June Was National Game Development Month!

Did you know that June was National Game Development Month?  Yeah, neither did I really; at least not until May 30th when I became aware of the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest.  A coordination between RPG Maker’s producers, Degica, and the Humble Bundle folks, it was a contest to see who could create the best game in 30 days, or less.

Well, the wife and I decided to get in on the action.  That’s why you didn’t see a whole lot of me this month, I’ve been busy getting our contest entries ready.  Everyone was allowed to be part of two submissions, that way someone could be part of a group and still submit a solo project, or whatever circumstances one was in.  As such I designed and headed up one project, and the wife designed and headed up the other.

My project was a Romance of the Three Kingdoms parody game, called Dynasty Heroes, which satirizes everything RTK-related from Novel itself to KOEI’s games of the same name and Dynasty Warriors, all the way back to the old RTK games of the ’80s: Destiny of an Emperor, Knights of Valour, Dynasty Wars, Sango Fighter, etc.

Mimi’s project was called Monster.  It follows the story of a fourteen-year-old girl, Mora, who has the power to talk to spiritual creatures, such as a minotaur and a djinn (genie).  She discovers a neighboring army is invading her homeland and strikes forth to save everyone, even though they all hate her because they’re afraid of her power.

From July 1st to July 7th the judges will be playing each submitted game and rating them on a 3-point scale of Presentation (how does it look and sound?), Gameplay (how does it feel?), and Fun Factor (how much does it make you go “Whee!!”?).  There’s two categories: RPG (Role-Playing Game) and non-RPG (anything else).  Each category has 3 prizes: 1st Prize wins $2,500 and a bunch of neat stuff, 2nd Prize wins $1,000 and some nifty stuff, and 3rd place wins $500 and a few nifty things.  But the Grand Prize for the whole contest is a $10,000 pot and a bunch of neat stuff.

On top of that there’s People’s Choice which gives another $2,000, regardless of other prizes won, most Buzzing (which game has the most legitimate comments) and most Shared (which game has the biggest social media presence), as well as favorite choices by the celebrity judges.  Both of our games wound up falling into the RPG category.

And here’s where it gets to the tragic part.  We were way ahead of schedule for most of the month.  But between my work schedule for the actual job and a series of bugs we encountered near the end of our development (and a misunderstanding about how the UTC timezone works) we wound up missing the deadline for submission by about 3 hours (I even took a day off work to try and get it ‘out the door’ on time, but we still didn’t make it).  We weren’t willing to put an unfinished game out there.  Now, we’re out of the running for the contest that we made the games for.

So, since the games were going to be free and each one is only about an hour’s worth of play, they’re not really worth putting on Amaranth, Aldorlea, or Steam, etc. because I can’t see charging any more than a dollar or two for an hour’s worth of gameplay.  But, contest or not, we do have two finished short-play games to release.  We worked hard on them, the freelance artists, composers, and actors we hired (and abused) for materials worked hard them; so we’re going to make sure they get released.

FOR FREE!

That’s right folks, in a matter of days for the low, low price of $0 and 00 cents, you can own your own DRM-free copy of Dynasty Heroes and Monster!

Unfortunately it’s going to take me a few days to work out a few last kinks to get them distributable.  So in a few days, expect to see another post about this with some links (and each game will have it’s own page on the site, too).

Thanks, and our sincerest apologies to all our prospective fans, and helpers, who have been patiently waiting to see these games come out…and because of my miserable programming skills, have to wait a little while longer.

~RCS

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Shorty Shorts #9

Today the facility I work at had a little get-together of some kind and one of the things they had was a “Jelly Bean Guessing” contest.  I saw that and found myself thinking very strange thoughts.  Just what the hell was a Jelly Bean Guessing contest?

Is that like…“Put on this blindfold and I’m going to stick something in your mouth, you guess whether it was a Jellybean or not!”?

Or maybe…“Eat this Jellybean and try to guess what flavor it is!”?

I was all the way down the hall from the flyer I was reading before it struck me just what the contest was…

jellybeans

I’m guessing 9 jellybeans are in the jar.  But maybe that’s wishful thinking, because I am apparently very hungry for Jellybeans and want to eat the rest of them; so I’m going to guess that I would leave about 9 of them in the jar if I could get my hands on it.

This also reminds me of when I was about six years old and the local K-Mart store had a huge Lego mini-fig (as the little Lego People are technically called) made entirely from regular Legos.  If you guessed the correct amount of Legos used to make the giant demonstration Lego man, you got about a thousand dollars worth of Lego merchandise, if I remember correctly.

With my first-grade education I was poised to take the challenge!  I examined the Lego Man from all sides and guessed it was a lot, so my go-to number for ‘a lot’ was One Million.  Little did I realize at the time I was secretly writing lines for Dr. Evil without knowing it.

"One Meelion Legos!"

“One Meelion Legos!”

I decided, “No…a million would probably fill this whole department of the store.  Gotta be smaller than that, but still a lot.”

I thought and pondered, my mother urging me to just write a random number down (it didn’t matter, she told me, I was going to get it wrong anyway); but she didn’t understand just how much Lego swag I was about to win!

I chose 10,000 (actually I think I chose some very specific number, like 10,137, but I don’t recall the exact number).  I submitted my slip figuring that I was probably not spot-on (low self-esteem) but that I was probably pretty close (naivety).

The actual number was like 75,000 Legos.  Maybe I should have, instead, guessed how many Legos I would leave behind if they let me get my hands on the statue?

~RCS

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