over 4 weeks to complete your entries and upload it to the FTP server.


    No scoring in this event!


    No judges in this event!

    FTP Server for Submissions:

    Upload your file including your name/team name and email address to contact you and ask questions to the following FTP server to make your submission for the Challenge. Failure to upload your entry and provide any identifying information will automatically disqualify you!

    Username: pgdchallenge03
    Password: ObjectPascal#1
    Server Address: ftp.pascalgamedevelopment.com
    Port: 21
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. User137's Avatar
      User137 -
      Nice theme, this should be interesting contest.
    1. Ñuño Martínez's Avatar
      Ñuño Martínez -
      I see great games in a near future...
    1. SilverWarior's Avatar
      SilverWarior -
      Finally a challenge suitable for me since most important part will be coding and not graphics in which I'm weak

      So definitly count me in even thou I will be quite limited with my time.

      Now which idea should I prusue? I already have a dozen of them
    1. paul_nicholls's Avatar
      paul_nicholls -
      Hmm...interesting, I wonder what I will come up with this time
    1. Cybermonkey's Avatar
      Cybermonkey -
      Sounds interesting but I still have no idea what I could do. What comes to my mind is Populous, Lemmings and SimCity ...
    1. SilverWarior's Avatar
      SilverWarior -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cybermonkey View Post
      Sounds interesting but I still have no idea what I could do. What comes to my mind is Populous, Lemmings and SimCity ...
      SimCity? Only if you pan on simulating the pepole and vehicles in it.

      But other than that any RTS game with units would fit into the rules since you are not controlling your units directly.
      I think you could even do RPG if you control your character indirectly by giving it commands like MoveTo, Pick this up, Attack this, etc.
      You could make a game with lots of bots to which you write a custom AI which takes care for their movment, etc.
      The current theme actually leaves to many options so I'm having trouble in deciding whoch one should I prusue.
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cybermonkey View Post
      Sounds interesting but I still have no idea what I could do. What comes to my mind is Populous, Lemmings and SimCity ...
      Well of course the easy way to solve this is to pick something that has already been done a lot and match it to the challenge, but why not try making something new? Multiple characters in a RTS or SimCity (or SimVillage?) simulation have their own genre following, but what about seeing what you can do with a smaller cast of characters too? Or... a single guy that you have to "push his buttons" to make him do what you need him to do to "win" a goal or pass a level.

      This is not to say that going with those choices concept is "bad", but pushing creativity should be encouraged. I know that my "pick" will probably go to the game that is the most creative in design, because I like it when people try something new and different.

      It's all up to you guys, I'm just trying to keep the idea of trying something new in the air.
    1. SilverWarior's Avatar
      SilverWarior -
      I got a few questions?

      Does the "protagonist" have to be visible in game? I
      dea of a game where you are controlling your whole kingdom from kings point of wiew. You are just isuing orders which are caried out by your units. These units aren't even rendered in the game as the king isn't able to see them when they are on the other side of the kingdom.

      Can I make a game where I as a captian controll the ship by simply isueing orders like (turn left, turn right, set heading to, hoist all sails, fire port cannons, etc.)?

      How much autonomy could my "protagonists" have? Can I make a game where my characters are compleetly autonomus (I don't even need to isue any commands)?
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Your questions hath been answered!

      Please note that I have opened a new thread for any and all questions you all may have about the theme and rules and such.

      BTW I'm glad that you guys seem to all like the theme. This one has been brewing in my brain-box for at leats a year or so now.
    1. Sascha Willems's Avatar
      Sascha Willems -
      Sounds interesting, and I even have an idea that fits the theme rather well. It's a pretty abstract kind of a "game". Though one month is a bit on the short side, especially since I don't actually have much time due to work assignements and such. But maybe I'll get something playable done
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      I completely forgot to make a poster so... Here it is!

      Right-Click to Save it!
    1. holmesshanea's Avatar
      holmesshanea -
      I'm in! I will attempt to make something using Smart Mobile Studio

    1. Sascha Willems's Avatar
      Sascha Willems -
      Ah, creativity is knocking at my dorr (something I've been missing lately with my main project). Just wrote the 1000th word of my design document and I'm thinking about extensive blogging on my homepage. Though I'm not sure wether I'll make it in time, but I already love the idea so much that I'll at least have to try

      Anyone else planning to blog about progess? If so, maybe we can aggregate the blogs somehwere.
    1. SilverWarior's Avatar
      SilverWarior -
      I will probably make a ne whread in 3rd Challenge section defining my idea more into detail and post some progress reports there. But I don't promise anything.
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Hows everyone's games coming along? Feel free to start a thread about your entry in the new forum created just for this event!

      Don't be too bashful about how it looks right now. Everyone's game looks incomplete at the beginning. It's actually really cool to see all the projects how they start and progress over time. And it helps others who are brand new see just how you are doing things.
    1. SilverWarior's Avatar
      SilverWarior -
      I must say "not good".
      Main problem is time.
      Another problem is that I'm probably overestimating my abilities. So this creates some fear of me failing again and thus lovers my interest to continue.

      But all is not lost!
      I might just go and try to make a different idea. The final decision on this will be made after I manage to implement a modified A* pathfinding algorithm.
      Since for both ideas I require a modified A* pathfinding algorithm where I could take into account athleast two parameters defining "weight" vale for traveling from one node to the other (relative distance, path safety).

      So since I'm reimplementing A* algorithm I was thinking of also adding heuristic support to it. While this is actually not needed for my first idea it would come verry handy for my second one.

      My second idea is to make a City traffic simulator where "protagonists" would be cars driving around the city and player would have the ability to manage traffic by:
      - building roads (extending roads with existing lanes)
      - extending crossings with "turn lanes"
      - equiping the crossings with "traffic lights" and setting the way how these "traffic lights" work (defining sequence)
      - defining traffic direction by setting traffic direction for each lane
      - defining speed limits for each lane
      - reserving lanes for only certaing groups of vehicles
      - maybe even adding pedestrian lanes (would double the needed time and work)
      Cars would chose their route based on several parameters (hence multiparameter implementation of A*) like road section lenght, average speed for that section during previous day, type of road, etc.
      Also for this idea I would use heuristic pathfinding where:
      - on first heuristic level I would search posible paths between different road crossings
      - on second heuristic level I would be doing pathfinding inside each road section (road between two road crossings) so cars would be able to change lanes and thus overtake stoped cars for instance (cars can break).
      I would naturally have to implement some basic traffic rules defining which car can go through crossing first.
      I would like to limit the field of view for cars to simulate one driver missing up another car. Combining this with simulating athleast basic vehicle physics (acceleration and deceleration) so it would be posible for two cars to actually crash one into another.

      I belive this idea might offer more enjoyment to potential players as my first idea would be only suitable for "hardcore" simulation lovers.
    1. Sascha Willems's Avatar
      Sascha Willems -
      Considering that I've got tons of stuff to do at work (making it hard to motivate myself to do some coding after work), and that my spare time is restricted in general I must say that I'm coming along pretty nice.

      Main reason for that is that I keep it (very) simple in terms of coding. Actually it's all pretty basic OpenGL stuff, and since most of the stuff I'm using (textures, shaders, sound, etc.) is implemented using my own manager classes that have proven themselves in my other projects, I can mostly concentrate on the art and design part of the game. And that's a lot of fun, so much that (including work) I spend up to 16 hours a day in front of Delphi

      Combine this with the fact that I'm so anxious to get this out into the public due to the interesting (abstract) theme and you get pretty good progress for just these few days. And it also helps a lot that creativity is flowing. I just had a great idea for the setting of my title, quickly drew a mockup at work, made it into a photoshop draft and just put it into the game (took me about 3 hours). More on this in the project's thread soon!

      So well, I get along pretty well, though I can't tell if that'll count for the remaining parts of the game
    1. Ñuño Martínez's Avatar
      Ñuño Martínez -
      Unfortunately I haven't so much time as I thought . Anyway I'll try something in the late 15 days or so.
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Just a heads up to anyone who may want to try the FTP early to make sure they can get on it. The FTP is now up!

      Small change to the FTP information:

      Username: pgdchallenge03
      Password: ObjectPascal#1
      Server Address: ftp.pascalgamedevelopment.com
      Port: 21

      The rules above have been changed to reflect this slight alteration.

      If you are having trouble accessing the FTP at any time, please let me know and I can help you out.

      REMINDER: All entries to the 3rd PGD Challenge are due on the 15th of September
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Final day folks! Work hard and try to get your game ready to submit up to the FTP before the deadline.

      ...and remember, if you can log onto the FTP you can still upload something so go for it.