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Blendswap Arcade – At long last, we have a final verdict!

4 odd months later, and the Blendswap Arcade is concluded. To give me a deserved beating for my absence, please refer to my apology. In the end, Rickard @rickard swooped in as the 2nd judge together with Nicholas @memonick, and we had ourselves a final verdict. Which is…

1st Place – Hostage

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Judge 1:
An ideal contest submission – doesn’t do a lot, but it is is polished and, most importantly, enjoyable. Contains some interesting mechanics and props which really spice the game up.

Judge 2:
Simple and surprisingly addictive. Could have benefited from another fail state, too many misses, to make it more difficult. Suggestions: Drop the voice on hit miss, replace with a sound effect. Have the hostage/civilian switch places.

2nd Place – Exterminator

exterminator

Judge 1:
Interesting game which could be extremely enjoyable on a smartphone or tablet. The game is rather challenging and frustrating, yet it could have used some more polishing when in the graphics.

Judge 2:
Simple concept, well executed. Well defined game states and boundaries. As frustrating as ‘whack-a-mole’ (in a good way).

3rd Place – Marbleway

marbleway

Judge 1:
Fun, challenging and tedious, Marbleway makes perfect use of the theme and is solid all around. The only areas it lacked in are the camera movement and the physics, which sees undesired consequences, such as the marble getting caught beneath seats.

Judge 2:
Classic gameplay. Camera somewhat annoying. The game would benefit more from open levels (no walls in the way for camera).

All of the games made for the contest are freely available here:

http://hub.jmonkeyengine.org/wiki/doku.php/jme3:blendswaparcade

Epilogue

The Blendswap Arcade contest definitely had its share of flaws in both planning and execution, which I take full responsibility for. But in concept, I think it works exceedingly well (yeah I know that’s also what they say about communism, but this is different, read on).

The games speak for themselves. There were some concerns that 10 games using the same asset could easily result in 10 near identical game experiences, but in retrospect this concern was unwarranted. Game design muscles were amply flexed that week. Indies, I applaud you.

If someone else from the community ever wants to do another contest, re-using this concept or doing something new, please get in touch; I’m not gonna be in the driver’s seat, but I can help.

If I’m not mistaken, Rickard is eager to do a contest of his own to celebrate the release of his kick-ass “jMonkeyEngine 3.0 Cookbook”. Keep an eye out!

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blender-lowpoly

jME3 Game Contest – “Blendswap Arcade”

blender-lowpoly

Starting next week on the 19th of May (same day as the coding kick-off for the SoC students!), we will be hosting a one-week game development contest for the jMonkeyEngine community. It’s been too long since our last game contest, which produced some wonderful games. But we are going to be doing things a bit differently this time.

Timeline:

19. May – 25. May, i.e. 1 week

Why one week?

– Two reasons:

1) Practice your downscoping muscle! Do you often find yourself spending 2 weeks on something that was supposed to be done over the weekend? Well then you probably didn’t do enough 1-week game contests.

2) It is our hope that since we’re just asking for 1 week of commitment, more developers can justify taking 1 week off from their main project to test their skills in a fresh new undertaking.

Format

Make a game for a given scene.

There will be no theme. Instead, before the contest starts we will have scoured through the Blendswap database of low-poly and realtime models and picked out a scene or modelpack that will be the basis for your game.

If for example we picked this racetrack scene, all gameplay would have to happen within the confines of this scene. You would however by no means be required to make a racing game; the type of gameplay is entirely up to you.

Why a single scene?

– Constraint is creativity’s best friend. Seriously.

But all the games will look the same!

– They might, but they will in all likelihood not play the same, and that is the key exercise here. You need to make your game stand out through gameplay alone.

Rules

  • You may use or even make other assets, but;
    • You may NOT extend the confines of the game level.
  • You may use any existing open source code, including your own.
  • The scene does not in any way dictate the gameplay.
  • The game must be completely open source and made freely available through a code repository like GitHub upon completion.
  • Game submission must be an executable, preferably fully functional on all PC platforms.

Judging Criteria

Game entries will be judged on:

  • Utilisation – Appropriate & innovative use of the scene.
  • Completion – Completeness of the game: Keep it simple!

Am I experienced enough for this contest?

If you’ve gone through the Beginner’s tutorial and are able to make anything that’s passable as a game using jME3, you should participate. It doesn’t matter if your code isn’t worthy of the Nobel prize; if your submission is fun to play, you might just end up as a finalist.

Prizes

We’ve asked around for sponsors and we’ve put together quite a nice collection. While the 3rd and 2nd place will have to settle for bragging rights (might do this differently next time), the 1st prize winner will get:

  • 1 month Associate Membership on Blendswap (unlimited downloads).
  • 1 month Citizen Membership on CG Cookie – Full access to all premium tutorials.
  • $200 in credits on bitgem3d.com – Awesome professional models (we recommend static .OBJ models, as jME3 does not yet support FBX animations)
  • 6 months free Personal hosting on Jumpstarter.io – An affordable and developer-friendly hosting service.

Interested? Dang diddely straight you are! Ask any questions you’d like in this thread.

jme-soc

Summer of Code students have been announced!

Google granted us 3 student slots for GSoC, which is a big win considering that’s more than most new organisations get! Furthermore, due to the high number of impressive applicants and a very successful Indiegogo campaign for our self-hosted jMESoC, we’ve decided to take on an additional 4 students for our own community-sponsored Summer of Code projects. (next year we’ll probably call them Summer Bounties or smt to lessen the confusion).

In total, 7 students will be working on a funded project this summer.

Differences between GSoC and jMESoC

In terms of raw ability we expect the same quality of work from all participants. The key difference between GSoC and jMESoC is scope.

GSoC students are expected to work on their project like it’s a full time job.

jMESoC students on the other hand can get by with a smaller time commitment, as long as their milestones and end-goal are still met. They will also not have dedicated mentors they can 100% rely upon, but they will have unofficial mentors to back them up none the less.

GSoC Projects

Cinematic Editor

A continuation of our existing cinematics system. This project will add a complete cinematic editor interface to our SDK, in the form of a plugin.

The project is being headed up by Mayank @mayank who will be mentored by Rémy @nehon.

Recast Navigation

Our current navmesh system is based on an old Java port of Recast Navigation. Now, much like with Bullet physics, we’re gonna create a wrapper for the native Recast Navigation, keeping jME3 forever on par with its latest features.

The project is being headed up by Tihomir @tihomir who will be mentored by Brent @sploreg.

Voxel Terrain

The voxel terrain project, using dual marching cubes, will allow ambitious voxel game developers to quickly prototype their big ideas with live editing tools and physics integration.

The project is being headed up by John @FuzzyMonkey who will be mentored by Tim @zarch

jMESoC Projects

Nifty Editor

Many developers (not to mention artists!) would prefer not having to deal with GUI programming at all, and that’s why this project is attempting to build a user friendly editor in top of NiftyGUI, available as an SDK plugin of course.

The project is being headed up by Cristiano @relucri, unofficially mentored by @void256

Realistic Waves

There are few things more satisfying in 3D graphics than good looking waves. To achieve even more realistic waves, features such as buoyancy will be added.

The project is being headed up by Thilina @thilina, unofficially mentored by Sascha @ceiphren

Mobile Demos

We are in dire need of some better mobile demos, and we are getting them! This project will create mobile-centric demo applications to better showcase jME3’s features for mobile device development.

The project is being headed up by Kasun @dinal24, unofficially mentored by Eric @iwgeric

Steering Port

With more AI features quickly coming to jME3, the time is right to port a classic old steering library, and improve upon it further as a new project.

The project is being headed up by Jésus @jesusmb1995, unofficially mentored by @sevarac (who will also be co-mentoring the Recast project).