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1  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: A Proposal For A New Rating System on: 2006-03-26 20:27:37
1. Have you evaluated the results of the 2005 contest? Then you should know that this has been tried before?

2. How do you plan to avoid repeating the poor results from that contest?

3. If your idea differs appreciably from the 2005 contest, please describe how.

Thank you for taking a moment to reply to my post.

Here's a partial quote of yours from the "who needs judges?" topic:

Quote
..What I think the process showed last year was that we tried to get too clever with the scoring system. It was based on a system that one person had adjusted to meet how he wanted to score a given year's games, and just didn't extrude very well into a real world system...

This does not say (or even imply) that having categories is bad.  What I read from it is that the (few) categories chosen were biased.  My proposal doesn't do that at all.  In fact, my proposal is clearly an attempt to identify all of the (hopefully meaningful) categories that make a  compelling game.

Another partial quote of yours from the "JUDGES!" topic:

Quote
Don't use last year's system. Last years ended up being overly complicated and meant different things to different judges...

My opinion on why the categories "meant different things to different judges" is becuase there were too few categories.  Judges were left trying to cram all of their opinions on Responsiveness, Progression Of Difficutly, Controls, etc. into the "Gameplay" category.

And if too few categories is a problem, then you can't get any fewer categories than NONE (i.e This years rating system).

Having only a 0-100 scale is the ultimate expression of "meaning different things to different judges".

Here's a quote from Markus_Persson in favor of the 0-100 system, also from the "JUDGES!" topic:

Quote
...Otherwise the competition goes from "I'm going to make the most fun game I can in 4k" to "Oh no, I need to cram in some sound to get a higher score".

Truth is, having sound is likely to give you extra points no matter what the rating system is.  To me, this quote implies a wish that the games were rated just on "fun".  The problem is, "fun" is too vague a concept and will certainly "mean different things to different judges".  For instance, some judges are certain to put more emphasis on sound that you or I would care for.

Now, to try to answer your questions from this topic:

1) I have evaluated the results and I do not believe that "having categories" is the reason that the system failed.

2) My "plan" is to acknowledge that avoiding last years results is not up to me alone.  That is why I am attempting to create an open discussion.

3) I believe that my response here, plus my original post, contain concepts that go far beyond last years rating setup.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond,

-Dave
2  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: Ideas for next year. on: 2006-03-25 02:49:16
...
But exactly what is the concept? Its not really defined anywhere so everyone can be aiming at different things and the judges can all be judging against different criteris. What weight is put on:

a) Original game play
b) Technical achievement for 4k
c) Fun factor
d) Content and longetivity
others?

Kev


Have a look at my latest topic "A Proposal For A New Rating System" http://www.java-gaming.org/forums/index.php?topic=12977.0
3  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / A Proposal For A New Rating System on: 2006-03-25 02:44:23
My proposal for a possible rating system is somewhat complicated.  I spent a lot of time on it, so please don't disregard it too lightly Smiley

At the core of my proposal is a category-based rating system.  Instead of having a single large point scale and leaving it up the judges to divvy out the points, let's separate the points into specific, meaningful categories and ask the judges to rate against those categories.  The rating scale for each category should be minimal, to help keep the results meaningful.  My belief is that a scale of 1-5 for each category should be more than enough.

Game designers want feedback from judges on how well they achieved each of the categories that make up a game.  Feedback also helps "justify" the scores taht judges give.  By specifying these categories, the results become more self-documenting and require less writing by the judges.  This also opens the door for "best in category" awards, which I believe is meaningful.

We need to try to reduce the impact on total score from judges that "just don't like this genre" or "just don't get it".  Given, "just don't get it" responses should be minimized by having appropriate documentation on your game's download page and/or forum page, but there's not much you can do if a judge dislikes the genre that your game is in.  Even so, judges can make unbiased opinions on a game's graphics, controls, polish, technical achievement, etc. thus providing valuable feedback and still giving games a chance to win "best in category" awards.

Judges should be discouraged from the act of giving a lower score because they "might see something better later on".  My proposal would encourage the judges to rate each game on its own merits.  After a judge has finished rating all of the games, the system will compute the judge's top 4 games based on total weighted score.  If there are any ties within those top 4 games, the judge will be given a chance to rank the tied games.  This tie-break ranking will be completely subjective and the judge will not have to justify his decision.  This may seem like a silly feature to include, but I believe that judges have implicitly stated their desire for such a feature by giving games a '99' so that they have the option of giving a '100' later on if they find what they believe to be the "best" game.  This manual tie-breaking would happen on the single judge level only.  For games that are tied based on total combined score from all the judges, the system would try to determine if a game appears to be "more liked" by the judges.  This would be based on both the complete point-sorted list for each judge and by any tie-break rankings given by each judge.  If the system could not determine if one game was "more liked" than another, then those games would be considered tied for their position.

I believe that we all agree that some categories are "more important" than others and should carry a larger weight in the totals.  The thing that we're not going to all agree on is which categories are the most important.  My proposal is to let each judge decide which categories are most important to them.  Before they can start judging the games, each judge decides which categories should carry higher weights.  These weights will be made public during and after the judging period.


Here is my category list:


Originality
   This is an indication of whether or not the game "brings anything new".  For games in well-established genres, this can be taken to mean "Does the game bring any new gameplay elements to the genre".  For games in smaller genres, just having an entry may be enough to earn a good score in this category. By definition, full clones are going to score lower in this category.


Gameplay
   Also called "playability" or "replay value". This is an indication of how much fun/addictive the game is.


Technical Achievement
   This a perceived value indicating whether or not you feel the game achieved something that is difficult or even impossible, given the limitations of the contest.  For instance, a game may feel like it has more graphics or levels than you should be able to fit into 4K.  You can also give a game a low "Technical Achievement" rating, indicating that you feel that the game could (or should) contain more than it does.  It should be clear that 4K Java games are no longer considered technical achievements in and of themselves, so please do not give middle ratings for technical achievement just because someone submitted a 4K Java game.


Graphics
   This is an indication of the quality of graphics used in the game.  This is not an indication of whether or not the game "packed a lot of graphics". That belongs under "Technical Achievement".


Controls
   This is an indication of the intuitiveness and ease-of-use of the controls for the game.


Responsiveness
   This is an indication of how well the game interacts with the player.


Polish
   This is an indication of how "complete" the game feels.


Progression Of Difficulty
   This is an indication of how well the game balances the increase in difficulty as the levels progress.  This includes the difficulty of the initial (first) level.  Does the game start out too hard or too easy?  Do the levels progress in a consistent, intuitive manner that builds off of knowledge gained from the previous levels?


Incentive To Keep Playing
   This is an indication of how well the game "rewards" you for your efforts and keeps you playing in a effort to improve your results.


Sound
   This allows you to give bonus points to a game that uses sound.  Please do not give middle scores just because the game has sound.  A game with bad sound could almost be considered worse than a game with no sound at all.


0-5 Bonus Points
   These are bonus points that can be given for any reason, but you must give a clear explanation of what they're for.  Typical reasons might be multi-player support, excellent physics or sweet A.I.


0-5 Penalty Points
   These are penalty points that can be deducted for any reason, but you must give a clear explanation of what they're for.

I compiled this category list by analyzing all of the judge's feedback on every game for the 2006 results.

My proposal breaks down the weights for categories as follows:
  • 2 categories would have a weight of 3
  • 4 categories would have a weight of 2
  • 6 categories would have a weight of 1

This will give you a maximum combined score of 100   Cool

NOTE: Both the "Bonus Points" category and the "Penalty Points" category can only have a weight of 1.

I have thought about several more aspects to this, but I think this will be enough and get some conversation going.

All feedback welcome, thank you for reading my post.

-Dave
4  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: big brother is watching on: 2006-03-09 20:41:24
Umm, anyone else getting the feeling that maybe Mr_Light doesn't know he's a judge?  Undecided
5  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-03 19:59:13
...
Once I had the max number of enemy cars on the screen I just bumped them to pack them together and then stayed behind them.   You can literally coast there forever racking up the points Smiley
...

Hmm, I have to ask you:

Are you getting any baddies that drive up from the bottom of the screen while your driving?  There's a 3:8 chance that the baddie will come from the bottom.

I just modified my version to start at 9 cars and went for it ... And when you get 3-4 switch blades coming from the bottom of the screen and you've got nowhere to run, death is imminent.  Now you can try to hide behind civilians but once the switch blades open and kill the civilian, you stop earning points ... I also found that I ran into motorcycles alot while trying to evade which again stopped earning points ... And trying to shoot blades in front of you to make room often ends up killing nearby civilians (because ther are soo darn many) which again stops earning points.

I am maxing out at 7K points

My only assumption is : You are not giving yourself enough credit for your mad skillz

Got any more tactics you can share?

-Dave
6  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-03 01:23:29
Ok... beat 110780   ...

Holy Cow!

*bow* I am not worthy! *bow*

Please share you l33t tactics with us!
7  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: Whats Going On With The Downloads? on: 2006-03-02 19:44:29
Yep, Slashdot.

Okay good ... I thought it might have been /. but I couldn't find a recent article, then I did a search and found the slashback you mentioned.

Then the DLs are real! SWEET

-Dave
8  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Whats Going On With The Downloads? on: 2006-03-02 18:26:58
Seriously Guys,

The download counts have gone crazy in the last 24 hours.

 I am finding it a bit hard to believe that they are all real

Sort the listings page by DL's and reload every few minutes to see

 The numbers are out of control! What is going on?

-Dave
9  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-02 08:34:36
New Hi Score : 34890


Keep 'em coming!

-Dave
10  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-01 23:43:12
Yep... 34420

Nice Job!!  I have marked you at the 1st place position in the hi-score roster.

Thanks for replying!

-Dave
11  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-01 20:15:56
I'd really like to get some feedback on what kind of scores ppl are getting.

Here's my most recent score (Taken 2 mins ago):

Click to Play


Score: 19625

Have any of you guys topped that?  Lemme know and I'll start the hi-score roster.

-Dave
12  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-03-01 00:12:47
Quote
...Is it also a step up in difficulty at 10.000? Gradually increasing it would be best I think to let us newbies into the game.

You are correct, the difficulty level is stepped up every 10K points.  The number of simultanious cars is what constitutes the difficulty level.

You start the game with 2 simul. cars on the screen at any one time.  This increases by 1 every 10K points.

The game is coded to max out at 9 simul. cars on the screen, but I consider it a theoretical limit as I'm not sure anyone can survive beyond 5, let alone 9 simul. cars on the screen.

-Dave
13  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-02-28 21:50:24
...I can't see any way of getting past them and ... or did I miss something?

Did you try switching into hi gear (press ENTER) to pass?

Remember not to stay in hi gear too long as you will die if you hit any oncomming traffic.

You don't have to switch into low gear to slow down; just taking your foot (finger) off of the accelerator (UP ARROW) will slow you down but leave you in hi gear.

Comming to a complete stop or colliding into another car automatically switches you into low gear.

-Dave
14  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / Re: SpyHunter4K on: 2006-02-28 18:50:19
Greetings all,

Thank you for the replies.

Regarding the vans and knocking them around: 

We spent hours tweaking the gameplay so that it was (hopefully) exciting enough to play but not impossible.  The Road Lord (van) AI was specifically designed so that you COULD knock him off the road if you try hard enough.

Now we only had a chance to test the game on 4 different PCs before release, so there could be some kind of timing or JRE issue.

Also, because I've played the game about 1000 times during testing, i've developed some strategies for defeating the baddies.  So there may be a higher "learning curve" than I'm aware of because of my overexposure to the game.

I would be very interested in knowing for sure if the Road Lord is truly unbeatable on your systems or if its a matter of getting enough play time in to be comfortable with the controls.

Also, it may be that our definitiions of too hard may be different.  For me, ~35K points is as high as I can get, and that's with SERIOUS concentration.  My typical games go between 15K and 22K points.  If you're topping 13K then I'd say you're a decent player.

Thanks again for the replies,

-Dave
15  Games Center / 4K Game Competition - 2006 / SpyHunter4K on: 2006-02-28 06:18:28
A tribute to the arcade classic Spy Hunter. The goal is simple: <b>Drive as far as you can</b>. Earn extra points by shooting enemies or knocking them off the road. Be careful not to cause harm to civilians!

FEATURES INCLUDE
  • Based on original arcade game sprites!
  • Increasing difficulty levels
  • Extra life given every 10K points
  • Pixel-exact collision detection
  • In-Game Hi-Score

CONTROLS
  • ENTER to switch gears
  • LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys to drive
  • UP ARROW to accelerate
  • CTRL to fire
  • ESCAPE to exit

A COUPLE OF NOTES FOR GAMEPLAY
  • 250 points for killing Switch Blade
  • 500 points for killing Road Lord
  • Don't forget hi gear (ENTER).  It can provide you a means of escape in a tricky situation.
  • Once in hi gear, you don't have to switch into low gear to slow down; just taking your foot (finger) off of the accelerator (UP ARROW) will slow you down but leave you in hi gear.
  • Comming to a complete stop or colliding into another car automatically switches you into low gear.
  • Bumping into a motorcycle will cause it to die immediately.
  • Enemies in front of you will speed away if you slow down to a point where you are not earning points.
  • You <b>CAN</b> knock Road Lord off the road!  Persistence is key.  Also, swiping him on the corner can provide a bigger hit and make it easier to knock him off.
  • The difficulty level is determined by the number of simultaneous cars on the screen, with an extra car being added very 10K points

HI-SCORE ROSTER

      PlaceScorePlayer
      [size=16pt]1st[/size][size=16pt]110780[/size][size=16pt]swpalmer[/size]
      [size=14pt]2nd[/size][size=14pt]34890[/size][size=14pt]davidpfarrell[/size]
      [size=12pt]3rd[/size][size=12pt]*[/size][size=12pt]*[/size]

<b>Please take a minute to leave some feedback once you've played the game.</b>  If you don't want to sign into the forums, you can email your feedback (see email address below)

I will keep the roster updated for the top 3 scores posted into the forums.

The game can seem difficult at first, but if you keep playing you will develop patterns of play that will help you get to 20-30K points.

Good Luck!

-Dave
SpyHunter4K (at) iNamik (dot) com
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