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Liquid Metal Slime
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Heart of the OHR Contest 
 PostThu Jun 03, 2010 10:25 pm
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YOU CAN FIND ALL THE GAMES HERE:

http://rpg.hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/Heart_of_the_OHR



Heart of the OHR Contest

It seems that as times change, interests start moving in new directions, and the things that first captured our hearts and attention about indie-RPG design had since faded into obscurity.

Toward the end of the ‘90s and the early part of this decade, RPGs were king, and were incidentally, the only thing the OHR was capable of making. And then, as the decade continued, RPGs became less common, less desired, and soon the rate of releases made on the engine went from a sprint to a crawl.

Then, in about 2006 or 2007, the limits of the OHR began to change, and new life formed. Sidescrollers were now not only possible, but easier to make. Puzzle games, menu-based games, and even street fighting games were beginning to surface in droves throughout the course of three years. And during this time the course of the OHR RPG began to fall. RPGs were released on occasion, but the presence of one became rare, and almost surprising. And even then, the likelihood of it being a joke game was high. No, the integrity of the epic vacation gave way to a cheap day-trip, and by 2009 the nature of the RPG had become nearly absent.

The other day, Surlaw and I were discussing the disappointment of creating huge games, which translates to many, many hours of development time (read: three years or more for some games), that people refuse to play because it requires them to fight random battles (that aren’t titillating 100% of the time), or read text (of any length), or spend more than a few hours of game time in order to finish it. Authors who put the level of time and attention that goes into a quality game, just to have it go unplayed because of an unwillingness to read (for example), is highly disheartened, and certain OHR gems have gone unfinished because the author experiences What’s-the-Point? Syndrome.

This, of course, has contributed to the huge decline of RPGs—and especially in the quality RPGs—in our opinion, and that should be shocking when one considers we’re a community focused on an RPG making engine.

Even James Paige once expressed a slight disappointment in the gradual reduction of games that actually use the default features to, you know, make an RPG.

That is what the OHRRPGCE was made for.

Now, this isn’t to knock the surge in alternative gaming styles. I loved Slimes. The games released for the 2009 8-Bit Contest were brilliant. But look at how many good RPGs came out in 2009. Okedoke, and, um….

It’s hard to say whether the modern RPG is dying or just in a slump, but we’d like to see this giant of yesteryear make at least one more stand in the community. So, I am proposing the “Heart of the OHR Contest,” which is a contest, quite simply, about making the best RPGs we can make with the engine that brought us here in the first place.

Rules:

-Must be an RPG. We can debate what defines an RPG for this contest if you want, but in the end, it has to be an RPG.

-NonRPGs not permitted. (See Above)

-Joke games not permitted (though funny ones are okay).

-Special scripting is okay (as long as it doesn't turn the RPG into a nonRPG).

-Game must have at least 30 minutes of playtime with a good chunk of that devoted to story (in other words, 30 minutes without level grinding).

-Updates to previous RPGs permitted.

-Updates to previous RPGs need at least 30 minutes of new content to be eligible. Changing a textbox to an old two-hour game and re-releasing it doesn’t make it eligible.

-Fan games and parodies discouraged, but not forbidden. Original stories preferred.

Release Dates:

Unlike traditional contests, “Heart of the OHR” will not require a start time or an end time per se. Rather, this will adopt the “release window” technique made popular with Game-a-thon, in that any RPG released within the window is eligible (provided it meets the above standards).

Window begins July 1st and ends November 30th.

Voting:

Voting will run from December 16 - December 31 (I'll extend this to a few extra days in January if any holiday vacationers need the extra time.)

Note that I will not close voting until I have a minimum of 10 votes, so if the deadline comes and goes and I have fewer than that, voting will remain open until the minimum is met. I want all contestants to have a fair playthrough and comment/critique/score for their games.

For full details consult the following post:

http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=71778#71778

Prizes:

Because RPGs are harder to come by these days (especially in contests), I thought it’s only fair to combat the odds with prizes that don’t suck. Therefore, James and Surlaw have both agreed to give special bonuses to entrants and the winner.

Just by entering a game into the contest, the contestant will get to choose a bugfix or feature request to be put on the December 1st bug ransom. The winner will get to choose a second bug or feature request to be implemented ASAP (pending feasibility). Because the window is so large, James has agreed that no request is unreasonable at this time.

Here’s how it works:

During the month of June, you may post your bugfix or feature request here so that James can start working toward implementing it. You may only choose one, so pick wisely. Once you choose your request, you are then expected to release a quality RPG (fitting the above standards) by November 30th to receive your entry prize. The prize, of course, is a ransom for the bug or feature request you posted here if it’s not implemented by December 1st. If your bug is not fixed by the deadline, then you get whatever James decides to pay for ransoms (I think it’s $10, but he’ll have to verify this). And that’s just for entering the contest! The winner will get to request a second bugfix or feature once the votes are in.

You may view the current requests here:

http://gilgamesh.hamsterrepublic.com/wiki/ohrrpgce/index.php/User:Bob_the_Hamster/HeartBugs

The winner will also get a HamsterSpeak cover devoted to his winning entry or the game of his choice for the January 2011 issue. Artist is unknown at this point, but we’ll happily take volunteers. I’d also, if possible, like to offer the winner a second piece of artwork about his game for the magazine, but only if a second artist volunteers.

Thirdly, the winner will receive either slime bucks or an increase to the stat of his or her choice for the Slime Salad Arena.

Fourthly, the winning game will be featured for Slime Salad’s game of the month (pending author’s acceptance) for January or February 2011.

Fifthly, if I’m not broke by then, the winner will receive some extra cash as a cherry on top. I’ll determine the amount by then, but it will probably be conditional on the number of games that are actually submitted.

Sixthly, anyone out there can add to the prize pot if he or she has something to offer, so feel free to help make this into a treasure trove of winnings if you want to, and if you have the resources for it. Note: User SecondChance has offered to add $10 to the winner's prize.

Seventhly, as an added bonus to the contestants, all entrants will receive a T-shirt, courtesy of Inferior Minion, with the Heart of the OHR, Castle Paradox, Slime Salad, and HamsterSpeak logos branded on the fabric. This way you can celebrate the return of the RPG, and become a walking advertisement!

So, as you can see, it would be crazy not to join and make something for the Heart of the OHR Contest, so take the chance. Nominating a bugfix or feature request confirms your intention to join. Just remember that there will be no ransom paid on unresolved bugs if you drop out. So make something and stick with it. Don’t procrastinate, either. Games that don’t meet the above standards will also forfeit the ransom.

Tips:

Release the best game you’re capable of making. The community doesn’t want to see or play throwaway titles anymore. Do your best to make a quality game. While you shouldn’t be intimidated by this, you still need to be aware that games like Wandering Hamster and Vikings of Midgard are just as capable of making an appearance during the contest window as any game, so make it your best if you want the winning prizes.

Have fun. Please use this thread to post your bugfix or feature requests for James and the developers, and use it to announce your RPG releases starting on July 1st. And I’d appreciate it if this thread were stickied until the end of the year. Thanks.
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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jun 03, 2010 11:01 pm
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Motrya 25% will in all hopeliehood be ready before Novemeber, so I hope to enter it. (Warning: it will probably be pretty good competition to whatever you may choose to enter, so step up your game, release something amazing, and prove me wrong!) :)

I'm not sure what bugfix I would want on top of the ransom list just yet; we'll see.
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jun 03, 2010 11:18 pm
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Hooray!

Now this is a contest that I am excited about seeing what happens for. My graphical update for Tales 1 doesn't really add any new 'gameplay' per se (though there are a couple new random enemies and various stat adjustments), so I don't know if it'll count for this, but I'm going to hold off on a release until at least July 1st just in case (plus I REALLY want bug 486 gone before releasing, as this is the final thing about the game that does not work as intended as far as I could find).

I'm also confident that I can finally make another hour or so of gameplay for Tales 2 by November (but we'll see how tight the schedule becomes in the time between now and then). I'm also unsure which bug I want to ransom for - I'd pick 486 except that I'm hoping it'll be fixed BEFORE releasing the game.

Also, if there is anyone out there who is interested in making battle backdrops, I wouldn't mind splitting any possible prize money for the inclusion of some nice battle backdrops (although it will mean a lot more work on my part before a release - I've got over 25 hours worth of gameplay to incorporate them into, and then I'll have to test the whole damn thing again to be confident that they are all correct, haha)

EDIT:
I think that every qualifying game entered ought to receive some kind of recognition. I have no clue how long it's going to take people to vote for things like this, since we have a chance of seeing some very long games. But I think it will be very cool if every entrant agrees to review/discuss someone else's entry for a future Hamsterspeak article. I have no ideas about enforcing anything like this, but it sure would be nice.
I am Srime
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jun 03, 2010 11:41 pm
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So custom battle systems are go as long as it remains in JRPG format?
Super Slime
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Re: Heart of the OHR Contest 
 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 12:10 am
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Pepsi Ranger wrote:
Thirdly, if Moogle agrees (and this is currently unverified, so it may not happen), I’d like the winner to receive either slime bucks or an increase to the stat of his or her choice for the Slime Salad Arena.

Fourthly, if Moogle agrees (and this is also currently unverified), I’d like the winning game to be featured for Slime Salad’s game of the month (pending author’s acceptance) for January or February 2011.


I am Moogle and I agree.

Quote:
So custom battle systems are go as long as it remains in JRPG format?


While I think you may be missing the point of this contest, an incentive to update DYWTBAH? would be nice Hurr
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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 12:12 am
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This is a beautiful idea.
I highly anticipate that my loafing levels will drop this year, which might juuust be enough to get a good chunk of Viridia done. I'm going to spend this first half of June planning my progress, seeing if I can feasibly get it done.

EDIT: Regardless of whether or not I join, I'd like to volunteer ahead of time for reviewing some of these games.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 1:03 am
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Quote:
So custom battle systems are go as long as it remains in JRPG format?


That's up to you.

Basically, it just needs to be an RPG, as classically derived as possible. Whether you make it in the style of Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, or even Shadowrun, Fallout, or Deus Ex (good luck on that last one) is up to you. But there needs to be some form of level building (or at least stat building), character building, special quest or side quest, and so on (you know, RPG stuff) for this to qualify. I don't really know what makes a game a JRPG versus a regular RPG, but sure. Earthbound clones are equally welcome.

Quote:
-Special scripting is okay (as long as it doesn't turn the RPG into a nonRPG).


Basically, avoid platformers and I Made Dis style joke games and you should be fine. If you're still not sure if your game will qualify, you can PM me a basic overview of your game and I'll tell you straight up if you'll qualify. Never hurts to ask.

Good luck to those who give this a try.

(Don't forget that special features can be requested if you're not interested in a bugfix.)
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 4:45 am
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Be still my beating heart.
Slime Knight
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 7:10 am
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Awesome Idea! I'll try to enter [ Don't worry, -No Yo Ghost this time! ] but unfortunately, I've lost my keyboard, so slow progress, even for me. :(
Red Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 3:16 pm
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Very awesome idea!
I am very excited about this, although I am unsure if S&S fits the "traditional old-school RPG" description.
My guess is "no": It's going to be very script-heavy, and what little combat the game will contain will be live-action. There won't be much if any character equipping/construction/leveling. Gameplay will mostly consist of puzzle solving. There will be "stat building" in the sense that the wizards will learn/improve their magic as the game progresses. Also, I hope to include lots of decision making, and many optional tasks.

I'm really excited to see any game that has received a significant investment of effort (this includes you, Viridia!).

Incidentally, why are RPGs called RPGs? They rarely ever involve any real role-playing. Is it just because their battle systems were originally based off of D&D-like games, and D&D is a role playing game?

EDIT:
Am I the only one having trouble accessing bugzilla?
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 4:05 pm
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TwirlySocrates wrote:

EDIT:
Am I the only one having trouble accessing bugzilla?


Nope, darn it. It looks like my web host upgraded their server (without telling me) and it broke bugzilla's perl modules. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can.

Sh4d0ws wrote:
Awesome Idea! I'll try to enter [ Don't worry, -No Yo Ghost this time! ] but unfortunately, I've lost my keyboard, so slow progress, even for me. :(


Are you stuck with clicking on the on-screen accessibility keyboard?
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 5:15 pm
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Quote:
Incidentally, why are RPGs called RPGs? They rarely ever involve any real role-playing. Is it just because their battle systems were originally based off of D&D-like games, and D&D is a role playing game?


Yes.

#---------------------------

I think I'll be entering this! Seeing as how I need to state my intentions before hand. If I do end up finishing my epic RPG and entering, I'd like the maximum NPC ID number on maps to be raised from 100 to ... well higher. 32767 please. but even 255 would great. and I'm not asking for more npcs on PLACED on the map. That limit I'm fine with. I simply use NPC ID for a number of things in almost everyone of my games. and switching their meaning between maps is really annoying.

Also, if I win, ( or if my feature is copied by someone and we both end up entering) I want more pixels. Some sort of mode that could be accessed that could enable a higher pixel count would be great.

I feel like I should ask for a bugfix, but none of them really bother me that much. That, or a just script around them.

#---------------------------

Anyways, on to the RPG I'm going to make. I'm trying to decide on whether I should finally go bak and finally redo KER-saders, or if I should remake my first epic RPG ( that tragically got deleted. )
Any thoughts?
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 6:04 pm
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Twirly,

I'd still like to see some form of S&S released this year because based on what I've played of it, I think it's an amazing game.

As far as its place in this contest goes, all I can say is that if you release it within the contest window, go ahead and submit it here. It never hurts to submit a game you're uncertain about because it may fit within the parameters of the contest. In the end, I want to see quality RPGs released that have decent stories attached. Whether you fight with the default battle system or a special Secret of Mana type system is relative at this point.

However, in the spirit of the OHR, it would be nice if some games made clever use of the default engine. I know S&S is purposely avoiding it, though, and with good reason, so I wouldn't change that for a contest. In the end, I'll decide if it's eligible. The only reason it wouldn't be is if you've made it into a platformer, and based on what I've played, that's the only convention it has the possibility of leaning toward that could ultimately disqualify it. But again, don't let the possibilities for or against the contest rules stop you from giving us a demo this year. It's a great game.
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Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 8:51 pm
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Bugzilla is fixed :) http://hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/buglist.php

I will be maintaining a list of what bugs/features people are requesting here: http://gilgamesh.hamsterrepublic.com/wiki/ohrrpgce/index.php/User:Bob_the_Hamster/HeartBugs

@msw188: I am looking into bug 486. Somehow I hadn't noticed the test-case you had attached. If the fix turns out to be a really easy one, I will not count it towards your contest request. I'll let you know.

@Spoonweaver: Increasing the NPC definition limit is a bit tricky but I am pretty sure I can do it. As for increasing the pixel resolution, that might be possible for some distant future release, but I think that request might be big for the contest. TMC has already done some groundwork to prepare for supporting other resolutions larger than 320x200, but there is a lot of stuff that has to be cleaned up before that can become a standard feature. (In other words, you will probably see battlescripting first)

@Everybody: As Pepsi Ranger said, I will be paying bounties to people if I fail to implement their requested features before the contest ends. Really hard requests will earn small bounties if I fail, (because I am more likely to fail). Fairly easy requests will earn larger bounties if I fail (because I am unlikely to fail)
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jun 04, 2010 10:39 pm
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I had just attached it a bit before Bugzilla went down. I hope you like it, haha. You'll see what I mean.
I am Srime
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