How long does this contest run? Also, will you be choosing the winner based solely on the quality of the game? I have no game programming experience and only basic C++ programming knowledge. I would really hate to invest time and energy into something like this when a professional programmer will come along at the last minute and easily claim the prize as his own. I was originally considering doing your build-a-website contest, but I got bogged down with other things and never got around to doing it. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because my site could have never come close to the one made by the winner. I think that in the future you should try to make your contests more open to everyone. I’m not asking that you make it so that any Joe Schmo could come on the site, register, win, and never come back again - that would be pointless. Instead, you might come up with ideas that will let you give away a 360 but get people excited about Gear Live and get them more involved in the site.
Perhaps you could make the rules where a person might have to make a few quality (as judged by you, of course) comments or forum posts a day. I don’t post on the comments or forums too often because I’m not usually inclined to do so, but something like a contest that rewarded leaving thoughtful comments would certainly inspire me to do so. It would also definitely help the site get more active and bring in readers. I love this site, partially because of the feel of it - while you report on gadgets and technology, you aren’t pompous and don’t do things in an industrial manner like some other tech blogs. Instead, you try to deliver good content that the readers will like, and I appreciate that.
It seems so odd to me in contrast, though, that your recent 360 contests have been so anti-reader. Sure, it’s great to make the reader work to get such a fantastic prize, but how about giving a fighting chance to your everyday reader who may not have the time or the knowledge to win one of these contests. After all, your everyday readers (including me) are the ones who helped get you those free 360s from TextPayMe. Despite my concerns, I may still make an entry for this contest if time allows. I will certainly not get my hopes up on winning, though.
It’s a $300 prize, so it requires a bit of effort to win. We have had tons of other giveaways (including an Xbox 360 premium package) that had completely random winners where all you had to do was leave a comment.
We are trying to spark some creativity here. Plus, this isnt a TextPayMe Xbox 360 - this is one that we got on our own.
Slashmire has already proven my point. While it will take some effort from him to make a good entry, his programming knowledge is certainly far beyond mine, and I find it highly unlikely that I would be able to craft a game superior to his. Andru, I certainly do recall the Xbox 360 Premium giveaway you had a while back. It was actually what made me become a regular reader of your site. However, you did not follow the recommendations I just made during that contest. All a person had to do was leave one comment in that article. As a result, hundreds (thousands?) of potential readers came to the site with the sole purpose of entering the contest. While a few like me may have stuck around, I think that the overwhelming majority left immediately afterwards, as is evidenced by the almost complete lack of comment or forum involvement at present. If you had required posting regularity in order to win (or some other method of getting people involved with the site instead of just entering once), you may have had far more readers as a result of that giveaway. Looking back on it, I think it was a good giveaway, but a lackluster tool to bring regular readers to the site.
I am glad that you are trying hard to get people involved using giveaways, and I think it’s great that you went out and bought a 360 just for this giveaway. However, your previous contests that did use a TextPayMe 360 (not including the initial one where a random person was called and won) have been just as unfriendly to the casual reader as this one is. You could simply be doing these giveaways out of the goodness of your heart (and you do seem to have a good heart, don’t get me wrong), but I think that the main reason is that you want to increase readership (which is the main goal of most every blog out there). Doing a giveaway that caters to the elite programmers out there won’t win you any casual readers. I understand that since this is a big giveaway the method of entry has to be more difficult, but there are other ways of making it difficult (see my previous post). I’ll continue reading and enjoying your posts whether I win a 360 from you or not. I just don’t want this impressive giveaway and others like it to reap little for the site.
Heh, so basically you don’t like the fact that I may be more skilled than you? (without anyone having shown any skills whatsoever)
Looking at the traffic on the site, I can’t say that thousand of people are posting and…we respectively have 47 and 13 posts…which isn’t 5000 either.
To tell the truth, I do believe in my programming skills, but trying to impose rules that no one should have skills is quite bizarre….maybe a minimum post count then? 50 or so?
Yeah, I understand the concern, and have seen some forum contest that ended up like mentionned above; I totally agree on a ‘post count’ rule or any other things of the such, and I would assume that singling out the new people that came in just for the contest should be quite easy; for example the initial post was made on May 24th, yet the first reply came in on June 13th. I don’t think anyone should worry about this contest being stolen at the last minute.
Thinking about it, you could always end up disqualifying anyone who was not registered prior to the contest launch date.
 heh, looking at my registration date, I was registered couple of hours prior to the launch
but no really, I woudn’t mind any extra ‘qualification’ or ‘requirements’...I just want to know if I should start a game
Since Andru didn’t respond to you guys about the language to use, I was told that we could only use Visual Studio Express ... be it Visual C++, Visual C#, or Visual Basic. No real programming experience is necessary to enter since Microsoft has some great tutorials and the templates provide some starting place. Sure someone could write thousands and thousands of lines to try to win, but that doesn’t mean that a beginer with a great idea for a fun and simple game with few lines of code can’t take the prize. I say give it a shot, just stick to using Visual Studio Express, as this is the point of the contest.
Yeah, the one rule is you MUST MUST MUST use Visual Studio Express. That makes this easy. We are NOT looking for epic games with awesome graphics. I am looking for something interesting. For example - you can build a house. Or you can take 10 Jolly Ranchers and melt them together to form something weird looking. That would win, even though it took less skill.
Seriously…give it a shot with Visual Studio Express. There are even templates that are ready made that you just need to EDIT!
erhh.. just to make sure, I actually started something (a 2D Final fantasy-esque fighting system…not a whole game.) but it is using Visual Studio with OpenGL…is that okay :\ OpenGL should be able to work on everything and doesn’t require any extra installs on the player’s side. Is it still good It doesn’t do any part of the game, I’ll still be doing everything on my side.
I hope you have as much fun playing it as I had doing it. With the short time frame, it may look unintuitive , so I’ve added a “How-to play.txt”; I strongly suggest reading it first.
I called mine “RPG Fight” as it does just so. You can select 5 characters, add stats, add “professions” (which is just basically some stats increase and a spell) and you can select monsters to add on the battle.
After that you fight a-la old Final Fantasy fight
It’s really simple, and it’s not much but I hope you like it nonetheless; I’m very happy with what came out of it.
(It is possible that on super-amazing computers, that the frame rate goes like crazy….I’m not sure.)
Well, Slashmire, since this is the last day of the contest and no one else has submitted an entry via this thread, I’d say your chances of winning are excellent. Of course, there is always the possibility that someone will submit at the last minute or do so via email. Even if that happens, though, I’m pretty confident you’ll win. Good luck!
Well here is my submision to this contest. It isn’t much, just customized version of Microsoft’s SpaceBlitz. It’s a cross between Space Invaders and Galaga. I created a setup (via publish), because I think that’s a pretty cool function in Visual Studio Express.
Not to be a jerk, but it HAS to be done using ONLY the tools available in the free Visual Studio Express. You probably have a paid version of the Visual Studio suite. You must use Express for this, because it’s free, and puts everyone on an even level. This results in simply editing templates, dragging and dropping content, and no programming knowledge required
Based on what you submitted, I am guessing you could whip something up in express with the quickness…
I used less tools than asked (actually didn’t use any tools at all…), because I wanted to do a good job about it
The free templated offered in Express would have simply made the thing less impressive, so I decided to go with no-template, that’s all. And for an XBox360, I was under the assumption, that people would send really impressive own-made stuff that required no template…
No coding required..but not forbidden right? The rule did say “Create a game from scratch, or edit one of the game templates”
Wow, I have no chance of convincing you, do I? I assume that it is probably due to the fact that you may not be familiar with the whole “coding” parts of game.
Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio 2003, uses the same exact thing to compile a game called a “programming language” used like C/C++. If I was to “import it into Express,” I would have the same results on my side (Albeit I may have to do some additional things.) By “Editing using a tool”, I could have a…let say installer tool used. Afterwhile, it is compiled…and does the exact same thing it does, and to your eyes, well nothing will have changed at all. Tools are not magical buttons, if we rule out templates (since it is mentionned that we can use game from scratch.) then we do not even require any tool of some sort.
Even if I was to do all of those steps, the result would be so identical, that the output game would be exactly the same, which would mean that after that all work, you would simply not believe me.
I would suggest that you simply read about it yourself, as only you will be able to convince yourself from now on…
It probably be wise to have inputs from someone else who is reading….as this somehow makes total sense to me, yet none to you…
...do you want to see the source code, would that be enough to throw away your unfounded doubts?
Slashmire, prior to you submiting the game both Andru and I made it clear that everyone HAD to use Visual Studio Express. It’s even the first step of the “guidelines”. There is infact a difference to using Visual Studio Express and any other IDE. First of all, it’s the free version that is available to everyone. Visual Studio 2003.net, Visual Studio 2005 and all the other Visual Studio IDEs are paid versions which have many functions not found in the express version. This is due to the fact that Microsoft designed Express to be “lightweight, easy-to-use, and easy-to-learn tools for the hobbyist, novice, and student developer”. Meaning it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or support plug-ins and other things its big brother does. As mentioned before, this is to give everyone a fair shot. It’s not fair that you can use some piece of software which can give you the ability to install a third-party plug in for code snippets, added functionality, etc, etc, while everyone else uses a free version which doesn’t have all of that.
Slashmire - It’s nothing personal against you man. It’s just part of the contest - use Visual Studio Express. Once you open up VS Express, you are free to do whatever you want from within it’s interface, as long as that is the only thing you use. For the contest to remain fair, that is the question we must ask when viewing submissions. “Was this made in Visual Studio Express?” If so, it’s eligible for entry and can possibly earn you an Xbox 360.
Fair enough…I’ll download Express and rebuild it with that…should only take a day.
On my other note, my point was not on the whole fact of having “unfair advantage”, but rather the fact that there were no advantages to begin with. There is nothing that I used that you could not have been done using the free version of Express, that is my point, that everything that I have done could be used and done with a free version of Express. (and that I shall prove to you via an Express version )
But since I don’t want to create tension or any other bad humor amd since there IS an XBox360 in play, I will download express (after work) and “convert” my program, you should have it by the end of today, I only suspect that it may take an hour or less to convert it; if that’s okay with you.