May 1st will be here in just over a week, and with it the start of this year's Get Something Done (GSD) challenge. This year there will be prizes for participation thanks to the generosity of Tetsuya and Airjoe (and maybe others, contact me if you'd like to donate any prizes). With these prizes comes the need for a fair judging process based on rules that apply to everyone.
The purpose of the GSD is to highlight the development process, which includes: Design, Implementation, Documentation, Testing and Feedback, Publishing, and Maintenance. The goal of the event is for every developer to have a finished product (a playable game) by the end of the month - because, in the end, this is all that matters. Because being able to reevaluate a project's direction and needs is such an important skill for a developer to have, I encourage all participants to fix up and publish an old abandoned project. That doesn't mean that you can't start a new project if you want to, though.
So let's talk rules:
1. Participants must choose a project and send it to me (iainperegrine[at]gmail.com) by May 7th. This can be an abandoned project, or a new project started specifically for this event; the only projects which are not acceptable are ones your are currently working on or planned to release soon anyway. If this is an old project, then you must include all project files needed to compile (if it can even be compiled) the project. (Files will not be released to anyone). You must also include a description of your goal for the project, you can be as detailed as you like. For instance, you might say: "This project will be a strategy board game with Airships; kind of like a cross between Battleship and Chess. There will be medals and, if I have enough time, hub scores."
2. Final entries must be sent to me (iainperegrine[at]gmail.com) before June 1st. All files needed to compile and play the game must be included. (Source files will not be released to anyone). Included in this email must be your key, the name of your project, and a link to the project's hub entry.
3. A hub entry must be made for the project, and the game must be playable from that hub entry.
4. The project must be finished, of sufficient scope to be considered a playable game, and must be in a state of relative polish (free from obvious bugs and other issues).
5. More rules will be added to this list as people point out things that I've forgotten. The rules will become final on May 1st.
Those are the rules. If you do not mail me your project details on time (including source files for older projects), you do not mail me the finished files on time, or you do not make a hub entry for your game, then you will be disqualified. If your entry follows all the rules then it will be considered a finished product, and you will be listed among those who finished the Get Something Done challenge for 2010!
Finished projects will also be judged and ranked compared to all other finished projects, and prizes will be awarded. Judging will be based on how polished the game is, it's level of completion, it's fun factor, and (most importantly), how well the developer was able to achieve his goals. If you want to score lots of points in this area, consider doing some of the following:
* Write a short project description at the start of the event.
* Write a Functional Specification for the project before you start programming.
* Keep a development journal and write a note in it every time you change direction with the project.
* Make a schedule based on the functional spec detailing what you'll do when, and how long it will take. Be honest. Leave yourself at least a week for bug fixing.
* Finish and publish the game early. Do public testing, gather feedback, and then update the projec. Maintenance is part of the software development process, too!
Whatever you do, make sure it doesn't interfere with your development when you're "In the Zone". Include any such documents when you send in your entry.
The challenge starts on May 1st (so don't start any work until then... promise me, okay?). Make sure you send in your project descriptions between now and the 7th. If you have any suggestions or changes you think should be made to these rules, please comment. See you again on May 1st!