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Old 12-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
hbarcellos
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Default Why we dont have GAME development contests

Just to take the other communities that I participate, the MSX community have at least three contests each year:

Passion MSX
Konamito Basic Game Contest
And finally MSXDEV

For MSXDEV (http://msxdev.msxblue.com/), community produce several new games every year. Just for this contest, the total number of entries (for all years) is an amazing 83! (http://msxdev.msxblue.com/gameindex.htm)

Any ideas about why that's not too common in the Amiga Community?
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

It takes a very long time to make a game worth playing on the Amiga, much of the time people give up after offering to help, lose motivation, or their Amigas blow up and they never find a replacement.

I wish the Amiga had a super active game making scene, I've been trying to motivate people to help out with the Amiga games that are currently being worked on, but so far no one has offered any real help, or they offer to help then never speak to you again.

Here's the current state of the Amiga games development scene - http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=41556

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Old 12-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

Could it simply be a case of the MSX scene being much bigger?
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

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Originally Posted by odin View Post
Could it simply be a case of the MSX scene being much bigger?
Not only that. Amiga scene has splitted into small groups. Bang HW directly or use OS calls? OCS or AGA or CGX? Paula or AHI? 3D or not 3D and if so, which 3D API? OS1, OS2, OS3, OS4, MorphOS, AROS? The target HW can be anything from Amiga 500 to WinUAE...
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

Quote:
Originally Posted by odin View Post
Could it simply be a case of the MSX scene being much bigger?
Probably, the 8-bit scene (Atari, Spectrum, C64, MSX and others) has been a lot more fun and interesting than the Amiga scene over the last couple of years and it's still growing. They all have game and demo contests, lots of interesting hardware projects and they don't fight among each other. People just have fun with their old hardware and software.

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Old 12-04-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

I think if there was a real competition with maybe some kind of prize people would join in, there maybe the difficultly of making a game for an OCS, AGA or OS4 machine but you could always just create 3 different competitions within the same competition. If somebody could really organise an event like this each year perhaps with help from companies like AmigaKit I am sure people would entry. Just need to get organised.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

It is much easier to create playable and decent looking game for the 8 bit machines, than for Amiga for more than obvious reasons. It is the same as it is much easier to create decent looking game for Amiga 500 than for Playstation. That is why they have competitions for 8 bits and many entries received. The 8 bit gamemakers easily use crossdevelopment tools and test rapidly their result, or even directly type in the BASIC prompt. For the 8 bits it is very easy to create graphics (in low color, low resolution and it is okay if your graphic is not made by graphic artist), the music is not requiring lots of effort like on the Amiga, where finetunning is must.

I remember when I first released new versions of my games, I got slammed because of the graphics (made by me) and lack of music, then I contacted graphic artists and they created better graphics with which I replaced the old ones, then I found music, but I got slammed again that my graphics were OCS quality, no matter that the A500 was my target for the games.

On the 8 bits, the playability is the goal, the graphics and the music are not that important, so I can easily create game for 8 bit computer or console and release it, without being slammed about the result.

The Amiga had very big indy gaming developing scene in the 1990ies. Much bigger than all the current retrogaming development scenes together. I remember in Amiga Format they announced a AMOS game coding competition that they received thousands of floppies full with games of all sorts. Wasn't Worms one of these games? Aminet is a good indicator how active the bedrooms programmers were in the past years.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

yes, this is a good idea I think ! How about amigakit organising such a contest ? the great prize being something like an indivision ? (or a gift coupon from amigakit ?) and the winner gives distribution rights to amigakit so that they sell or bundle the game with their products ...
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

I don't know if it's such a good idea to host a competition. There might not be enough entries. I'm sure the people who actually want to make Amiga games will want to make them without needing to be offered the chance of a reward from a competition. If someone makes a decent game for an Amiga system these days, we just need to promote and digitally distribute it successfully to earn the authors enough money to buy themselves an Indivision or a RAM expansion or whatever they need for their Amiga. This is why we've been working hard to build Underground Arcade, it will be a place for any Amiga games makers to hook up with artists, musicians, coders and playtesters, then promote and distribute their game from the one united site.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

I forgot to mention, there HAVE been Amiga games comptitions held over the last few years, and as far as I know no one entered them. What ever happened to the competition to win $1000 for simply creating a single-level demo of a platform game featuring DiscreetFX's character Hottie? I'm pretty sure that's what the deal was, if you won they'd turn it into a full game or something.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

I think CountZero is onto something there, sometimes to get individuals going there needs to be an incentive and I for one would give it a go for an Indivision, even though I don`t have the experience. A bit of friendly competition would probably be a boost to the Amiga community, it wouldn`t have to be limited to individuals, how about like the demoscene where you have groups, get groups together to make a game and have it submitted, BUT it would need to be advertised properly on the right websites and publications. Anyone game?
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

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Originally Posted by Cammy View Post
I don't know if it's such a good idea to host a competition. There might not be enough entries. I'm sure the people who actually want to make Amiga games will want to make them without needing to be offered the chance of a reward from a competition. If someone makes a decent game for an Amiga system these days, we just need to promote and digitally distribute it successfully to earn the authors enough money to buy themselves an Indivision or a RAM expansion or whatever they need for their Amiga. This is why we've been working hard to build Underground Arcade, it will be a place for any Amiga games makers to hook up with artists, musicians, coders and playtesters, then promote and distribute their game from the one united site.
I agree with Cammy's logic and reasons. If anyone wants to promote an Amiga game competition, do it for the fun of it, not for a reward of some prize or amount of money. If the programmers want to code for money or to get a prize, let them sell the game when it is done and buy their own prizes. Maybe Cammy's group, the Underground Arcade, can start a game "idea" contest that the Underground Arcade programmers and artists will judge and pick the winner. The winner would then get an equal share of any money made from the sale of the completed game after it was coded by the Underground Arcade programmers and all the art and music were created for it. Each programmer and artist and music creator would count as one equal share, plus the contest winner as one additional equal share holder of any profits made from selling the game. That way, after nine weeks of hard work, they would each get $5.72 from the 3 copies of the game that got sold for $29.95 each.

Seriously, I do like the idea of the Underground Arcade and I hope that more people will use it to get more Amiga apps and games produced and published. It is a great idea and a great service to those who might otherwise not be able to complete an entire programming project by themselves.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

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Originally Posted by hbarcellos View Post
Just to take the other communities that I participate, the MSX community have at least three contests each year:

Passion MSX
Konamito Basic Game Contest
And finally MSXDEV

For MSXDEV (http://msxdev.msxblue.com/), community produce several new games every year. Just for this contest, the total number of entries (for all years) is an amazing 83! (http://msxdev.msxblue.com/gameindex.htm)

Any ideas about why that's not too common in the Amiga Community?
Because there are hardly any Amiga developers left in our community. In fact, with the split of the Amiga community into three, or more separate directions, I think the number of developers has dropped dangerously low and threatens to be a potentially life ending cause to all Amiga variants if we can't turn things around very soon.

With such low numbers of developers left, it is only a matter of time before the low number of new apps and games leads to a steady decline of users too, which will then lead to THE END! We have been on life support for several years already (some would say that it is already over and the Amiga community has been dead for years).
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:42 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

If anyone wants to make an Amiga game quickly but doesn't know how to code, you should check out Backbone on Aminet (provided you have a hard drive set up). With it you can make platform games like Turrican and overhead shooters like Alien Breed. It has an easy to use interface, you make the games with your mouse!

It's so easy, a small group of us made a single level demo of a game in less than a month. Check it out here if you want to see the results - http://aminet.net/package/game/demo/...nNightmareDemo

So maybe a Backbone competition would be easier for people to join in on. You can easily download sprite sheets from thousands of Sega, Nintendo and arcade games on the net and use those to make a quick game. Same thing goes for music (Backbone uses soundtracker mods) and sound samples (convert wavs or mp3 sound effects to iff, it's easy).
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

The problem with writing games for the Amiga is the great variation in hardware and the small community there is to use it. I've recently started writing software again and decided to work with the iPhone, their development support is phenomenal and even a completely unsuccessful program that actually makes it into the App store pays far more and is seen by more people that an wildly successful Amiga app.

So bottom line, it's a very hard slog compared to other platforms and when you succeed the rewards aren't there...
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

Best solution would be create OS friendly 68k games, so they would be playable OS3.0, OS4 and Morph OS

There is lots of consept guides in www

1. Create consept
2. Plan story line
3. start coding
4. create graphics
* DON'T changes your plans about consept and story
* figure out what is realistic
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:56 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

Maybe because it takes way too much time? At one time I wanted to develop for these little machines, but when I got ahold of some of the development documents to do it, I found I would be spending precious time trying to learn alot of very archaic tomes.

It's kinda like this spend time trying to make a game that a few people might enjoy or put food on your table. Slave at what would be a labor of love that you probably won't get any money from, or spend that time saving up to get medical insurance.

Unfortunately I have to pick work over "fun" anyday.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

I think at the end of the day the Amiga is a dead platform, it is only hobbyist machine now, and if people are looking to make any decent money out of it they are not on the same page as the rest of the world. A competition with a decent prize would probably offer more than could be made for a developer than if they sold it, also take into consideration that most people would probably just copy it anyways. If people are looking to make decent money making software then create software for the pc or iphone, but just as in the 8 bit community people have competitions because they love the hardware and can accept it as a hobby, there is the element of fun in partaking in a competition. At the end of the day, people who worry that the game won`t make enough money are seriously not taking a realistic look at the situation of Amiga.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

Quote:
Why we dont have GAME development contests
My guess is that the MSX was popular in Japan, and the Amiga was not.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:26 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why we dont have GAME development contests

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I don't know if it's such a good idea to host a competition. There might not be enough entries. I'm sure the people who actually want to make Amiga games will want to make them without needing to be offered the chance of a reward from a competition.
I'd bite if the competition had some sort of a challenge, or interesting twist to it. Well, other than making a game.

For example: 4k, boot block, text based, no bitplanes, etc.. :-)
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