Monthly Game Competition - What do you think?

What does everyone think about a monthly game-making competition for Codea?

Here’s what I have in mind:

  • The second weekend of each month we announce a theme (e.g., Fire, Justice, Greed, Insects, Cute, Dictionary)
  • You get two or three days to create and submit a game based on the theme
  • There might be some limitations, such as no custom sprite packs (until we have proper support in the app - mainly due to difficulty importing)
  • Judges play them and at the end of the month announce a winner

Should there be prizes? If so, what would you suggest.

Should we suggest a set of themes at the start of the month and decide by voting?

How should we display the entries? We could host an iPad-friendly page with the submissions, each with a nice big icon chosen by the author to represent their game.

How should we announce the winner? A video?

Would you participate in something like this? Let me know what you think.

I would say you shouldn’t be able to do anything not in the stock Codea - no hackery outside of the program (and for some of us, no using beta features that aren’t released yet to the world!)

I think it sounds fun. I think the themes should be a surprise, or we might see some campaigning for something someone is already working on.

I might go from “game” to “demo” - which might be a game, or might be something else. Love2d had a contest a while back for “best explosion” - it had to be under 4k. Inspired a lot of creativity. With “best game”, how do you decide between, say, the Pacman clone (which is DANG impressive - in large part because of how faithful it is), and a game that’s totally original, but not as ‘good’ as pacman? Judge based on creativity, good use of Codea features, and “bang for the buck”.

I don’t know that I would participate by programming… it depends very much on my real-world schedule. But you can bet it would cause discussion, and I’d be deep in it :slight_smile: I think it’s a fine idea.

Posterous is pretty good - but you should consider something similar but “official”, in that people could post to twolivesleft, and it would go up for download (after moderation). That would be good not just for contest winners (and runners up), but for common libraries we want to share. If the submission is really good, you might include it as an example with future versions of Codea! (You’d want to judge on both the results, and the code - is it well formed? Well commented? Does it use best practice, and is it an example of the “right way” to do things? or maybe is it just really clever?)

Prize? I’d be happy with recognition, really - there’s a ton of geek cred having your name up somewhere as “January 2012 Codea game competion winner”, with a screenie and so on. Maybe a $25 apple gift card? It doesn’t need to be a lot - again, the recognition as being awesome is reward enough IMHO.

Oh yeah - i like the idea.

The only thing for me is… Hah Ive got no chances to win - i started programming 1 month ago - but competition is always a good motivation. Im 14 and I was working on one game for 3 weeks (alltrough its still mess), so “a weekend” is the time i write the setup function :wink: no, seriously, such contests would be great! I could Post my Game and somebody Rates it - a Dream :slight_smile:

And @Bortels : i would prefer a directly codea-forum-code-share-function to. Very good idea!

Sounds like a great idea!

I can imagine two categories: game and not game (cool demo). And also imagine the good folk at TouchArcade getting involved.

Limits are almost as interesting as themes (size, time, code length, use of particular functions?)

@Maxiking - don’t sell yourself short. Give it a month or so of messing with it, and reading other people’s code, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do. It gets much, much easier after you get some coding under your belt, and the really hard part about this sort of thing is getting ideas. I can write code mighty fast - but the creativity aspect of things is the really hard part!

Yes, this sounds really like a good idea. I wonder if I would even be able to create a game (I am missing tons of details in good coding and basic game skills), but I see it more as a means to see what tricks you can apply within Codea.

@Maxiking16, you might not be the only one who worries … I see this as a very good opportunity to share best practise examples so that people like me can study them and learn.

@Blanchot: I fully agree with you, lets make two parts: game and not game (tools, libraries, support utils for games like a clever touch, math problems, graphic routines, artists work)… The amazing thing with Codea is that it simply makes a full computer out of the iPad now, with possibilities I have always wished.

One thing would be good (bad for the judges, maybe :wink: ): if the judges could give hints how to improve the code, or what was completely crap … This is addition will improve the skills of us and so we might have a chance to make it better next time.

I made a little game, using built-in resources (you fly thru space, dodging asteroids) in about an hour while in a hospital waiting room. It’s very possible to make something pretty cool in a couple of days. I never did clean it up and share it (I was going to do a video podcast, where I redo it from scratch, in realtime, but got nutty busy…)

Could be that I am thinking too complicated …

The real issue I’ve seen is that people expect a static screen, and a run thru “recipe” type program (like you’d do in BASIC in the olden days) to work. Codea is on the newer, modern “processing” model - you have a setup routine, and a draw routine, and the draw routine is expected to repaint the screen each go-around. This is awesome for things like animation - but it means the old ways of doing things don’t work the same.

The new context stuff coming down the pipeline may help - it will let you draw to an image, just like you do to the screen - but you don’t need to refresh the image, so your draw() loop can simply plop the image on the screen, and you can go from there. That’s a little confusing, I know - I am going to try to make a demo of doing that.

If you think of your program as drawing successive frames of a film, it makes more sense. What happens each tick? things get moved (if you’re using sprites), then you draw them in their new location.

What I really need is a good way to show the ipad and make a movie of using it. Fraps, but for the ipad. I honestly think if you can see it done, it’s easier than having it described.

An AirPlay recorder would be sweet.

@Bortels: I agree, and I must admit that you cought me. I grow up with those old languages (yes, I am an old fart …) and wonder every day what you can do with Codea. It’s puzzling, indeed, but fascinating the same time. Your comparison towards a movie is a good one I think. As it is in a good game, or in displaying funny chemical things like in the examples of Andrew ( cubes, chairs,…). And although it might sound strange, but this app can be used also for simple number crunching purposes, which makes it pretty unique in my opinion.

Yep - and compared to the old 8-bit platforms, it’s blindingly fast. So some things that would never have worked before (“redraw every frame? you’re nuts!”) are now very feasible.

Great! It sounds like there’s some interest.

Don’t worry too much if you’re new at programming. Technical skill will count, but the real value would come from your creative interpretation of the theme. For example, if the theme was something abstract like “isolation,” there are an infinite number of games that match that theme. The main measure of the submissions would be in how interesting the interpretation of the theme is.

Another important part to get right is how “readable” your submission is - can a judge approach your game and understand what you’re trying to say? Some of that will come down to technical skill, and some of that will come down to how you choose to implement your idea.

I’m giving thought to demos. The reason I say games is because they are a goal-directed experience. A judge can follow that experience to reach a goal and be left with an impression. A demo is harder to interpret since there is no system. We wouldn’t exclude demos, but having direction and a goal would be important.

Prizes: something like a gift card sounds good. Given that there are people from all over the world, what is the best way for us to do this? Are we able to just “gift” into someone’s iTunes account, or is it more complicated?

@Bortels : at the moment im just trying to make my game look good, programming gets better every day. Alltrough my Code is like - mh - its complicate because i didnt put classes in yet :confused:

@Simeon - and how much Time have er got to programm?

Because of the giftcards - this is gonna be more complicated. I think you have zo know all data of the account you want the gift to arrive…

The competition (actual programming and submission) would take place over two or three days. It’s not about complexity so much as it is about your interpretation and execution of a simple idea.

Yeah gift cards are just a thought at the moment, until we know how easy or hard it will be to arrange.

Ok that sounds great :slight_smile:

Or the price is to be able to give codea as a present to somebody :slight_smile:

You could, in theory, simply fed-ex a gift card. At 20ish dollars, it’s not a big risk. I have no idea if they work internationally.

But again - I would participate (schedule permitting) for bragging rights!

I love the idea of such abstract themes as “isolation” or “greed”.

for “greed”, I’d so have to do a Smash TV remake.