Bartk's Personal Notes Virtually The Liberated Pixel Cup

While we're waiting for the Liberated Pixel Cup rival results, I thought I'd receive got some fourth dimension as well as ship service some personal thoughts close the rival inward general, as well as what nosotros powerfulness produce amend if nosotros determine to run it over again adjacent year.  First, a disclaimer:  While several dissimilar organizations are taking business office inward LPC, the thoughts as well as opinions stated hither are solely my own, as well as produce non necessarily reverberate the opinions of the FSF, the Creative Commons, the Mozilla Foundation, or fifty-fifty  I am i of the people involved inward running the Liberated Pixel Cup, but this weblog ship service is non an official statement.  It's precisely my ain ramblings. :)

First things first.  LPC was, inward my opinion, an amazing success.  Since we're nonetheless inward the judging process, I can't plow over my opinions on specific entries, but I volition say that nosotros receive got some actually amazing ones inward my opinion, as well as if you lot haven't already checked them out, I'd recommend that you lot produce so.  One of our contestants has position together a large page of game reviews, as well as then that's a skilful house to start if you're curious.

The Liberated Pixel Cup has always, inward my opinion, been close the advancement of costless as well as opened upward origin software, as well as then i of the decisions nosotros made really early inward the planning procedure was that nosotros would need all entries to travel on a scheme that is libre from the terra firma up.  That is, non only should the entries themselves last costless software, they shouldn't need that whatever business office of the scheme running them last closed-source or otherwise proprietary.  We caught a fair sum of flak for this decision, as well as I can't say I was peculiarly surprised, since a lot of people actually honey proprietary frameworks as well as libraries such every bit XNA, Flash, as well as others.  It's understandably frustrating if your scheme of pick is specifically disallowed, but remember of it this way:  If someone receive got a Flash games rival (and at that topographic point are enough of these), people don't receive got law-breaking because they aren't allowed to acquire into non-flash games.  It's non close the relative merits of diverse frameworks -- LPC is precisely a rival for costless as well as opened upward origin games.  I'm pleased to say that I've spoken amongst at to the lowest degree i soul who got their starting fourth dimension experience developing games on a costless platform, as well as has been really happy amongst it therefore far.  I'm hoping at that topographic point are others who experience the same way.  At whatever rate, spell this conclusion didn't become over good amongst some people, it's non something that I would alter inward retrospect, as well as I tin say amongst a fair sum of confidence that whatever time to come instance of LPC volition receive got the same requirement.

We also got a position out of complaints that the rival itself was also short.  This is something that form of surprised me, since most game coding contests (Ludum Dare, Bacon Game Jam, etc) are a weekend or a calendar week long at most.  It has been suggested on several occasions that nosotros brand the coding rival inward item concluding longer.  This is an thought that I'm personally willing to entertain, but we'll in all probability receive got to produce some sort out of informal survey to actually acquire a experience for how long people inward full general experience the rival should be.  Even though several people suggested it, it's solely possible that a bulk of participants were satisfied amongst the length of the contest, as well as then we'll receive got to hold off at some existent numbers earlier nosotros brand whatever decisions based on this.  (One matter we'll almost sure as shooting produce is furnish a "break" of a calendar week or ii betwixt the fine art as well as code phases of whatever after contests.)

All that aside, far as well as away the biggest work nosotros had amongst LPC was what to produce close all of the dissimilar operating systems as well as environments people powerfulness prepare their game in.  There are ii large things nosotros had to receive got into consideration.
  • People wishing to last costless to direct the environs they're developing their game on.
  • People wishing to last confident that their game volition compile as well as run.
Taken together:
  • People wishing us to standardize on the scheme they personally like.
This is, of course, impossible, as well as then nosotros were left inward the hard seat of having to plow over people advice for writing programs that volition last piece of cake to compile as well as run inward multiple environment, but without pushing specific operating systems or frameworks.  This caused a lot of consternation on the business office of the code entrants (and also the judges -- I'll address that farther down), but every bit far every bit I tin tell, at that topographic point isn't a bang-up solution.  We either standardize on a sure scheme amongst sure libraries as well as exclude a large position out of potential participants, or enquire people to write their code carefully as well as then that the judges volition last able to compile it.  I don't personally regret doing it this way, as well as hopefully some of the specific things nosotros learned this fourth dimension around (about mutual problems, etc), nosotros tin transcend on to people the adjacent fourth dimension nosotros produce LPC (* at that topographic point are currently no official plans to run LPC again, but I'd similar to catch it happen, as well as we'll speak close that i time the results are announced).

When all was said as well as done, nosotros ended upward amongst close 50 code entries.  First, a scream out to the HTML5 folks -- your materials precisely worked.  Also, I receive got to come upward out as well as say that I've never been a large fan of Java; it's ever felt actually clunky to me.  LPC made me reevaluate my seat on Java games.   Given a laid of entries that were built inward dissimilar environments, it was an immense relief when I decompressed a game archive as well as found a bunch of .jar files, because I knew forthwith that it would precisely work.  So, Java folks, a scream out to you lot too.

The repose of the entries were written inward other languages, to a greater extent than oft than non C as well as C++.  Some of them compiled really easily (these tended to last the ones based on established engines as well as frameworks, such every bit FLARE), others took a few tweaks, as well as at that topographic point are a yoke I nonetheless haven't managed to compile at all.  Which brings us to judging.

Judging has been slow.  Since this is the starting fourth dimension time we've done this, nosotros had no thought the magnitude of the reply we'd get.  This is to some extent due to several perfectly legitimate desires that travel inward conflict:
  • People wishing to last able to write their games inward the environments they prefer (see above).
  • People would similar the judges to receive got fourth dimension to fairly evaluate their submissions, rather than precisely giving them a null the starting fourth dimension time they encounter trouble.
  • People would similar the rival results to last announced quickly.
In short: pick whatever two.  As it stands, the judges (myself included) are doing our best to last fair as well as thorough, but the downside is that the entries need a lot of attention, and, given that nosotros receive got jobs as well as families, nosotros can't position a total 40+ hours a calendar week into judging, which way the results are slow.  Not only that, personal lives receive got a manner of changing at a moment's notice, as well as then it's really hard to fifty-fifty guess how long the judging procedure volition take.  While I'm hesitant to plow over whatever sort out of guess correct at nowadays (due to the fact that to a greater extent than oft than non I'd last pulling a position out out of you-know-where, addition my 3 previous estimates receive got come upward as well as gone), what I tin say is that inward time to come years, we'll probable base of operations our guess of when the results volition last announced on the sum of fourth dimension that it takes us this year.  Hopefully, if nosotros tin offering a laid of suggestions to brand after rival entries easier to compile (and perchance every bit a outcome of the extra suggestions, last a fleck harsher if we're unable to produce so), nosotros tin brand the judging procedure to a greater extent than efficient.

Anyway, that's close it -- an within catch of my personal thoughts on the Liberated Pixel Cup.  I'd last happy to respond whatever questions that I can, but earlier I produce so, ii things behaviour repeating:
  • These are my thoughts alone, as well as they produce non stand upward for the official thoughts of LPC or whatever of the organizations involved.
  • We're working on judging, as well as spell I'm happy to furnish progress updates, I can't plow over an guess on when judging volition last completed because I precisely receive got no manner of knowing.  We volition decease on at it as well as acquire them done, but it could last ii weeks from now, as well as it could last December.

Bart K

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