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Game Design Theory / 2007 Text Adventure Competition

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tha_rami
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Posted: 5th Oct 2007 23:09
Which is not really an answer to my question . Can I submit Wartorn for judging or not?


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 7th Oct 2007 02:23
Sure, you can submit for the game to be judged, but you'll be ineligible for prizes of course .

tha_rami
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Posted: 7th Oct 2007 18:38 Edited at: 7th Oct 2007 18:40
I hereby submit Wartorn: Jarod's Fall as an unofficial entry to the 2007 Text Adventure Competition. The source has been sent to your e-mail: ********@misoftstudios.com for your consideration.

Download Link

Wow, that sounds official.


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Dazzag
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Posted: 9th Oct 2007 13:58 Edited at: 9th Oct 2007 13:59
Quote: "How is everyone else doing on their projects?"
Annoyingly I got sidetracked by an amazing amount of work, plus holidays (I live down the road from the beach and it's still 30C now...), and birds kind of froze my development for about 2 months

While DarkMUD currently works as a simple MUD allowing loads (only limited by disk space and sheer number of ASP requests in a single MUD adventure (you can have more than one, with each possibly existing on different servers) once every few seconds really, but a simple ASP request once every second or 3 is hardly going to kill things, esp if we are only talking about dozens to hundreds of players) of people to wander around and talk to each other, I'd rather wait till I sort out one or two more things before releasing a beta (mainly combat and the ability to modify your own MUD adventure game). Even if I wanted to release it as an entry, I haven't done any story building yet.

So no adventure compo entry for me Never really thought it would be allowed anyways as it isn't a classic adventure. Not that I was that bothered. Just wanted to write a simple MUD.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
entomophobiac
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Posted: 9th Oct 2007 16:53
I'm still working on it. Piecing together the last few functions at the moment and will then spend a week scripting the storyline into the game, without having to make a single recompile...

Great.

It's not nearly as complete as I would have wanted it to be, because life got in the way, but I'm still going strong.
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 9th Oct 2007 17:26
Mine's going fairly well. It's called Duality, has a WIP post and I finished Chapter 3 of 4 yesterday. I think i'll make the deadline, although more testing time would be nice. But I think it'll be fine, timewise.

Oh, and if anyone wants to look at it, this is the WIP thread:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=115287&b=8

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
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Posted: 9th Oct 2007 18:11
Hah, as if. I wish there was some more reaction to that Text Adventure genre, but alas.


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Dazzag
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Posted: 9th Oct 2007 19:03 Edited at: 9th Oct 2007 19:05
I've been meaning to check out Duality too. Looks good. Just haven't the time (again). Hopefully tomorrow.

Quote: "I wish there was some more reaction to that Text Adventure genre, but alas"
Unfortuantly flashy effects are what gets them in. 2D games will be ignored a lot more too unless covered in amazing (probably actually 3D) effects. Way of the world now. You can even see it in commercial games. Text games? No chance. Even text with great graphics, or point-and-click efforts are practically non-existant. Annoying. What I wouldn't do for another Gnome Ranger, Discworld, Day Of The Tentacle, or Sam and Max (they actually almost completed the sequel apparently, but LucasArts wanted to wait until the market picked up again). Not a chance...

Suppose these days everything is fairly dummed down, much like sodding reality TV rubbish pretty much putting decent TV into the shadows. A shame cos it used to totally rock.

Personally though I'm just doing it because I used to love MUDs. Always wanted to make one, so I will. If no-one touches it then I don't really care. Has been fun, considering after 911 (our travel system company really had hard times for years) I haven't had the time or inclination to do game programming on top of everything else. Good to be back

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Blastwave man
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Posted: 10th Oct 2007 16:00
The entry's for this comp so far are cool, and I'm glad the-rami isn't allowed to enter, or I wouldn't bother entering

i've finally finished writing the dialogue and narration for my entry, now I'm trying to build a good engine for the game. Hopefully I will get it done in the next few days so I have time to test it before the 19th...which is 9 days away!! ah!

I hope my entry turns heads in a different direction of game design. Even though it's pure text, it wouldn't be hard to translate my game into 30. The main idea behind it is:
(story spoiler...sorta)


so back to work, must complete it!


Current Project: Blastwave Saga
Completion: 33% (give or take a percentage)
tha_rami
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Posted: 10th Oct 2007 17:07
Hah! I like that idea


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 10th Oct 2007 23:58
I'm glad to see some good entries this year, I can't wait to play them all

entomophobiac
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Posted: 11th Oct 2007 12:34
Just need to ask a few questions. I know I ridiculed questions along these lines before, but the new rules and the way they've been interpreted here has me confused...

1: Can I have text that is blinking, or is this animation of some kind? It's closely tied to the way I've solved the gameplay itself, so it would be a major let-down if I can't.

2: Is it allowed to use text colors to provide feedback? Green = successful keypress; Red = unsuccessful keypress.


All this is text and nothing else, mind you and there is no static HUD -- it's on a per-screen and per-scene basis.

Would much appreciate a reply.
tha_rami
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Posted: 11th Oct 2007 19:50 Edited at: 11th Oct 2007 19:52
Coloring is considered okay - that is certain. Of course, only for clarification (not as in part of puzzles, ie. which word is colored red?).

The blinking is harder. As long as the blinking doesn't influence gameplay (i.e. count the number of blinks or similar) it is considered plain text, I think.

I am not an official judge, BTW.


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Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 13th Oct 2007 22:35
I think tha_rami's comments are sensible.

And... Ta-da! Duality, my entry into the text adventure competition, is finished! Prepare to sink into a terrifying world of the supernatural, where ancient things lurk in the darkness...

Click the download button to get it! It's in a zip file, and the source code is provided. Anybody who wants to use that source code, feel free, but I would advise that you don't, since writing your own code would be more beneficial in the long run. Plus my code's hardly perfect.

Also, this is my first finished project using DarkBasic Professional! So thankyou to everyone who encouraged me.

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.

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Matt Rock
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Posted: 13th Oct 2007 23:17
Quote: "1: Can I have text that is blinking, or is this animation of some kind?"

That's a tough one. It depends on what the text is doing really... if it's a part of the game's HUD, then I'd have to say avoid it, because a judge might interpret that as animation. So long as the blinking has nothing to do with the story and in no way tries to show the environment, I can't see a problem with using it. But it will ultimately be the decision of the judge who plays it... I can't speak for them, whoever it ends up being.

Quote: "2: Is it allowed to use text colors to provide feedback? Green = successful keypress; Red = unsuccessful keypress."

I don't see a problem with that, various colors are okay to use as far as I'm concerned. As Rami pointed out, as long as it isn't used in puzzles, you're fine .

We're getting close to judging time, only a few days remaining! Keep those entries coming .

Dr Manette
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Posted: 14th Oct 2007 23:40
Speaking on judges, when are you going to choose them? I *might* be interested, depending on what I have to do. Just wanted to drop by, cause I know I kind of backed out of the compo to work on my group's projects and I thought I'd participate in other ways.

tha_rami
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Posted: 15th Oct 2007 03:39
Quote: "NOTE: The judges have the final say in how each rule is interpreted. Attempts to intentionally deviate from these rules will result in disqualification. The competition's judges reserve the right to disqualify entries if they feel the need, and will present a written statement as to why these entries have been disqualified so as to avoid confusion or unfairness. The judges have been selected because they are mature, trustworthy, contributing members of the TGC community, so don't worry about any judges treating you and/ or your entry unjustly!"



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Matt Rock
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Posted: 15th Oct 2007 05:35
We already have the judges, but ty If we get any last minute drop-outs, I'll be sure to drop you an e-mail . Speaking of which, can the judges please e-mail me ASAP so I can be certain you're still following this thread? hehe, ty.

entomophobiac
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Posted: 15th Oct 2007 16:05
Quote: "That's a tough one. It depends on what the text is doing really... if it's a part of the game's HUD, then I'd have to say avoid it, because a judge might interpret that as animation. So long as the blinking has nothing to do with the story and in no way tries to show the environment, I can't see a problem with using it. But it will ultimately be the decision of the judge who plays it... I can't speak for them, whoever it ends up being."


I feel quite uncomfortable with this falling entirely on the hands of the judges. Truly, the system is quite simple:

You see a representation of text implemented depending on what you need to do. Solid white means press or press and hold. Blinking white means that you need to press rapidly. The number of blinks or anything of the sort is irrelevant. It's just blinking to show you that you need to press several times.

I guess this could count as a HUD but that it also could be irrelevant. The whole idea behind my concept was to make it a text adventure in real-time, however. Guess this mechanic could be removed, though, in case it's a problem.

But leaving it entirely up to "chance" in the case of judging makes me a bit uncomfortable with the judging procedure...
tha_rami
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Posted: 15th Oct 2007 18:16 Edited at: 15th Oct 2007 18:17
You could add some sort of textual description instead of the coloring, I gues. Kind of like:

Quote: ""You feel you should press and hold the button now.""


Quote: ""The small LED display indicates that you should rapidly press the button!""


You can color text for clarity, so make it bright red and that'll work!

Remember, I'm not a offiial representative of the compo, my posts have no real value, just my opinion on things.


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 16th Oct 2007 01:53
I trust the judges to make competent decisions regarding the rules and regulations of the competition. And with so few entries this year, all of the judges will be playing and judging all of the games, so you won't need to worry about one rogue person ruining your entry's chances of success. It's the same system we used last year and everyone seemed happy with the performance of the judges. To be safe, I'd set it up as an option so that it can be turned off and on like media. Now that I know specifically what it's doing, it's sort of a GUI thing, and while it borders the limitations of the contest I would personally overlook it during the judging process. All in all, I wouldn't worry about it too much, and if you aren't secure about how it's implemented, just pop in the option and all will be well .

entomophobiac
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Posted: 16th Oct 2007 10:04
I think these rules are a bit too drastic, in case you can't use even simple tricks such as this. And even more so in case it's all up to the whims of the judges.

Of course -- I trust the judges are judges for a good reason, and I know that I could have asked these questions earlier on, but I'll probably tune down my work and hand in what I can manage to finish either way.

Making changes to core mechanics at this time would be quite destructive to the project.
entomophobiac
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Posted: 17th Oct 2007 20:59
I've decided not to participate this year, for several reasons. I'll still submit the prologue part of the game before deadline, but don't think it's significant enough to be judged. We'll see what anyone else thinks.

Good luck to everyone, though! Competitions are a great way to learn new things!
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 18th Oct 2007 00:17
Hi, my game - Duality - has already been submitted here. I just want to make clear, though, that the one I submitted here is the version I want to be entered: I may bring out newer versions of it in the future, with media and such which would disqualify it, but if you could just judge the one I uploaded here, that'd be great.

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
Dazzag
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Posted: 18th Oct 2007 09:25
Quote: "with media and such which would disqualify it"
Why not have media as an option with it defaulted to off. Pretty sure almost anything goes as long as that is the case. Unless of course you want the media to be mandatory to solving a puzzle or whatever.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 18th Oct 2007 19:28
Oh, media won't be required to solve puzzles, the version which has no media whatsoever is fully complete-able (hm, a new word there...) I just wanted to make it clear that, if someone finds a newer version, judges that and finds that there's media in it, then that's not really the one to judge.

I shall probably provide various on/off flags for whether or not media is to be included anyway.

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
Tom J
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Posted: 19th Oct 2007 19:12
Approx. 12 hours until the deadline

Site temporarily down - it will return soon with new features and a new url!
Text Adventure competition 2007
tha_rami
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Posted: 19th Oct 2007 21:26
Almost over, indeed. Can't wait to see all submissions .


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BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Oct 2007 02:04
I'm going to submit mine now. I was going to fix up a Save Game system but it was ticking me off . If you want to play with the save system, just take out the "remstart" and "remend"s near the beginning and end of the code and recompile.

So, I hereby submit Reality Bend to be entered in the 2007 Text Adventure Competition.


Cheers,


"Fire is always at the top of the food chain, and it has a big appetite."

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entomophobiac
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Posted: 20th Oct 2007 03:20
Here's the prologue for Daring Dash, which is the text adventure I initially intended to make.

It's hardly been tested and has tons of inconsistencies, so I cut it VERY short more as a teaser than anything else.

It'll probably never be finished, unless I finish it for next year's competition

Good luck everyone!

No sourcecode has been submitted here, as I don't consider myself an entrant in the competition. Not with an entry such as this one.

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Matt Rock
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Posted: 21st Oct 2007 00:08
Thanks for your entries! We'll judge these over the weekend and post the results as soon as we know them. Good luck to all of the entrants!

Unfortunately we didn't have many entries this year, so next year we'll more than likely dumb down the rules considerably so more people enter. I think the rules were a bit too confusing this year and may have kept some people from entering. But to those of you who did enter, I'm looking forward to playing your games and can't wait to see who the winner is!

tha_rami
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Posted: 21st Oct 2007 01:41 Edited at: 21st Oct 2007 01:41
Heh, so do I. Check your mail, BTW.


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entomophobiac
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Posted: 24th Oct 2007 01:56
I personally think the "no HUD" rule was a bit too much. No media is fine and there's really a simple definition as well. No ascii and so on, too.

But no HUD? Can mean a thousand different things under different circumstances.

Terrific competition, however.

I'd want to see innovation competitions. For example, "RTS Innovation" or "FPS Innovation" with small concepts just aiming to make something new -- introduce a new feature.

That could generate som very interesting results.
tha_rami
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Posted: 24th Oct 2007 04:33
You can have a HUD?


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 25th Oct 2007 00:25
I've hit a minor snag judging this year's entries as unexpected events took control of my week up to today, but I only have one more game to judge and the other judges have submitted their scores already, so we should have the final scores posted tomorrow night. Because we had so few entries this year, I'll just announce the winners in this thread. Anyway, keep an eye out for the winner's circle .

Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 25th Oct 2007 13:08
Woo! I'm a-watching this thread. The tension... the tension...

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
BMacZero
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Posted: 25th Oct 2007 17:30
Ditto...hehe


"Fire is always at the top of the food chain, and it has a big appetite."
Matt Rock
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Posted: 26th Oct 2007 01:29
Bad news! I was tabulating the final scores a short while ago, and only then did I realize that one of the judges accidentally missed an entry, the game Daring Dash. It's entirely my fault because he emailed me with the results a few days ago and in my infinite wisdom I didn't check to make sure he had all of the entries judged . So the fate of dishing up the contest's results rests in how soon he checks his email and how quickly he judges the final game (but I'm sure he'll take enough time to be fair). Hopefully it won't slow us down too much... but if you're a judge and you're reading this, you better check your email pronto, hehe.

But look at the bright side, my goof-up will build up the suspense just a little bit more . The actual good news is that DD is a relatively short game and shouldn't take too long to judge, so hopefully we'll only need to wait a few more hours. Sorry about the minor added delay everyone, but it wouldn't be a TGC Text Adventure Competition without something going wrong .

BMacZero
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Posted: 26th Oct 2007 01:44
Arrrg!! *twitch* *twitch*

lol
We all like a little suspense.


"Fire is always at the top of the food chain, and it has a big appetite."
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 26th Oct 2007 12:29
Haha, ah, where would we be without cockups?

Meh, I don't mind the wait. I'd much rather have the entry judged slowly and fairly, even if it does slow everything else a little.

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
Matt Rock
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 01:09
THE RESULTS
Finally, the long-awaited outcome of months of hard work are about to be displayed for all to see. I tabulated the results three times and had an unbiased, non-judging friend who hadn't played the games calculate the results three times as well to double-check my math. Surprisingly, all of the games entered this year came extremely close in scoring, and all of the entries were absolutely terrific. What is also, equally odd, all three judges submitted their picks for the kudos awards, and the games with the most votes in each category were also the games that scored the best in those categories. So, without further adieu, here are the results of the 2007 Text Adventure Competition!

GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Duality

Kudos Awards:
Originality: Reality Bend
Story Development: Duality
Writing Ability: Duality
Technical Design: Duality
Best Media: *** Explained below ***
Most Addictive Game: Daring Dash
Best GUI: Reality Bend
Retail Award: Duality

Best Media Issue:
As you're all more than likely aware of, Tha_Rami's entry Wartorn: Jarod's Fall was ineligible for this year's competition, as he's one of our artists at MISoft Studios. But the problem presented to us while judging the games is that Jarod's Fall was the only game submitted this year with proper media, and thus it's the only game eligible for this award. So I leave it to the TGC public whether (A) his entry wins the award, (B) we give the award to the game with the most legible text, or (C) we simply don't give out a Best Media Kudos reward this year. So please let me know what you all think about this issue and how we should take care of it. Everyone won a kudos award already and is getting a free copy of Eternal Equinox already (and Duality won a free copy of Playbasic for winning in the Technical Design category), and Rami already has a copy of EE, so I didn't see anyone really being upset by this, but I wanted to ask just to be safe.

Here are the final scores of all the games, in case you're wondering how your games scored in each category, as I'm sure you are . Please note that all scores were rounded up (so 7.3334 becomes a 7.4), the same as last year's competition. Also, I added some notes for each game so you understand why we scored them in certain ways:

Duality


Reality Bend


Daring Dash



Wartorn


Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Text Adventure Competition! Next year we're going to dramatically simplify the rules and open the doors so more people can get involved. I see how the rules were far too complex this year and that it kept some people from submitting games, so I promise that next year's competition will be much easier to comply with.

PRIZE COLLECTION!
Everyone who entered this year won a prize, which is awesome. I'll collect your email addresses after I post this thread and contact you through the email addy you have on TGC (unless you supplied an email address with your entry). If you don't have an email address posted here, please email me as soon as you can, either with the email button down below or by sending it to:
mattrock {at} misoftstudios {dot} com
For Duality, I'll need your name, address, and phone number so they can get your prizes to you. For all other entries, go to The Eternal Equinox Website, download the game, and use the registration code I email to you to unlock the full version of the game. Again, to all of our winners this year, congratulations!

tha_rami
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 01:19 Edited at: 27th Oct 2007 03:46
Congratulations Darth Kiwi! The best man has won, and won more than fairly . Duality was total ownage.

Also congrats to the other prize winners. Reality Bend and Daring Dash sure were fun to play.

I'm honored to have won a prize and darn proud about my ratings - not bad at all for my first complete game. Winning a Kudo's award is a big honor and I'd be happy to accept the prize to help yóu out, Matt. Drop me a mail, you might know what I'm talking about. I'll surely be trying to join in with an ineligible title next year to spice up the compo! Maybe about my new universe that is completely ready for writing about when Wartorn is done. My primary focus is on getting the Wartorn story done now.

I'll do a shameless plug: about addictiveness, Wartorn: Jarods Fall has a scoring system if you complete the game! It'll see how well you did, how many secrets you found, and rate you! Do post up your scores if you do complete it .

Finally, thanks to Matt and MiSoft Studios for hosting this contest. Keep looking around for a special, in-depth interview with contest host Matt Rock about the competition, text adventures and life!


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BMacZero
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 03:32
That's great! Good job Darth Kiwi, that really was some great writing.



Thanks Matt


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Dazzag
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 14:39
Well done with the competition Matt, and to the winner.

Hopefully though next time there will be more entries. I'm just annoyed I didn't have time to enter at least a simple version of DarkMUD. I could have (code is done to walk around and chat), just have been really busy with business. Next time...

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Matt Rock
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 23:10
I was looking forward to DarkMUD, too. I really hope you can get it finished for next year's competition!

Even though we didn't have nearly as many entries as we had last year, I've already isolated the reason for that... complicated rules. I'm going to severely dumb down the rules next year and I'm already thinking about how some of the alterations will take place. This year's judges included Gaming Colosseum, myself, and a member of the MISoft Studios team whose working on EE2. We're all competant enough to distinguish quality writing from media I think, and so were the judges from last year's competition. So shy of objections from my fellow forum dwellers, I think next year's TAC will openly allow media of all kinds, but if you tell the story using images instead of text it will hurt your score because only the text will be used to judge the game. That would probably keep people from "cheating" with media.

So what do you all think of that? What rules did you like and which ones did you hate this year? I'd love to see next year's competition bring in 10+ entries. And we'll have several new games released by next summer as well, so we can give away more prizes from MISoft's catalog . lol this year's competition just ended and I'm already excited about next year .

tha_rami
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 23:23
I liked the media should not provide any advantages to the game rule. Media should include ASCII if you ask me.


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Clackersmith
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Posted: 28th Oct 2007 01:24 Edited at: 28th Oct 2007 01:30
I was about ready to submit my entry this year (It's finished up to a point where I'm happy with it and it confines to the rule of the compo) but I decided not to due to the competitions restrictions. I'm not saying they where bad, after all we are talking about a text adventure here, nothing "graphically" fancy.

But I'm looking to do more with my project then just the standard text adventure. I fell I can tell the story better with a little graphics at my side, so like I said, I decided to hang back and not release my project until I'm 100% (or close enough) satisfied with what I have.

So all in all I feel the rules where good for the creation of a “text book” text adventure, I just believe some people (my self included) where looking to do a little more then what was allowed. Which of course overlooks the whole point of the competition in the first place, but hey that’s my honest opinion.

BMacZero
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Location: E:/ NA / USA
Posted: 28th Oct 2007 01:01
Quote: "lol this year's competition just ended and I'm already excited about next year .
"


Lol, me too, I already have a storyline.

See you next year!


"Fire is always at the top of the food chain, and it has a big appetite."
Dazzag
19
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Location: Cyprus
Posted: 28th Oct 2007 15:45
Quote: "I was looking forward to DarkMUD, too"
Well it has been ready for a WIP demo (walk around and chat to other people is about it really) for a while now, I've just been too busy. I have a massive hangover today, but I may get a WIP going if I can work out how to think correctly again

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Matt Rock
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Location: Binghamton NY USA
Posted: 28th Oct 2007 16:50
hehe you need to cut back a little . And I need to spend more time on the WIP boards, I never seem to find out about anything until it hits the PA boards because I'm mostly a GC, GDT, and PA dweller.

Darth Kiwi and Entomophobiac, check your email! I'm wondering if Kiwi knows that he won the event, he hasn't responded to my email yet and hasn't posted on the thread since I announced the winners. Entomophobiac got his prize via email but I'm wondering if Yahoo is being silly again. If either of you haven't gotten your emails for any reason, I can send them again through the MISoft website mail, or you can email me at mattrock {at} misoftstudios {dot} com. Seeing reactions to people winning is 85% of the fun in hosting this competition each year, hehe.

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