Summer Game Jam Results

Jon

  • *
  • Posts: 17524
Winner - Dangerous Dungeons
by AdventureIslands




2nd Place - CrissCross
by dineyin




3rd Place - Super Bubble Bounce
by Ethan




Honorable Mentions

Cold Boot & Planetai 2



22 developers submitted entries to our first ever public game jam. We were pretty pleased with the turnout and the variety of submitted games. As a whole, we were impressed with how quickly many of you were able to pick up the tools to create something interesting and cool.


Overall Comments on Judging

Dangerous Dungeons placed first, thanks to its interesting level design and level of polish. It wasn't a perfect game, with its rather high difficulty level and twitchy controls, but it was a solid combination of gameplay and presentation. CrissCross placed highly for a solid execution of a simple but ultimately fun concept. Both are continuing development and are becoming more impressive with each revision

3rd place was more difficult to place because our judges were tied in their assessments of Super Bubble Bounce, Cold Boot & Planetai 2. Ultimately, we broke the tie by bringing in some further opinions from the team, which unanimously went with Bubble Bounce. Although Bubble Bounce had some quirky level design, from a holistic standpoint, it was the most approachable and most finished of the 3 games in question.

The judges' comments are attached in the following posts.


Keep Doing What You Love

Although some games got lower marks than we'd like to give, we understand that these are the first games that many of you've made and that you should be proud at having accomplished something: completing a game on your own.

It's not where you start that matters, it's where you end. Many of our veterans today were in your shoes before, and it's a matter of sticking to what you love doing and honing your craft.

- Jon

« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 09:11:25 am by Jon »

Jon

  • *
  • Posts: 17524
Judge 1's Results

10 Seconds to Dig a Hole
3
The core concept for this game is simple, but interesting. It has the potential to be fun,
but the difficulty curve is too steep, and cramped my fingers to try. In-game instructions
would have benefitted this as well. Graphics were basically placeholders, making the
game feel half-finished.

Action Newton
5
This game is somewhat rough around the edges, with a bug that froze my game, a
somewhat inconsistent graphical style, and a lack of true polish. However, its in-built
dialog-instructions were great, and the gameplay was creative and extensive in content for
the time allotted and for a newcomer.

Asteroids PLUS
4
The graphics and music all came together very well. Instructions were detailed and well-
represented, but the info-dump style is unintuitive and easy to forget. The game throws
too much at you too quickly, leading to frustration instead of fun. The controls take some
time to get used to, but all the asteroids and enemies hit you too quickly to get a hang of
it. The gameplay elements seem thought-out and potentially fun, given chance to learn
them. Ease the player in much gentler, and I feel this will be a very nice game.

BIDMAS
3
The graphics are simple but match the play, but some of them are rough or pixelly. The
game could use with more sound effects and/or simple music. The 'educational' type
gameplay is neat, and the function to 'read' equations is cool! However, the problems get
much too difficult too quickly, there are very few problems, and apparently some correct
answers do not actually work. I suggest 'padding' the difficulty between levels and adding
that bit of extra polish.

Blue Box
2
The graphics and music for this game are highly inconsistent and don't look or sound very
good. The puzzles also aren't too clever or difficult, and there is no 'end-screen'. The
game is a simple expansion of the Drop Blocks example kit, which is fine to help learn the
program but doesn't stand well on its own without more improvements and expansion.

Brocci's Beat Quest
4
The concept of a music portfolio in the form of a video game is a little unique, I really like
it, and the music itself is great. The gameplay is simple and easy. However, in terms of
eye-candy, the graphics are rather hodge-podge, and the atmosphere doesn't suit much
of the music. The actual level design could use some work, as there are a few places with
weird jumps or random dead ends that aren't fun or intuitive. It feels like something else
should change with the music, either the environment or the Player, but nothing does.

Cold Boot Demo
5
The graphics are a bit bare, but consistent and atmospheric, and the music suitable. The
controls feel a bit slippery and hard to control. The design of some levels could be more
well-thought-out, especially to cut out some of the need for constant reloading or suicide
when erring.

CrissCross
6
This game has retro-feeling graphics, music, and gameplay, and is relatively polished in
the details. It could use some music during actual gameplay instead of just the opening.
Instructions were easy enough to understand, and gameplay was simple but well-done.
The AI and variety of monsters could be improved, to add more challenge and interest,
and for now the scoring system seems somewhat cosmetic when the true achievement is
in finishing levels by attaining the keys.

Dangerous Dungeons Demo
7
The graphics look professionally done, charming and traditional, and combine with the
music and sound seamlessly. Levels were short and simple but challenging. I liked the
wall carvings that showed the controls for the game, it was clever, and the overall level of
polish is the best I've seen in the Jam.

Eurythmia Superlite...
3
The basic concept isn't unique, but it's popular, and some of the core gameplay seems to
have been worked out. The graphics are lackluster, and something more than a yellow
line could be happening in the background while music plays. Hitting or missing the notes
doesn't seem to actually effect the music at all, and often the music doesn't play. No
matter how many notes I miss, the game doesn't end, and the game only has one song so

far. The notes don't seem to correlate to the music in any way either. Overall, much of
the core features seem to be carved out, but it feels like a WIP tech demo.

jumping beans
4
A fun concept, easy to get the hang of and rewarding to play. Graphics look okay, fun and
colorful, but not great. The music and sound effects go well with the game. The timer
could be shorter, as I feel the game doesn't stand up well to long play sessions, and the
gameplay value is small with only 3 levels. The mechanics and extra bonuses are neat,
so adding more and shorter levels can make for punchier, funner gameplay. There is no
true 'ending' and no true 'goal', so the end kind of suffers with a feeling of 'what was that
for?'

Last Man Standing
3
The graphics are okay, but pretty basic. Music and sounds would really add more impact
and atmosphere to this game's experience. The game is very simple, but potentially fun.
Shooting could be quicker, and the game quickly seems to become unreasonably difficult,
so it has a short play time. The game also doesn't tell you your score when you die.

Linear Man
3
The graphics are unattractive, there is no music, and the controls and movement is stiff
and unintuitive. The concept is interesting, but it seems it could be taken so much further.
The drawing mechanic could be expanded upon, and the level design more inventive and
planned out. This game is slow and not fun to play, and often requires reloading should a
bad line be drawn.

Neon On
4
The simple neon shapes and fast-paced futuristic music go well together. The gameplay
is simple but quick to ratchet up in difficulty and speed. It can be easy to become quickly
overwhelmed by enemies, but with some practice one gets the hang of it. Powerups
are helpful, but they are easily destroyed and disappear very quickly. It is overall solid
enough, but a very small-scale concept and could still use a touch of extra polish.

Planet Green
4
The graphics look somewhat mismatched, and the planet background seems to

distracting, making the ship and debris harder to see. The music is fine, though the loop
could be longer so as to be less repetitive. The gameplay concept is classic, but it could be
better balanced. When I got the power-up for quicker shots, the game got boringly easy
to shoot going back and forth, and levels just felt longer. More elements like powerups
could be added, and more levels.

Planetai 2
5
This game's graphics look beautiful, and especially add to the experience because of
the wonderfully genuine astronomic-atmosphere it creates. This has a nice long music
loop too. The concept and gameplay is pretty original, but the controls move objects
very slowly, which feels like it cripples the user control over the elements, and thus the
gameplay.

Portal Maze 2
2
This game's graphics are garish and crude, and there is no sound at all. The mechanics of
the game are overly simplistic, compounded by uninspired and tedious level designs.

Roll
3
Graphics are colorful and full, but often inconsistent and sometimes ugly. There is no
sound, and the game is somewhat buggy. The extra little story to explain the premise was
a charming extra though. The interactive-instructions is a good idea, but the door didn't
open for me and they did not explain the strange jumping mechanism. The controls are
difficult to get a hang of, unintuitive and creating needless frustration. The actual level
designs were often strange or almost impossible to finish.

Spring bot
6
The graphics look good, though not great. The concept is original and well-suited to a
physics game. The game was fun and challenging in the good way, quick and easy to
get into, with some captivating gameplay elements and decent level design. However,
sometimes there is too much pure guess-work involved and not enough cleverness
or calculated measurement, when it comes to making shots. The lack of sound is
disappointing.

The Righteous God

4
Graphics are extremely simple, but clean and consistent and have their own charm. The
sounds are minimal, but passable. The concept is amusing and the dialog tips humorous.
Controls are very slippery, making it hard to control the player, and the levels needlessly
difficult. Frustrating, but not very fun. It's a game that requires precision controls but has
horrible precision.

Up, Up, And AWAY!
2
The graphics were bare and bland. The music was nice enough. The gameplay was
simple, had potential in its core concept, but the level designs were boring, simple, and
unintuitive. There was no real sense of urgency, goal, or thoughtfulness in this game.

Super Bubble Bounce
5
Graphics were somewhat simplistic, but clean, consistent, and well-suited to the game.
The game could use some sound to match. The core gameplay of a bouncing ball
collecting coins is simple, and a weak framing concept, but there were tons of levels
and many quite different from each other, with varying levels of challenge. The actual
gameplay functioned well enough, but some levels seemed overly difficult.

OVERALL
We had a lot more games submitted this Jam than we've ever had before, and the variety
is great! Unfortunately, I'm not the best or most avid gamer around, so I often couldn't
finish a game to its end, and my personal judgment may not agree with many others. One
of the biggest things I noted is a common mistake I've heard new game makers fall into--of
unintentionally creating a very difficult game because to the developer themselves (who
knows the game best) it does not seem as difficult as to a new player. I hope my feedback
can be of some use to new game developers out there.

Jon

  • *
  • Posts: 17524
Judge 2's Comments

Game : 10 Seconds To Dig A Hole by InFecTioN
Score : 3
Comments : This game has a great core to it, but a few things bring it
up short. The most apparent concern is the use of extremely simple
graphics - colored squares. I have nothing against making a clean and
simple looking game, but I believe that this would be a great fit for
some very low-res retro pixel art graphics without losing any of it's
simple charm. Other thoughts about it were that it needed a short "Get
Ready!" moment before the scene started - even with no penalty for
death count it can be frustrating to lose a level that it took just a
second to long to analyze the first time. I found it odd that the
digging speed was so slow, yet the player could dart sideways through
the dirt without any trouble. A lack of in-game tutorial (especially
when changing the rules - double players, decoy bombs, multiple real
bombs, water, etc) hampered my ability to get into a good rhythm of
play. I found myself wanting a way to go back up a tunnel - perhaps
even faster than it took to dig it (I already did all the work, why
not go back through it?) Finally, a few more musical pieces would have
added some nice variety.
I did notice a couple of bugs. One was a visual one where hitting
blocks of water from the side would leave a couple of them in a
rotated position. The other was a point where I passed behind some
grey stones in a maze that I should have had to go down and around
them first.
I would love to see this game expanded upon even more. A local
multiplayer mode (give each player their own keys) may be a feature to
look into.

Game : Action Newton by gmvasco
Score : 6
Comments : A neat take on a Run and Gun platformer with physics
elements. The ability to destroy the physics objects added a puzzle
element to them that isn't usually seen in these types of games, so it
was a refreshing touch. There were a few times where the physics
objects saved me from falling into a pit by letting me get an extra
jump or two in (especially on the "I have to hurry" level, that was
fun). The multiple paths to the end was a nice way of rewarding an
exploratory player as well.

Overall, the graphics were good, but I would have liked to seen more
variety in the tilesets and backgrounds as the levels progressed.
Similar to the tilesets, I noticed a lack of variety in the enemies -
outside of a few large (boss?) enemies - everything was the "banana"
dudes. Additionally, to me, there didn't seem to be any benefit for
using the shotgun, so while it was a nice idea to have multiple
weapons, it didn't get much use when I played it. The short
instructions as to which keys can be used was simple and effective -
but as a result it left out other information that I felt should have
been included. For instance, I really liked the idea of the interlude
scene where you're shown your points - but I had no idea what was used
to determine my points for the level. The timer was another
indeterminate factor - at first I thought it was keeping track of how
long I had to rescue the girl (I assume that's my goal anyway) and
later discovered it was a per level timer. I suspect it's tied into
the end-level score as well?
I noticed a few bugs, including a point where I had to refresh the
page after the game completely refused to accept input (despite the
fact that it continued to run fine according to the console). A few
times I couldn't shoot to the left, and a couple of times I pushed a
barrel in front of me and it ended up triggering the dialogue (yes,
the barrel had a thought box, lol).

Game : Asteroids Plus by Luxon5
Score : 7
Comments : An upgrade to the classic Asteroids game. I like the
concept but I had a difficult time getting into the game because of my
relatively low FPS. I can only assume it was due the the number of
actors necessary, but I was hovering around 15 FPS. As a result,
everything felt a bit too sluggish for me - turning, accelerating,
firing, etc - if I could get a better FPS on it I think I would have
enjoyed it more [ed: see below]. The graphics were well done and
matched each other nicely, and the sounds effects and music worked
great together. I would have liked some sort of mouse control for
aiming purposes as well, flying and fighting was part of the
challenge, but also part of the frustration. NOTE : I wanted to give
this game a fair shake, so I made sure to play it again on another PC
- at a good FPS. I have to say that it made all the difference in the
world. While I found out that I'm still a horrible pilot - the control
was much smoother and my attempts at survival were greatly enhanced.
I do wish there were something in-game to help guide me toward the
different planets, as well as a warning when pirates were approaching.
The instructions took everything and presented them simply, but they
needed to mention/show the brown asteroids as worthless. I spent the
first few minutes shooting them worthlessly because I had forgotten
that I was supposed to be looking for "gold" ones instead. I didn't
notice any bugs or issues, so that was a bonus. I did think it was a
bit unfair that the pirate's shots would never hit asteroids while
mine always did. Some upgrades wouldn't be too amiss in a game like
this either (better weapons, speed, maneuverability, etc).

Game : BIDMAS by goatsoup
Score : 4
Comments : This was a pretty neat little math puzzler. I thought that
I would be good at this - I always got in trouble for doing math in my
head instead of showing my work - but a couple of the levels puzzled
me for a little. That said, just five levels is fairly short and this
game is a one-trick pony - that sometimes forgets it's one trick too.
On level 4 it didn't recognize my answer until I switched the +2 and
-1, and Level 5 didn't recognize my solution of "(3x4)/2+2=8".
Regardless, it's ability to catch most solutions I tried as well as
simpler stuff like putting the equation on the "wrong" side was
impressive. The nearly complete absence of music and sound effects
diminished the overall enjoyment of the game as well. The game does
what it does fairly well, but leaves no interest in playing it again -
or for some people, playing it at all. I do think that something in
this style would be a great product for touch-screen games (iPhone for
example).


Game : Blue Box by sonicspeed53

Score : 1

Comments : This is a fairly straightforward use of the "Drop Blocks"
kit, but I find it very difficult to look at. The choice of
high-contrast colors for the tileset is an uncomfortable design choice
for the players. Some of the levels require immediate action on the
part of the player - making them more of a speed/accuracy level
instead of the puzzles of the other levels. This game could use some
new graphics and some fresh ideas to make it a little more original
and interesting.


Game : Brocci's Beat Quest by OpenHeartSound

Score : 5

Comments : A neat little simple platformer.  I enjoyed the  presented
by finding the different songs to play in the background. The
different tiles used in the tileset helped preset some visual variety,
and I can honestly say I've never played as broccoli before. There is
a point where it's possible to skip over a huge chuck (last 1/3rd or
so?) of the (only) level - I'm not sure if that was intentional.
Overall this is a solid entry for what it does, but lacking when it
comes to true "game" elements.


Game : Cold Boot by Lexadrik

Score : 8

Comments : This game was very well put together but I couldn't
complete it on the 3rd level with the boxes. I'm not sure how much
more I missed out on, but I couldn't get the necessary boxes to stack
up because of the level design I suspect. That said, everything I did
play was pretty good. The different areas presented different
challenges (jumping and control vs. puzzle aspects), and I liked the
way the player added abilities as they progressed. The graphics were
clean and neat, but could have used a little more variety outside of
just the basic "shiny metal tile" for the walls. The little things
like the cameras were a nice atmospheric touch. The biggest struggle I
had (besides getting the boxes just right) was making very precise
jumps from a single tile to another single tile at full speed. I wish
that the "R" button had been documented, as I thought I was going to
have to restart from the beginning until I found it (thankfully!). I
enjoyed this and look forward to future releases.


Game : CrissCross by dineyin

Score : 8

Comments : This is a neat little mashup of classic Pac-Man type
gameplay combined with a some shooting mechanics. The game has a great
visual charm and smooth controls. Little touches like being able to be
hit by your own bullets (or shoot them to destroy them), the
wrap-around level design, and the mechanics of the purple dudes (shoot
only in the face!) make this game require a little more strategy than
just running around and blasting anything that moves. Overall, a
fairly simple game but an excellent execution of the design.


Game : Dangerous Dungeons Demo by AdventureIslands

Score : 9

Comments : This is a great little platformer. The graphics and the
sound effects work together to evoke a feeling of classic games
without the frustration of having to start over from scratch after
losing all of your lives. Instead the quick turnaround and unlimited
restarts took what could have been a difficult and frustrating game
and turned it into a personal challenge to do better the next time.
The whole package was very well put together. My only thoughts for
improvement would be to introduce treasure - not just keys - to
collect in each level (risk vs. reward, of course) and perhaps score
the player on death count as well once the end of the game is reached.
I'm looking forward to seeing more levels added to this in the future!


Game : Eurhythmia Superlite Preview Edition by NathanielEdwards

Score : 4

Comments : This was an interesting entry. The undoubtedly complicated
aspect of creating a rhythmic music game with the ability to generate
it's own challenge based on music input is an impressive feat.
Unfortunately it just doesn't feel game-ready just yet. Perhaps it was
the song, but there was no discernible way to distinguish how the
notes corresponded to the song. At first I thought it was because easy
mode only had 3 keys - but the other two difficulties weren't any
better. Obviously as well, they were more difficult as well -
particularly because I felt there was no easy way to distinguish how
the notes and keys correspond except by X position. Of course, the
typical Guitar Hero color coded notes might have been too much, but
moving them closer together (as the arrows of DDR games are) might
have made it easier to pay attention to all the notes at once on the
harder difficulties. I enjoy rhythm games, and loved the song (never
heard it before!), so I see a lot of potential in this game's future
as it continues to be tweaked.


Game : Jumping Beans by Reider12

Score : 7

Comments : This is a great little hectic game. It reminds me some of
the classic Mario vs. Luigi pipe room battle games. The graphics and
music/sounds are great and charming and I found it interesting that
the other "beans" could use the same powerups that you could. It'd be
nice if the game tracked your best score per difficulty, or maybe
create a series of levels where you have to surpass a certain number
to progress - with each level getting harder as you progress. The
mouse control was a little unusual, but it worked for what the game
needed. An well-done entry that has great potential.


Game : Last Man Standing by Built By Man

Score : 3

Comments : A straightforward defense game. I like the twist of being
up in a tower, thus giving you a bit of aim down on the ground
assault. Unfortunately, the enemies just pop right up on the screen -
they need to be visible as they come onscreen (perhaps the offscreen
bounds needs to be tweaked?). Additionally, the difficulty ramps up
really quick as the heaviest enemies start showing up, especially
since they're not any slower than the rest, aren't paced out in any
manner, and it's impossible to increase your firing speed. The
graphics remind me of an Atari game, which isn't entirely a bad thing
- but some simple sound effects to match would have gone a long way.
Gaining lives for so many kills or points would be a nice touch as
well - as a reward to extend your game time.


Game : Linear man by DarkwingDuck

Score : 3

Comments : This game has a great idea but it needs a little more
polish. The collisions between various objects and obstacles is a bit
strange at times, and the controls leave something to be desired for
what amounts to a plaformer. Additionally, I couldn't beat the last
level except by "cheating" (or so it seemed to me) by creating lines
offscreen to avoid the falling spikes. With the slow movement and
limited jumping ability of the player, it was the only way I could get
through the area with the time given between the spikes falling. The
line-creation mechanism I misunderstood at first - hold space and THEN
press the arrow, not the other way around. This has great potential
and I hope that it keeps getting polished as things go on. The style
of the art was great for the design of the game, a good match.


Game : NEON ON by Manuel

Score : 7

Comments : This seemed to be a fairly straightforward Geometry
Wars-type shooter but very well executed. I liked how the destruction
of certain enemies could cause a chain reaction of destruction among
the others, as well as the numerous powerups made available to the
player. I did feel like I'd rather have had a dual-keyboard control
because the mouse just wasn't my ideal choice for aiming. I like to
strafe and attempting to do so with the mouse required me to put more
thought into moving the cursor to match - but that's something you can
learn in time. A dual stick controller wouldn't be amiss either,
obviously. Overall though, this is a solid entry.


Game : Planet Green by sharpleaf  [Note to Jon: the game has been
updated since the end of game jam, I could not play the GJ release as
a result.]

Score : 6

Comments : Wow, my eyes felt twisted after playing this. The rapid
Earth orbit background is really impressive but very taxing after
playing for any period of time. The game itself is a solid shooter and
the particle effects/explosions really sell the impact of your
weapon's force. Having the rapid-fire upgrade made all the difference
in the world for all but the first couple levels, and on the last one
I still didn't have enough bullets! The graphics are well done, but it
would have been better to create new images for the bigger objects
rather than just expanding them - they're a bit out of place since
they're so heavily pixelated. I know updates are being created for
this so this will be one to watch in the future.


Game : Planetai 2 by balore

Score : 8

Comments : This is a beautiful little game, so different from
everything I've played before. I really enjoyed fiddling around with
this trying to see what the different combination of rocks and comets
would make. I'd be nice to know in advance when an object was about to
enter, frequently I was sitting around waiting for comets because
they'd pop up and get destroyed immediately - though perhaps that was
my fault for not keeping the outer orbits clear enough. I do wish that
there was a little icon or highlighting on whichever object you were
currently altering - sometimes I wasn't entirely sure if I had
successfully "grabbed" it. One odd thing I noticed was that the
"infinite" mode ended - has it not been entirely implemented? Either
way, this is a great little diversion that has some great
replayability and charm. Good work!

Game : Portal Maze 2 by Mcsugarface

Score : 1

Comments : This is a simple maze game with a twist - you can get sent
back to past rooms! Unfortunately, the twist doesn't actually affect
the gameplay much - the player has already passed that level so it's
unlikely to prove a challenge to remember the correct path. Instead,
it just gets mildly frustrating to find out that you randomly picked
the wrong portal (especially since there's no way of knowing what the
right one is). The graphics are all over the place in terms of
quality; the character is cute in his own way, but the mazes and
portals are just too plain. The lack of sound effects or music is only
mitigated by the shortness of the game. I feel that the core mechanics
need some more tweaking - a portal and memory based maze game could do
well if done right.

Jon

  • *
  • Posts: 17524
Judge 2's Comments (Continued)

Game : Roll by dragonfrog

Score : 3

Comments : This game would have been better named "Bounce" instead of
"Roll". I love the idea, the cute graphics, and the silly story - but
actually playing this game is a chore. Timing your button press to get
the extra bounce seems difficult and if you mess up you lose all your
bounce height. On top of that, if you do manage to work your way
through the level anyway, the game seems to fail to detect
successfully clearing the red squares off. I couldn't get the door to
open for me at all. In one stage, the menu buttons at the top of the
screen stayed up there when I fell into a pit - I couldn't press them
anymore because they were offscreen! This game has great potential but
it needs more work.


Game : Spring Bot by Imalter

Score : 5

Comments : This game has a really neat idea - like golf except you
count the amount of force used over the course instead of the number
of strokes. Where it really shines though is the implementation of all
the little extras - trampolines, multiple energy magnets,
lava/lasers(?), etc. On the first few levels it seemed as though
maximum force was pretty much all that could be used to actually beat
the level, but that assumption was quickly dismissed with a few of the
later levels that required more precision. The addition of physics
objects as both an obstacle and an aid was a great idea that could be
expanded upon much more.

I do wish that there had been a few more things pointed out in the
tutorial text at some point (trampolines, lava, etc). A few of the
places where you have to use the ramps/angles to progress were
frustrating because the rolling/bouncing just wasn't matching up with
expectations. Noticeably, there were no sounds or music either, and
surprisingly not even a "replay" button at the endgame. Regardless,
this game has a good core and would be a great project to continue to
work on.


Game : The Righteous God by Pauzle

Score : 7

Comments : This game was a simple yet difficult platformer with some
really neat use of physic elements. I found it fairly difficult at
first, but each time I played a level (over and over) I managed to get
a bit farther and feel better about my skill (or luck). The simple
graphic elements worked well together without being too basic, and the
story/narration was an interesting impetus for progression. While
there wasn't much to the game beyond the core elements, they were very
well implemented. Good work.

Game : Up Up and Away by sonicspeed53

Score : 4

Comments : An interesting take on the "climbing" genre. The graphics
are simple and effective for the purpose. The thing I dislike however
is how slow the character feels. You can get a good vertical speed
going if you barely touch the sides of blocks and keep tapping space -
I like that, speed is fun. But as soon as you need to cross the screen
you lose all the speed (or if you accidentally push toward onto the
side of a block). If you could do something about friction and
side-to-side movement to create a better flow, I think this could be a
great game.


Game : Super Bubble Bounce by Epic and Ethan?

Score : 8

Comments : This is a great, solid, well done game. Not only are the
mechanics and controls well implemented, but there are 50 (!)
challenging levels to play. Another nice touch is that not all levels
focus on precision - there are "puzzle" levels as well. The graphics
are simple and effective, I liked that all the blocks were clearly
marked as to how they act. This is a great entry that I enjoyed
playing.

Jon

  • *
  • Posts: 17524
I did not officially judge this jam, but I played through the entries and broke the 3-way tie for 3rd place both with my own judgement as well as the judgement of 2 team members who have judged several jams for us in the past.

---

Cold Boot

Pretty polished demo with some rather great sound effects and ambient music to fit. I'd like to see this fleshed out more with particular attention paid to the interactions with the environment and what you can do with it.

For example, I (and another judge) got stuck early on in a part where I couldn't stack the crates, even after "kicking" the boxes around. This is a mechanic that needs some refinement. I like the idea of building in physics-based puzzles, but getting stuck isn't fun.

6

---

CrissCross

For the most part, I liked this game. The premise is simple - it's like Pac Man except you can shoot the ghosts, and you can also shoot yourself (which is the most common cause of death). The game gets harder through different layouts, different kinds of tiles and more enemy types. Overall, I liked the gameplay and left wanting more, which is a good thing.

Pre-game instructions are a nice touch, and the graphics, although simple, are appropriate for the game. Sound effects are spot on. The only thing that sort of confuses me is the spawning sequence. It's hard to know exactly when and where you're spawning due to the way it flashes and that, combined with the art style.

All in all, although it's not the most sophisticated game we've seen done with our platform, it's well executed and polished for what it is. Good job!

7

---

Dangerous Dungeons

Dangerous Dungeons impresses out of the gate with some rather good pixel art. The overall vibe reminds me of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, although the actual gameplay leans more towards precision platforming rather than puzzle.

Gameplay wise, I like what I see in general, but the mechanics need refinement. The controls are too loose, making the game unforgiving and harder to play than it really is. The level design varies from just OK to pretty interesting (the level where the gear sneaks up on you). After the deadline, the author added many more levels that get much more interesting and challenging.

Overall, this is easily one of the strongest games I've seen from a new user. Far from perfect, but for the time that the author's spent with StencylWorks, it's impressive.

7

---

Super Bubble Bounce by Ethan

It's a simple bouncing ball game where you move the ball left/right to grab all the coins. One of the major design decisions was to make the ball lose some of its height with each bounce. Overall, it's a decent game, but one that could use some refinement.

While it's fairly polished relative to other games in the jam, the level design varies widely in quality and difficulty. Sometimes the levels are well thought out. Some others are way too focused on timing and precision. There are a bunch of breather levels which feel like throwaways to me - I rather there just be breathing built into the game flow (like pausing after the end of a level rather than auto-continue). At times, some levels feel like repeats.

The game would also be improved if there were incentive to beat a level in different ways, rather than just collecting the coins. For example, tracking the number of bounces used to beat a level or even using that as a gating factor, would help. Just something to incentivize the user to press onward. Right now, there's no incentive to really dig in and play through because there's no tracking of progress besides which levels you've beaten.

Graphics style is on the simple side. Sounds are good. Music is noticeably distracting. Overall, it's a solid game but one in need of refinement to become a great one.

6.5

« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 12:20:27 am by Jon »

Rhys

  • Posts: 1046
Congratulations AdventureIslands and everyone else who participated!

Imalter

  • Posts: 96
Congratulations to the winners! And thanks to the Judges for sharing their opinion!

Luyren

  • *
  • Posts: 1712
Congratulations everyone!
Working.

dineyin

  • Posts: 110
Woooo, Congrats AdventureIslands, and good job everyone! Now let's keep making more awesome games!

Thanks again to the judges for taking the time to play and judge all the games

gmvasco

  • Posts: 44
Congratulations to the winners. As a participant myself, I must say that the feedback from the judges is a great help in improving our games. So, thanks for that too!

AdventureIslands

  • *
  • Posts: 728
Thank you! And congratulations for the other winners too. Great games!

Great feedback from the judges! I keep your words in mind when I keep adding stages and improving the game.

Strasteo

  • Posts: 322
Congrats, everyone! :]

Manuel

  • *
  • Posts: 764
Congratulations to everyone. :)
Game developers are the deities of the virtual realm.
Game Development Blog
Personal Tumblr
Personal Twitter

KungFuFurby

  • *
  • Posts: 487
Boy do I feel like a million bucks!  ;D
Hi, all! I'm KungFuFurby, music composer. If you're looking for some music for your game, just PM me.
My Works List for Non-Stencyl Games
My Works List for Stencyl Games

Epic428

  • Posts: 1118
Congratulations to everyone who entered. I haven't played all of the games yet, though. Keep working hard and eventually you will realize the vision of all your games.

Congrats to those who won as well, personally, I voted for Dangerous Dungeons to win, though, I was not a judge for this competition. I thought out of every game I had the chance to play it was done extremely well and I think, with a bit more work and polish, it could see the featured section of Kongregate and other game portals.
James Moore - Official Support & Documentation.
We cannot and will not respond to PM's asking questions. Please make a new thread in the forums if you have any questions, Thank you.
For better support and faster response times, please post your logs regarding any Stencyl related issues. Debug > Logs > Generate Logs