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    Jason
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:13 am
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Yeah, what he said lol

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    Tuna
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:21 am
Probably cooler than you.
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This thread should really be featured on the main page, by the way!

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    onzephyr
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:14 am
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Surprised is a pretty good word.

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who put the contest together, judged it and supported it. Seeing all the craziness the judges went through, you had a heck of a lot of work to do. I can only imagine how much time and energy went in to making the contest happen. More work to make the contest happen then to enter.
Is it weird that after reading all the stuff the judges did, I kind of want to be a judge when another contest comes along?

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    CrayFlail
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 am
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I'd like to thank everyone. I didn't sense any rudeness or even a lack of courtesy from people as I, an outsider who saw a post on the Scirra forums, rolled on in and made a thread. It was totally worthwhile and a very valued learning experience providing me with things I'd never have even considered if I did this on my own.

If you supported this financially, there should be some sort of "I Win At Life" medal for you to be nominated for.

I'd also like to note that with 4 points between 1st and 8th and .7 points between 8th and 12th, that's about as close as it gets...I hope everyone keeps fighting the good fight. Thanks so much!

CF

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    Venetia
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:41 am
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Thanks :D

I want to make a quick note about judging, to further clear some things up:


I have run a number of contests in the past.
In my experience, judging is generally a difficult, often thankless task. People generally do not want to be judges--they're necessary, but so hard to find!

The reasons are simple. There is a lot of content to look at, no real incentive to do it, and you will never win many friends for doing it, because people are not going to like any negative things you say about their entries. And, even more, just the simple act of reporting your scores is tedious and is simply a massive chore. It sucks!

In the past, I've demanded more thorough judging responses. I asked for not only point scores, but critiques as well.

Here's what happens when you ask someone to be a judge, AND you ask them to write out all of their critiques and reasons for why they scored the way they did:
People don't judge.

I ran a contest once a number of years ago which demanded tons of critiques from all judges. We had ~4 judges, and far more entries than we had expected.
In the end, ALL of the judges bowed out under the massive workload. EVERYTHING fell to me, to do entirely on my own.
I couldn't blame them. It took an UNTOLD number of hours to finally get it done. What was worse was that I turned in the results late, after waiting for the other judges to talk to me. No one was happy with the results. I wasted a huge amount of life judging that thing.
Never again.

In a perfect world, we would have detailed analyses on all games, and all judges would have chimed in about everything that they encounted that caused negativity in a score.

It is not a perfect world.

The judges are not paid, and, like I said, in my experience, I CANNOT demand that they post all of their opinions about everything. Because then, we'd have WAY less than 7 judges.

If any of the judges care to post more detailed responses, I urge them to do so! (Please don't give out your judge number, though).

But I'm not going to demand it. I'm not a slave driver, I'm a contest-runner :)

If you are unhappy with your score, take a step back, and consider that:
- Sometimes people are overly critical. They feel that NOTHING ever deserves a perfect score. It could be that there was no way you'd get a '4' in that category from that judge without a miracle.
- If we experienced lag or even 1-2 bugs, that knocked off atleast 1 point in Stability. It's hard to make a game truly bug-free. Your game may just need more attention in playtesting.
- If you used any annoying sounds, or sounds or graphics that were really big, that would affect your score negatively. Especially if they were so big that they did not load.
- It was recommended that the judges score using a very loose curve. Meaning, if your game was not the BEST OF THE BEST in a category, a more literal judge may have knocked off a point or two, due to observing the curved scoring method.
- If there was nothing, or very little, to combat against, that would probably have negatively affected the Fun score. Not 100% always there, but it's a good possibility.
- If the game was very short, or didn't have a satisfying end of some sort, our opinions may have been negatively affected.

Honestly though, if you look here: viewtopic.php?f=293&t=76326 and look at the Spoiler at the bottom of the thread, you will see a huge list of questions that a judge was told to ask him/herself while playing. You would know why you were docked points based on those questions.

In any case, even bringing up full analyses is unnecessary. The scores are final and will not change. It would be pointless to debate and nitpick.

The only thing you can do, if you were unhappy with your ranking, is to consider what the top-placed entries did, and take it as a lesson to keep improving. When the next contest rolls around, you'll be much better prepared! :D

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    01lifeleft
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:38 am
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Congrat guys! :biggrin:

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    AeroLowe
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:52 am
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Wow! To be quite honest, I was really rooting for valkyriegames' and Jason's projects! Good job, you guys! You really deserved those prizes!

I'm so proud. =P


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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:53 am
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If someone is unhappy with their score result, I'd be more than happy to personally explain how and why I judged them. Just PM or whatever.


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    joannesalfa
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:04 am
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@Venetia, is not needed to make a post like that, i don't think it's needed to request their detailed responses. This contest is already done, so the runner-up participants will ignore this thread or maybe they will lurk here.

About judging which is considered anyone wants to be judge can secretly give support to their friends who are participating the contest, maybe there some judges don't trust some new HBgames members to participate this contest, after of this event, then participants stop posting here and they leave forever. In fact there no real honesty on Internet. :sad:


Next contests would be good idea :biggrin:


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    BlueScope
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:07 am
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I dunno, I think I would've rather judged than participated... entire March was consumed with thinking about tanks on planets. I'm sure judging was hard as well, but I'd say you didn't even get close to four weeks of contant re-thinking and re-working the same idea... XD

In general, it makes sense to keep the judge numbers disclosed, though. Scores have to be given on some kind of basis, and even though I can't shake the feeling that there was some less independence going on in judging than hoped for, I'm sure noone intentionally got rated worse because they're familiar with this community or not. Whether the posts from Juan and Tuna on the first page negate that or not is a different matter, and I wouldn't say that 'GTFO' is the appropriate vocabulary at all even taken with a grain of salt, but come on... in the end, if everyone had half the great time that I had and learned at least as much, you're walking away with a smile, a good feeling, maybe the urge to improve on the next contest where you'll be judged by onzephyr and me :devil: and whether you won a license or not, you know you got something in you that wants to be a game designer. Try again some other time, I'm sure there'll be a time and place to snag another license, some cash or something else you want to get your hands on!

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    StudioBlue
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:33 am
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No one can reasonably take the combined blood, sweat, and tears that a person puts into making a game, a book, music, a work of art, etc... and distill it down into a series of numbers.

But is exactly what we judges had to do. That is what any judge who has to do more than "pass/fail" has to do.

It is very difficult.

And as Venetia pointed out, anything can happen that influences a judge's score:

1. The judge may have several problems playing the game. This could be from a browser conflict, a problem with their system, or a bug in your game that you just didn't find.
2. The judge may really bad at your game. So they do so poorly that they don't have fun. Can't rate a game highly if you got so frustrated you walked away from it.
3. The judge may find your game's gameplay monotonous or uninspiring. Not everyone likes shooters, or platformers, or RPGs. Their may be a natural bias to overcome. Regardless of how objective the judge tries to be, their is still that bias.
4. The judge may find your tone in the game's thread to be too little or too much self-aggrandizing. It's impossible to show confidence without some people seeing it as arrogance.
5. The judge may think your graphics or sound/music are not as good as you or the people in the your thread do. Some people are not easily impressed.
6. The judge may still have the memory of the last game they played in their minds, which could conceivably lower or raise your scores.
7. The judge might just dislike your game.

The seven points above are merely examples. They don't serve as an excuse for biased judging (there is none), and they don't reflect any behavior I did or did not exhibit personally as a judge (I was unbiased as humanly possible). They are just examples of things that can cause a judge to give your game a score you don't think it deserves.

The most important thing to remember is that behind each of those numbers is a person who has their own ideas of what makes a perfect game, and what makes a crappy game. And that person is being asked to be objective in judging, through an extremely in-depth set of criteria, for over 25 entries in less than one week.

As for listing rationale for scores, I cannot agree to that. That would just invite more argument and debate over scores. Everyone who entered the contest agreed to have their entry judged. And judged they were. The only compromise I see in that regard is this: in future contests, judges may volunteer (but are not obligated) a list of "suggested improvements" that are compiled and PM'd to the entrants after the contest by the Organizer. I'm not crazy about that idea, but it could work.

Anyway, this has been a very rewarding experience for me. It was something I decided to do because I hardly know anyone here, and therefore was able to be as objective as possible.

And I'll publicly say that I would gladly do this again.

EDIT: And EVERYONE who participated in this contest deserves major kudos. It takes a lot of guts to put your creation out for others to judge. Regardless of if your game ranked high or low, you deserve applause for completing something major. It's like finishing a marathon. Even if you don't win, or even place, you deserve kudos for finishing the race. So congrats to all who submitted their games! :)

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    vrety
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:35 am
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Cheers all the winners :fap: . After the contest, I know what I should learn and improve for a game maker :grin: .

btw, my game's score is little higher than I think.

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    Wink
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:59 am
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Hey, Venetia This contest was a blast but I am getting a lot of requests in my pm box. Could you please give my license away some how fairly to someone you and the judges feel deserve it. Thank you :)

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    Fusty
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:20 am
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Massive congratulations to all the winners!
I was working on an entry of my own, but upon seeing the amazing games people were producing I decided not to enter, I'm very impressed about what you guys came up with in such a short period of time.
Congratulations again!


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    wishy
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:09 pm
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I'm happy with the results, but unhappy with the fact some games are unplayable due to the controls. (qwerty, try playing it on an azerty keyboard)

Some runner ups could have taken someone else's place in the top 12 if i was to judge, controls are VERY important =)

Im thinking all judges had qwerty keyboards :)


just a question about my game to the judges, none of you submitted highscores and the average playtime was 5 min 21 sec, is it that hard to finish ???
Since the quickest run is 184 sec, and the longest 462 sec...
Where the controls too hard :troll: ??

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    handi
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:54 pm
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Surprisingly, i never thought for winning this contest. Thanks for everyone that have played my game, gave feedback, really learn something from this contest.
Congratulation to all winners. Cheers

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    gillenew
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:20 pm
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I'm happy and sad at the same time, glad I stayed in 5th place, and sad to have missed quite a few evaluation criteria, such as that served the popular vote :D

but it's alright

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    Nemo
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:36 pm
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I would like to thank everyone for the fun competition. I enjoyed trying to overcome all the challenges that the free version set for me. Sadly I didn't do so well in this competition :sad: , but I will continue working with the game and maybe release it somewhere. Congratulations for the winners.


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    Tuna
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:16 pm
Probably cooler than you.
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Location: Everywhere & Nowhere
Tuna rants

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    Nikou
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:24 pm
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Congratulations to all the winners, and better luck next time for the rest.

No complaints about results despite some derogatory comments for my work in judge's scores PDF. I learned a lot and I know I'll do much better next time.

Fully agree with first prize, "Drunken Wizard" is an amazing game and it deserves it.
A bit disappointed with "Dungeon.sec" and "Skygear-01" scores cause they were my other two favorites.

I liked the contest because all entries has something remarkable in one way or another.
Thanks to all contributors, to HBgames and to Scirra for making this possible.

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    Ellie
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:22 pm
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Speaking unfortunately as an outsider who didn't judge or compete;

I did have access to the judging forum because I am a site administrator.

A lot of effort was put into the judging and it all seemed to have been done very fairly, everyone getting very in-depth into their playing and there were lengthy comments throughout the board about the games besides the scores themselves.

I know it's easy to be cynical - you're new here, you don't know us, etc - but in this case I do not think any of the judges had alterior motives. If they were being biased they wouldn't have given first and second place to non-HBGames members, after all.

I am so proud of you guys, this contest has gone really well; a huge thank you to the judges, the participants, the fundees, and those who played and supported the games throughout.

I think it's brilliant that the winners also tie up nicely with the popularity poll, it shows that the general playing public know what they're talking about too.

Thank you also to those who submitted their games to the arcade (and to anybody planning to do so in the future).

All in all this contest has been very inspiring and we will definately be looking to run one in the future again of this calibre, perhaps for RPG Maker, or an open contest.


Commiserations to those who didn't win. To be honest I don't think we ever expected that many to enter - 12 prizes seems massive when contests haven't really gone down that well in the past. A good contest that matched this in terms of entries was the Pixel Art contest in 2008 (we should do that again!), but I personally have ran contests here which have had one entrant who won by default.

It's a shame we can't come up with some sort of little prize for those who didn't win.

Something I think we could do is add a little badge to the arcade for any games which were entrants in this contest.


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    CeruSkye
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:30 pm
Name: Skye
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Judging this must have been sooooo hard! I feel for the judges. All of this was amazing, didn't get a chance to vote myself, but, it looked like a great contest. All of you guys did awesome, congrats all around, and many pats of the back and playing shoulders punches. :lol:


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    afgho
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:45 pm
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Congrats to everyone and winners, results are ok especially for the top games but i somehow differ with some results after though.

Would like to know why i got a 2 with judge 8 in stability though as i play tested the game quite much to be sure there wasn't any bugs so maybe i forgot something... the game was kinda slow also on some systems but since it supported fullscreen, resizing the browser could have done it, maybe the game was just too heavy though for nothing (not enough time to reduce its size), anyway if you can light this up :smile:

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    rosareven
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:34 pm
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Like Wyatt and others have mentioned in other forum posts, this contest pretty much brought the community back to life from a long slumber. What used to be a chit-chatty place with low enthusiasm, boomed into an active indie game dev community within a month. Having 12 prizes was thought to be more than enough seeing Wyatt's contest only had one entry, then all of a sudden there were not enough chairs at the dining table for everyone.

There are some of us who have dropped out of the contest just before it was over (me, Igor Almighty), and some amazing ones who didn't submit in time (white noise roguelike). You guys on the judging list have made real honour for being there till the end.


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    Venetia
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:54 pm
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Wink wrote:
Hey, Venetia This contest was a blast but I am getting a lot of requests in my pm box. Could you please give my license away some how fairly to someone you and the judges feel deserve it. Thank you :)

Sure thing. I have a number of people in mind who could put the free license to good use.
If you're tired of getting PMs from people asking for it, tell them to talk to me. I can put their name on my list.
It's not a guarantee that I will be able to give it to them, but it may put them on my list of folks who deserve it, if they weren't already on it.


wishy wrote:
Im thinking all judges had qwerty keyboards :)

I BELIEVE that all of the judges had QWERTYs. 5 judges are American, 1 is Costa Rican, and 1 lives in Holland. LiquidMetal may have an AZERTY but I'm not sure.
It never occurred to me to consider different key bindings based on that. I didn't consider AZERTY users, as the greater majority of our members are British, Canadian, and American. That was probably an oversight on my part. My apologies :)


Quote:
just a question about my game to the judges, none of you submitted highscores and the average playtime was 5 min 21 sec, is it that hard to finish ???
Since the quickest run is 184 sec, and the longest 462 sec...

I think I played your game about 5 times. I personally never found it very difficult, except a couple times I'd see a gem that I'd keep trying to get and couldn't so I'd just sit there and go "how the heck am I supposed to do THAT???". I really did enjoy that you put the girl character in though. I love it when developers remember that girls play games too <3


gillenew wrote:
I'm happy and sad at the same time, glad I stayed in 5th place, and sad to have missed quite a few evaluation criteria, such as that served the popular vote :D

Your game was absolutely amazing. I already posted in your game's thread, but like I said, I fully believe that, if you'd been working on SkyGear the whole month, you would have walked away richer :D
5th place is nothing to be sad about, especially considering all the competition. I'm still shocked and astounded at the level of professionalism everyone put into their entries, considering the time limit and constraints of the software.


Nikou wrote:
No complaints about results despite some derogatory comments for my work in judge's scores PDF. I learned a lot and I know I'll do much better next time.

I think your entry suffered from being a very late one. You didn't post the thread about it until the last day, which meant that you didn't get a chance to hear any critiques, or improve your game based on what people said about it. If you enter one of our future contests, my suggestion is that you share your entry with us early and often, so you can hear what we say about it! I feel that a lot of entries that were posted earlier in the month really got a lot of benefit from the feedback, and it improved their scores a lot. No worries!!! Just keep trying! :D


Wyatt wrote:
Something I think we could do is add a little badge to the arcade for any games which were entrants in this contest.

I think that's a pretty good idea.
Maybe some kind of additional rank image we could add to their profiles, too? That might be neat.


afgho wrote:
Would like to know why i got a 2 with judge 8 in stability though as i play tested the game quite much to be sure there wasn't any bugs so maybe i forgot something... the game was kinda slow also on some systems but since it supported fullscreen, resizing the browser could have done it, maybe the game was just too heavy though for nothing (not enough time to reduce its size), anyway if you can light this up :smile:

I personally found it took a very long time to load, even though my connection is amazing, and also there was a bug I believe that caused previously-conquered worlds to be replayed that would enable the player to "cheat" points over and over. I can't remember for sure, I'd have to look at it again. I wasn't Judge 8, but that probably would have had something to do with it. They may have found something else.

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    joannesalfa
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:55 pm
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Wink wrote:
Hey, Venetia This contest was a blast but I am getting a lot of requests in my pm box. Could you please give my license away some how fairly to someone you and the judges feel deserve it. Thank you :)


Wow, i didn't know you got a lot of requests in your pm, i dunno if you would to donate me a license for being 13th place to keep developing my games due to event limits. If it happens, i would be happier and i could to make something like custom map, custom car, etc. for you in my game and a .capx for you.


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    BlueScope
  Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:42 pm
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@Tuna: The way you put it in the spoiler makes a lot more sense, definitely. Personally, as I said, I got out of that way higher than I assumed (and if anything, people knowing me would probably vote me down :o: ), so I can't complain. Just saying that 'GTFO' rarely ended a discussion peacefully. But the same applies to dragging it along, so I'll drop it now ;)

The important thing is that the wide majority is happy with the outcome, as far as I can tell. Which is not very far, as mostly judges and winners have posted here yet...

@Wyatt: Some candy for the runner-ups would certainly be nice. How about giving your browser game's advertising space to those exclusively for a month if they submit their games to the arcade, for example?

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    valkyriegames
  Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:54 am
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Congratulations on the contest everyone! Whether you placed in the top 12 or not, you managed to see a game through to the end, and that's something to be proud of! :D

Entering the contest in the beginning, I would have been happy just finishing another game, and as it progressed, being involved in a great game making community. I must say, half the fun was looking at other peoples projects and hearing feedback about my own (and the other half was working on the game so I had something to show!).

While working on the game, I was aiming for one of the top 3 places (I really wanted to be an awesome bro xD), but thought I only had a slim chance of making it after seeing some of the other fantastic entries in the comp. I'm ecstatic I made it in to second place.

I want to thank the judges for the time they spent playing all the games and judging the contest, I know that judging is a difficult task and also a thankless one. What I learnt from the experience is that my game wasn't very fun (I had the lowest fun scores of anyone in the top 12, ouch!) so I'm going to go back to the drawing board to see how I can improve that :)

I want to thank Venetia for organizing this event and making it happen! She must have ploughed through a heck of a lot of work raising the funds, organizing judges, and getting such detailed judging criteria out! I don't think it could have happened without her. Thank you!

I also want to thank everyone who supported me in my thread including BlueScope, AeroLowe, onzephyr, and gillenew among everyone else! Your support and suggestions for improvements have helped me learn and improve a lot.

Finally, congratulations to Druken Wizard by onzephyr that took first place. I knew your game was going to be great after seeing the first screenshot, but the addition of the music made the game epic. Congratulations!

All in all, I hope everyone had as much fun as I did, spending time making games. I look forward to seeing more great work from everyone in the future!

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    Tuna
  Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:18 am
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Location: Everywhere & Nowhere
BlueScope wrote:
Just saying that 'GTFO' rarely ended a discussion peacefully. But the same applies to dragging it along, so I'll drop it now ;)

Who ever said 'GTFO', anyway? :smug:

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    Jason
  Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:33 am
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Hey Tuna... :wink:

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