Competition 4: Save the Planet

Here are the winners for the 4th YoYoGames Competition 

 

 
1st Place, [$1000] : Greentech by Mr Chubigans

Geentech

Geentech

MrChubigan has been around for a very long time. He was one of the early users of Game Maker. Greentech is a game with a very distinct (green) style that looks as if it is being played on a very old TV. The goal of the game is to control the wind to bring the clouds of pollution towards the cleaning facilities. An easy game play concept but much harder than it may sound. The game is polished and includes a tutorial to teach you how to play. Original and fun to play.

2nd Place, [$500] : EcoRush by andywiltshirenz

EcoRush

EcoRush

EcoRush is a game in which one species tries to invade the region of another, by capturing all the other species. This is turned into a relatively simple but intriguing turn-based board game that required considerable thinking. The game is beautifully polished with wonderful graphics and descriptions of the different areas on earth where the game can be played. You can play both against the computer and against other human players. (You can even let the computer play against itself, which is good to learn the tactics.)

3rd Place, [$250] : Incoming: Battle for the Planet Earth by hcs89

Incoming: Battle for the Planet Earth

Incoming: Battle for the Planet Earth

This is the first contribution of hcs89 to YoYo Games, and immediately a winner. Incoming: Battle for the Planet Earth is a space shooting game in which you must save the planet from enemies from outer space. It has some elements from Tower Defense as you must carefully place the weapon systems to hit the approaching enemies. But you must also decide where to shoot to and which weapons to use. The graphics is nice and the game play is fast and interesting (although at some stage it suddenly becomes much more difficult).

Runners-Up (in no particular order)

Teka Teki – A puzzle game with elements of Tetris.
Jake Skill and the Crystal Quest – A platform game that might look simple but is very challenging.
Gray and Green – Another platform game in which you must bring the color back to the gray world.
Mars Conflict – A space-invader style shooter game.
Planet Earth Crusaders – A top-view battlefield action game.
Agent Bunn-e – A simple, addictive action game that requires quick reactions.
Earth vs. Mars – A strategic space game in which you must wisely use the energy you collect.

And you can find all the other great entries here: All Competition Entries.

 

 

The next competition theme has not yet been announced.

InstantPlay Clones Come to the GMC’s Forefront

The growing popularity of InstantPlay clones, and the heated discussions surrounding them, has finally forced the GMC staff to take action. In the past few weeks a slew of InstantPlay-type plugins of wildly differing qualities have been promoted at the Game Maker Community. After several days of public fighting among rival developers and critics, longtime GMC mod KC LC hid all of the plugin topics and created a single topic with a notice explaining why they were removed and that the staff was discussing the issue internally. She said the reasons were “a general concern about security issues, errors, and the growing flame war among supporters.”

The worst offender in security issues, Revel Quick Play, had several proposed and working exploits demonstrated. The creator, Revel, seemed to largely ignore concerns and kept posting buggy new versions. Several members besides the Author (including Smarty and NakedPaulToast) called him out in this issue. Revel did not address the issues. This, along with other problems, prompted another member, Caniac, to declare that he would create his own rival plugin following the same flawed protocol handler model (despite much better existing alternatives). His solution never materialized, despite large amounts of promotion pre hoc.

After KC LC hid the topics and announced that a policy was being decided upon, an extremely vocal debate ensued in the topic between various plugin developers, critics, and members of the community at large. While there was near-universal agreement that a competitor to YYG’s InstantPlay was needed, many members expressed strong concerns about security. The general consensus among consumers was that they did not want a ‘collect-them-all’ approach with dozens of plugins. They wanted a simple plugin that would work outside of YoyoGame’s own website. As the topic degenerated into a large-scale flamewar, KC LC hid that topic as well and created another notification post today, this time in a pre-closed topic.

The staff have not yet published their official decision.

InstantPlay Now Vulnerable to Decompiling

InstantPlay tab of the decompiler.

InstantPlay tab of the decompiler.

This morning an update to the GM Decompiler was released, this time with the ability to decompile InstantPlay games and extract GM7 extensions from games. The update also defeats some methods devised for protecting games from the old decompiler (typically using a hex editor to tamper with the PE).

InstantPlay decompiling automatically detects games you have used via InstantPlay, which are stored in a folder under My Documents. Users are presented a list of games detected and the rest is automatic.

Version two of the infamous decompiler is by the same author (Clam), and includes the same vengeful message about GMK encryption (which was designed to defeat third-party projects).

GMNews and Scorptek do not endorse copyright infringment. This news posting is for informational purposes, and links to the decompiler will be deleted.

KC LC on Topic Closing

KC LC, a global moderator of the Game Maker Community forums has expressed her opinion on users who request that their topics be closed.

As she rightfully points out, closing a legitimate topic serves little to no purpose. There is every chance another user will come a long in the future and have a similar question or problem. It makes much more sense for such a user to refer to the original topic and post a follow-up question if necessary than to post an entirely new topic and have two separate discussions on the same subject.

What has become even more of a problem in recent months is the number of users who completely erase their topic post and replace it with something to the effect of ‘solved, please close’ when they feel the discussion has come to an end or a solution has been brought to the table. This is worst thing a topic poster can do because it makes it nearly impossible for anyone else to refer back to the topic to solve a similar problem or for users to contribute more ideas or better solutions to the problem at hand.

So why do people erase their topics and replace it with ‘please close’? Some may feel it is simply a need to have closure, a need to feel that your topic has reached its goal and accomplished something. Personally, I think it may also have to do with being self-conscious. This is only speculative, but perhaps some users feel embarrassed about asking questions with simple or obvious answers, or somehow feel responsible for the discussion in the topic if it suddenly goes awry.

In any case this is a request to all GMC users out there: please stop requesting that your topics be closed, and do not post in another topic to say it should be closed (especially if it is an old topic). The moderators can decide on their own if a topic has run its course or if there is room for more discussion. You should only need to report topics which clearly do not follow the forum rules.

Thoughts?

23k Games, 200+ Staff’s Choice

The YYG team announced earlier today that they recently had their 23,000th game posted on the website:

As of today there are 23,000 completed games on the YoYo Games website (not counting the beta games and work in progress).  On average it takes about 3 weeks for 1,000 new games to appear, meaning that we get on average about 50 new completed games per day.

The quality of those games notwithstanding, I want to turn attention to the amount of staff’s choice games listed on the YYG website.

I had lamented earlier about the flood of “staff’s choice” games populating YYG:

The staff’s pick on YYG is a joke – almost 200 games, and the YYG site has been around for a little over a year? That’s what, one staff’s pick every two days?

Compared to the now-defunct staff’s choice section at the GMC, there were about 20 times as many games on YYG, all selected within a quarter of the time.  Obviously, the games at the GMC were selected with a great amount of care, and each was accompanied by a few paragraphs of review.  The staff’s choice on YYG, on the other hand, does not have a staff review for each game (or at least one that is readily viewable).

Currently, there are 224 staff’s choice games listed on the YYG website, an increase of only about 30 more games since I posted my complaint earlier, nearly 5 months ago.  This is an average of one staff’s choice every 5 days, a number that is a bit more reasonable.  Might that thread have influenced YYG’s staff selections?

Probably not, but perhaps in the future a system that shows a little more care and discernment in game selection would be put in place.