Stonking Great Game Contest Now Live!

HillDragon

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Apr 16, 2009
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Spinwhiz said:
The rules are set such that we are protected as much as you are. This is our brand and our copyright and we would like to keep it that way. If we did not add those rules, that means anyone could just make a ZP related game and we would have no protection at all.
Can we extract from/use whole ZP eps for the games or is it limited solely to the dev. pack?
Spinwhiz said:
As for the chance for "monetary compensation"...do you honestly think we would take a game that we didn't create to market? And if we did, don't you think it would be in our best interest to INCLUDE the developer? It doesn't make much business sense to leave out the person who created and grab a bunch of bad PR from the market, industry and community.
Hey, it worked/works for Microsoft =P
 

Falmil

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Aug 5, 2009
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Well, its good to know something got worked out on the game rights. Now all I really want to know is the rules on using different software libraries.
 

usethefork

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Oct 22, 2008
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After reading through this thread, I think that the Escapist should definitely host the top three games for everyone to play...preferably the top five.
 

Soundman

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Dec 14, 2008
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I'll jump right on this, though knowing me, I'll work on it for like one day and then realize that I'm too lazy to code it all.

I can make damn good intros and menus though.
 

Woem

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May 28, 2009
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Talking about a bag of goodies! That asset collection is worth its weight in gold!

It's a shame it has to be a flash game though, my first idea was to create a text-based adventure in the style of Zork. "Opening the mailbox reveals a hat." I'm no flash hero, but I'll see what I can come up with.
 

cyro_349

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Aug 7, 2009
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Hey there was a couple of things I was wondering about the competition.

Can the creator of the game put their logo/link to their website on the game? Also can they put the game on a website or in a folio (have screenshots of the game and a link to a page where the game can be played - to the community games page if it wins)?
 

Mr Companion

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Spinwhiz said:
^Mimi said:
Fairn said:
^Mimi said:
We make the game, then send it in expecting monetary compensation, but after we submitted it's already *yours*. You're legally released of any consequences.
The people you are referring to should learn to read all contest information (instead of assuming the info) from this point on because there's no reason anyone should be expecting monetary compensation from this contest. Like you stated, money isn't a prize here.
Friends,

The rules are set such that we are protected as much as you are. This is our brand and our copyright and we would like to keep it that way. If we did not add those rules, that means anyone could just make a ZP related game and we would have no protection at all.

As for the chance for "monetary compensation"...do you honestly think we would take a game that we didn't create to market? And if we did, don't you think it would be in our best interest to INCLUDE the developer? It doesn't make much business sense to leave out the person who created and grab a bunch of bad PR from the market, industry and community.

We are looking forward to seeing some awesome games that we and the community will enjoy playing.
In answer to your statement. =)
Money is not a prize, that is correct and we aren't even looking into that avenue. We wanted to create a fun event for all of the ZP fans, that was the main point. The prize is to have Yahtzee himself judge your game and have it featured in an upcoming ZP. Not to mention the game will be up on our site.
Yes I can see the community is really chuffed about this friendly competition you have here, such goodwill in the air on this forum and no mistake :). People seem apprehensive about investing time in this.

It could be because people are not so extatic about yahzee verbally assaulting them for three minuets about a game they would waste weeks or months of their personal time crafting.

Or it could be because they get minimal credit despite their lone production of the game. Or the lack of any compensation for their efforts at all, or the £500+ price mark on the creation software.. Or because they have better things to do and better lives to live. Expecting the fan base to become self sacrificial over an opportunity to have something that for all legal purposes is only very loosely connected to them touched or experienced by a man they will never meet, never talk to and know almost nothing about is beyond presumptuous.

On another note me and my brother began work on a game for this contest only to realise that the game is expected to be ZP related, and that this was not mentioned in the specifactions. Am I right in thinking that? Because we were making a game entirely unrelated to ZP. But evidence suggest that is not the objective. Are we supposed to assume it is to be ZP related? Am I dumb? An answer would be appreciated. Apologies for the wall of text.

Edit: Also "yahzee himself" Is simply delightful.
 

Spinwhiz

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Oct 8, 2007
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Mr Companion said:
Spinwhiz said:
^Mimi said:
Fairn said:
^Mimi said:
We make the game, then send it in expecting monetary compensation, but after we submitted it's already *yours*. You're legally released of any consequences.
The people you are referring to should learn to read all contest information (instead of assuming the info) from this point on because there's no reason anyone should be expecting monetary compensation from this contest. Like you stated, money isn't a prize here.
Friends,

The rules are set such that we are protected as much as you are. This is our brand and our copyright and we would like to keep it that way. If we did not add those rules, that means anyone could just make a ZP related game and we would have no protection at all.

As for the chance for "monetary compensation"...do you honestly think we would take a game that we didn't create to market? And if we did, don't you think it would be in our best interest to INCLUDE the developer? It doesn't make much business sense to leave out the person who created and grab a bunch of bad PR from the market, industry and community.

We are looking forward to seeing some awesome games that we and the community will enjoy playing.
In answer to your statement. =)
Money is not a prize, that is correct and we aren't even looking into that avenue. We wanted to create a fun event for all of the ZP fans, that was the main point. The prize is to have Yahtzee himself judge your game and have it featured in an upcoming ZP. Not to mention the game will be up on our site.
Yes I can see the community is really chuffed about this friendly competition you have here, such goodwill in the air on this forum and no mistake :). People seem apprehensive about investing time in this.

It could be because people are not so extatic about yahzee verbally assaulting them for three minuets about a game they would waste weeks or months of their personal time crafting.

Or it could be because they get minimal credit despite their lone production of the game. Or the lack of any compensation for their efforts at all, or the £500+ price mark on the creation software.. Or because they have better things to do and better lives to live. Expecting the fan base to become self sacrificial over an opportunity to have something that for all legal purposes is only very loosely connected to them touched or experienced by a man they will never meet, never talk to and know almost nothing about is beyond presumptuous.

On another note me and my brother began work on a game for this contest only to realise that the game is expected to be ZP related, and that this was not mentioned in the specifactions. Am I right in thinking that? Because we were making a game entirely unrelated to ZP. But evidence suggest that is not the objective. Are we supposed to assume it is to be ZP related? Am I dumb? An answer would be appreciated. Apologies for the wall of text.

Edit: Also "yahzee himself" Is simply delightful.
Yes, the game must have something to do with ZP. I thought I had put it in the contest write-up before, so upon looking "Starting Wednesday, August 5th, 2009, The Escapist will be taking submissions for browser based Zero Punctuation games." Yup, it was there.
 

Spinwhiz

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Oct 8, 2007
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Hi Peeps,

I'm working on trying to formulate all the questions and get some answers into one post. Thank you for your patience.

~Spin
 

harryjre

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Nov 27, 2008
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Hey all, I was skimming through the thread, and I didn't see this addressed.

This is the part of the rules I want to ask about:

All games submitted to The Escapist's Stonking Great Game Contest must be the exclusive property of the contest entrant and have never before appeared or been playable in any form anywhere.
I was thinking of having some friends test a game out before I submit it, but this part of the rules implies I can't do that.

Thoughts?
 

aamesxdavid

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Dec 24, 2008
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harryjre said:
I was thinking of having some friends test a game out before I submit it, but this part of the rules implies I can't do that.
I think you're taking that statement farther than it was intended. Saying it's "never before appeared" (my interpretation) really just means that it has never been a publicly available game. Having someone else play it is fine, provided they cannot distribute it in any form. I understand trying to follow the exact letter of the law, but give the Escapist a little credit in discouraging any "cheating" while not trying to screw you out of any opportunity to fairly improve your chances of winning.

In particular, I'd like to point out harryjre's post as a perfectly reasonable response to a part of the contest rules. He read a statement, made an assumption (albeit a logical one), stated his concern, and asked for clarification.

What he did not do was rant about how ignorant the Escapist was in the game development process, and point out how the vast majority of games made are subject to external playtesting, and that more serious and talented developers would consider entering if they were allowed the simple rights that all other developers around the world have.

My point being, while the question of reskinning your game was still being looked into, everyone decided to get up in arms about how horrible these rules were, and how disgusted with the Escapist they were for being so obtuse about intellectual property rights. I just don't see what's wrong with asking for clarification, and if something is clarified in a way you disagree with, politely explaining your reasons why, and requesting that they be revised.

My apologies, that got a bit tangential, I just wanted to explain my responses to other posts.
 

Soundman

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Dec 14, 2008
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harryjre said:
Hey all, I was skimming through the thread, and I didn't see this addressed.

This is the part of the rules I want to ask about:

All games submitted to The Escapist's Stonking Great Game Contest must be the exclusive property of the contest entrant and have never before appeared or been playable in any form anywhere.
I was thinking of having some friends test a game out before I submit it, but this part of the rules implies I can't do that.

Thoughts?
I'd probably be fine as long as long as no one downloads it and distributes it to other sites. You'd be held accountable and your entry would be null and void.

What I'm wondering about is the file size limit.
 
Aug 5, 2009
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harryjre said:
Hey all, I was skimming through the thread, and I didn't see this addressed.

This is the part of the rules I want to ask about:

All games submitted to The Escapist's Stonking Great Game Contest must be the exclusive property of the contest entrant and have never before appeared or been playable in any form anywhere.
I was thinking of having some friends test a game out before I submit it, but this part of the rules implies I can't do that.

Thoughts?
To avoid the possibility of having your half-finished game published all over the internet (which I assume this rule is here to prevent) you could simply code in a block that doesn't allow the current build to be played on any other date, or if you have your own website and know some server-scripting language, you could build a simple password-protected version that changes every time someone logs in, which only you have access too.

That is unless this rule is to be taken literally, in which case you wouldn't be allowed to build and test your game yourself. I really doubt that.

Now that the rules have transformed into a shining beacon of fairness I'll most likely throw my hat into the ring... hat-throwing based gameplay, of course!
 

harryjre

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Nov 27, 2008
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aamesxdavid said:
harryjre said:
I was thinking of having some friends test a game out before I submit it, but this part of the rules implies I can't do that.
I think you're taking that statement farther than it was intended. Saying it's "never before appeared" (my interpretation) really just means that it has never been a publicly available game. Having someone else play it is fine, provided they cannot distribute it in any form. I understand trying to follow the exact letter of the law, but give the Escapist a little credit in discouraging any "cheating" while not trying to screw you out of any opportunity to fairly improve your chances of winning.
I might be making an assumption and taking the statement too literally, but it was enough of a possibility to ask for clarification. I don't think the Escapist is out to get me, but I don't want to screw myself either.

I actually was thinking about using a different "skin" for testing, then throw in the ZP bells and whistles after the game play is tested and submit that.

Does anyone have any experience with putting a game up for testing and preventing distribution without permission? From what (little) I know, it seems like putting it on any web page means anyone could download and distribute it. That limits me to only allowing people I trust to access the game web page or testing the game offline.
 

harryjre

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Nov 27, 2008
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Bringer of information said:
To avoid the possibility of having your half-finished game published all over the internet (which I assume this rule is here to prevent) you could simply code in a block that doesn't allow the current build to be played on any other date, or if you have your own website and know some server-scripting language, you could build a simple password-protected version that changes every time someone logs in, which only you have access too.
This is helpful info, thanks!
 

harryjre

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Nov 27, 2008
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harryjre said:
Does anyone have any experience with putting a game up for testing and preventing distribution without permission? From what (little) I know, it seems like putting it on any web page means anyone could download and distribute it. That limits me to only allowing people I trust to access the game web page or testing the game offline.
And now it occurs to me that this may not be the proper "forum" (haha) for this specific kind of advice, so if you have any to offer on testing flash games, please send me a private message. I will use my Google-fu to look for this information on my own.
 

Spinwhiz

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Oct 8, 2007
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Okay, here are some responses to questions people have been asking:

1) Can I use any SDK or software library
You are able to use any type of SDK or software library you choose as long as upon creation, the work you have created can be claimed as yours. So, please check the legal text for the developers/distributors of any type of software you a looking to use and make sure that they (the developers/distributors/original creators) ALLOW you to own your work. If for any reason they state that your game is not 100% yours, we cannot accept your submission.

2) I have a game that has been posted and played but I would like to re-skin it with ZP art. Can I use that?
Unfortunately, no. We want NEW games that nobody (publicly) has played before so we can show you off to the world when you win. If others have already played the game (publicly), that kind of ruins it for us. That does not mean just because you've created a shooter that you have to make an action game. Work with what you are good with, just make it different in multiple ways than what you've built before, and not just the art. It also doesn't mean you can't have friends test it for bugs or feedback, unless your friends consists of everyone on Facebook.

3) Can we only use the ZP assets The Escapist has provided for us?
Yes. Please use what we have given to you. The logos must stay the same, except for the size, but you can use the art within the screenshots in any way you choose. Please note though, any alteration to our art assets ARE STILL OUR ART ASSETS. You are NOT allowed to use them outside of this event because they are still part of Zero Punctuation and are covered under our copyright.

4) Once the event is over, can we post our game other places?
Sure you can, just without all the ZP art and assets. If you end up winning the event, your game will have a home here on The Escapist for all to enjoy, which we will also be promoting. I'm sure we can work something out in regards to those who want to use it as part of your portfolio. Why would we not want people to see your work and what a great job you did?

5) Can I use Java, Z-text, etc?
We are only going to use Flash this time around. If there is another event run like this in the future, we will look into multiple formats of development.

6) How big of a file size can I submit?
We really don't have a file size cap for this event but you may run into some problems as you get closer to 20MB. If for some reason you just can't get your game to upload, please contact me via PM so I can look into it further.

7) Can I put my name, website and other personal logos in the game?
Like any game you see around, keep it classy. Feel free to open up with your company/personal logo, username and real name, but then get into the title screen and game name. Anything you would like to add (people that helped you, for more visit X website, etc), please save that to the end credits. We will do a good job letting everyone know who you are if you win or display your game, so please don't go nuts with the self-promotion. People really want to play your game, so let them! :)

8) Can I have others work on the game with me?
Sure you can! The Swag Pack will go to the person who submits the code. As for promotion within the game, please see #7 above

9) Do we need to submit our Source Code?
We have recently updated this rule to help with the submission process. You no longer need to submit your source code along with your game BUT it must be available upon our request. Failure to have a usable source code will negate your entry for the event.

10) Can I submit more than one game?

One entry per person please.

Also, please make sure you saw my post here [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.128927?page=5#2803403] about the update about submitted IP's.
 

aamesxdavid

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Dec 24, 2008
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harryjre said:
I might be making an assumption and taking the statement too literally, but it was enough of a possibility to ask for clarification. I don't think the Escapist is out to get me, but I don't want to screw myself either.
I completely agree, which is why I commended your response. In no way did I mean to take anything away from your question by saying it was based on an assumption; I'm sure other people made the same assumption, and it's always good to have clarification for that.

harryjre said:
I actually was thinking about using a different "skin" for testing, then throw in the ZP bells and whistles after the game play is tested and submit that.
That sounds like a lot of work, but certainly a plausible solution. There's also the issue of how ZP-related your game is - if anything beyond some graphics make reference to ZP/The Escapist, they'd have to be stripped as well (presumably). Personally, I'd prefer to only let people I trust to play it, or only let people play it on your computer with you present, so they don't actually have a copy of it to distribute.

harryjre said:
Does anyone have any experience with putting a game up for testing and preventing distribution without permission? From what (little) I know, it seems like putting it on any web page means anyone could download and distribute it. That limits me to only allowing people I trust to access the game web page or testing the game offline.
I'm no authority on Flash, but I'd say putting it up (in ZP form) is dangerous under any circumstances. AAA titles are hacked all the time, I'm sure a Flash game is subject to the same vulnerabilities. It's more a question of someone being willing to put the time into it. I don't really think it's a wise chance to take. I think for a Flash game, it's not necessary to go beyond you and a couple of friends playing it, for playtesting purposes. If you want to do something with it after you enter the contest, that's when I'd go through the trouble of stripping out all the ZP stuff and releasing it. Just my thoughts.