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Old 01-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #41
mordekai
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Our game also is certainly unpolished. Fusion by far-and-away takes the cake for most-complete game (from what I've seen of the game play video of it -- just my 2 cents).

I also forgot to mention, 'D' is jump & 'F' is fire in Scribble Wars.
And we discovered (and fixed thanks to Moldy_Tomato) a sound bug on Vista, to get sound working on Vista you have to install OpenAL here.

Last edited by mordekai : 02-07-2009 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #42
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I will say that my entry is a little unfair in that what I submitted was "complete" prior to even the start of the contest and I just wanted some feedback.

I probably spent about 3 months on it, but that was during the summer while working and not during school so I had a lot more time than I do and I'm sure others have now.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:42 PM   #43
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Sorry all my judging will be delayed until Monday evening at the earliest. I have got a chance to quickly touch on each game but not enough to go into detail. Once again sorry for the delay.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:08 PM   #44
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My judgment is pretty much made but I'm going to review it so as to ensure that the most constructive criticism possible is given. Anyway, I'm intrigued to see how each judge marks things.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:51 PM   #45
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Great entries everyone! We will be compiling our comments and sending them to each of you, as well as posting the winner here, in the next few days.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:57 AM   #46
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Default GPC2 Results: FUSION

These are the results for Fusion by dzeligman

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcclure
Total grade: 33/40 (82.5%)

Fusion is a well polished and enjoyable top down shooter. The game relies on certain standard elements within the top down shooter genre but adds a novel touch with the use of the ammunition which the player collects from vanquished enemies – I presume this is the source of the title.

Originality 2/5

Fusion's ammunition system, which consists of collecting various coloured orbs that defeated enemies drop in order to power various secondary weapons that each use a combination of two of the three available colours, is certainly original. However, Fusion does not score particularly highly in this category as prior to judging I had decided that the two most common settings for scrolling games, a space setting and a World War 2 setting, would each receive no points for originality; this may seem unfair but when compared to the scenarios seen in some older games, a good example being Apidya, these scenarios do seem a little tired.

Graphics 4/5

Fusion's graphics have a highly polished appearance and are perfectly suited to their task. A little more originality in terms of style and design might have been a nice touch but there is certainly nothing which can be faulted. A few more bombastic effects might also have been a nice touch given the game's genre. All in all, the artists have done a sterling job.

Reliability 5/5

I had absolutely no problems downloading, installing or running Fusion and I think anyone who can operate a computer could set it up and play it as much as they wanted without any problems.

Audio 4/5

The game's audio fits well with the game play. The soundscape is fairly sparse but works nicely with the game's space based setting. As with the graphics, the only real criticism is that the sound effects could be amped up slightly to create a more exciting feel to the game.

Interface 4/5

Fusion's interface works perfectly well for the type of game it is. It would perhaps be a good idea to detail the game's controls on either the main menu or a loading screen. The on screen weapon selection indicator works in reverse order to the keys used to select weapons, which is a little bit strange. Also, it might be a nice idea to implement keys to cycle the weapons backwards and forwards as opposed to having to pick each one separately. The Q and E keys spring to mind.

Performance 5/5

Fusion ran perfectly and, given as this was the most complex of the three games, the fact it ran smoothly and was responsive without any moments of slow down noticeable means it has been awarded full marks.

Gameplay 4/5

The team behind Fusion has really pulled off this genre well. The game is enjoyable to play and control and features some interesting enemy attack patterns. Changing weapons to blast various opposing forces was enjoyable and the level of the graphics and sound were both high enough to give the player pleasure from these sources as well. A few more sub stages and enemies within the level might be a nice idea to implement as this would make things a little more interesting.

Adherence To Brief 5/5

Fusion adheres to the given brief perfectly and thus has achieved the maximum possible mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gshonk
Total grade: 24/30 (80%)

Originality 3/5
Very cool with the multiple weapons for each situation I also liked the change up in enemies.

Graphics 4/5
Top notch, I am not sure how much of it you created or how much is from others but everything fit appropriately in the game. I liked the particles but my only gripe is sometimes they were to much; they are so bubbly that when you kill multiple enemies you can’t tell if there are more behind the bubbles or not. I would also like some sort of feedback visually when your ship is hit, something more than the explosions, maybe a flash or do something with the health bar in the interface.

Audio 4/5
Very good, I would have liked some audio feedback for when you are hit; also a negative sound for when you lose. Also a sound in the menus for selecting things as well as a confirm sound when an option is pressed.

Interface 3/5
The in game interface is very clean which I love the only thing is I would like some more attention to the health bar when you lose hit, maybe a brief flash or just something very subtle. On your menus I would like a how to play section/controls, this can also be at the loading screen. The high scores don’t seem to work at all if you aren’t going to implement this I would just remove the tab.

Performance 5/5
Runs very well I had no hick ups or problems at all.

GamePlay 5/5
The gameplay was fun and engaging I actually was excited to try and keep going. Though it is a tried and true game style it is still a blast.

The Good
A very polished game, with a good clean interface and menus, nice graphics and audio and just plain fun to play.
Great entry.

Things to keep in mind and fix
Keep in mind that your player is dumb, so try to explain to them things, a how to play with controls and explaining the interface would be extremely helpful. Also think about adding multiple lives, unless this goes against your core design, doing this will open the game up and make it more approachable for more casual gamers. Keep these things in mind, along with the other feedback, and this will be a great first portfolio piece.

Last edited by Claxon : 02-07-2009 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:02 AM   #47
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Default GPC2 Results: Scribble Wars

These are the results for Scribble Wars by mordekai

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcclure
Total Score: 22/40 (55%)

Scribble Wars takes an unusual approach to the brief, combining a scrolling shooter with a platform game. At times this pays off and at others it does not.

Originality 3/5

Scribble Wars takes an original setting and a relatively original gameplay mechanic and combines them. The game seems to be set in a world made up of scribble drawings, a little like if Comix Zone had taken place in a world which its creator had depicted hurriedly; indeed, the protagonist of Scribble Wars is reminiscent of Sketch Turner, star of Comix Zone. The gameplay in Scribble Wars is a little like a simplified version of the sections in the Contra series when the player must stay ahead of a wall of flames or a similar hazard, without a penalty for moving slowly or an option to not move. Further to this, the player can only aim along one axis and can not slide or hang from objects. As we will see, although Scribble Wars is original this may not always have served it very well in the challenge.

Graphics 2/5

The graphics in Scribble Wars are designed to look as if they had been quickly scribbled down. Unfortunately, this aesthetic is extremely difficult to portray in a manner which is pleasing for the viewer and looks good. Indeed, it could be said that this aesthetic choice works against the game and limits it, an example of which being the lack of fluidity in the player character's movements. A better way to express this concept may have been to use better quality art which had the appearance of being made with traditional art materials on real world materials, for example characters could appear to have been drawn quickly with a pen on various mediums.

Reliability 5/5

Scribble Wars did not crash once for me in all the time I played it, and was easy to download, install and run. Again, full marks.

Audio 2/5

Although Scribble Wars does feature sound effects they are not very complete – for example, the player's gun/method of firing projectiles does not make any sound. The game's soundtrack, although competent, does also grate after a few plays. This is in some ways made up for by the fact it changes throughout the game.

Interface 3/5

Scribble Wars' interface is simple and controls fine, although again it would have perhaps been a good idea to explicitly notify the player of the controls in game.

Performance 3/5

Scribble Wars ran fine on my computer, although the fact that it opens in a window left me confused the first few times I played the game as to how to complete it as I was unable to see the boss at the end of the game! It would perhaps be a good idea to alter the game so that it loads up maximised. There were also a few collision detection problems with the largest scribble monsters and some platforms.

Gameplay 2/5

I have to admit that I did not really enjoy the gameplay of Scribble Wars. Enemies moved in a generic and predictable fashion and the character was not particularly enjoyable to control. I think in some respects the game falls between two stools by trying to combine a run and gun shooter with a scrolling shooter, although it is a brave experiment. Further, there seemed to be a few missed opportunities in terms of differentiating enemies or their attacks; for example, all the ways the player can be damaged remove 5 hit points.

Adherence To Brief 2/5

Scribble Wars does not really fit the brief very well. It resembles a run and gun shooter more closely than a scrolling shooter and thus I have docked marks. The reason some marks are reserved is that the game still forces the player to move via scrolling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gshonk
Total Score: 17/30 (56%)

Originality 4/5
I like the concept and can see where I would go (and I assume you would) if you had more time. The choice to have the game scroll automatically is an interesting one and I would have liked to have seen you try to take advantage of that as well as take more advantage of the unique visuals.

Graphics 3/5
While the art style was interesting and unique for the challenge you did not fully take advantage of the art style. I liked the enemies and the characters but it seemed like you could have added some more tiles to scroll in the background. Also the bullets did not really seem to match up with the rest of the game.

Audio 1/5
While I saw that there was someone who did Audio for the game, it didn’t work on my machine. Sadly this is always part of software development finding that one persons machine who the sound didn’t work on.

Interface 2/5
The interface seemed to just be debug text, this is another place you should have taken advantage of your unique art style. The text would be ok but at times it was hard to even see. There is also no form of visual feedback when you are injured. Menus also fall under this category and while I liked your intro screen I would have liked some more menu options.

Performance 4/5
The game ran fine on my machine other than the sound not working. There were no major bugs other than some simple collision. Keep in mind I play the game as a critic/player not as a tester so I am not trying to break the game.

GamePlay 3/5
I really enjoyed jumping on the enemies and getting the extra jump height I can see that with time you were probably planning on doing something with that which is very cool. It was an interesting decision to force the screen to scroll instead of having it move as you did. I found that with that in I could just sit in the corner and spam the fire button. I think the game is more fun if you jump on stuff.

The Good
It is cool to see a team come together in such a short time and put out a playable demo. The core gameplay of jumping and shooting is there as well as the cool visuals.
I can see a lot of hard work went in and there is a good core game.

Things to keep in mind and fix
Keep in mind your core audience is on PCs so try to stick to the platform standards like space bar for jump and keep fire at “f”. Make sure to test the game on multiple machines why this may not have helped fix the sound bug there is a chance it would have been caught. Also visual feedback is just as important as audio so when you take damage have the character flash red or something similar to give you feedback. Try to keep your interface in line with your art style.

Last edited by Claxon : 02-07-2009 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:05 AM   #48
Claxon
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Default GPC2 Results: Lines and Curves

These are the results for Lines & Curves by brainydexter

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcclure
Total Score: 10/40 (25%)

Lines And Curves takes an even stranger approach to the brief; it pretty much ignores it in favour of a platform game with some shooting elements and the ability to move to almost any point on the screen.

Originality 2/5

Lines And Curves is certainly original in that many elements of it are quite cryptic. Further, the concept of a scrolling shooter where the player can move almost anywhere but will eventually fall back to Earth and the control scheme are quite original. As with Scribble Wars, this approach seems a little like reinventing the wheel.

Graphics 1/5

The graphics for Lines And Curves are very low resolution and seem to consist of the same few tiles repeated and in one case stretched throughout the game world. Further, the game employs several symbols but it is extremely difficult to know what these actually mean. Good graphics need not be complex, especially in the target genre: Scramble works perfectly well but has extremely simple graphics.

Reliability 2/5

Lines And Curves has more than one debilitating bug; should a player reach the edge of the screen the game will crash and as no end boss appears it is impossible to reach the next level. The game did at least install fine.

Audio 0/5

Lines And Curves possesses no sound effects and thus receives no marks in this section.

Interface 2/5

The game's controls are really somewhat over complicated – one set of keys controls the player's movement, one key is used to fire and another set of 4 keys control the direction the player fires in, which is difficult to keep track of without any indicator as to where the player is aiming. Additionally, the player can jump a seemingly limitless number of times in a row. Although the game has a small splash screen none of the controls are listed on it, which is a somewhat mystifying design decision.

Performance 2/5

Lines And Curves does not perform very well. Considering the game uses a small number of two dimensional sprites the fact that it does not scroll smoothly on a reasonably powerful computer is unforgivable. It would have perhaps been better to concentrate on this key mechanic before complicating the matter further with pickups and the like.

Gameplay 1/5

Lines And Curves has very limited gameplay and is not enjoyable to play, both in terms of challenge and controls. Rather than trying to invent a new genre or game system it would have been better to make a simple scrolling shooter which was enjoyable to play. One point is awarded as there is a basis of a game presented.

Adherence To Brief 0/5

As the game has not been created with any regard to the brief it receives no marks in this section.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gshonk
Total Score: 12/30 (40%)

Originality 2/5
While I was not really sure what you were going for I can tell that you have a cool idea in your head.

Graphics 3/5
The graphics were getting there they are suitable for a programmers game, but if you continue to work on it try to find an artist to re-skin it, or just download sprites off the internet .

Audio 0/5
Audio feedback is extremely important in a game. And it is fairly simple to add to a game. I understand there wasn’t a lot of time but keep in mind that this is part of the judging score. So find those sounds 

Interface 1/5
Sadly you forgot to remove the debug text and while I as a programmer find it very interesting it doesn’t really work as an interface. Also once you get more experience try working on a basic menu.

Performance 3/5
I was able to crash the game by going off screen, be it at the top or bottom. Also I would work on finding a new solution for scrolling because the one you are using is very jerky which can be aggravating to the player.

GamePlay 3/5
I can see where you were going with the gameplay and it will be fun once you finish it, sadly you didn’t have much time. I like the idea of the high jumping but you should try to cap it.

The Good
The game runs well and I only could find a few major bugs.
I liked all of the turrets and things to dodge as well as the powerups.
All in all it was a great first attempt.
I also really liked how you kept they FAQ, very cool.

Things to keep in mind and fix
Remember not to over scope your project. Now that you have some more experience you will need to learn how to estimate your time and also prioritize your features. Always remember to get the gameplay in and working before the polish and adding new features. Remember to have good audio and visual feedback for everything in the game.

Last edited by Claxon : 02-07-2009 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:26 AM   #49
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Sooo... Who won? I can see Fusion got the highest overal scores, but does that mean that it won? Maybe team sizes and time spent should be considered when declaring the winner? I believe work on Fusion started a long time before the challenge started (maybe it was even finished already?), whereas development of Lines & Curves started (roughly) when the challenge did.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:16 AM   #50
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I'm curious why only 3 people participated in this. only 2 really did any development specifically for this challenge. Perhaps if they didn't have to worry about the harder mechanics of game development, then we would see more challengers? I recently went to Game Jam Vancouver and learned about the "Angel" SDK for rapid prototyping of games. Here is a link:

http://code.google.com/p/angel-engine/

It pretty much does all the hard stuff for you... collision detection/physics based off of Box 2D, rendering/alpha channels (opengl), sound, etc. I will probably be using this for the next challenge so that I might be able to actually implement all those game play features spoken of in the judging. For Scribble Wars I used my own custom, home-brew game engine, which sucked up a lot of coding time for this challenge.

I don't think there neccessarily has to be a winner here. comparing Fusion to Lines & Curves is comparing Apples to Oranges. You could have this same coding challenge for another 2 months... and Fusion still requires no additional programming (unless in response to some of the judgements made). I vote we just pat ourselves on the back and move on to programming challenge 3. Besides, there's no prizes :P
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