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Ooh, Dem Cliffhangers

 
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Pepsi Ranger
Reality TV Host




Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 491
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Ooh, Dem Cliffhangers Reply with quote

Cliffhanger Contest

When:
Feb 1, 2010 – May 1, 2010 (6am EST)

Objective:
Acquire the highest anticipation for the future of your game.

Requirements:
Must release previously unsubmitted content during the contest window.

Compatibility:
Will work in conjunction with other future contests (such as Game-a-thon and the Terrible Game Contest).

Prize:
Subjective for now.

Rules:

1. Establish an ending to your game that’s gonna create the most anticipation among players for a future release (or sequel in the case of finished games).

2. Successfully tease the player along the way with strong characters, plot twists, and whatever causes them to ask, “what will happen next?”

3. Make it appeal to the senses. Use animation, sound effects, puzzles, or anything that keeps it from becoming stale.

4. Purposely leave threads untied to entice the player back in the future, but don’t leave everything untied. A game that leaves everything open is frustrating and forgettable.

5. Add content to an existing release or start a new game. The choice is yours.

Limitations:

1. A cliffhanger ending is still an ending. It’s an ending that leaves a question lingering in the player’s head that he wants answered. It isn’t an empty town and a hero with nowhere else to go. Your game must have an ending. Period.

2. Retro-releases won’t apply. If you released your game prior to 6am, Feb. 1, 2010, then you must make new content, with a new ending, to be eligible for this contest.

3. Each release should be a minimum 10 minutes long. Anything over 30 minutes is ideal.

Scoring:

Scoring will be based primarily on a judging system, but certain categories will be taken into account. The winner will have the highest cumulative score, and will not necessarily be the favorite game. This is meant to encourage quality as much as the ability to tell a good story.

Specific categories will be voted on based on chosen genre. This list will be available for suggestions and modifications.

Categories:

Action Sequence / Tense Characterization—

The game with the most exciting action sequence or exchange of dialogue will win this category. Voters will vote on instances, not titles, and can therefore nominate the same game more than once. While it’s possible for a single game to win both action and dialogue intensity categories, action sequences should be saved for suspense-driven stories, while dialogue intensity should be saved for character-driven stories.

First Place: 20 points
Second Place: 10 points
Third Place: 5 points

Setting / Atmosphere—

The game with the most interesting or curious locations can win “setting,” while the one with the greatest depth or appropriate mood can win “atmosphere.” Again, one game can win both, but it won’t be automatically assumed.

First Place: 20 points
Second Place: 10 points
Third Place: 5 points

Showing / Telling—

The game that does the best job showing the action, whether through backdrops, animation, sound effects, music, etc., will win the “showing” category. The game that develops the best background story (and does so convincingly) will win the “telling” category.

First Place: 30 points
Second Place: 20 points
Third Place: 10 points

Intro / Ending—

The game with the best introduction will successfully draw the player into the game. The one with the best ending will make him want to watch the credits. Note: The “ending” is separate from the “cliffhanger.”

First Place: 30 points
Second Place: 20 points
Third Place: 10 points

Soundtrack—

While intricately tied with the setting and atmosphere category, I think it would be fair to add a separate category for best soundtrack. Original music generally does better than ripped music.

First Place: 20 points
Second Place: 10 points
Third Place: 5 points

Special Effects—

Can also be tied in with setting and atmosphere, as well as action and showing, but also deserves its own category provided anyone uses it. This can include weather effects, collision effects, plotscripting wonders, and so on. I may expand this category if there’s a high enough demand for it.

First Place: 20 points
Second Place: 10 points
Third Place: 5 points

Cliffhanger—

The meat of the contest. The games that cause the player to get down on his knees and beg for more when the end credits roll. Create a great story, and winning this category is possible. Ideally, the player should feel teased when it’s over. Up to six games can place for this category (three finished and three unfinished). Finished games will earn 10 points higher than unfinished games, since finished games are so rare and we need all the incentive we can get to finish our projects.

For Unfinished Games:
First Place: 50 points
Second Place: 40 points
Third Place: 30 points

For Finished Games:
First Place: 60 points
Second Place: 50 points
Third Place: 40 points

Now, let me iterate that cliffhangers can still have happy endings. I don’t necessarily need to play a wave of angst here. The goal is to see who can offer the best presentation, and ultimately, to tell the best story. Maybe you finish your story with a happy ending. Will I want to see your character come back in a sequel? Maybe you end a chapter with your character hanging off the side of a cliff. Do I want to come back to see if he’ll make it?

Build anticipation between Feb. 1 and May 1. But no pressure. This contest will welcome anything you’re working on presently or plan to start soon.

Tip: As a player, start considering the above categories for any game that’s released during the contest window. This is essentially a gimme contest, so chances are the author will want to make his release eligible for it, and forming your opinions early will make judging in May and June a whole lot easier on everyone. Remember, kids, slackers never win.

Feel free to suggest additional scoring categories or changes to existing categories here.
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JSH357
Pansy




Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 1705
Location: Augusta, Georgia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to enter Duck in this contest:
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?t=3535
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Pepsi Ranger
Reality TV Host




Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 491
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to remind everyone here that the Cliffhanger Contest is officially over, and that anyone can submit or nominate a game or update that was released between Feb. 1 and May 1, including the ones from the 8-bit and Ridiculous Games Contests.

You'll need to reread the opening thread to find out what type of game is worth submitting, though that can be subjective, so feel free to enter or nominate a game that questions the rules, as well.

So far, I have Duck as an entry.

I'll give everyone until May 31 to decide which games should be eligible. As you enter/nominate, feel free to talk about (with spoiler tags), why the game is a good fit for the contest. And others can vote on the categories as they see fit.

So, let's start getting a list of the eligible games (really, you can nominate anything), and begin to discuss and ultimately vote one which game(s) have the best cliffhangers.

And to kick things off, I wouldn't mind hearing from JSH and others (with spoiler tags) a couple of reasons why Duck should win this contest.
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Progress Report:

The Adventures of Powerstick Man: Extended Edition

Currently Updating: General sweep of the game world and dialogue boxes. Adding extended maps.

Tightfloss Maiden

Currently Updating: Chapter 2
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