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.

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Game Maker 7 Pro Price to Increase

Sandy Duncan announced on the YoYoGames glog today that the price for Game Maker 7 Pro will increase in February due to the ever changing value of currencies.

No specific prices were mentioned in the post, but Duncan did however say that customers in the UK will be the most affected by the price change. Duncan noted that the value of the euro had dropped by almost 50% since the last time YoYo Games had evaluated it, which means that the price of Game Maker could potentially jump to double of what it is right now.

On a side note, Sandy Duncan  noted in the comments of the article that work on Game Maker 8 has not yet started.

YoYoGames Help Desk Performance

Sandy Duncan has said on the official YoYoGames Glog that the Help desk on YoYoGames has been answering 95% of submitted help tickets within 24 hours, which has improved drastically in the last two weeks.

Mr. Duncan also said that using Softwrap for DRM in Game Maker 7 is “high on [his] list of ‘things we should have done differently'” but its not going to change any time soon. This brings up past rumors that Game Maker 8 (or future versions of 7) might not include Softwrap or any DRM at all.

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.

Yet Another InstantPlay Plugin

James Rhodes from roket-games.com has released a Firefox-only “InstantPlay” plugin much like Yoyogames.com‘s InstantPlay. This one has the capability to run any Windows application (not just Game Maker games) and allows you to embed a play button on any web page.

Installation is quick and smooth, and the progress indicator on ‘buffering’ games far less obnoxious than YYG’s, but one still has to wonder about the security implications of a plugin that allows arbitrary binaries to run with a single click.

A previous InstantPlay alternative is the Java-based GMBed (v2.0 beta released July ’08). Covac Software also published GmX, an ActiveX-based system, which has had no apparent activity since ’07.

YYG Gets Update – Still in testing

According to the YoYo Game’s glog, the YYG website has been updated and tweaked to include a new homepage, new improved play pages, and a shorter, easier way to upload games.

The new site however, is still in beta testing. Sandy Duncan does not yet know for sure when the new site changes will be made public, but is optimistic that the new features will be available before the weekend.

Two users commented to suggest that the new YYG game upload service should be set to ‘standard’ mode by default whereby users can still download the game and are not forced to use Instant Play. Timoi points out that originally the idea may have been to keep the games secure, but now that the decompiler has been updated to handle Instant Play games, this is no longer the case and it makes no sense to force Instant Play as the only option.

Russell’s Quarterly & Wiki-GM-Pedia

Tom Russel released the 4th issue of his well known GM Magazine today. Compared to previous editions, this release is visually friendly, but don’t be fooled – it is still heavy on the text. With an almost unbelieveable 90 pages of a content, the magazine is almost like a book.. so you will likely need to schedule some time off if you want to read through the whole thing.

Nevertheless, the magazine is still interesting and even includes an interview with former GMNews writer, Mark Carroll. The PDF of the magazine can be downloaded here. In my opinion, it is quite amazing how just one person is able to put together something of this magnitude and quality and I think Russell deserves a pat on the back for that.

Also in the news (although slightly dated news); YoYo Games has announced that it will merge its Wiki with the more content full GMPedia operated by the GMKing team. This will no doubt improve the exising Wiki which is almost hanging on by a thread and until now hasn’t had many updates since its first appearance.