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New Contest Idea!

DanteUruzu

SIr Dante Uruzu

Joined: May 11 2010

"GameTabs.net Flash Game Scoring Contest (F.G.S.C.)" Idea

Greetings to you all! I recently came up with a nice little idea, or at least what I think is one. It's similar to the Bi-weekly Tune Contests (although there's almost always an extension for that XD) but meant to work alongside it. I was thinking of having it be a monthly thing (maybe 1 1/2 months or Bi-monthly), so that way it will not really clash with the Bi-weekly Tune Contests. People can choose to do either or both. Now, the difference in this and the Tune Contests should be obvious, but I'll elaborate a bit.

Whereas the Tune Contests are unrestricted except for the theme on the contest and the general more than 1 (one) minute rule, the F.G.S.C. are much more restricted. What the contestants would be doing is scoring the music for a Flash game. They'd be working with a general description/background story of the game, and of course the actual flash game itself. There would be actual characters to compose for, an actual game world, actual scenarios, etc. They'd have the game with them while they work, too, so that would be a great help in the composing.

Restrictions generally make composing easier. It basically narrows down your choices, which is what you should generally want because with composing music, the choices are nearly infinite by default. There are many ways to start a piece and many different directions to go. With restrictions, things get narrowed down a bit. Anyways, end rambling.

The host of the contest would go to either NewGrounds or Kongregate and choose a game for the contest (any genre desired) and:
1. Contact the developer and get permission. Once approved, post the link to the game in the contest description topic along with general information and what he/she thinks the music should sound like (of course the music already in game would have to be muted, so as not to distract the host when deciding what the music should sound like and as to not distract the contestants when getting a general feel of the levels for when they compose the music) and any other desired /necessary information (restrictions, desires, ideas, requirements, etc. And since we're all musicians, we should pretty much have an easy time getting ideas across to other musicians).

  Once the contest is over and the judging begins, the host will play the game with the music muted and for each level, scenario, map, etc., he/she will play the music of one contestant (one contestant per play-through--which will be time consuming) and judge it (should probably take notes while playing the game). The music should probably be judged as a whole, since there will be more than one track composed (for medium to large games, at least). This way is a bit tedious, but shold the 2nd way not be permitted by the dev (I'm getting to that, be patient), then this way will have to suffice.

2. This is where things get a bit technical and this won't be an option for everyone, since not everyone will have the tools/patience available for this (alternatively, someone else who does can do this for the host, if the host does not have the tools and would like someone to do it for him/her).

2a. Contact the developer and get permission to both use the game for private educational purposes (give details if needed, of course) and modify the music of the game (let the dev know that it won't be uploaded anywhere else except for gametabs.net for the purpose of the contest, which is purely for educational purposes--negotiate somehow, if you have to and you really feel like it). The game file would be needed for this, of course. It can be obtained from the site you get it from (I'll let you know how to do that if this idea is accepted ;P some of you may already know ^_^) or from the developer. Whether the host tries to obtain it from the dev first or last is up to him/her.

2b. If you have the actual game file, then you'd need to remove the music from the game and then re-compile it and uploaded here (or upload it on a file-hosting site and share the link here for the contestants).

2c. Then, once the contest is over, the host of the contest will take all of the music (it should probably be compressed in an archive and the file-type should probably be an original .wav, that way when the music is inserted in the game and compressed, the quality will not suffer more than it needs to) from each contestant and import it into the game, re-compile it, and play through each one (the host will have however many version of the game as however many contestants entered the contests. Each game version will have the entire music of one contestant. There should probably be a limit to the number of contestants, as not to overwhelm the host). If the host wishes to upload the each game file with the music of each contestant in after the judging is done, that is his or her choice. BUT it should only be uploaded/posted HERE to THIS site and NOWHERE else. :-)

Again, I will go into more detail on how the technical things are done if the idea is accepted by the community here :-).

Again, the developer of the game should be contacted and asked for permission. Hopefully he/she will be okay with it as long as we don't try to re-distribute the game or anything crazy like that. It's only to be used as video game scoring practice on this site. If not... then the host will have to choose another game. If none of the devs the host asks is okay with it... we'll figure some out. ;)

And once again, the contest host would probably have to play through the whole game to get an idea of the levels and the music required (preferably without the music playing if we are allowed by the game dev to upload [finish this statement]). Of course, the contestants should generally do the same thing, but they don't really have to. It will, of course, help them with scoring for the game. This would probably make the contest last a bit longer since everyone has different time schedules. Maybe 2-3 months. Alternatively:

1. The host can ask the developer for version with all the levels unlocked. That way the host and contestants could just play through the levels at their own free will to get a general idea of it as well as what he/she thinks the music for the level should sound like (the host is technically the a pseudo-game dev for these contests) and not worry about having to beat every level. This is the ideal way. Saves a lot of time.

2. The host can play through the game before the contest starts and unlock all levels. He/she can then provide the contestants with general information on how the music that needs to be scored and a general idea of the levels and/or provide the contestants with the data from his/her play-through (the data for flash games are stored on the computer and can be distributed across the web).

3. The host can ask the developer for general information on all the levels. This isn't the best alternative, but it's one nonetheless.

Of course the host of the contest would have to figure out which method to use before the contest and based on that decide on how long the contest should last. He/she would still have to play through the game to get a general idea of the game and what he/she wants the music to sound like and the contestants will have to do that, too, as well as compose the music for the game for the contest, so that should be taken into consideration when deciding on the length of time of the contest. I'm thinking the general length should be bi-monthly. That doesn't include the time it may take for the host to play-through the game before the contest and after the contest (when judging, which may take longer than when it was played through before the contest). And as usual, the winner will be the host of the next contest. Ideally, the composers would be resting up for when the Tune Contests roll around, that way those who want to enter the tune contest will have enough mental energy to do them. That depends on the length of the F.G.S.C., though.

General information about the characters and the world may be desired. If so, it's obviously up to the host to obtain that information from the developer. He/she may want the contestants to compose character theme, map themes, etc.

Okay, I've rambled enough. It's late now (pre-typed) and I am tired. Some stuff may be missing and things may be a bit jumbled. Please, excuse me for such things! Let me know your thoughts, comments, suggestions, questions, etc. This is something that could really benefit us composers that are aiming to compose for video games or anyone who just wants to compose for fun, although the two can co-exist; composing for video games can be a fun thing! Anywho, over and out!

Sir Dante Uruzu

PS I just thought of this... during the time that this contest takes place, the Tune Contest would take place at least 4 times (depends on how long this contest lasts). And there is a possibility that some that want to do that may not be able to because they can only focus on composing for one thing at a time... Hmmm... I'll hear your thoughts on it!

PSS Tutorial on making your music loopable

Interesting idea! I don't

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Interesting idea! I don't think most authors of sponsored Flash games would be up for it, though.

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Auriplane!!

Re: Interesting idea! I don't

jit

Joined: Mar 04 2009

auriplane said

Interesting idea! I don't think most authors of sponsored Flash games would be up for it, though.

This.

Probably much easier just using the Gametabs youtube, posting a video of anything(game, scene, sequence, etc.) and have it uploaded with no music. Contestants then compose a song that fits the scene.

But...

The TCs work because there are unlimited possibilities. Putting a strict restriction potentially leaves people out. Using the example above, or even using your suggestion...say the game was an 8-bit futuristic space shooter. The person with just an acoustic guitar would already at a disadvantage, even if he/she created the best composition in the world, just because the contestant lacks a sequencer or DAW. TCs are more attractive because it's generally time friendly and you can immediately use what's in your disposal without any extra resources or time to learn something new. Obviously, expanding your horizon/learning is highly encouraged, but TCs are already having a hard enough time generating 5 contestants per event.

You've certainly put some

Avaruussaha

Location: Finland

Joined: Nov 13 2013

You've certainly put some heavy thoughts on this, thats quite a long post.

It seems like a scary task with all the permissions and working with things I truly don't understand about (actual game related stuff, flash).

After checking out some of the older TC threads with more complicated rules, although very interesting, they show how hard it is to get submissions with increased restrictive rules.

Hmm it's a great concept but

BigHeadClan

Joined: Jan 20 2012

Hmm it's a great concept but I don't know how easy it would be to get in contact with the developer, it could easily take weeks if not months to hear back from them and as such push the contest back.

Whoever hosts the contest would need to contact the developer prior to the contest and arrange for the version of the game/permission etc to be provided thus potentially limiting the number of games you can use and again extending the contest.

A possible alternative would be to find walk/play through of the game on youtube and selecting the level's and such from there. This would overcome most of the challenges found in the point I raised above, however you would also loose some of the background information and concepts behind a lot of the levels/characters (which is unfortunate).

This would work great if some local gametabs residents had games they themselves had been working on, but I imagine then number of usable idea's would be fairly small.

TLDR: Great idea, lots of hurdles to get a contest up and running.

A Reply to the Replies!

DanteUruzu

SIr Dante Uruzu

Joined: May 11 2010

Thanks :-) All great points raised. I do agree that this idea faces many challenges and it is a bit daunting with all of the permissions needed and stuff.

I like the alternative you presented, BHC. There would still be the issue that jit raised, which would be the heavy limitations. And of course the major issue that auriplane brought to the foreground about most devs with sponsored games probably not being up for it. Of course there's also the number of contestants that usually participate in the TC's. As mentioned, it's been a bit low and more restrictions wouldn't really make more people want to participate. Hmmm...

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