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Students Compete at Video Game Creation 147

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the games-people-make dept.
zalas writes "Stanford's computer graphics class holds a video game writing competition each year at the end of the term, and this year's results are finally online. You can download all the finalist entries from the website. The winning entries featured very original game concepts, such as sending a spiked soccer ball through wormhole planets or infesting a growing maze of cheese with mold. Judges at the competition included representatives from Electronic Arts, Microsoft and the creator of Pong, Allan Alcorn. Ironically enough, the winners of the wacky category who received a voucher for an XBOX360 wrote a game that only worked on OSX laptops with the drop-protection motion sensors."
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Students Compete at Video Game Creation

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  • Ironically? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jonathan_ingram (30440) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:06PM (#14446585) Homepage
    But was it as ironic as ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife?
  • irony? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    maybe they should check their definition of irony
    i use only OSX, and the Xbox360 is at the top of my wish list.
    • Re:irony? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcb (5109)
      I would guess that the irony stems from a Microsoft rep being one of the judges, and voting for an OSX app.
      • It's OSX only because it requires the Powerbook's drop sensors. What would be the point of a Win32 version?
        • Didn't IBM come out with the same thing either first or shortly after the powerbooks did?

          I remember a bunch of stupid commercials with the guys at a lunch counter and the one dude drops the laptop that turns out not to be the one with the motion sensor in it.

          -stefan
        • What a ripoff, too! I was recently in a Target store and saw a handheld game of the original Labyrinth that does the exact same thing as this game. You tilt the entire handheld game to move a digital marble around the maze on a low quality B&W LCD.

          I wonder if the contest rules prohibited copying existing games.

  • by Psionicist (561330) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:10PM (#14446612)
    I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

    The Experimental Gameplay Project began as a student pitched project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The project started in Spring 2005 with the goal of discovering and rapidly prototyping as many new forms of gameplay as possible. A team of four grad students, we locked ourselves in a room for a semester with three rules:

    1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
    2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
    3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. "gravity", "vegetation", "swarms", etc.

    As the project progressed, we were amazed and thrilled with the onslaught of web traffic, with the attention from gaming magazines, and with industry professionals and academics all asking the same questions, "How are you making these games so quickly?" and "How can we do it too?" Though we successfully met our goal of making over 50 games, we realized that this project had become much less about the games, and much more about the crazy development process - and how we could help others do the same thing. We wrote about this process in our whitepaper How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days.


    How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051026/gabler_ 01.shtml [gamasutra.com] Recommended read.
    • I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

      It comes down to "Write trivial, borderline-unplayable games that hold your interest for a minute or so," then write many versions of each game. There are a few gems, but on the whole the results were disappointing.
    • Fire a rifle at a target, you might hit the bullseye. Fire buck shot at a target, you can't miss the bullseye.

      Make 1 game and maybe it's a hit. Make 50 games, there's bound to be a hit.
      • Fire a rifle at a target, you might hit the bullseye. Fire buck shot at a target, you can't miss the bullseye.

        Make 1 game and maybe it's a hit. Make 50 games, there's bound to be a hit.


        It's a classic disruptive technology approach. In business terms, fund 10 skunkworks blue-sky projects on the assumption that 9 go nowhere and the tenth will be successful enough to justify the investment in all ten.
    • I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

      Yea but for a CS246 (2nd year comp sci students) this is good...you are comparing 4 grad students to 2nd year under grads?
      • [quote]Yea but for a CS246 (2nd year comp sci students) this is good...you are comparing 4 grad students to 2nd year under grads?[/quote]If they truly care about and enjoy programming then they should already know everything that is going to be taught for the rest of their enrollment. They should have known most of it before enrolling. If not, then they shouldn't be taking CS.
        • s/\[quote\]/<blockquote>/
          s/\[\/quote\]/<\/blockquote>/

          Been spending too much time on phpBB forums. I should have previewed it =/
        • If they truly care about and enjoy programming then they should already know everything that is going to be taught for the rest of their enrollment. They should have known most of it before enrolling. If not, then they shouldn't be taking CS.

          Without trying to be offensive, that is a completely obtuse statement. To expect someone who enjoys something to know about it, and to know most of it, before enrolling? Then really there is no point to school if you are going in knowing all of the information. Y
          • Without trying to be offensive, that is a completely obtuse statement. To expect someone who enjoys something to know about it, and to know most of it, before enrolling? Then really there is no point to school if you are going in knowing all of the information. You have no basis to say they do not truly care about what they are in school for, nor do you have a basis to say what their previous background was, and frankly their work is nice for 2nd year students. When I was a 2nd year student we weren't this

            • Some people enjoy going to school and getting a degree; even without knowing a majority of what they'll be taught in school.

              Just because you didn't find any value in school (which I'm "reading" from your post) doesn't mean that you're the norm.
              • Some people enjoy going to school and getting a degree; even without knowing a majority of what they'll be taught in school.
                Yes, but those types of people shouldn't be taking CS.

                The last thing the world needs are more lackluster programmers who simply do not care about programming as anything more than a means to an end (namely a paycheque).
                • No. The last thing the world needs is more students who don't care about school as anything but a means to an end (namely a paycheque). Obviously you are one of those people ("The point is you get the little piece of paper that says you know it and allows you to get a job"). You can get a lot out of school or you can waste your time. If you know enough going into a class to make an A, and at the end of the class you haven't learned anything new anyway, you are living failure. It sounds to me like you w
                  • The last thing the world needs is more students who don't care about school as anything but a means to an end

                    School is a tool, nothing more. Students do not harm society by not caring about it, nor do they benefit society by caring about it. This is not the case for software development.

                    Try getting a decent CS job without a degree. Unless you have somebody on the inside in a company you would like to work for who can put in a good word for you, you are out of luck.

                    If you do have somebody on the inside

                    • Having a degree doesn't guarantee a job. Try finding a job around here in any tech field. 99% of job postings require 5 years experience for a basically entry-level job, and most of the other 1% won't accept college grads.

                      I have a degree and can't get a job for the life of me because of the experience requirements for "entry-level" jobs.
                    • Completely true. It makes it possible, however. It is just about impossible without a degree.

                      Best thing to do is pick up something other than pure CS but where your CS knowledge can be applied.
                  • I dunno about that. It seems like I just trivially obtained a piece of paper that results in greater wealth generation potential, increasing my health, happiness, and all sorts of other neat things that will improve my quality of life and give me more resources with which to pursue my dreams, satisfy my desires, and make the world a better place.

                    Living failure? Bah.
            • Everything you need to learn most of what is taught can be obtained from various programming books, online resources, and open source projects.


              If they don't enjoy programming enough to go out and get that information, then they have no place in a CS course.

              You have no basis for this statement. You have no idea of how much or how little they enjoy programming. You have no idea what extra-curricular activities they have performed. You have no idea what resources are and are not available to them. A
              • You have no idea of how much or how little they enjoy programming.

                If they don't care about it, then they shouldn't be taking programming.

                You have no idea what extra-curricular activities they have performed.

                The person I was replying to stated that it was decent work for second year students.

                If they really care about CS, then the fact that they are second year students should be meaningless as far as knowledge goes. The only limiting factor should be their lack of workplace experience.

                You have no idea

                • If they don't care about it, then they shouldn't be taking programming.

                  That is your opinion, which you are entitled to, but it does not make it correct. A person is entitled to not care about something and still learn it.

                  The person I was replying to stated that it was decent work for second year students.

                  yea that was me. We have been replying to each other. What's your point?

                  If they really care about CS, then the fact that they are second year students should be meaningless as far as knowled
                  • No that is false...a second year CS student is probably going to have less knowledge then someone who graduated with a CS degree (assuming same school) and is working in the field. I still can't see how you automatically assume they should know enough - this is naive.

                    Thus the statement 'he only limiting factor should be their lack of workplace experience'.

                    Again you are assuming. These kids could be on full scholarship and a limited budget. They may have not had internet access (still many parts of this co

                    • Considering CS students working with a scholarship are the vast minority, you really don't have an argument here. Maybe one in one hundred will have an valid excuse other than pure laziness to attribute their lack of knowledge to.

                      Thanks for your 1 in 100 conclusion...and you got these numbers where?

                      Then you don't care about it. You may enjoy it, but you don't really care about it. If you cared about it you would spend hours every day pouring over every bit of knowledge you could get your hands on. Mech
            • Wrong. If they have nothing to learn in the course, then they have no place in that course. What you are trying to say is that if the person is worth even a tiny shit, they should be able to leave highschool and take every CS test an undergraduate in CS at Standford would take and do all the projects aswell without having to learn anything new. This is laughable.
              • Wrong. If they have nothing to learn in the course, then they have no place in that course. What you are trying to say is that if the person is worth even a tiny shit, they should be able to leave highschool and take every CS test an undergraduate in CS at Standford would take and do all the projects aswell without having to learn anything new. This is laughable.

                If they care about programming, then by the time they are near the end of their highschool career they should have already spent three to five year

                • So by your definition someone who recently started caring about programming after highschool can't exist? How do you ever get started? Many students majoring in CS weren't interested in it before, but that certainly doesn't mean they aren't now. Also let me add this, in Universities you have all kinds of research and ideas being passed around which are fresh. If you can't find a way to take advantage of being there in person in the presence of this generation of ideas then you aren't trying.
          • When I was a 2nd year student we weren't this sort of stuff, makes me wish I went to Stanford.

            You really don't need to go to some high-ranked CS university to do cool projects. I hear a lot of people on Slashdot griping about how they couldn't go to MIT/CMU/Stanford/CalTech/whatever. Okay, maybe you get some good lectures and have some bright people handy to work with, but that's really a drop in the bucket compared to what you choose to do yourself. If you read about the things you're interested in, wor
          • To expect someone who enjoys something to know about it, and to know most of it, before enrolling?

            Computer Science is not programming. CS courses do not teach you programming (except prehaps in a minor, remedial way).

            CS/SE people consider programming to be so trivially easy that any good grad can learn another language in an intense weekend. When a prof says "Assignments for this course will be submitted in Haskell", you don't get to ask him to teach Haskell, or even what it is... you'd better be able to
    • 1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
      2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
      3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. "gravity", "vegetation", "swarms", etc.


      That sounded cool until I saw the 2nd game listed... It uses ripped sprites.
      And most of the game on that site do no look like they were made by 1 person only... I've seen programmer's art. its not pretty
      • That sounded cool until I saw the 2nd game listed... It uses ripped sprites.

        It is commonplace for game designers and programmers to rip art from older projects (their own, or commercially produced) while they are experimenting with gameplay and programming concepts. These people don't want to become artists, and the experiment is not about finding faster ways to draw cool pictures.

        Ripping sprites is nothing to be ashamed of in this context.
    • <bitter>It doesn't say what year these students were, but here [thewavelength.net] is a game I worked on second year at BCIT [www.bcit.ca] (a CS course obviously). It was networked with nice graphics, sound, physics, a nice level designer and even pretty fun to play. All I got for it was a good grade.</bitter>

    • All the games in this competition were pretty creative except the one that, uh, was just a clone of F-zero.

      Hovercrafts? Check. Forcefield? Check. Gravity faces track? Check. Tracks twist and turn all around? Check.

      But other than that, they were all good.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:11PM (#14446620) Homepage Journal

    a) not everyone can access port 8090 from behind a firewall.
    b) It's Stanford. Do you really think they're lacking for bandwidth?
    non-Coral link here [stanford.edu]
  • How is "Baron von Puttyngton versus the Cancerous M.C. Escher Maze of Cheese" NOT the wackiest game? Instead, it gets the loser "second place" of dinner at Il Fornio. I'd MUCH rather have the XBox 360.
    • Seriously! Don't they know that Game Designers (much like the Slashdot crowd) are not exaclty Most Wanted Bachelors.
      Not only do they not give this presumed geek a 360, they also shame him by forcing him to ask another to go with him on this dinner date. Let's just hope the poor guys mom says yes!
  • Why is it that the only mac game is the one without a download link?

    • And more than that...why not make it work with my IBM Thinkpad as well! The Thinkpad has a very similar (if not the same) sensor built in as well. Booo!
      • Umm... because nobody's hacked IBM's APS yet, IIRC?

        Once it gets hacked, trust me, there'll be ports.

        Unfortunately, the laptop I'm getting won't have APS... :( (at least I don't THINK the R51e has it)
    • You see, Mac has always been proprietary hardware. You have to wait for Mac to make it hardware compatible first and then move on from there. Eventually it'll get to you. I'm not against Mac, they're great computers and thier users are the most loyal customer around. It's just they failed in a large way by keeping the Macs harwadre proprietary. It eliminated cheap parts, readily available software, and cheap upgrades. I had to move to PC in order to use software reqired to do my job. Reminds me somewhat of
      • Being as Macs now use the same CPUs, video cards, hard disks, optical drives, and I/O ports as PCs, I fail to see what the hardware issue is.
      • Ummm, I don't think you read the article. The parent is asking about a game that was designed for the PowerBook.

        The answer might be that the game requires an OS hack to tap into the PowerBook motion sensor.
    • by Pollardito (781263) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:51PM (#14446944)
      because there are no games on the Mac, duh
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:17PM (#14446679) Homepage Journal
    Heart Attack features technologies such as GLSL pixel/vertex shaders and octree collision detection along with fast-paced, dynamic gameplay.

    For added realism, comes with the genuine HeartAttack Inducer (TM) guaranteed to trigger an actual heart attack during gameplay. Our patent pending CattleProd(TM) technology shocks the player into one or more heart attacks (configurable) through repeated, powerful jolts of raw electric power synchronized with in-game events.

    An optional multiplayer add-on pack offers even more realism by automatically dialling 911 so Emergency services, paramedics and the ER crew can join in for some fast-paced, dynamic action.

    Beta testers wanted.

  • by PureCreditor (300490) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:25PM (#14446741)
    OSX laptop with drop motion sensor...so what would that game be?

    physically throwing the laptop up and down to score points ?
  • Freud on video games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:26PM (#14446742) Homepage
    Will anything ever dethrone GTA*? According to Sigmund, man's most base needs include seeking food and shelter (running through health packs), seeking pleasure (patronizing prostitutes) and killing (killing prostitutes and cops and everybody else). GTA could not be more Freudianly ticklish, if you will, without crossing the line of objectionability too far to market the game. Therefore, we will thirst for this game the most -- most of us at least.

    But these kids are getting cute and innovative. My question is, can they make a brilliant enough game that is PG that would sell more than GTA? Is that even theoretically possible, in light of Freudian theory? The only innovation I can think of to top GTA is things involving mothers but as I noted before that would so cross the line, so that gets ruled out.

  • Ironically enough, the winners of the wacky category who received a voucher for an XBOX360 wrote a game that only worked on OSX laptops with the drop-protection motion sensors."

    If you think about it...these kids attended the same school, and got the same education. If Stanford concentrates on OSx and Linux, well yea their programs are going to run on similar platforms...they are classmates, studying in the same classes. Now if you said out of 10 different schools, with different teaching methodologie
    • Irony: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

      The irony is that a judge from Microsoft awarded the top prize, a Microsoft product, for a game that would not work on any of their platforms.

      • Irony: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs The irony is that a judge from Microsoft awarded the top prize, a Microsoft product, for a game that would not work on any of their platforms.

        Top prize was not an X-Box, top prize was a trip. The "Wackiest" program, which shows under the 2nd place prize, and could be considered 3rd place got the X-box. It makes sense an MS employee would give the prize since they donated the gift and attended the event.

        And well, I don't kn
    • I think the point was that an XBOX360 (Microsoft Product) was the prize for the winner, a game that ONLY worked on OSX laptops (very NOT Microsoft, even, dare I say, AntiMicrosoft).

      Not "gasp! look! it's a bird! it's a plane! it's OSX software by an academic institution!"
      • I think the point was that an XBOX360 (Microsoft Product) was the prize for the winner, a game that ONLY worked on OSX laptops (very NOT Microsoft, even, dare I say, AntiMicrosoft). Not "gasp! look! it's a bird! it's a plane! it's OSX software by an academic institution!"

        Neither does PS2/3, neither does Nintendo Gamecube, neither does any game system natively run on OSx, linux or windows. I might understand your argument if they gave the kids a windows computer - but no, they gave them an gaming conso
    • I guess the irony is that for inventing an original and innovative game, their prize is the platform with the least inventive collection of games. The natural home of Yet Another FPS.

  • P is for Pause
    R is for Reset
    H will turn off the display
    L will skip to the next level
    Ctrl brings up a 3D 'map'. By rotating this, you change the gravity vector. (you might have to use the mouse scroll wheel)
    The numbers 1-9 turn on/off various shading for the cheeseball

    The controls are a bit dodgy, but it's fun for a while.
  • Labyrin3D (Score:3, Informative)

    by XMilkProject (935232) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:29PM (#14446762) Homepage
    The Labyrin3D which won the XBOX is actually a pretty darn cool idea! For those that didn't RTFA it is just like one of those little kids toy's where you must tilt the box around to roll a ball through the maze.

    The cool factor comes from the fact that it utilizes the gyros (drop sensors) in the Apple laptop so that you play by tilting the laptop back and forth.

    Cool!
    • Anyone want to write a small routine where, if you hold your laptop upside down and shake it, your hard drive is reformatted?
    • It sounds like what I'd expect from a Revolution version of Super Monkey Ball.
    • >>> The Labyrin3D which won the XBOX is actually a pretty darn cool idea! For those that didn't RTFA it is just like one of those little kids toy's where you must tilt the box around to roll a ball through the maze.

      The cool factor comes from the fact that it utilizes the gyros (drop sensors) in the Apple laptop so that you play by tilting the laptop back and forth.

      Cool!


      Not a unique idea. Kirby's Tilt and Tumble and Yoshi Topsy Turvy for Game Boy also do that, and I'm sure there's more.
  • So, did anybody see a link for downloading Labyrin3D?
  • by Rockenreno (573442) <(rockenreno) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:32PM (#14446787)
    Except you get a good grade instead of a prize for creating a good game. There's nothing like 6 guys spending 10 weeks to develop a 3d multiplayer game. Tons of fun. Tons of sleepless hours in the lab. http://pisa.ucsd.edu/cse190/ [ucsd.edu]
  • Soccer is intresting (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brain_Recall (868040) <brain_recall@yah ... Tom minus distro> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:36PM (#14446810)
    I suck at games, but generally I still like to play them. The Deadly Soccerball is intresting. I had to dig through the readme to determine the gameplay, but essentially you fire off missles to remove the spikes from other spikey balls, then dodge the spikes they drop to go in for the kill. (Note: not explaned, but your health bar is on the right side of the screen.)

    Some intresting features in the engine. The "portal" system is totally seamless and you jump from one planet to the next. Even the snakes, which crawl very smoothly and rather realistically, go from one planet to the next. If you take a look around, you can clearly see the snakes crawling along the other planets.

    Better yet, I only got one crash from it! :-) (Smashing too many buttons at once, methinks, but not sure.)

  • by xchino (591175) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:36PM (#14446816)
    When I was in my sophomore year high school we had a similar game coding contest at the end of the year, mandatory for all CS students, and voluntary for any student who wanted to enter. There were a lot of cool little games out of it, but mine took first. Not that it was amazing, it was a missile commander clone with the twist of being multiplayer, where up to 4 people could play, 2 defending, and 2 setting the attack points and trajectories. Being the mischeveous little bastard I was back then, I hid a backdoor through an intentional buffer overflow, which was a relatively obscure tactic at the time (1995ish). For my junior and senior years in high school I had a blast messing with other students when they were playing my game, which was now installed by default on all computers in the lab for those that came to play games at lunch. After graduation, I passed on the secret to one of my underclassman friends, and he did the same, for a few years it was an underground legacy until finally someone caught on. I got a call from my old CS teacher, he wanted me to know he thought it was funny, and my game is still installed on all the computers, though patched, and used as his model for teaching the new students what a vulnerability is, and how to find and fix them.
  • by prozac79 (651102) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:40PM (#14446843)
    Oh sure, I was a finalist a few years back in this video game competition and I just got a pat on the back. This year's entries get front page on slashdot and the adoration (and criticism) of the entire nerd world! Not that I'm jealous or anything, I just like to have my ego fed every once in a while.
  • No improvement (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Check out the games from THREE years ago:

    http://graphics.stanford.edu.nyud.net:8090/courses /cs248-videogame-competition/cs248-02/ [nyud.net]

    I'd say i'm fairly unimpressed by the lack of improvement of the games over the years. 2002 was a leap in the quality of games over previous years and the subsequent years have just been disappointing. The winner of 02, The Return of Oscuro, pushed cel-shading, polygon-level collision detection, full real-time shadowing, and a host of other techniques that few commercial games h
    • So you're saying that even if the games were intelligently designed, they haven't evolved in all this time?
    • I'd say i'm fairly unimpressed by the lack of improvement of the games over the years. 2002 was a leap in the quality of games over previous years and the subsequent years have just been disappointing.

      The reason *commercial* games have developed more sophisticated graphics engines isn't, I'd say, necessarily because of more powerful hardware or even new techniques being developed. Some of it is that budgets are larger. More budget == more man-hours to add features and effects.

      I suspect that the largest fa
  • by CapS (83352) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:46PM (#14446885)
    ...because you can easily sell it on ebay.
  • by jkuff (170923) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @12:53PM (#14446982) Homepage
    A few years ago, I started teaching a game programming course at Carnegie Mellon. We also had a final project competition with Xbox and PS2 prizes, as voted by the students in the class:

    [cmu.edu]http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/ [cmu.edu]

    It is initially tough to convice some of the older, conservative faculty that learning how to write games is something that CMU should be teaching its students. But on second-look, one realizes that what students really learn is fundamental to all of computer science: efficient data structures, effective resource management and memory usage, good user interfaces, handling images and multimedia content, process threading and multi-user networking, etc. However, with a game programming class, you get to teach all of this stuff in a fun way, where students are extremely self-motivated to learn it all.

    The class has been quite popular, and many of my students have gone off to work in the game development industry. The best feedback I have received has been from students who enjoyed the fact that their final game projects have been the the only pieces of software they have written during their university days that had a lifetime beyond the course itself. I think game programming is an excellent way to teach coding skills and working as part of a development team, which is a very practical part of any CS curriculum.

    There are downloadable movies of some of the recent lab projects here (all written in portable OpenGL code:

    http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/labs/lab1/ [cmu.edu]
    http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/labs/lab2/ [cmu.edu]

    • I really enjoyed that class, Prof. Kuffner. Thanks.

      Incidently, the wrapup for that class the year I took it was a blast. Basically, one demoed one's project in front of the class at the end. I still remember that one particularly presentation-savvy group, after demoing their game themselves, asked everyone in the room (which was a computer lab) to start up a binary that they'd precompiled and put on AFS in a public directory and started a deathmatch with all the audience at once. Very nifty.

      Also, in the
  • A video game that simulates making a video game and you compete with others to make the dopest video game inside the video game. Wait...
  • Neverball (Score:3, Informative)

    by HanClinto (621615) <hanclinto@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @01:11PM (#14447177)
    That's really cool about the Labyrinth game -- it would be cool if Neverball [icculus.org] were modified to use a similar input device. It works off of a similar principle, the graphics are fantastic, and it would be sortof an open-source Revolution controller. :)
  • I always love seeing stuff like this because often you see more innovation or cool gameplay concepts in these and independant games than you see in the "big company" games. Athough mentioned awhile back on slashdot I believe, I also recommend people check out http://www.igf.com/2006entrants.shtml [igf.com] to see all the finalists in this year's indie games competition. Proffessor Fizzwizzle has consumed countless hours of my free time lately much as Breakquest did for me last year.
  • The stair and truck dismount [jet.ro] have been a long time favorite with me. I have spent hours hitting that poor lifeless figure with a truck. It is disturbing just how much fun it is.
  • by heroine (1220) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @02:17PM (#14447818) Homepage
    Want to work 80 hour weeks to rent a dumpy apartment in east LA? Go ahead and compete in game programming contests. Interesting to see both sides of an industry: the previous generation of students who hate their jobs, hate not being allowed a life, and complain about getting laid off because of age and the next generation students who are eager to get into crunch mode and make huge sacrifices for their bosses.
  • Was performance even considered? Of the three windows games I downloaded: firefly wanted to send an error report to Microsoft; baron took 100% of the CPU and I couldn't control it; and socker ball took 100% of the CPU. I've got the latest windows XP crap and an NVidia video card with 128 Megs of memory and all kinds of excelleration, so how did these games win if they're running at ~1fps?
  • I ask this, because back in 1998 I had a 486, and wrote a Binary Spatial Partition algorithm in C, based upon the description in a 1987(?)IEEE symposium synopsis book. It was complicated and difficult. It was also super slow on my 33Mhz machine. It would do 1 frame every 10 seconds or so.

    So then I simplified it down to integer stuff, and got to 1 frame every 2 seconds.

    That wasn't good enough, so I rewrote the darn thing in assembler/machine code, and got it down to about 5 frames a second.

    Now, a standa
    • So maybe they just had to do the plane-drawing algorithm in machine code. That's still tremendously difficult.

      Absolutely not. Those games use OpenGL (or maybe sometimes directx). Even in 98, it was common for graphics-oriented courses to use OpenGL (often on real SGI hardware, though). Today, drawing 3d pixels in your own code isn't only excessively difficult, but can't possibly give as impressive a result as a cheap $29 3d accelerator card.
  • "War of the Penguins" is for Windows.

    Now I'm not normally a Linux nerd but that don't seem quite right.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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