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Students Compete at Video Game Creation

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the games-people-make dept.

Education 147

zalas writes "Stanford's computer graphics class holds a video game writing competition each year at the end of the term, and this year's results are finally online. You can download all the finalist entries from the website. The winning entries featured very original game concepts, such as sending a spiked soccer ball through wormhole planets or infesting a growing maze of cheese with mold. Judges at the competition included representatives from Electronic Arts, Microsoft and the creator of Pong, Allan Alcorn. Ironically enough, the winners of the wacky category who received a voucher for an XBOX360 wrote a game that only worked on OSX laptops with the drop-protection motion sensors."

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Ironically? (4, Funny)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446585)

But was it as ironic as ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife?

While The U.S. Treasury: +1, Informative (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446650)


is robbed by Al-Qaeda [whitehouse.org] .

Defend 'Merica: Imprison The White House

Sincerely,
K. Trout, C.E.O.

Re:Ironically? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446654)

That is not ironic.
Its just unlucky. Just like all the other bits of that song.

/. TROLLS COMPETE AT FIRST POST... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446587)

Film at 11.

SLASHDOT MODS S-u-C-k !!11!! one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446837)

Here's for more wasted karma. Or better yet, mod parent INSIGHTFUL or whatever.
 
  Good day, sir!

irony? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446598)

maybe they should check their definition of irony
i use only OSX, and the Xbox360 is at the top of my wish list.

Re:irony? (2, Insightful)

mcb (5109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446717)

I would guess that the irony stems from a Microsoft rep being one of the judges, and voting for an OSX app.

Re:irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446847)

Not really... You see, unlike the open source zealots that spend their days wanking it together at Slashdot, some people can have open minds when judging a competitors' project. I hope reading this has opened your eyes.

If you need to get bashed in the head a few times, please don't hesitate to ask.

Re:irony? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446888)

It's OSX only because it requires the Powerbook's drop sensors. What would be the point of a Win32 version?

Re:irony? (1)

ShortSpecialBus (236232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447112)

Didn't IBM come out with the same thing either first or shortly after the powerbooks did?

I remember a bunch of stupid commercials with the guys at a lunch counter and the one dude drops the laptop that turns out not to be the one with the motion sensor in it.

-stefan

Re:irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447312)

They had the same feature before Apple, but the difference is they built it into the hard drives. Apple was, to my knowledge, the first to stick such a sensor in the computer itself, allowing this protection to persist across hard drive replacements.

Re:irony? (0, Troll)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447009)

Just because it was the winner, it doesn't mean that *everyone* voted on it.

This could be promising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446611)

Competition == Good

Experimental Gameplay Project (5, Informative)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446612)

I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

The Experimental Gameplay Project began as a student pitched project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The project started in Spring 2005 with the goal of discovering and rapidly prototyping as many new forms of gameplay as possible. A team of four grad students, we locked ourselves in a room for a semester with three rules:

1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. "gravity", "vegetation", "swarms", etc.

As the project progressed, we were amazed and thrilled with the onslaught of web traffic, with the attention from gaming magazines, and with industry professionals and academics all asking the same questions, "How are you making these games so quickly?" and "How can we do it too?" Though we successfully met our goal of making over 50 games, we realized that this project had become much less about the games, and much more about the crazy development process - and how we could help others do the same thing. We wrote about this process in our whitepaper How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days.


How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051026/gabler_ 01.shtml [gamasutra.com] Recommended read.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446666)

I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

It comes down to "Write trivial, borderline-unplayable games that hold your interest for a minute or so," then write many versions of each game. There are a few gems, but on the whole the results were disappointing.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (2, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446920)

Frankly it sounds like they've reinvented the WarioWare process, as that's exactly the kind of thing I'd assume Nintendo did for a game all about numerous short mini-games.

Oh, the shotgun approach to game design! (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446689)

Fire a rifle at a target, you might hit the bullseye. Fire buck shot at a target, you can't miss the bullseye.

Make 1 game and maybe it's a hit. Make 50 games, there's bound to be a hit.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446773)

I am more impressed by these guys: http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/ [experimentalgameplay.com] - 4 grad studens who created 50+ games in one semester.

Yea but for a CS246 (2nd year comp sci students) this is good...you are comparing 4 grad students to 2nd year under grads?

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446871)

[quote]Yea but for a CS246 (2nd year comp sci students) this is good...you are comparing 4 grad students to 2nd year under grads?[/quote]If they truly care about and enjoy programming then they should already know everything that is going to be taught for the rest of their enrollment. They should have known most of it before enrolling. If not, then they shouldn't be taking CS.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446901)

s/\[quote\]/<blockquote>/
s/\[\/quote\]/<\/blockquote>/

Been spending too much time on phpBB forums. I should have previewed it =/

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446902)

What? Are you retarded?

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (2, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446938)

If they truly care about and enjoy programming then they should already know everything that is going to be taught for the rest of their enrollment. They should have known most of it before enrolling. If not, then they shouldn't be taking CS.

Without trying to be offensive, that is a completely obtuse statement. To expect someone who enjoys something to know about it, and to know most of it, before enrolling? Then really there is no point to school if you are going in knowing all of the information. You have no basis to say they do not truly care about what they are in school for, nor do you have a basis to say what their previous background was, and frankly their work is nice for 2nd year students. When I was a 2nd year student we weren't this sort of stuff, makes me wish I went to Stanford.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447016)

Without trying to be offensive, that is a completely obtuse statement. To expect someone who enjoys something to know about it, and to know most of it, before enrolling? Then really there is no point to school if you are going in knowing all of the information. You have no basis to say they do not truly care about what they are in school for, nor do you have a basis to say what their previous background was, and frankly their work is nice for 2nd year students. When I was a 2nd year student we weren't this sort of stuff, makes me wish I went to Stanford.
The point is you get the little piece of paper that says you know it and allows you to get a job. I know, I ended up having to go through university just to get employers to even look at me.

Everything you need to learn most of what is taught can be obtained from various programming books, online resources, and open source projects.

If they don't enjoy programming enough to go out and get that information, then they have no place in a CS course.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447114)

Some people enjoy going to school and getting a degree; even without knowing a majority of what they'll be taught in school.

Just because you didn't find any value in school (which I'm "reading" from your post) doesn't mean that you're the norm.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447184)

Some people enjoy going to school and getting a degree; even without knowing a majority of what they'll be taught in school.
Yes, but those types of people shouldn't be taking CS.

The last thing the world needs are more lackluster programmers who simply do not care about programming as anything more than a means to an end (namely a paycheque).

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447386)

No. The last thing the world needs is more students who don't care about school as anything but a means to an end (namely a paycheque). Obviously you are one of those people ("The point is you get the little piece of paper that says you know it and allows you to get a job"). You can get a lot out of school or you can waste your time. If you know enough going into a class to make an A, and at the end of the class you haven't learned anything new anyway, you are living failure. It sounds to me like you wasted your time.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447586)

The last thing the world needs is more students who don't care about school as anything but a means to an end
School is a tool, nothing more. Students do not harm society by not caring about it, nor do they benefit society by caring about it. This is not the case for software development.

Try getting a decent CS job without a degree. Unless you have somebody on the inside in a company you would like to work for who can put in a good word for you, you are out of luck.

If you do have somebody on the inside then you'll be able to net a great deal of experience you can then throw on your resume. Otherwise having a degree is a prerequisite for getting a job.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447769)

Having a degree doesn't guarantee a job. Try finding a job around here in any tech field. 99% of job postings require 5 years experience for a basically entry-level job, and most of the other 1% won't accept college grads.

I have a degree and can't get a job for the life of me because of the experience requirements for "entry-level" jobs.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447141)

Everything you need to learn most of what is taught can be obtained from various programming books, online resources, and open source projects.


If they don't enjoy programming enough to go out and get that information, then they have no place in a CS course.

You have no basis for this statement. You have no idea of how much or how little they enjoy programming. You have no idea what extra-curricular activities they have performed. You have no idea what resources are and are not available to them. And frankly, for 2nd year students - their work is pretty damn good. I have seen officially released games which people pay for that have less quality then some of these.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447248)

You have no idea of how much or how little they enjoy programming.
If they don't care about it, then they shouldn't be taking programming.

You have no idea what extra-curricular activities they have performed.
The person I was replying to stated that it was decent work for second year students.

If they really care about CS, then the fact that they are second year students should be meaningless as far as knowledge goes. The only limiting factor should be their lack of workplace experience.
You have no idea what resources are and are not available to them.
Used books can be picked up cheap, and free internet access is widely available. Chances are if they can afford to go to university, they can afford learning material.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447328)

If they don't care about it, then they shouldn't be taking programming.

That is your opinion, which you are entitled to, but it does not make it correct. A person is entitled to not care about something and still learn it.

The person I was replying to stated that it was decent work for second year students.

yea that was me. We have been replying to each other. What's your point?

If they really care about CS, then the fact that they are second year students should be meaningless as far as knowledge goes.

No that is false...a second year CS student is probably going to have less knowledge then someone who graduated with a CS degree (assuming same school) and is working in the field. I still can't see how you automatically assume they should know enough - this is naive.

Used books can be picked up cheap, and free internet access is widely available. Chances are if they can afford to go to university, they can afford learning material.

Again you are assuming. These kids could be on full scholarship and a limited budget. They may have not had internet access (still many parts of this country do not have it), and their family could be poor enough where they never owned a computer so having a computer book - even a free one - would do them no good.

Not to mention, your premise "if they care they should know most of it" is completely and utterly wrong on so many levels. I care about programming, I love it - I don't know 10% of it. I know people who don't really care much about programming, but can program like there is no tomorrow. The only reason they are in their jobs is biding their time to get a promotion so they can boss people around to program.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447431)

No that is false...a second year CS student is probably going to have less knowledge then someone who graduated with a CS degree (assuming same school) and is working in the field. I still can't see how you automatically assume they should know enough - this is naive.
Thus the statement 'he only limiting factor should be their lack of workplace experience'.

Again you are assuming. These kids could be on full scholarship and a limited budget. They may have not had internet access (still many parts of this country do not have it), and their family could be poor enough where they never owned a computer so having a computer book - even a free one - would do them no good.
Considering CS students working with a scholarship are the vast minority, you really don't have an argument here. Maybe one in one hundred will have an valid excuse other than pure laziness to attribute their lack of knowledge to.

I care about programming, I love it - I don't know 10% of it.
Then you don't care about it. You may enjoy it, but you don't really care about it. If you cared about it you would spend hours every day pouring over every bit of knowledge you could get your hands on. Mechanics serve as another good example - the good ones that really care about their work are the kind of people who fix up cars (or do something in their field) in their spare time.

I know people who don't really care much about programming, but can program like there is no tomorrow.
And how many of these people are turning out genuinely decent code? Code that is stable, fast, and just plain clever? Or better yet, how many of them are doing simply codemonkey work like writing glorified frontends to databases in Perl/PHP/ASP?

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447908)

Considering CS students working with a scholarship are the vast minority, you really don't have an argument here. Maybe one in one hundred will have an valid excuse other than pure laziness to attribute their lack of knowledge to.

Thanks for your 1 in 100 conclusion...and you got these numbers where?

Then you don't care about it. You may enjoy it, but you don't really care about it. If you cared about it you would spend hours every day pouring over every bit of knowledge you could get your hands on. Mechanics serve as another good example - the good ones that really care about their work are the kind of people who fix up cars (or do something in their field) in their spare time.
And after telling what these kids feel/think, you go on to telling me how i feel/think...you really are stretching yourself now. And yes, I do spend at least 4-5 hours a day studying.

And how many of these people are turning out genuinely decent code? Code that is stable, fast, and just plain clever? Or better yet, how many of them are doing simply codemonkey work like writing glorified frontends to databases in Perl/PHP/ASP?

They all are...they know their stuff - they just are biding their time until they get a position they see is better.


See you are going in circles with me and in the end it boils down to one thing...you have NO proof. You are assuming these kids don't know enough because they don't care enough which is total bullshit on your part. My argument is done on this.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447360)

Wrong. If they have nothing to learn in the course, then they have no place in that course. What you are trying to say is that if the person is worth even a tiny shit, they should be able to leave highschool and take every CS test an undergraduate in CS at Standford would take and do all the projects aswell without having to learn anything new. This is laughable.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447524)

Wrong. If they have nothing to learn in the course, then they have no place in that course. What you are trying to say is that if the person is worth even a tiny shit, they should be able to leave highschool and take every CS test an undergraduate in CS at Standford would take and do all the projects aswell without having to learn anything new. This is laughable.
If they care about programming, then by the time they are near the end of their highschool career they should have already spent three to five years spending a good chunk of their free time learning it.

If that's the case, they should know just a fair chunk of the coursework and be able to do the projects no problem.

The course is there to let you prove you know what you do, and to fill in the few bits you may not. It works as a filtering system for companies hiring workers - they can reject anybody who doesn't have a degree and avoid wasting the time necessary to interview every applicant. That isn't a dig against companies; there is no compelling reason for them to do anything else.

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446896)

1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. "gravity", "vegetation", "swarms", etc.


That sounded cool until I saw the 2nd game listed... It uses ripped sprites.
And most of the game on that site do no look like they were made by 1 person only... I've seen programmer's art. its not pretty

Re:Experimental Gameplay Project (1)

CaptainFork (865941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446958)

From the article linked from the parent comment: while taking Poopy for a walk, a brilliant idea will erupt in your head.

Disgusting!

Not Too Impressed... (1)

The Real Nem (793299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447466)

<bitter>It doesn't say what year these students were, but here [thewavelength.net] is a game I worked on second year at BCIT [www.bcit.ca] (a CS course obviously). It was networked with nice graphics, sound, physics, a nice level designer and even pretty fun to play. All I got for it was a good grade.</bitter>

Stupid Coral cache submission. (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446620)


a) not everyone can access port 8090 from behind a firewall.
b) It's Stanford. Do you really think they're lacking for bandwidth?
non-Coral link here [stanford.edu]

MOD UP (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446900)

Thank you for the standard PORT80 non-coral cache link!

Baron Von was robbed... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446643)

How is "Baron von Puttyngton versus the Cancerous M.C. Escher Maze of Cheese" NOT the wackiest game? Instead, it gets the loser "second place" of dinner at Il Fornio. I'd MUCH rather have the XBox 360.

Re:Baron Von was robbed... (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446706)

Seriously! Don't they know that Game Designers (much like the Slashdot crowd) are not exaclty Most Wanted Bachelors.
Not only do they not give this presumed geek a 360, they also shame him by forcing him to ask another to go with him on this dinner date. Let's just hope the poor guys mom says yes!

Mac downloads? (1)

Akito (222802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446648)

Why is it that the only mac game is the one without a download link?

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446701)


And more than that...why not make it work with my IBM Thinkpad as well! The Thinkpad has a very similar (if not the same) sensor built in as well. Booo!

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446790)

Umm... because nobody's hacked IBM's APS yet, IIRC?

Once it gets hacked, trust me, there'll be ports.

Unfortunately, the laptop I'm getting won't have APS... :( (at least I don't THINK the R51e has it)

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

GecKo213 (890491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446740)

You see, Mac has always been proprietary hardware. You have to wait for Mac to make it hardware compatible first and then move on from there. Eventually it'll get to you. I'm not against Mac, they're great computers and thier users are the most loyal customer around. It's just they failed in a large way by keeping the Macs harwadre proprietary. It eliminated cheap parts, readily available software, and cheap upgrades. I had to move to PC in order to use software reqired to do my job. Reminds me somewhat of BETA and VHS of the days past...

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446804)

Being as Macs now use the same CPUs, video cards, hard disks, optical drives, and I/O ports as PCs, I fail to see what the hardware issue is.

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

vmardian (321592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446880)

Ummm, I don't think you read the article. The parent is asking about a game that was designed for the PowerBook.

The answer might be that the game requires an OS hack to tap into the PowerBook motion sensor.

Re:Mac downloads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446893)

" You see, Mac has always been proprietary hardware."

Is that any different than WinModems, WinPrinters, Proprietary firmware with wireless devices on, say, Windows platforms?

"It eliminated cheap parts..."

That can be viewed as a feature, not a problem.

Re:Mac downloads? (3, Funny)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446944)

because there are no games on the Mac, duh

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447079)

Photoshop, Quark, InDesign, etc. There are plenty of games!

Re:Mac downloads? (1)

Viriatus (886319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447287)

because noone has mac's

Competition?~!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446660)

Even if they DID compete, they'd still suck.
 
Eat that.

Impressive realism. (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446679)

Heart Attack features technologies such as GLSL pixel/vertex shaders and octree collision detection along with fast-paced, dynamic gameplay.

For added realism, comes with the genuine HeartAttack Inducer (TM) guaranteed to trigger an actual heart attack during gameplay. Our patent pending CattleProd(TM) technology shocks the player into one or more heart attacks (configurable) through repeated, powerful jolts of raw electric power synchronized with in-game events.

An optional multiplayer add-on pack offers even more realism by automatically dialling 911 so Emergency services, paramedics and the ER crew can join in for some fast-paced, dynamic action.

Beta testers wanted.

Re:Impressive realism. (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446770)

Addendum: more beta testers wanted...

OSX laptops? ehhhhhh (2, Funny)

PureCreditor (300490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446741)

OSX laptop with drop motion sensor...so what would that game be?

physically throwing the laptop up and down to score points ?

RTFA! (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446764)

Labyrinth

Re:OSX laptops? ehhhhhh (1)

jam244 (701505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446887)

There's a case for RTFA if I ever saw one.

Freud on video games (4, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446742)

Will anything ever dethrone GTA*? According to Sigmund, man's most base needs include seeking food and shelter (running through health packs), seeking pleasure (patronizing prostitutes) and killing (killing prostitutes and cops and everybody else). GTA could not be more Freudianly ticklish, if you will, without crossing the line of objectionability too far to market the game. Therefore, we will thirst for this game the most -- most of us at least.

But these kids are getting cute and innovative. My question is, can they make a brilliant enough game that is PG that would sell more than GTA? Is that even theoretically possible, in light of Freudian theory? The only innovation I can think of to top GTA is things involving mothers but as I noted before that would so cross the line, so that gets ruled out.

Re:Freud on video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446861)

Will anything ever dethrone GTA*? According to Sigmund, man's most base needs include seeking food and shelter (running through health packs), seeking pleasure (patronizing prostitutes) and killing (killing prostitutes and cops and everybody else).

Well, Did you ever feel like there was something wrong with you playing that game?

I did, when I had the cheats for GTA 2 - unlimited ammo, health, weapons etc.

Most ppl who played it and taken on the cops will know that you can find a special spot in the downtown area of the city - a fashion boutique. It's elevated off the street and protected by the roof with a good opportunity to attack anything. You make your standoff here and in no time you are tired of killing thousands of pedestrians over and over again whilst taking out a whole army of tanks. It just gets sickening after a while - derranged even..

Re:Freud on video games (1)

ChetOS.net (936869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446904)

Somehow I doubt that it is the *seeking* that is a need. I think just having food, shelter, pleasure, killing, is a need.

Re:Freud on video games (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447019)

"can they make a brilliant enough game that is PG that would sell more than GTA?"
 
Yup. Tetris :)

Re:Freud on video games (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447854)

That's not PG, it's G rated. :-P

Not that ironic (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446752)

Ironically enough, the winners of the wacky category who received a voucher for an XBOX360 wrote a game that only worked on OSX laptops with the drop-protection motion sensors."

If you think about it...these kids attended the same school, and got the same education. If Stanford concentrates on OSx and Linux, well yea their programs are going to run on similar platforms...they are classmates, studying in the same classes. Now if you said out of 10 different schools, with different teaching methodologies (including windows coding), and all those students used OSx and Linux...then I would say "ironic"

Re:Not that ironic (1)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446987)

Irony: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

The irony is that a judge from Microsoft awarded the top prize, a Microsoft product, for a game that would not work on any of their platforms.

Re:Not that ironic (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447108)

Irony: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs The irony is that a judge from Microsoft awarded the top prize, a Microsoft product, for a game that would not work on any of their platforms.

Top prize was not an X-Box, top prize was a trip. The "Wackiest" program, which shows under the 2nd place prize, and could be considered 3rd place got the X-box. It makes sense an MS employee would give the prize since they donated the gift and attended the event.

And well, I don't know of any game consoles that are made to run on a PC, be it osx, linux, or Windows.

Re:Not that ironic (1)

SchrodingersRoot (943800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447028)

I think the point was that an XBOX360 (Microsoft Product) was the prize for the winner, a game that ONLY worked on OSX laptops (very NOT Microsoft, even, dare I say, AntiMicrosoft).

Not "gasp! look! it's a bird! it's a plane! it's OSX software by an academic institution!"

Re:Not that ironic (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447179)

I think the point was that an XBOX360 (Microsoft Product) was the prize for the winner, a game that ONLY worked on OSX laptops (very NOT Microsoft, even, dare I say, AntiMicrosoft). Not "gasp! look! it's a bird! it's a plane! it's OSX software by an academic institution!"

Neither does PS2/3, neither does Nintendo Gamecube, neither does any game system natively run on OSx, linux or windows. I might understand your argument if they gave the kids a windows computer - but no, they gave them an gaming console. Not to mention, they gave one of their products for free. Can't people just say "thanks" and be done with it? EA games gave the kids a bunch of games...do you think any of those games - except by pure random chance - are going to run on Linux? Most of those games are for the PC or for a gaming console.

Re:Not that ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447261)

If you think about it...these kids attended the same school, and got the same education


Not true. The class generally has a significant number of first or second year graduate students who did their undergraduates from all over the world.


I fall into that category.

Cheese Baron (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446754)


P is for Pause
R is for Reset
H will turn off the display
L will skip to the next level
Ctrl brings up a 3D 'map'. By rotating this, you change the gravity vector. (you might have to use the mouse scroll wheel)
The numbers 1-9 turn on/off various shading for the cheeseball

The controls are a bit dodgy, but it's fun for a while.

Labyrin3D (3, Informative)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446762)

The Labyrin3D which won the XBOX is actually a pretty darn cool idea! For those that didn't RTFA it is just like one of those little kids toy's where you must tilt the box around to roll a ball through the maze.

The cool factor comes from the fact that it utilizes the gyros (drop sensors) in the Apple laptop so that you play by tilting the laptop back and forth.

Cool!

Drop sensor: another idea (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446919)

Anyone want to write a small routine where, if you hold your laptop upside down and shake it, your hard drive is reformatted?

Re:Labyrin3D (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447055)

It sounds like what I'd expect from a Revolution version of Super Monkey Ball.

Use the Schwartz! (0)

tradiuz (926664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446783)

Spaceballs has an entirely new meaning now.

Download for Labyrin3D? (1)

marhar (66825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446785)

So, did anybody see a link for downloading Labyrin3D?

Similar to the video game course offered at UCSD (4, Interesting)

Rockenreno (573442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446787)

Except you get a good grade instead of a prize for creating a good game. There's nothing like 6 guys spending 10 weeks to develop a 3d multiplayer game. Tons of fun. Tons of sleepless hours in the lab. http://pisa.ucsd.edu/cse190/ [ucsd.edu]

Re:Similar to the video game course offered at UCS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446873)

And similar to the course at the ETH. (To get used to the Eiffel libraries)

More games here:
http://se.inf.ethz.ch/download/games/04/ [inf.ethz.ch]
http://se.inf.ethz.ch/download/games/05/ [inf.ethz.ch]

Waste of time (-1, Troll)

tsume (903026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446805)

I could never motivate myself to make a product which wastes time for everyone. Real innovation comes from making productive programs which not only save time, but make money. I hope these kids learn to like the life of a EA game programmer. Long hours, not enough pay, and a serious crimp in life style. I recommend these kids rethink their future plans as programmers if they choose the infamous "Game Developer" path. I don't really understand kids, they do go to college, then the whole CS 101 is full of these types of comments like...

"I wanna make a game!" "Oh I'm going to make the next best Unreal"

Get a life people, programming is NOT about games, and real work does take time. I know most of the kids drop out of the class, but there are still the ones who even think they can make a game on their own which will be a huge seller.

KIDS! You are not as smart as the Quake engine author, you can't do it by yourself. Quit the overzealous cocky attitude!

There are plenty of decent subjects which you can actually achieve and produce valuable code. Games are just throw away work afterall. Engineering areas need good programs for simulation, nuclear stations could use better monitoring programs, even improvements to existing code which does REAL WORK is great too!

-------
I really don't care for karma, anyone marking as troll or flamebait is just a game player/dev who is in denile.

Re:Waste of time (2, Interesting)

prozac79 (651102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447015)

I could never motivate myself to make a product which wastes time for everyone. Real innovation comes from making productive programs which not only save time, but make money.

Yeah, because the video game and movie industries aren't that profitable. They only generate what? $5 billion or something like that every year in revenues? Programmers that work in that industry make what? $60,000/year salary on average?

There are plenty of decent subjects which you can actually achieve and produce valuable code. Games are just throw away work afterall. Engineering areas need good programs for simulation, nuclear stations could use better monitoring programs, even improvements to existing code which does REAL WORK is great too!

Keep in mind that some of the most demanding programming is game development. It requires knowledge of math, physics, and knowing every hardware and software hack on the books. Everything that they learn designing these games can be applicable to other areas as well. Most of the students in the class are graduate students doing real research and not punk "kids". By the time a lot of people take this class you've already weeded out most of those "I want to get a CS degree so I can write games!" crowd anyway.

This game competition is not part of a games class, but part of a graphics class that is very graphics-theory intensive which has a wide range of applications besides games. It's just that writing games is a great way of learning and applying those theories.

liberal arts in games/animation too (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447331)

The gaming/animation degree majors at the better schools require some exposure to the liberal arts. In a game or animation you are telling a story , something humans have been doing around the evening campfire for tens of thousands of years. You depicting interesting characters, running them through plots, building and dissipating tension and so on. In an animation these are general frozen in one story line, where in a game these elements are manipulated by the player(s).
There's hundreds of years of techniques and examples for telling good stories in all sorts of media- novels, song lyrics, movies, etc. A good liberal arts program will teach you these techniques and expose you examples from different eras, cultures and media.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447590)

Yeah, because the video game and movie industries aren't that profitable. They only generate what? $5 billion or something like that every year in revenues? Programmers that work in that industry make what? $60,000/year salary on average?
What he said: "Real innovation comes from making productive programs which not only save time, but make money." My emphasis. You have addressed only the latter point, which was already a given.

Re:Waste of time (4, Insightful)

panthro (552708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447119)

I could never motivate myself to make a product which wastes time for everyone.

You begin by speaking for yourself. Why didn't you stay on this track?

Real innovation comes from making productive programs which not only save time, but make money.

Real innovation can come from all manner of sources, however unlikely your prejudices make them seem. This sounds like a fuddy-duddy "rap isn't real music" argument.

I hope these kids [...] I recommend these kids [...] I don't really understand kids [...] I know most of the kids [...] KIDS!

I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids!

You are not as smart as the Quake engine author, you can't do it by yourself. Quit the overzealous cocky attitude!

Now why would you say something like that? Any one of these "kids" could very well be as smart as the Quake engine author [wikipedia.org] . Don't go around pushing your can't-do attitude on potentially bright young programmers. Would you say the same thing if they had an ambitious plan to make, say, a really good electronics simulator?

Games are just throw away work afterall.

Despite all your whining, the video game industry is a $11 billion industry in the United States alone, and keep in mind that video games are similarly huge in Japan, Canada and the UK. And the aforementioned Quake engine author appeared number 10 in TIME's 50 most influential people in technology. Not bad for throw away work.

Re:Waste of time (1)

viperblades (576174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447189)

%s/game/slashdot/g

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447616)

"Students compete at Video Slashdot creation"? I don't get it. Or think I want to get it.

Soccer is intresting (2, Informative)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446810)

I suck at games, but generally I still like to play them. The Deadly Soccerball is intresting. I had to dig through the readme to determine the gameplay, but essentially you fire off missles to remove the spikes from other spikey balls, then dodge the spikes they drop to go in for the kill. (Note: not explaned, but your health bar is on the right side of the screen.)

Some intresting features in the engine. The "portal" system is totally seamless and you jump from one planet to the next. Even the snakes, which crawl very smoothly and rather realistically, go from one planet to the next. If you take a look around, you can clearly see the snakes crawling along the other planets.

Better yet, I only got one crash from it! :-) (Smashing too many buttons at once, methinks, but not sure.)

Don't install network aware games... (4, Interesting)

xchino (591175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446816)

When I was in my sophomore year high school we had a similar game coding contest at the end of the year, mandatory for all CS students, and voluntary for any student who wanted to enter. There were a lot of cool little games out of it, but mine took first. Not that it was amazing, it was a missile commander clone with the twist of being multiplayer, where up to 4 people could play, 2 defending, and 2 setting the attack points and trajectories. Being the mischeveous little bastard I was back then, I hid a backdoor through an intentional buffer overflow, which was a relatively obscure tactic at the time (1995ish). For my junior and senior years in high school I had a blast messing with other students when they were playing my game, which was now installed by default on all computers in the lab for those that came to play games at lunch. After graduation, I passed on the secret to one of my underclassman friends, and he did the same, for a few years it was an underground legacy until finally someone caught on. I got a call from my old CS teacher, he wanted me to know he thought it was funny, and my game is still installed on all the computers, though patched, and used as his model for teaching the new students what a vulnerability is, and how to find and fix them.

Re:Don't install network aware games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447358)

You're a liar. You don't have any friends.

This is on slashdot!!?? (5, Funny)

prozac79 (651102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446843)

Oh sure, I was a finalist a few years back in this video game competition and I just got a pat on the back. This year's entries get front page on slashdot and the adoration (and criticism) of the entire nerd world! Not that I'm jealous or anything, I just like to have my ego fed every once in a while.

Re:This is on slashdot!!?? (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447295)

I wrote a game for 148. We were required to do asteriods. I did in in 3-d with a first person perspective. The prof's son was still playing it years later and it was shown as a demo on the first day of class for a few years after that. You can find it at http://www.angelfire.com/games/ultimateblaster/ [angelfire.com]

In any case, what was your game? Do you have a link to it? The 248 games get mentioned on /. pretty regularly. Maybe it was featured and you missed it.

No improvement (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14446859)

Check out the games from THREE years ago:

http://graphics.stanford.edu.nyud.net:8090/courses /cs248-videogame-competition/cs248-02/ [nyud.net]

I'd say i'm fairly unimpressed by the lack of improvement of the games over the years. 2002 was a leap in the quality of games over previous years and the subsequent years have just been disappointing. The winner of 02, The Return of Oscuro, pushed cel-shading, polygon-level collision detection, full real-time shadowing, and a host of other techniques that few commercial games had at that time. It even had it's own muscial score custom written for it and a nice silly story line. Pretty good for about 3 weeks of work I'd say.

Re:No improvement (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447153)

So you're saying that even if the games were intelligently designed, they haven't evolved in all this time?

The Xbox 360 is a great prize (3, Funny)

CapS (83352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446885)

...because you can easily sell it on ebay.

Game Programming courses (4, Interesting)

jkuff (170923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14446982)

A few years ago, I started teaching a game programming course at Carnegie Mellon. We also had a final project competition with Xbox and PS2 prizes, as voted by the students in the class:

[cmu.edu] http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/ [cmu.edu]

It is initially tough to convice some of the older, conservative faculty that learning how to write games is something that CMU should be teaching its students. But on second-look, one realizes that what students really learn is fundamental to all of computer science: efficient data structures, effective resource management and memory usage, good user interfaces, handling images and multimedia content, process threading and multi-user networking, etc. However, with a game programming class, you get to teach all of this stuff in a fun way, where students are extremely self-motivated to learn it all.

The class has been quite popular, and many of my students have gone off to work in the game development industry. The best feedback I have received has been from students who enjoyed the fact that their final game projects have been the the only pieces of software they have written during their university days that had a lifetime beyond the course itself. I think game programming is an excellent way to teach coding skills and working as part of a development team, which is a very practical part of any CS curriculum.

There are downloadable movies of some of the recent lab projects here (all written in portable OpenGL code:

http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/labs/lab1/ [cmu.edu]
http://gamedev.cs.cmu.edu/spring2004/labs/lab2/ [cmu.edu]

New idea for a video game... (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447065)

A video game that simulates making a video game and you compete with others to make the dopest video game inside the video game. Wait...

Neverball (2, Informative)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447177)

That's really cool about the Labyrinth game -- it would be cool if Neverball [icculus.org] were modified to use a similar input device. It works off of a similar principle, the graphics are fantastic, and it would be sortof an open-source Revolution controller. :)

Very cool (1)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447275)

I always love seeing stuff like this because often you see more innovation or cool gameplay concepts in these and independant games than you see in the "big company" games. Athough mentioned awhile back on slashdot I believe, I also recommend people check out http://www.igf.com/2006entrants.shtml [igf.com] to see all the finalists in this year's indie games competition. Proffessor Fizzwizzle has consumed countless hours of my free time lately much as Breakquest did for me last year.

Dismount (1)

VaderPi (680682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447539)

The stair and truck dismount [jet.ro] have been a long time favorite with me. I have spent hours hitting that poor lifeless figure with a truck. It is disturbing just how much fun it is.

Want to work 80 hours a week for an apartment? (3, Funny)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447818)

Want to work 80 hour weeks to rent a dumpy apartment in east LA? Go ahead and compete in game programming contests. Interesting to see both sides of an industry: the previous generation of students who hate their jobs, hate not being allowed a life, and complain about getting laid off because of age and the next generation students who are eager to get into crunch mode and make huge sacrifices for their bosses.

Performance? (1)

TheDawgLives (546565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447872)

Was performance even considered? Of the three windows games I downloaded: firefly wanted to send an error report to Microsoft; baron took 100% of the CPU and I couldn't control it; and socker ball took 100% of the CPU. I've got the latest windows XP crap and an NVidia video card with 128 Megs of memory and all kinds of excelleration, so how did these games win if they're running at ~1fps?
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