Hi everybody! Time to finally announce the winners of the Fall Festival Contest.
First, let me say that there were a good many entries, and thank you for your patience in me finishing them all for judging. Some were excellent, some were less so, but all showed potential, especially with eventing logic. Before I start, I would like people to know that yes, I will be talking about the negatives in games. If I placed your game on this list, I DO think there are more positives than negatives, even if I spend more time discussing what I think was wrong with a game than right.
We’ll start with Third Place and work our way down from there, but first, let’s talk about our…
Honorable Mention – Quincy and Amber: Quest to Autumn by thatbennyguy
This game really could have been the winner. Quincy and Amber is a two player puzzle game, which was really neat to see done in RPG Maker. Technically you could play it with one person, and it even told you so, but I opted to get my wife to come play it with me to get a better idea of what I think was the intention of the design.
One player controls Quincy using the arrow keys, and a second controls Amber with the WASD keys. The basic idea is simple, as shown above. Find the way to step on the buttons to lower the appropriate obstacles back and forth between the two characters so that they both can get to the exit. Playing it two player is really the way to go, we spent a lot of time interacting and doing “hey you go there, I’ll go there, etc.”
Its honestly really well done mechanically. This is actually the only game that I bothered opening up to check out the eventing, which was very well done and streamlined.
The only real issue with this game, was unfortunately a sin I couldn’t forgive it for: It really didn’t hook up well into the theme of the contest. Yes, they are traveling to the “Fall Festival” but it was really nothing more than a vague idea (I’m not sure it was an actual Festival), and at the end you don’t even get to see it, just a black screen as the players talk. The ending does state that he will be doing a longer version with more plot and all, and I do look forward to seeing it.
Now on to our…
Third Place Winner: Falling for Autumn by Deveroux
Falling for Autumn is mostly done in the visual novel style. It tells the story of a lawyer returning to his rural hometown to visit his mother during the annual Fall Festival. Apparently, he grew up there wanting to escape to the big city, but while visiting, he meets a girl (Autumn) who reminds him of all the things that were great about his hometown that he had ignored in his desire to escape it.
She is pushy and a bit “crazy” and he is of course the more sensible, hardworking type, it feels very basic, but its a story that works. The visual novel gameplay doesn’t offer as much choice as it could have, really it only offers a “fall for autumn” or “meh” paths, but I understand the time constraints of making a game in a few weeks. There was a single bit of gameplay outside of that, with trying to run a maze and grab items with your vision obscured. It was really really tight time wise and I had to try it multiple times.
My only real complaints are the choice wasn’t broad enough for a Visual Novel, we didn’t get enough gameplay to make it a different type of game, and that things seemed to move really fast storywise*. But overall, it still performed well. The maps were nice, the music was done well, and the story, even cliched, was written competently.
*This last one I understand being an issue of time constraints, but I think this game could be really good rather than “good for a game made in a couple of weeks” if given some polish.
Second Place Winner: Colette’s Fall Festival by Markal Games
In this game, we play as Colette, a young girl with a lot of attitude who visits the Fall Festival with her brother. She wants to go to the Haunted House, but gets caught up in trying to win the costume contest. There are quite a few minigames, including hunting for costume patterns and pieces, and having different costumes will unlock different things you can do. Then at the end, you are scored on how you did, and maybe win some tickets to the Haunted House you REALLY wanted to go to.
Sounds easy, right? But there is a catch: You only have 30 minutes to do all this in. I only completely a couple of costumes myself, but I had a few pieces and the patterns to a couple more. The concept and gameplay in this one were great.
There were some negatives, the maps weren’t the best I’ve seen, with lots of wide open spaces, but they were functional. When I first started, I thought the Bobbing for Apples and the shooting game were going to be really similar, but despite similar eventing, they felt different enough.
Overall, I thought this game was just fun, with a good theme and concept. I would have actually sat down and played it again to try to find more of the costume stuff, but I needed to move on the next entry for judging. Tightening up the mapping is the only real thing I would say this game needed, and perhaps a few more minigames. As a side note, the jumping in leaves being a substitute for treasure chests idea was really good.
First Place Winner: Cornucopia Cavern by Dog & Pony
In this game you take on the role of Ernie, son of a prominent ramen chef, and your father has fallen ill right before the Fall Festival!
With no money, and no ramen chef, Ernie must travel into Cornucopia Caverns to gather ingredients so that he can do his best to to fill in for his father at the Festival. First of all, the story is really cute. I enjoyed playing as Ernie, who is a really humble child who just wants to help out in any way he can.
Second: The gameplay is really fun. Most of the game is dexterity dodging, with a few logic puzzles sprinkled in for flavor, and some parts of it are HARD. I’m really glad for the very very frequent checkpoints, otherwise I might not have even finished this one. Even being a dexterity game primarily, if you don’t think through the paths you are going to use, you are probably not going to make it.
The one major complaint I would have in the gameplay is a later puzzle where you have to create the perfect broth for a troll to let you through a locked door. You do this by picking up a cup, filling it with up with 1-9 of 4 different ingredients and then letting him taste it. He will give you a clue on 1 of the 4 ingredients at random (too much, too little, just right) and then dump it out and make you do it again until you get it right.
The problem is: Even if you have gotten one right, it will continue to randomly pick that clue to tell you. So after I figured out two of them, I would get REALLY tired of him telling me that one of those two were just right and then dumping it without giving more information. My suggestion would have been to have it branch to say which ones were right and then give at LEAST one clue about one that was wrong.
Still a minor nitpick overall to a great game.
The only REAL regret I had about this one, was that it didn’t slowly teach you information you needed throughout your travels to get ingredients, then present you with a cooking minigame at the end. I even memorized the broth recipe just in case! I think it would have been a great little memory puzzle at the end if he had mentioned details about how to cook each part as he found them and you had to remember the information at the end to make the perfect ramen for the Festival.
Even with that regret, this game was really well done and I had a lot of fun playing it.
Thank you everyone for competing in this competition. I encourage you all to put your games up on our forums for everyone to play. It was a joy to play through them all, and hopefully everyone enjoyed making their games. If you have won a prize, PM my account (Touchfuzzy) on our forums (if you do not have a forum account, please make one) and if there was a choice on your prize, please state what you would like that choice to be.
Thank you for your patience with these announcements. Congratulations to all the winners, and congratulations to everyone who managed to finish a game for the competition.