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GradsInGames

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For the sanity of our judging team, I'm really glad we're not going to get 30 games titled 'Rising Star' :)

(Edited 1 time)

One assessment criterion for the development project is 'Features'. This is where you can score points for going beyond the basic gameplay mechanics, creating additions to your game that focus on bringing more depth and engagement for the user.

There are a lot of directions that you can go with this & it can quickly get overwhelming once you start stacking up the options. If you try to add every feature you can think of, you'll probably end up finishing none of them. It's not just the code challenge of getting the feature in, you're also having go through several rounds of playtesting, rebalancing and modification before it's 'right'. The best approach is likely to be picking one feature at a time to focus on, getting it right, then moving on to another.

We've listed some of the more typical features that can be implemented below. It's not a comprehensive listing and very definitely not a checklist, but may give you some ideas of where you can make some progression in feature development.

Gameplay enhancements

Game tutorial / introduction

Bosses, minibosses & AI variation

Powerups, pickups and collectibles

Scoring & Leaderboards

Adding engagement

Player customisation

Achievements

Stores, upgrades and unlockables

Social or online integration

Multiplayer

Local or networked

Competitive, co-op, social/world-building

simultaneous, turn-based, asynchronous

Game options

Accessibility support / options

Difficulty settings

Audio / Video

Multiple controller options

Customisable control system


edit : changed title to be less confusing...

(Edited 2 times)

One assessment criterion for the development project is 'Features'. This is where you can score points for going beyond the basic gameplay mechanics, creating additions to your game that focus on bringing more depth and engagement for the user.

There are a lot of directions that you can go with this & it can quickly get overwhelming once you start stacking up the options. If you try to add every feature you can think of, you'll probably end up finishing none of them. It's not just the code challenge of getting the feature in, you're also having go through several rounds of playtesting, rebalancing and modification before it's 'right'. The best approach is likely to be picking one feature at a time to focus on, getting it right, then moving on to another.

We've listed some of the more typical features that can be implemented below. It's not a comprehensive listing and very definitely not a checklist, but may give you some ideas of where you can make some progression in feature development.


Gameplay enhancements

Game tutorial / introduction

Bosses, minibosses & AI variation

Powerups, pickups and collectibles

Scoring & Leaderboards

Adding engagement

Player customisation

Achievements

Stores, upgrades and unlockables

Social or online integration

Multiplayer

Local or networked

Competitive, co-op, social/world-building

simultaneous, turn-based, asynchronous

Game options

Accessibility support / options

Difficulty settings

Audio / Video

Multiple controller options

Customisable control system



edit: changed title to be less confusing...

Yep, you can use any version of Unity.

Hi Calum,

Dale's pretty much spot on about the code. You're working from an existing code base, but can do with it what you want with it. Part of the challenge is to work from the existing code though, so try to make clear any changes that you make to the original.

As per the brief, the release platform is Windows PC. You're welcome to expand the development to other platforms, but will need to have the desktop version as your submitted final project.

You can adapt and modify as much as you feel necessary. Part of the assessment criteria, however, is on your ability to read and understand the existing code base, which will be difficult to demonstrate if there's not much of it left. It should be clear from your code that you've used the original source as a base, rather than started from scratch and copied in some of the scripts from it.

Hi Dean,

1. Code in the way you feel comfortable with, bearing in mind the assessment criteria. If in doubt, include comments explaining your style decisions.

2. You can use third-party assets as long as they are attributed/licensed correctly.

3. You can adapt and modify the provided code as much as you feel is necessary. It's recommended you make any changes clear in comments so that the judges know how you've worked with the existing code base.

Yep, it's the same base project used for each competition. It's only the assessment groups that differ - SFAS entrants are graded seperately from Rising Star entrants.

Hi,

Thanks for the questions. Going to stick these in the FAQ as they're all good points.

1. You can modify the starting code as much as you want. If this ends up as a radical departure from the original concept, that's fine - this is one factor that contributes to the 'Creativity' marking criteria. The key thing to bear in mind is that it must be clear to the judges that you've worked from the original source. If in doubt, always comment the changes you make for clarity.

2. There's no enforced secrecy on the projects and you're welcome to maintain dev blogs & share progress updates if you wish. In previous years we've even had some entrants livestream their coding sessions. They are non-collaborative, individual projects, so actively sharing your project or encouraging plagiarism is obviously a bad idea. You are, however, more than welcome to share ideas, talk about your approach to the project and discuss your work with others (I'm going to go set up a general discussion board now). Alternatively, if you want to keep your whole project private and work on it in secret until a spectacular reveal, that's fine too.

3. You retain all rights to your game. The starter project is provided free for your use. If you use any additional third-party assets in your project you must ensure they are licensed appropriately.

(Edited 4 times)

When is the project deadline?

All projects must be published into the itch.io jam group by March 2nd 2017 at 11:59 PM

Where do I get access to the code repository for the project?

Instructions to access the repository are included in the project brief that was emailed to you. If you have still not received a brief, please contact us at info@gradsingames.com

Do I have to use the starter project? Can I create my own or start with a different code base?

This challenge is designed to mimic actual studio processes. For this reason, it is important that you work from the provided project and do not start again from scratch.

How much of the starter project can I modify?

You can modify the starting code as much as you want, though it must be clear to the judges that you've worked from the original source. If in doubt, always comment the changes you make for clarity.

Is it ok to create development blogs & talk about my project with others?

You're welcome to maintain dev blogs & share progress updates if you wish. They are non-collaborative, individual projects, so actively sharing your project or encouraging plagiarism is obviously a bad idea.

You are also welcome to share ideas, talk about your approach to the project and discuss your work with others on the discussion board. Alternatively, if you want to keep your whole project private and work on it in secret until a spectacular reveal, that's fine too.

Should I publish my finished game as public or unlisted?

It's up to you. If you want the itch.io community at large to see and play your game then you are welcome to choose the public option. If you'd rather it just be seen in the Sumo Digital Rising Star competition, then you can publish it as unlisted.

Who owns the rights to the finished game?

You retain all rights to your game. If you use any third-party assets beyond what is provided in the starter project, please ensure they are licensed appropriately.

(Edited 3 times)

When is the project deadline?

All projects must be published into the itch.io jam group by March 2nd 2017 at 11:59 PM

Where do I get access to the code repository for the project?

Instructions to access the repository are included in the project brief that was emailed to you. If you have still not received a brief, please contact us at info@gradsingames.com

Do I have to use the starter project? Can I create my own or start with a different code base?

This challenge is designed to mimic actual studio processes. For this reason, it is important that you work from the provided project and do not start again from scratch.

How much of the starter project can I modify?

You can modify the starting code as much as you want, though it must be clear to the judges that you've worked from the original source. If in doubt, always comment the changes you make for clarity.

Is it ok to create development blogs & talk about my project with others?

You're welcome to maintain dev blogs & share progress updates if you wish. They are non-collaborative, individual projects, so actively sharing your project or encouraging plagiarism is obviously a bad idea.

You are also welcome to share ideas, talk about your approach to the project and discuss your work with others on the discussion board. Alternatively, if you want to keep your whole project private and work on it in secret until a spectacular reveal, that's fine too.

Should I publish my finished game as public or unlisted?

It's up to you. If you want the itch.io community at large to see and play your game then you are welcome to choose the public option. If you'd rather it just be seen in the Search For A Star competition, then you can publish it as unlisted.

Who owns the rights to the finished game?

You retain all rights to your game. If you use any third-party assets beyond what is provided in the starter project, please ensure they are licensed appropriately.

(Edited 4 times)

Search For A Star 2017 - Code Project Brief

You will be required to adapt and improve upon an existing project, developing on the provided framework to create a playable, finished game. The style and creative direction of the game is up to you to choose. You will need to create additional content, including the development of gameplay and design features before publishing your game as a finished product.

This project is designed to mimic studio processes. It is important that for this challenge you utilize the existing project and do not start again from scratch.

Project Details

  • Project framework & usage instructions can be obtained in the BitBucket repository
  • Development engine is Unity3D.
  • Release platform is Windows PC.
  • Finished projects must be published to the competition game jam on itch.io
  • Project submission will require a link to the code repository of your finished project.
  • Publication deadline is March 2nd 2017 at 11:59 PM

Project Assessment Criteria

Judges will award marks based on:

Code
Your ability to maintain good coding practices, to write clean efficient and readable code. Your ability to read and understand an existing code base (do not start again from scratch). Your approach to identifying problems and implementing solutions. The breadth of your technical ability e.g. gameplay, networking, graphics, performance, editor extensions

Gameplay
Your ability to identify & implement core gameplay concepts and mechanics.

Features
The implementation of extra features to the base game (e.g. high scores, achievements, multiplayer modes, tutorial etc.)

UI / UX
The clarity and ease of use of user systems, including the navigation, controls and visual interfaces.

Creativity & Originality
The implementation of great ideas, overall style & creative concepts.

(Edited 4 times)

Sumo Digital Rising Star 2017 - Code Project Brief

You will be required to adapt and improve upon an existing project, developing on the provided framework to create a playable, finished game. The style and creative direction of the game is up to you to choose. You will need to create additional content, including the development of gameplay and design features before publishing your game as a finished product.

This project is designed to mimic studio processes. It is important that for this challenge you utilize the existing project and do not start again from scratch.

Project Details

  • Project framework & usage instructions can be obtained in the BitBucket repository
  • Development engine is Unity3D.
  • Release platform is Windows PC.
  • Finished projects must be published to the competition game jam on itch.io
  • Project submission will require a link to the code repository of your finished project.
  • Publication deadline is March 2nd 2017 at 11:59 PM

Project Assessment Criteria

Judges will award marks based on:

Code
Your ability to maintain good coding practices, to write clean efficient and readable code. Your ability to read and understand an existing code base (do not start again from scratch). Your approach to identifying problems and implementing solutions. The breadth of your technical ability e.g. gameplay, networking, graphics, performance, editor extensions

Gameplay
Your ability to identify & implement core gameplay concepts and mechanics.

Features
The implementation of extra features to the base game (e.g. high scores, achievements, multiplayer modes, tutorial etc.)

UI / UX
The clarity and ease of use of user systems, including the navigation, controls and visual interfaces.

Creativity & Originality
The implementation of great ideas, overall style & creative concepts.