Once again the GSD has ended, and we are well into June, the month of of failure, disappointment, and regret. Every year I challenge the BYOND community to prove that there are developers here capable of making and releasing a usable product - a finished game that a wanderer from the internet can stumble on and enjoy. Those few developers who complete the challenge can truly be called game makers, and are awarded with a grand 64px^2 image (a BYOND Medal) for all their hard work.
The list of challenge winners for the year 2011 is as follows:
MeanderGall, by ACWraith
ACWraith has produced yet another complete, polished, original game overflowing with his unique style. MeanderGall is a multiplayer game where players compete (or work together) to collect a number of "Goals" spread around a small procedurally generated map. There's a little combat, a little strategy, and a little politics involved in getting your goals completed before other players. Combat can be frustrating and can feel impossible to control, but ACWraith is good at updating his games, and I suspect this issue is being tackled already.
Gnomeheim, by Camdev
[Edit: Download now available.] Once upon a time there was a wonderful fortress building and wave defense game called Gnomeheim. This little game challenged players to work together to survive wave after wave of increasingly tough enemies by building inventive structures and collecting power-ups. The controls were simple and natural, gameplay was addictive, and there was a lot of potential for new features. Alas, that would be its downfall. After keeping the game up long enough to satisfy the "published" criteria, Camdev decided to stop work on the project in order to continue in a different direction. Gnomeheim will be back, some other day, in some other form.
Static Lighting Generator 2 by DarkCampainger
DarkCampainger released a major update to one of his libraries. It is useful, easy to use and understand, has an impressive set of features, and is already being used in some games in development.
Freeze Tag HideAway by KetchupKid
Freeze Tag HideAway is a simple but very fun casual game - the sort of mindless fun that you can keep coming back to week after week to drain away hours of productivity. KetchupKid has released a major face-lift which introduces several new features (mostly preferences) and changes the entire interface. Freeze Tag is still a great example of a simple game that focuses on what's fun.
I also received an entry from Ss4gogeta0 called Legends of Dissidia (Download). Though the project represented a considerable amount of effort, there were missing features and I was unable to play the game in a "from start to finish" manner.
And then there's my project, the short story. Some of you have seen pieces of it, but the entire story has not been published for viewing by anyone on the internet, so it doesn't count toward this event. I've decided to follow the advice I read on my writing community forums: After you write something, put it aside for a month [actually, six months, they were talking about novels] and don't even think about it. When you come back, you'll be able to read it more objectively and recognize what doesn't work. Because you can't "update" a story in the same way that you would release software updates to current users, I've decided to hold off on releasing my short story until that month has passed, and I've had a chance to edit it with a more objective eye. Expect to see my story in mid-July.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's GSD event, and congratulations to our four winners!
Didn't finish on time? Don't give up yet, because now you can be recognized for your achievement at any time of the year. If you had checked the Challenges Contests and Events hub in the last several months, you would have noticed a new medal called "Developer: Start to Finish". Owners of this medal are game developers who have released at least one non-trivial game that players can play from start to finish. This doesn't mean that the game has an "end" that players have to leave after achieving; what it means is that players can log in, play until they're bored or out of content, and then leave, all without ever saying "that'll be cool when it's done" or "I wish feature XYZ was complete".
To be awarded this medal, post a new topic on the Events Forum linking to your game and asking that it be reviewed. I, or someone else I've recruited for the task, will play your game, make a determination, and reply with the results. Developers who currently have released games are eligible for this medal, so post now and be recognized.