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Top DOG Game Development Contest

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by HiggyB, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. HiggyB

    HiggyB

    Unity Product Evangelist

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    I wanted to drop y'all a line and alert you to a recent bit of OTEE news, namely the fact that Sam I have been busy putting together a game development contest! Yup, it's that time again, time for you folks to put your heads together and make some amazing content. It's not all for naught, there are some tasty prizes to be had...


    Top DOG Game Development Contest
    Without a doubt, it's an exciting time to be involved in the Unity Community, Unity 2.0 is on its way, the Unite 2007 conference is in October and the community is growing in both size and depth of talent. These are all great reasons to celebrate and we're celebrating the OTEE way... with a game development contest! We're looking for the Top DOG, that is the best Developer of Online Games. If you think you're the Top DOG then prove it by entering our contest, you could walk away with a free copy of Unity 2.0 and $2,000 in cash.

    More information, including the official contest rules, can be found on the contest announcement page.


    Note: you are free to begin working on a new title or you can submit a game that's already a work in progress. Our main goal is for folks to submit the best that they have, old, new or otherwise. Show us what you got!


    Who here will step it up and claim the title? :) We'll monitor this thread as time goes on so if you have any questions please feel free to post those here and Sam I will do our best to answer them. Alternatively you can send any questions you have to contest@unity3d.com as we're tending to any incoming emails as well.


    Now get to it!
     
  2. Samantha

    Samantha

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    This is easily the grandest contest that OTEE has ever sponsored. Tom and I have been doing a lot of the detailed planning, but really everyone at OTEE has been able to chime in, and we'll all be rooting for each entry.

    I wanted to go a little more in-depth into the web player theme here too. Some of you may have noticed that there has been a lot of talk about making casual games with Unity lately. Here I'll mention Tom's article about getting games published up on casual portals too. A lot of you may not understand quite why we are promoting the web player in this way. The truth is that we want every single one of you to be successful with your game development aspirations. To be successful, you'll have to make money at some point. Casual games are the best way to start making money from your games.

    Now, this does not mean you have to make a game like Bejeweled or something that wouldn't normally appeal to the "hardcore" gaming crowd. Hardcore gamers play casual games too... just look at Shockwave.com, Kongregate, or Manifesto Games. It would be awesome news to us if any of the contest entries (not just the winners) were able to publish their game on one or more portals.

    We want to encourage a lot of creativity with this contest, and that's one reason we have Web Browser/Network Integration listed as one of the judging criteria. Do something interesting with your web player! Design a unique game that would only be possible on the internet as a delivery platform!

    We're all looking forward to the amazing creativity that is going to come out of this community. So form your teams and start experimenting!
     
  3. Omar Rojo

    Omar Rojo

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    GOT IT!

    Entering this one too.. but putting a lot more effort hopefully :D

    THANKS OTEE

    PD: I have a question, the game must support some kind of networking interaction ? client-server comunication ?

    .ORG
     
  4. StarManta

    StarManta

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    The rules just say it has to be available as a Web player, nothing about online play.
     
  5. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I don't understand this "DOG" term. Is it an acronym, or will our entries simply be disqualified if no canines are present in the finished product?

    What about frankfurters? Do they count?
     
  6. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Networking interaction and/or client-server communication (networked game play, high scores, data retrieval, dynamic comments, etc.) are not specifically required, but those sorts of things will earn extra points in scoring (among other things).


    Top Developer of Online Games, aka Top DOG. Canines are optional as are frankfurters, hot dogs or any other food products... :)
     
  7. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I see it now. That's good to hear, because I'm a cat person and a vegetarian. :p
     
  8. Morgan

    Morgan

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    In that case, as a vegetarian myself, I will seek the position of TOFU PUP. (Top Online Fun Underlying Published User Products.)
     
  9. Omar Rojo

    Omar Rojo

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    Actually this is a quote from the judgement criteria:

    who is 1 point of 5 with the same importance (in evaluation) of the other 4.

    .ORG
     
  10. Randy-Edmonds

    Randy-Edmonds

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    Will all entries get to see their criteria score? If I enter and don't win (or place) I would still like to know my score.
     
  11. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Oh can you hear the collective groans over that? :p :D


    But keep in mind that the web browser/network integration aspect can mean a lot of different things. It could be some unique integration with in-page elements, or data retrieval and display (high scores lists, network driven options, etc.) or ???


    I don't see why we wouldn't share our feedback with each content author, we want folks to create great games with Unity and offering our thoughts and ideas can only help us all achieve that goal. :)
     
  12. Samantha

    Samantha

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    All criteria will be equally weighted. So if you decide your game would benefit from more effort/time into gameplay, visuals, and audio, then a boosted score in those areas might offset a lower score for the integration category.

    I would strongly encourage everyone to make their game "fit" in the web page, at least with some colors, game play info, or other web page aesthetics if you're not doing anything network technology. Entries that are published in the plain, auto-generated web player html page without any customization are likely to receive a low score in this category.

    We will definitely make this happen.
     
  13. VeganApps

    VeganApps

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    Why isn't the timeline to create the game limited to the ~7 weeks ?

    Sounds not sooo fair if someone is lucky to be close to beta or already is in beta stage and enters with a nearly finished game... created within months or even years. :eek:
     
  14. Samantha

    Samantha

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    Of course, we are encouraging everyone to create a new unique game for this contest. The whole idea with casual games is to not spend 1-2 years in development. So any team that submits a game like that is sort of missing the whole point.

    We won't discriminate against games that are already in production, but we will be able to tell if the entry was crammed to fit the web player requirement.
     
  15. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    Oh man, I've been whittling away at the perfect Tic-Tac-Toe MMO for the last couple of years. Are you saying my on-line gaming masterpiece won't be accepted for this competition? Damn, I guess I'll have to sit this competition out and ready the world for "Tic-Tac-Toe Dominatrix" at a later date.

    Good luck everyone, this competition seems like it's going to be really fun for those willing to take up the challenge. That's a lot of dough up for grabs and the criteria for the submissions is way open to interpretation so I bet we'll see some crazy entries. I have to imagine that Unity 2.0 is going to appear half way through this competition to allow people to integrate some on-line aspects to their entries? Great stuff and I'm really happy to see more competitions like this happening in the future.

    Ethan
     
  16. Lka

    Lka

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    I'm in this lucky position, working for my game about 1-2 hours a day over last six months and I understand your position. But if the rules won't change, I'll enter this competition.
    Hummm.. rules don't even exclude published Unity games, right?

    Edit:
    >We won't discriminate against games that are already in production

    Ok, already answered.

    Another thing, I'll get 2 weeks of vacation and I don't know if I'll have time to code so if some student starts now working on a new game for this competition, probably he could work on it more time than me in the last six months.. :(
     
  17. Samantha

    Samantha

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    Yes, the rules do exclude published Unity games. That means Aarku will be disqualified if he submits BBBG published in a web player :)

    But to be serious, the spirit of this contest is really for everyone to think up a new, small, fun game that is really designed for quick-access online play. Those who are trying to make the next Halo and suddenly try to cram their progress into a web player are not necessarily going to have the best chance at winning.

    Think about playability and accessibility instead of complexity. Don't be discouraged from trying to make a in-depth strategy game, but remember that time is short! Again, take a look at the types of games up on shockwave.com or kongregate.com to get an idea of the right kind of scope for this contest.

    A small and complete game is going to have a better chance of winning than a large incomplete one.
     
  18. Lka

    Lka

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    I can't find that rule in the contex page, can you add it?

    Even before this context I was planning to release a "web edition" of my game with 20 levels that you can't find in the stand alone version.
    Stand alone game and web edition game in this case are seen as different games or not?

    If I release the stand alone version after registration but before Unite2007 the web edition will be disqualified?

    Edit:
    The web edition version will contain online score registration and stand alone version can load/save games but can't register online score.
     
  19. Samantha

    Samantha

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    The spirit of the contest is to make games that you can turn around and put up on a web game portal. So if a web version is different from a standalone in terms of content, features, or other design elements, it will not be disqualified.

    If your standalone game is not already released, then you will be OK if you release it before the contest deadline. We're trying to avoid games that have already been completed and published like Megapixel, Turret Wars, Tiki Magic Mini Golf, etc. Again, the spirit of the contest is to make a new game that fits in the context of publishing it on web game portals.
     
  20. Catie Catterwaul

    Catie Catterwaul

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    Jessy and I have been working on a concept for a game over the past month or so, but nothing has really been done with it yet. We are hoping to enter a sort of light, maybe one level version into this contest with the intention of continuing to work on a full, multi-level version of the same game. We are a bit concerned about the following statement:

    OTEE reserves the right to use all submitted entries for marketing and promotional efforts, including use on our website or in printed materials...

    and what that might mean if we intend to have the full version of the game published elsewhere at a later date. We wouldn't personally have a problem with our entry being used in such a capacity, but we don't have any experience as far as this legal mumbo-jumbo is concerned so we don't know what sort of trouble, if any, this could cause in the future. We were thinking about just putting a different "skin" on our already extant game concept so that we wouldn't have any problems with the same characters being used, but we've no idea if that's even necessary.
     
  21. Marble

    Marble

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    OTEE are the only ones who can answer authoritatively, but I assume that statement means that OTEE is free to promote the fact that your awesome game was made with their awesome product and put screenshots or a demo of it in their gallery.
     
  22. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Marble has the general idea correct. The idea is that folks are creating online games for this contest, we may want to have screenshots on our site or in printed materials (data sheets for conferences as an example). Or, we may even want the game posted to our website in full playable form. Or later we may come up with something new... :) So the idea is that your submission is ours to use for the most part, but if you go out and find yourself some sort of lucrative _exlusive_ opportunity (meaning the game can't be hosted anywhere else) then get in touch with us and we'll sort things out.
     
  23. taumel

    taumel

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    Don't you think this kind of badly balanced as almost everything goes to the first place?

    I would suggest also providing more valuable prices for the second and the third place and if it's a budget issue lowering the price for the first place in order to encourage more people as i'm sure some think of it like "Well, only one person is making the first place and if i'm second or third there isn't much to win so why invest a lot of time into it?"
     
  24. pete

    pete

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    i see what you're saying but weren't you badgering on about how expensive the unite conference is? :D
     
  25. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Honestly, no, I don't. Providing a hefty prize for first place is meant to encourage folks to really try, to offer their best, to go for the gold. None of our prize structure was really budget-based so much as "incentive-based" (what we thought would encourage participation). Just because first place gets a large prize doesn't mean folks should be discouraged, coming in second will still get them some prizes and some dedicated seat time with portal reps and some promotion coming from our end. So all in all I feel as if it's an appropriate prize structure for now, pending further feedback from folks (you're the first to mention any idea that the prize structure is poorly set-up).
     
  26. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Probably the reason to invest a lot of time into it, is to get it published. ;) It's entirely possible that someone could enter and not win any prizes in the contest, but still eventually end up getting more "prize money" than the 1st-place winner.

    --Eric
     
  27. dingosmoov

    dingosmoov

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    Exactly, face time with portals is really way more important to me than any prize money. And the promotion from Unity's site. Of course if I make a cool game, it's good promotion for Unity also. Which is cool with me, as they have always been straight up guys in my opinion.

    Kudos on the contest I am definitely entering.

    p.s.- I did have an idea though about how to get people to enter. Give people enter a phat discount off of Unity Pro. Or a phat discount for upgrading to Unity Pro from indie, if they do an entry in the prelims.
     
  28. taumel

    taumel

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    Well, to me it's obvious that it's a bad idea pumping everything into just one position and already falling deep when you're just the second place (more as these things are always subjective if there are equal entries). Actually i don't know of a lot of competitions where it's done like this and i think there are quite some reasons why it isn't common. From my experiences i also find it questionable that you'll get better demo quality by this strategy. As i said i think it more turns people down as one of x sounds already worse than three of x. As for portal contact. If you want that, why not just contact them?
     
  29. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Thanks for your input, your thoughts (and those of others) are always appreciated and will be considered going forward.


    Because it's not often you can sit down with them in person to show them your game and talk about it (what works, what doesn't, etc). Sure, you can submit titles to them and go back-and-forth via email, but meeting them in person is very different.
     
  30. aaronsullivan

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    I think taumel has a pretty good point, here. Motivation is a slight beast. It slips away at the sight of other beasts.

    On the other hand, if you are relatively new to this stuff, you should realize that finishing a web portal worthy game in this time gives you tremendous value in experience and future sales potential. It far outweighs the cash prizes.

    You can't buy experience. :)
     
  31. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Ok, let's run with it for a minute. If we had the same contest but only offered $500 to the winning entry would you feel the same? I ask that because the issue here doesn't seem to be that 2nd through 5th place get too little, it seems more about the fact that 1st place gets so much more.
     
  32. taumel

    taumel

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    >>>
    Thanks for your input, your thoughts (and those of others) are always appreciated and will be considered going forward.
    <<<

    lol :O)
     
  33. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    I try Taumel...
     
  34. jeremyace

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    For what it's worth, I think it's all awesome.

    A hardcore prize can tip the balance of time and priorities of people who already have a lot of stuff on their plate. And in your case, that's a good thing. ;-)

    -Jeremy
     
  35. Omar Rojo

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    I think the first prize should be divided equally in the number of participants and everyone should receive the same so everyone will be happy and then we can make a party to enjoy that all of us won.

    :D :D :D

    .ORG
     
  36. taumel

    taumel

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    If i got it right:

    #1 = $2000 + unity 2 pro + unite + portal blabla
    #2 = unite + portal blabla
    #3 = unite + portal blabla
    :

    Well if there isn't a wide gap, then i really don't know...

    How about something like:

    #1 = $1000 + unity pro 2 + unite + portal blabla
    #2 = $750(700) + unity indy 2 + unite + portal blabla
    #3 = $250(300) + unity indy 2 + unite + portal blabla

    This would still be a very clear number one but also offers something more for the second and third place.
     
  37. drJones

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    well said ; )

    IMO the prize structure is fine as is, but i do understand where tamuel is coming from and think he's probably right with regards to the resulting turnout. i'd bet the last game contest (that yog won) probably got many more entries just because of the open prize setup.

    what if the 2nd or 3rd place winner has pro?
     
  38. taumel

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    I've tried not to increase the prices, beside of the two additional indy licences. If you're heading for three pro licences then i would suggest altering the money to 1500, 500, 0...
     
  39. bronxbomber92

    bronxbomber92

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    Really the only reason I'd be entering is for the $2000 or the Unity Pro (and being together for first prize is a huge plus!).. The 2-5 to me personally is worthless, because I'd never be able to get there (but that's an extremely specific personal problem that doesn't apply to most :) )
     
  40. hsparra

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    This is the big deal to me. Although the money would be great, as well as the Unity Pro license, it is the face to face that is invaluable. You get exposure, you get a focused conversation in which you can find out what they really are looking for, and you possibly make some valuable contacts. You may no longer be totally faceless. If Unity 2.0 is out before October 8 the license may be less valuable to me. I don't see how I will be able to resist all that goodness :D

    Here, here! I think it helps focus, at least for me. Don't forget the good feelings either.

    :D I might actually get something. I do have an idea if anyone is looking to partner, especially you graphics types. I am also open to ideas. Just PM me.

    Hey, lets keep it clean :wink:
     
  41. dingosmoov

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    That actually seems reasonable the more you think about it. Because some may not be able to attend unite.

    But, it's is OTEE's contest and I trust them. So, I"m still gonna do my best to enter.

    I guess I'm saying I see some of taumel's points.
     
  42. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    Are you entering?
     
  43. jeremyace

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    The new prize structure may be something to think about for _future_ contests is people want that, (I think the current way is fine)

    But, reducing prizes is never a good idea once the contest has been announced. Especially this long after announcement.

    So I'd say leave this contest alone, but a different prize structure for a different contest is a different story. ;-)

    -Jeremy
     
  44. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Which is exactly our plan. I don't know that we've seen anything that compells us to change things mid-course and I agree that prize reduction after announcing is not the way to go. For now it stands as is because we feel that all finalists will receive valuable rewards for their efforts, then the winner gets some nice extra juice for being the Top DOG.

    Thanks for the feedback folks and good luck to all that enter!

    :D
     
  45. taumel

    taumel

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    >>>
    Are you entering?
    <<<

    Nope, i'm no student anymore. Bad value for my time and you?
     
  46. drJones

    drJones

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    huh?

    EDIT: just read it wrong i understand ; )
     
  47. Sync1B

    Sync1B

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    Great contest really exited to see the entries, think I might enter some thing my self. Good luck to all!

    Bill
     
  48. taumel

    taumel

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    Are you deleting thread entries made by others Sync1B?
     
  49. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    That was me. I felt the exchange was rather negative. I deleted your post and edited Bill's. I didn't want to see anything escalate. Maybe it was a bad move on my part, but let's just leave it because nothing good was going to come about from that.
     
  50. taumel

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    Let's get over it but i didnt read any potential for an escalation in it and even it if was negative what's the problem? Two people expressing their opinions in different ways, that's quite normal in a demoracy, isn't it? You're also taking the chance away from him learning out of such situations if you're just deleting it. Have your read Huxley's "A brave new world"?