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Heart of the OHR Contest 2016 
 PostTue Mar 01, 2016 2:15 am
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Heart of the OHR Contest

2016 Edition

And we’re back…

…and this time, we’re early!

For those familiar with Heart of the OHR, feel free to skip down to the rules for a reminder of what was, and a taste of what will be. For those who are uninitiated, please read the following history lesson. Or don’t. Your choice.

A Brief History as Written in 2010:

HotOHR 2010 Thread wrote:
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 [2000s], 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.

[In June 2010], 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), are 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. This is a zero rule. What categorizes as an RPG can be left open for debate, but at the end of the day it must be an RPG. In 2010, we saw one game stretch the limit of what we considered acceptable (Do You Want to Be a Hero?), and I would argue Silhouette from 2012 pushed the boundaries, as well. In 2014, we basically bent the rule as far as possible with T4R4D1DDL3. For a complete list of the games that made the cut in 2010, 2012, and 2014, consult the following link:

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

-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.

-If you are posting a rereleased game for the contest, you must provide either a readme (or some document) discussing where the new content starts (if it's a continuation) or what the new content is (if it's integrated into earlier previously released sections), or you must supply a save file that begins the game just before the new content kicks in. If you fail to do this, your game will not be entered into the contest.

Note: I prefer the former since it's clearer what's new and discourages players from beginning your game halfway into the story.

Important Note: Historically, players are really bad about investigating new content and often replay the old stuff and vote on that without ever seeing the new content. This really skews the results at the end of the contest. This is especially true of long games. If you are submitting a rerelease and you care about doing well, please, please, please be abundantly clear about what’s new and give your players every possible incentive to play to the new stuff. This means improving the first 30 minutes of the game if necessary. This means making the whole game as fun and amazing as possible. Don’t turn your players off early or they may never get to the new content. Remember, just because you provide a save point or obvious information about where the new stuff begins and ends doesn’t mean your players will use it. If they end up just voting on the same stuff they played five years ago, your points may not count. Think about the whole game.

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

New Rule for 2016: As the only exception to the must-be-an-RPG rule, you may alternatively release a game that’s “in the spirit of 1999” and still be eligible for entry. This means that you may emulate the kind of game that was made for the OHR between 1998 and 2000. This rule was made possible by T4R4D1DDL3, so consult that game to see this rule in action.

RPG Release Categories:

In 2010 every entry was lumped into the same category and judged under the same conditions regardless of originality versus the rereleased. In 2012 they were divided into three categories: Original, Rereleased, and OHR Legends. In 2014, they were separate categories, but shared the same vote. We will be continuing this trend in 2016.

Original and Rereleased Games:

Original games are the games that have never been publicly released prior to March 1, 2016. These are the easiest to judge since the ground is fresh. We had eight original entries in 2010, including the Game of the Year winner, Motrya, 13 in 2012, and nine in 2014.

Note: These games just need to come with a Coke and a smile.

Rereleased games have been unleashed on the community before March 1, 2016, and are making a second life appearance in the Heart of the OHR Contest. Any original game that was released for the 2010, 2012, or 2014 contests will automatically default to this category if reentered for 2016. In 2010, we had four rereleased games; in 2012, we had three. In 2014, we had one.

Note: These games must include documents or save files that inform the player where the new content can be found. See the rules above for more information.

OHR Legends:

This special category is reserved for the games that have been submitted as rereleases in previous Heart of the OHR contests and resubmitted this year as “legendary” contestants. There are nine games eligible for Level 1 Legend status and two (Vikings of Midgard and Okedoke) eligible for Level 2 Legend status. In addition to a potential win, these games also get a “level badge.”

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 March 1st and ends July 31sh.

I will allow a two-week grace period for bug-fixing (Note: this grace period is not reserved for adding new content, unless that new content is required to fix a bug or to tie a loose thread). Entries must be ready for voting by August 15th.

All deadlines will expire at 6am EST the following day.

Voting:

Voting will run from August 16 - September 30. That gives you a whole month and a half to play those games! Make it count.

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.

The way we handle votes will be the same as in the 2014 contest.

For full details on how it was before 2014, consult the following post:

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

How Voting Works-

Five-point Average: Any game that falls short of the peak vote target range will receive however many fives it takes to reach the two-thirds margin.

Peak Vote Target Range: Identifies the game with the most number of votes and uses its vote count as the determinate for the contest average.

Two-thirds Vote System: Caps the required voting minimum at two-thirds the value of the peak target. Any game meeting this minimum cap will not receive additional fives to pad its average.

Prizes:

Note: New Prizes for 2016.

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, various members of the community have agreed to give special bonuses to entrants and the winner.*

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.

Specifically I'd like to see:
-cash prizes
-fan art
-theme song about the winning game(s)
-gifted games
-etc.

You may view talked about prizes or add to the prize pot discussion here:

http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6840

I’ll update the prize list here as new prizes are offered. New prizes can be added until the end of the contest.

Potential community offered prizes include:

-OHR mousepad for winner (courtesy RedMaverickZero).

-An official spoonweaver coffee mug™ and some buttons and magnets to the winner and maybe buttons and magnets to second place Spoonweaver’s personal pick (courtesy Spoonweaver).

-$20 to the first place winner and $5 to the second place winner (courtesy Bob the Hamster)

-Another $20 to the first place winner and $5 to the second place winner (courtesy Willy Elektrix)

-An Amazon gift card or a Steam/GOG/etc. game worth ≤$20 to first prize, ≤$10 to second, and ≤$5 to third. (courtesy Foxley).

-The best Original Sound Track (OST) will win a presentation of its tracks on a recently made Cymascope. (courtesy Matokage). Note: This is a subjective win determined by the prize holder.

-Free coupon for a copy of Superheroes Anonymous: A Modern-day Fantasy, Year Two, ebook version (valued at $4.95), plus one additional priced ebook from my personal bibliography, redeemable at Smashwords, for all entries, plus one additional priced ebook for third and second place winners, and my entire 2015-2016 catalog for the first place winner. (Courtesy Pepsi Ranger). Note: This prize can be redeemed at the end of the year for a greater range of choices.

Note: This list will remain open to new prize additions from now until August 15th. I will update this list as I get new volunteers.

Special Prize for OHR Legends releases:

Any game categorized as an OHR Legends release will receive a special trophy classifying it as such. This is strictly a prestige award, but it will remind future players of the game's longevity. This trophy will receive "levels" each time it's awarded to a specific game. OHR Legends releases should still meet the 30 minutes of additional game time rule to be eligible for the trophy.

Note: Until I get someone to draw the trophy and Mogri to provide a location for it on the game’s dedicated page, this trophy will be in spirit only. I know, lame. We’re working on it!

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.

*Because prizes are awarded by members of the community, and because community members come and go like the wind, all prizes are subject to change.

Note: Due to a backup from past contests, James Paige will *not* be doing bug bounties this year.

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 Motrya 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 announce your RPG releases starting on March 1st. And I’d appreciate it if this thread were stickied until the end of the year. Thanks.

I will update this thread periodically as new information comes. Good luck, everyone.

Edit 8/16/16:

The Games:

Contest is closed. Here are the games. Let me know if I'm missing any.

Officially:

The Successor's Legacy (Demo)
by Mammothstuds
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=121526

Dragon Chaser
by DragonChaserKev
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=121794

Quodia
by Froginator
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=120432

Grapnes 2: Kepnalcide
by Taco Bot
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=123825

Sour City
by Phil
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=123830

You Need a Hero
by Idontknow
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=123860

Labyrinthilium
by Pheonix
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=124084

Bale
by guo
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=124082

Dark Planet
by Ichiro
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewgame.php?p=123959 (gamelist file)
https://gitlab.com/lunarlabs/darkplanet (most recent file)

Surfasaurus
by RedMaverickZero
http://redtrianglegames.com/surfasaurus.html

Unofficially:

Note, these games were released during the contest window and satisfy the core RPG requirement, but have not been officially entered into the Heart of the OHR by the games' creators. I'm listing them here for reference. They can be voted on, but the authors must approve their entries for them to take any prizes.

Fruity Quest
by DarkLordCale
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=764

Note: This can be found on Castle Paradox, and is really, truly old school. It also seems short. And offensive.

Again, if there are any other games that should be on this list that aren't, please let me know as soon as possible.
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Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 3:34 am
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I will MSPaint a drawing of a player character of my choosing for each entrant.

I will, using ink and crayon, draw any two characters from the winning game as specified by the winner.

I also plan on entering the game I've been hyping since October.
NO EAT
Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 4:34 am
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I'm going to enter the most serious game I've ever made... as soon as I start making it... which has to wait till after the reviews. It's gonna be fantastic.

Oh, and I will also share hyperlinks to all of my favorite NSFW, Achewood comic strips, NSFW! I know it sounds like its about boners but its not, its about furries. And there's like 10 years of 'em and I'll cut out the middle man and link you to the bestest ones! Just for entering! WOWWWW
Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 9:05 am
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Sooooo, is it not about boners? Cause that's a pretty vital selling point for me.
I can't write in cursive.
Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 11:03 am
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Please don't tempt me, I have enough on my plate without wanting to enter this aswell!
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Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 11:05 am
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... FINE you twisted my arm enough. I'll try and enter something.
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Slime Knight
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 3:41 pm
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Let's see if i'm going to take something out of the paper this time.
"I can't buy food with glory"
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 3:56 pm
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This won't matter much until entries start to trickle in, bug I have started a wiki page for the contest here: http://rpg.hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/Heart_of_the_OHR_2016
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 8:23 pm
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Bob the Hamster wrote:
This won't matter much until entries start to trickle in, bug I have started a wiki page for the contest here: http://rpg.hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/Heart_of_the_OHR_2016


Ah, thank you! Now the contest has officially started, as has this party.

Oh...and the contest is only five months this year, plus the two-week bugfix window.
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Metal Slime
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 PostWed Mar 02, 2016 10:29 pm
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I'm tossing up whether to continue on with my 9+ year project, or start fresh with something pared, streamlined and elegant. Any thoughts?
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Slime Knight
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 PostThu Mar 03, 2016 7:27 am
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I'm gonna try to start a new game but I doubt that it's gonna hit the 30 minute mark by the deadline.
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Mar 03, 2016 10:02 am
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guo wrote:
I'm tossing up whether to continue on with my 9+ year project, or start fresh with something pared, streamlined and elegant. Any thoughts?


You mean Apophenia? Have you been working on it that long? If you do mean Apophenia, then as I said, I think it has heaps of potential. And although it's been released before (for HotOHR 2010), the unofficial version you uploaded a week ago was a 99+% complete remake, so you basically wouldn't be penalised at all, as far as I understand.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Mar 05, 2016 9:46 pm
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guo wrote:
I'm tossing up whether to continue on with my 9+ year project, or start fresh with something pared, streamlined and elegant. Any thoughts?


Well, one of HotOHR's goals is to inspire the continuation of 9+-year projects to completion, especially if it's one we haven't seen yet. But, not to play too much on words here, you should go with your heart on this one.

Ichiro wrote:
I'm gonna try to start a new game but I doubt that it's gonna hit the 30 minute mark by the deadline.


Do your best to finish what you can. I'm not going to disqualify a game because it clocks in at 29 minutes. The point of the 30-minute rule is to encourage effort. So many contests result in short 10-minute tech demos, and this contest just wants something that tells a story.

TMC wrote:
You mean Apophenia? Have you been working on it that long? If you do mean Apophenia, then as I said, I think it has heaps of potential. And although it's been released before (for HotOHR 2010), the unofficial version you uploaded a week ago was a 99+% complete remake, so you basically wouldn't be penalised at all, as far as I understand.


@Ichiro: Apophenia was released for the original Heart of the OHR contest and ran for about 10-15 minutes. I still accepted it because it had a story to tell and wasn't just a tech demo (even though it played a lot like one). I don't want people trying to abuse the bendability of the rules here, so I still want all contestants to try to hit 30 minutes or more, and to tell the best story they can in the process, using the conventions of the RPG format. But, if you have an RPG you believe in, and it doesn't quite hit the 30-minute mark, don't despair. Just let me know of your intentions to enter, and as long as it represents the heart of the OHR, it should be fine as an entry.

@guo: Whether it's for the contest or not, you should finish Apophenia. It was pretty cool.

@TMC: Even though the categories of Original, Rerelease, and Legends still exist, for voting purposes I'm lumping them all together. The differences will be based on what the player is supposed to play before voting. With originals, they should play from the beginning. With rereleases, they should play whatever is new from the last release, whether they start at the beginning or at an author-supplied save point. With Legends, they should play like they would a rerelease. Really the main difference between a Legends and a rerelease is trophy status. Legends titles get recognized for their longevity.

That said, I wouldn't penalize Apophenia if it made a 2016 appearance. The voters would have to decide how to vote for it. How I categorize it would depend on how guo would categorize it, since he knows the differences between the old and the new.

Another Note:

I also wanted to address lurkers to the forum who may not necessarily want to publicly release on Slime Salad or Castle Paradox but still contribute to the contest. If you make a game that you want to acknowledge in the Heart of the OHR contest, but do not want to share on either of these forums (maybe due to loftier plans for a Steam release at a later date, for example), you may PM me your intentions and a link where I can find it once you deem it ready, and I'll count it. To keep it private, you may want to send individual copies only to those who want to vote. When the list of released games becomes available in August, I'll make a note of which ones should be played by request only.
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 PostFri Mar 11, 2016 2:53 am
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What the hey. I'm in with "Project Dark Planet" (name may change).
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Mar 12, 2016 3:04 am
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I'll tentatively enter Surfasaurus in. It's moreso a simulation game with RPG elements but I think it captures the essence of what the genre is. If I ignore the 2016, how much is that going to hurt the project? I'm planning on being done with this game by August anyways so I figured it'd be good to participate.
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