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Super Slime
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The Littlest Game contest 
 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:28 am
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As technology progresses, the cost to produce a cutting-edge game does, too. Even in OHR land, there's a drive to get bigger and better. There's good reason for this -- that's the march of progress.

But not every game needs to push the boundaries of what's possible. Let's take a step in the other direction. Let's make The Littlest Game.

Now, when I talk about a "little" game, I don't necessarily mean one that's shallow or lacking somehow. My hope is that we'll see some fresh, unique, and inventive games out of this contest. After all, restrictions breed creativity, right? Check out the example games below to get some ideas.

To enter this contest, create a game that takes at least one rank of one of the following challenges. You aren't required to adhere to more than one of the challenges, but you may wish to do so, since judging is partially based on how many challenges you took: your final score will be the sum of your challenge points multiplied by your voting score. In other words, you'll need to impress voters and take on some challenges in order to win.


Area
How much space does your game really need to cover, anyway? You can make a small world seem big if you allow it to grow and change over the course of the game. Example game: Tiny Castle

Rank I: Four maps? You only need one! Put your entire game onto one continuous map -- partitioning one map into several effective maps is cheating. (5 points)
Rank II: Then again, mapmaking was never your favorite activity. Keep the size down to a maximum of 30x30 and you shouldn't have much to worry about. (10 points)
Rank III: Scrolling is pretty processor-intensive, isn't it? Well, that's easy enough to avoid -- just make sure your entire game fits onto one screen. (20 points)


Resolution
320x200 is an awful lot of pixels when you think about it. For these challenges, you can either increase the pixel size of everything in your game or simply surround the play area with a border a la Super Game Boy. No, you can't use the extra area for a HUD. (Need help with the plotscripting here? Please ask!) Example game: Famical Quest

Rank I: Rectangles are so last year. Cut your view area down to 200x200. (5 points)
Rank II: The way you figure it, games are about four times as big as they need to be. Any game worth playing can be played at 160x100. (10 points)
Rank III: The largest sprite the engine supports is 80x80. Your game doesn't need to be any bigger than that. (20 points)

If you are making an RPG, some allowances will be made in this category so that you can use the default battle engine. Please ask if you plan on going for rank II or III here.


Controls
Gaming was better when you didn't need a degree in order to operate the controller. Atari controllers had one button, and that was good enough! Example game: Tower Climber

Rank I: Atari was right. You'll follow their example by using no more than five buttons across your entire game. Yes, the arrow keys count as four distinct buttons. (10 points)
Rank II: Atari had the right idea. You only need three buttons to do your thing. (20 points)
Rank III: Accessibility is important. Your game only needs one button, and since you don't want to depend on peripherals, it doesn't use the mouse, either. (30 points)

Note that mapping the same action to more than one key still only counts as one button. For example, in the default engine, we'll say that Ctrl, Space, and Enter are the same button, and so are Alt and Esc (they have different functionality in the battle engine, but we'll let this one slide). Designers hoping to use the default battle engine would do well to note that the left and right arrow keys are only used in targeting and menus...


Color depth
Two hundred and fifty-six colors? There's no way you're going to be able to keep track of that many. Example game: The Black Heart of Exile

Rank I: Party like it's 1985 by putting no more than 16 colors on screen at the same time. (5 points)
Rank II: Party like it's 1989, but handheld, and -- um, this metaphor is wearing kind of thin. Just limit your palette to 4 colors, okay? And no changing them, either! The engine's default fading is fine. (10 points)
Rank III: Party like it's 1972. (They hadn't invented colors back then, you know.) Your game uses exactly two colors, such as (but not necessarily) black and white. (20 points)

If you are also taking a low-resolution challenge, then the color restrictions only apply to the play area.


Graphics
Disk space doesn't grow on trees, you know. (If you can think of an example game, let me know. Memento Mori and Maze of the Red Mage are close.)

Rank I: One tileset, one backdrop. (5 points)
Rank II: Trim the fat. You don't need more than one of each type of sprite. Well, maybe you need five walkabouts, but any more than that would be wasteful. (10 points)
Rank III: 16 maptiles, two walkabout sets, and one enemy sprite -- you choose the size. No backdrops, aside from an optional title screen. (20 points)

Entirely blank graphics (such as an empty walkabout set or black backdrop) don't count towards the limit.



Contest entry
Any game that adheres to at least one rank of one challenge will be considered for this contest if it is uploaded between January 1 and February 28, 2013. You can start working on a game immediately if you really want to, but the official contest timeline is January to February. Voting will take place during March.

As a final note, it is probably a bad idea to attempt rank III on all five of the challenges... but no one is going to stop you from trying.
Mega Tact v1.1
Super Penguin Chef
Wizard Blocks
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:36 am
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I can feasibly do rank 3 on everything but controls. In fact that's exactly what I think I would do.

This contest is great.

(Silhouette does and will continue to follow rank 1 of area, by the way.)
Super Slime
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 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:39 am
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If you do rank III on both graphics and color depth, your game is very likely to look very boring.
Mega Tact v1.1
Super Penguin Chef
Wizard Blocks
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:44 am
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Most interesting... Though now that you've said it's not necessary to do rank III on all categories, I am sore tempted to attempt doing exactly that, hehe.
Being from the third world, I reserve the right to speak in the third person.

Using Editor version wip 20170527 gfx_sdl+fb music_sdl
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 2:08 am
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Mogri wrote:
If you do rank III on both graphics and color depth, your game is very likely to look very boring.


Phoenix on Ti-83 was pretty much exactly that and yet was extremely popular Smile
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Dec 06, 2012 2:34 am
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Mystic wrote:
Mogri wrote:
If you do rank III on both graphics and color depth, your game is very likely to look very boring.


Phoenix on Ti-83 was pretty much exactly that and yet was extremely popular Smile


Along with many other games. My favorites on the 86 were probably Tron, Phoenix, and Mario.

Ah, fond memories of high school.
Being from the third world, I reserve the right to speak in the third person.

Using Editor version wip 20170527 gfx_sdl+fb music_sdl
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Dec 10, 2012 8:28 pm
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challenge accepted


Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Dec 12, 2012 2:51 am
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Red Slime
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 PostWed Dec 12, 2012 3:53 am
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Are there any points for length or is that kind of whatever?
Happy RPG Makin
Super Slime
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 PostWed Dec 12, 2012 4:50 am
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The voters may prefer a longer game, but there are no explicit points for length.
Mega Tact v1.1
Super Penguin Chef
Wizard Blocks
Slime Knight
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 PostThu Dec 13, 2012 8:01 pm
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with the 80x80 space consideration, can we skew that so long as it uses the same..uh.. 'surface area'? (160x40? 320x20? uh. 120x53.something?)

I'm shooting for:

Area: Rank 3
Res: Rank 3
Controls: Rank 2
Color Depth: Rank 2
Graphics: Rank 3

No music requirements? I'd like to see music requirements!

EDIT: since borders have nothing to do with gameplay, can they break the color restriction?
A Scrambled Egg
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 PostThu Dec 13, 2012 8:44 pm
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I won't have time to participate but I look forward to whatever weirdness this spawns. Congratulations on somehow getting no responses from people claiming your limitations are an attack on creativity.
Super Walrus Land: Mouth Words Edition
Super Slime
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 PostThu Dec 13, 2012 8:53 pm
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shakeyair wrote:
with the 80x80 space consideration, can we skew that so long as it uses the same..uh.. 'surface area'? (160x40? 320x20? uh. 120x53.something?)


I guess so; it's within the spirit of the contest. Exceed 6400 pixels at your own peril, though!

Quote:
No music requirements? I'd like to see music requirements!

A music/sound challenge is easily met by excluding music/sound. I can't really see that adding to the contest.

Quote:
EDIT: since borders have nothing to do with gameplay, can they break the color restriction?


"If you are also taking a low-resolution challenge, then the color restrictions only apply to the play area."
Mega Tact v1.1
Super Penguin Chef
Wizard Blocks
A Scrambled Egg
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 PostThu Dec 13, 2012 9:28 pm
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You know what, forget what I said, I'm in, rank 3 on everything.
Super Walrus Land: Mouth Words Edition
Slime Knight
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 PostThu Dec 13, 2012 9:37 pm
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Quote:
Quote:
No music requirements? I'd like to see music requirements!

A music/sound challenge is easily met by excluding music/sound. I can't really see that adding to the contest.


I actually thought the same thing, since one of my specialties is creating NES/Game boy music. But I guess that's pretty hard to verify, huh?

I think this is a brilliant idea, and I don't think anyone in their right minds would call this an attack on creativity. The glut of pseudo-retro indie games is good evidence that no one actually believes that.

Of course, OHR is pretty retro by default, so I think this challenge is doubly interesting.
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