I have organized with ED the Alive and Kicking Coding Competition since last december, and the competition has finished a couple of weeks ago. Following a vote open to all community members, the final results are in and the winners have been announced.
There a lot of good entries in all categories and in my view all winners really deserved to win. You can always discuss the position, but nevertheless these were strong contenders. The goal of the competition was to focus on new software for the Pandora as much as possible, while allowing as well for a category where developers could choose to spend time improving an existing application instead. Without further due, here are the winners:
New Original Game
- wb with PandoraNano Lemmings
- Undexsym with GFM…
- Slaeshjag with PewPewTris
I have personally voted for Undexsym’s entry but PandoraNano Lemmings was also very impressive. It probably deserves more levels, but I am sure it will come with time. Undexsym’s entry was his first game as far as I know and it’s very impressive and plays very well. PewPewTris was very original while it probably needs more polish at this stage.
New Ported Game
- PtitSeb with SmokinGuns
- PtitSeb with The Butterfly Effect
- M-HT with Area 2048
PtitSeb is the Master of Ports so he was expected around the corner and he did not disappoint. SmokinGuns is a cool Quake3 mod in a Western environment. The only drawback of this port is that it gets really low in fps when playing as a single player against the AI. I’m wondering if many people actually play it seriously or just voted for the graphics themselves. The second port, The ButterFly Effect, is an excellent Incredible Machine clone, and it’s really playable. Area 2048 is another perfect port from M-HT, adding another very cool polygonal shooter on the Pandora.
- _wb with Pandora Image Viewer
- Ziz with Snowman Reloaded
- IngoReis with QEmu Dos Games Pack
This category was bound to create controversy because it mixed many different kind of software and people were asked to rate the level of improvements rather than their preference. Pandora Image Viewer was a great example of improvement with an excellent thumnail feature added on top of the already great viewing capabilities of the application. Ziz did a lot as to improve SnowMan by recoding it in a new engine and adding music and C4A support as well. Good stuff really. IngoReis spent a lot of time to make QEmu a more plug and play solution to enjoy many Dos Games from the past.
New Pandora Use
- crow_riot with Flashenv
- commander-beef with uPIM
- PtitSeb with Printrun
This was my favorite category, because I was wondering what people would come up with. I was not disappointed. Flashenv is a great equivalent of apkenv for the flash gaming scene. It makes it possible to play flash games full screen outside of the browser, with custom controls. The only issue is that there are still very hungry games in terms of resources which do not play well on Pandora. But still, another great piece of software. Commander-beef has been on a roll since he came back actively in the community, with DosBox EX Ultimate and other productions. uPIM is one of them, providing a whole Personal Information Manager solution on Pandora (while you need the paid version to save anything). While Printrun will not of use to many people in the community, it’s just another cool example of what the device can do – it’s just so flexible.
I did a little poll about the competition as well, on the boards, here are the results:
Overall Opinion of the Compo (5 scale measure) -> 81/100, therefore quite positive. Appropriateness of the categories (centered-scale with 3 choices) -> +0.57 -> reasonably appropriate Made you feel the Pandora was Alive -> +0.69 -> quite positively yes!
What could have been done better?
- Communication about the entries (35%)
- Notaz in the compo (34%)
- More entries/participants (21%)
- More time for the compo (7%)
- Better organization (5%)
- Better prizes : no-one.
Notaz was indeed late to that party. Nobody knew what he was working on. He was expecting to release his entry at the last minute but somehow could not make it on time. And it was going to be Starcraft! Following the wide recognition for his work on Starcraft, I’m pretty confident he would have won in the [ New Ported Game ] category.
Back to the compo. There were a few comments on what to improve, picked up on the boards:
- Foxblock : “My number one complaint is also the same though: There was little to no communication about the compo, which is also reflected in the very low number of votes (just like in the past). The benchmark for this to me still is the riot compo ( http://www.riotdigit…2011/?page=Blog ). Uni did a great job on the blog back then, interviewing participants, writing blog posts about the entries in production, acquiring sponsors (!), making a video about the winners, etc.“
- Foxblock : “Additionally not everyone reads the boards or blogs. There could be a banner on the repo linking to the compo forum, there could be a “compo” section on the repo and a spotlight showing all entries after release (now they will just get buried in new regular releases).“
- wb : “Finding good categories is hard. The problem with “significant improvement” is that it covers a lot of things: improved ported applications, improved ported games, improved original games, improved original applications, improved packaging. Comparing such different things is tricky, comparing the “improvement delta” instead of the thing itself is also tricky, and the combination of both is very tricky.“
- Ziz : “I didn’t like it [the way to do voting]. I don’t think, that one vote per poll is good to determine the best entry. I like the “3 points, 2 points, 1 points”-system. I think we wouldn’t have such a barely result then. Many people voted tactical instead of for the best™ entry. Furthermore I didn’t like, that the voting started right after the competition. I think a week break as test time before the voting starts and the possibility to fix crashing bugs and maybe to write some blog posts in the official competition blog would be neat.“
- wb, about licensing: “Also I think it’s a bit weird to say in the rules that OpenSource is encouraged while the license status of the entries was not even communicated at all. I think it should be a requirement to at least have something in that field in the PXML. And in the description of the entries, it should be mentioned somewhere.“
- PtitSeb: “The only subject is the “Significant Improvment” that is very difficult. I guess the initial aim was to promote some DSP code in a an app or something like that, but in fact it has more or less switched to something like a disguise Pandy Award… So I think I would have prefer the 4th category of the compo to be “Pandy Award” type (with may be just 3 winner in different categories instead of 1st, 2nd, 3rd), and the 3 other categories as-is.“
There were a few other comments as well but I think the ones selected above reflect most of what was said. Let’s keep this in mind when people organize new competitions in the future, so that we can keep improving over what’s been done before.