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A.cc ChristmasHack
Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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ChristmasHack website: http://xmashack.bafsoft.com

Some ideas for a ChristmasHack popped up in another thread about TINS. I proposed my own way of organising the thing, and you can read about it in this post.

Quote:

Everyone participating registers with his A.cc number, A.cc name, a chosen password and an e-mail (no e-mail confirmation bullstuff, read later on). Once registered, you set three vague descriptions of games you would like to see. You can also vote on descriptions of other people in a four-way fashion (Good/So-So/Bad).

When the set time comes (say 17th, depends on how fast we can get ready), the system chooses the best-rated description submitted by every person. People are randomly assigned to each other. Once this is done, you receive an e-mail with one of those best descriptions chosen.

If a person doesn't have any description that averages above 35% (every Bad counts as 0%, so-so 50%, good 100%), he will have to wait until next Christmas. So be kind when voting, and vote "bad" only if it's really bad.

Once you have made the game, you submit it to the page. The games get sent through e-mail to their recipients on 23rd (along with information who made it), and made publicly available on the page some time between Christmas and New Year.

How does it sound? I'll start work on that once 5 people express their will to take part.

Please make suggestions, comment, and, above all, let me know that you want to take part in it because there will be no Hack if there are no participants! :)

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

Mokkan
Member #4,355
February 2004
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I would definitely participate :). Sounds fun...

X-G
Member #856
December 2000
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I'll all for the idea of each participant being handed a unique task as long as they're done properly.

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Since 2008-Jun-18, democracy in Sweden is dead. | 悪霊退散!悪霊退散!怨霊、物の怪、困った時は ドーマン!セーマン!ドーマン!セーマン! 直ぐに呼びましょう陰陽師レッツゴー!

Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
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Quote:

You can also vote on descriptions of other people in a four-way fashion (Good/So-So/Bad).

Where presumably "Good" means "an idea that is suitable for the competition and should produce interesting results", "so-so" means "an idea that is suitable for the competition" and "bad" means "not suitable for the competition"?

Billybob
Member #3,136
January 2003
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I would participate.

You could make this really easy by coming up with some general game ideas and then having each person select one of those. No voting, no screening, easy.

Let's see here, how about: Action, Adventure, Arcade, Board Games, Puzzle, Role Playing, Sports, Strategy

:)

But your idea is good too. There's no way to know how it will play out so...just do it. Small suggestion is to have some considerations for OS.

EDIT:

Thomas said:

competition

Competition?

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X-G
Member #856
December 2000
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I must point out here that I really think that making the game genre a requirement is a very bad idea. It stifles creativity and might box people into doing a game from a genre they hate. A much better approach is to describe general themes or features that are not bound to genres, which the participants can then "twist" and make it fit with the genre game they want to make.

--
Since 2008-Jun-18, democracy in Sweden is dead. | 悪霊退散!悪霊退散!怨霊、物の怪、困った時は ドーマン!セーマン!ドーマン!セーマン! 直ぐに呼びましょう陰陽師レッツゴー!

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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Thomas: Exactly :). Though I wouldn't use the word competition.

Mokkan: Great! I'll count you in :).

William: I think I'll try with my idea... It just sounds a bit more interesting, and also gives you something to work with: if someone asks for a "puzzle" game, it can be anything, no room for creative variations on a theme. But if someone wants a game about pirates, that's more like it :).

Now, a bit of technical stuff I omitted since now:
The hack will be open-source. Your submission is a ZIP that has the full compilable source and all data. The size limit I'm aiming for is 1MB, as in 1 000 000 bytes. If it fits within the limit, provide a binary.

When registering, you will mark Linux, Windows or both. The randomizer will try to pair up Linux and Windows capable folk together. When you receive the description, you will also receive a note if your pair is Linux-only or Win-only.

Also, I would like to propose one extra rule. Not everyone is born to be an excellent programmer, and not everyone is capable of completing a working game in such a short time. If you overestimate your abilities and are not able to get the game done in time, you just put what you completed in the zip, and then look for loads of nice X-mas stuff on the net and package it together (a Christmas card, a comic or whatever you see fit).

[Loads of edits because of the late hour.]

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
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Quote:

When registering, you will mark Linux, Windows or both.

cough Mac OS X cough

Quote:

Though I wouldn't use the word competition.

Quote:

Competition?

Okay, okay! It isn't a competition.

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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Quote:

cough Mac OS X cough

Sorry :-[. I must have somehow subconciously decided that everything that compiles under Linux is also easily compiled under Mac OS X. I will include that option. Do you intend to participate?

Also, X-G, do you intend to participate?

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

X-G
Member #856
December 2000
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No details, no guarantee. I don't really even use Allegro any more.

--
Since 2008-Jun-18, democracy in Sweden is dead. | 悪霊退散!悪霊退散!怨霊、物の怪、困った時は ドーマン!セーマン!ドーマン!セーマン! 直ぐに呼びましょう陰陽師レッツゴー!

Carrus85
Member #2,633
August 2002
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I still think it would be more productive to instead of having a everyone hack up 50 half-complete programs to have everyone produce, or update, one program as a christmas present to the community itself. For example, imagine what could be done if we could even get 20 people to look over different sections of the allegro base code. I know that there are some outstanding issues on the 4.2.x branch (keyboard focus comes to mind), and maybe it is time that we devoted some serious resources to fixing these problems? Maybe while we are at it we could hack up system video bitmap support for OSX and a bunch of other goodies. The more the merrier, after all. The winner could be decided on a patchs per contest or improvements per contest ratio... We could even use the this "contest" (if you can call it that), as a kickstart for the 4.3 branch.

But meh, that is just me. :-/

BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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I'd definately support this. Not sure if I'd have time to take part in it, but I can provide webspace/bandwidth for the compo + entries + emailing (much like I do for TINs), and even help with the backend for it if my help is needed.

[edit]
Heck, half the backbone is already there from the tins uploading system, just modify it so stuff isn't posted publicly at first, etc, and it could work nice. Add a ranking system, etc. If its okay, I could take the tins system and make a christmas hack system.

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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I believe I have already done half the work needed this night, so I think that we can use my own system, unless the TINS one can be hacked up faster than I can make my own.
I'm very happy you are willing to provide the bandwidth though. I'll PM you the details of what would be needed later today, after I come back from uni (I have to go in 8 minutes :)).

I thought about the selection system and I can detail it now. The system will try to choose people in a friendly fashion, so:
a) you only get people who share at least one ticked OS box with you.
b) your votes influence what you get: first, the system will try to assign you one of the descriptions you rated "good". If that's impossible, the system will choose among those you rated "so-so". If that's impossibile - from those you haven't voted on. Only if all that is impossible, you will get one of the descriptions you voted "bad" (shouldn't happen).

A) can only be violated if it is impossible to fulfill it given the participants' choices.

[Attached: what I have now. Some parts are still mock-up]

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

NyanKoneko
Member #5,617
March 2005
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Jakub, that's the best idea I've seen in a long time.

There should be a due date, otherwise things tend to not get done. But what happens if your kriss kringle or you don't finish in the time limit? We obviously don't want people getting short-changed. I have no ideas or suggestions as to how to handle this.

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
avatar

Quote:

There should be a due date, otherwise things tend to not get done. But what happens if your kriss kringle or you don't finish in the time limit? We obviously don't want people getting short-changed. I have no ideas or suggestions as to how to handle this.

Well, you can't really do anything about it if you're not able to finish a game. My advice would be to try as hard as possible for that person on the other end of the wire - and if you fail to finish the game despite that, you can still pack everything you have done together with some nice stuff to show how hard you tried :).

About dates: I will have the site done till tomorrow night. I intend for the contest to start at Thursday 15th, 16:00 GMT and run until 23rd, 16:00 GMT - a week and a day. That will give us at least two days to register, set up our descriptions and vote on them, and loads of time to make a game (at least for Speedhack veterans :P).

I take it you would take part in it? Unfortunately, that would still be only 4 people (Mokkan, William, you, and me), but I think we can make the contest even with only four participants :).

Quote:

Jakub, that's the best idea I've seen in a long time.

Not mine :). I only borrowed it and currently am trying to make it happen :).

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

miran
Member #2,407
June 2002

Quote:

There should be a due date

Morning on the 25th?

Quote:

Unfortunately, that would still be only 4 people (Mokkan, William, you, and me)

I might join. :)

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Onewing
Member #6,152
August 2005
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Quote:

Not mine . I only borrowed it and currently am trying to make it happen .

WH said:

Quote:

I like Steven's idea for a "ChristmasHack" of sorts. If you missed it he proposed a sort of secret santa thing where each entrant is given the name of a fellow participating allegrian and must make a game for him or here by Christmas.

Of course, I didn't come up with any guidelines or rules, so it's become more of the community's idea.

;)

BTW, I'm still in.

------------
Solo-Games.org | My Tech Blog: The Digital Helm

Billybob
Member #3,136
January 2003
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That's a very nice looking site Jakub.
The 15th seems rather early, but time is closing in fast so there isn't much that can be done I suppose.
Anyway, I can't wait to get started.

_________________________________________________
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OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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I might join too, but it depends on many factors.

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Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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Steven: Great, I'm looking forward to it.
Miran and OICW: Hope you can make it :).

I'm introducing one modification, in my opinion beneficial - when the randomizing is over, you receive not one description, but all three description set by the person. You can then choose one of those when submitting your entry.

Right now I'm writing the full ruleset. Once I have it done, I'll put it up somewhere.

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

Billybob
Member #3,136
January 2003
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Sounds good.

_________________________________________________
"God speed, my lonely angel."
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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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Instead of saying the operating system you run, I think you should just ask what operating systems they feel comfortable developing for.

And as far as the TINs system hacking, that is basically just the file uploader thingy. That could be plugged into your system to provide a place to upload files, then just email private download links to everyone (then publicize it later if you wanted).

And perhaps we can get remote allegro.cc authentication (like awiki has) for this, if it's okay with Matthew.

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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Quote:

Instead of saying the operating system you run, I think you should just ask what operating systems they feel comfortable developing for.

Right now it asks what systems you are comfortable developing for, and what system do you prefer to play your games on.

Quote:

And as far as the TINs system hacking, that is basically just the file uploader thingy. That could be plugged into your system to provide a place to upload files, then just email private download links to everyone (then publicize it later if you wanted).

I think I can do that part pretty quickly, if not, we'll rip out TINS' innards.

Quote:

And perhaps we can get remote allegro.cc authentication

I don't think I would be up to that, but who knows. Right know the site has its own registration/authentication (very basic).

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.

BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
avatar

If A.CC auth is possible, it may be more secure (IE, nobody could pose as someone else, email addresses are already verified, etc). Are you going to at least have users verify their email addresses?

Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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I haven't put much thought into security, I admit :-[. Right now the only thing required from you during registration is your member #, and by that you automatically assume the identity of this member. I see how this can be abused in hundreds of ways...

I can add e-mail verification easily enough, but that won't solve the problem of mimicking someone else...

I think the best way would be to require being logged in to A.cc during registration for ChristmasHack. That way I could grab the ID and screen-name being sure that you're not posing for someone, and then use my own merry system for authentication later.

Now, if I only had an idea how to do that. How does AWiki do it?

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[ ChristmasHack! | My games ] :::: One CSS to style them all, One Javascript to script them, / One HTML to bring them all and in the browser bind them / In the Land of Fantasy where Standards mean something.



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