Sailing and running feature as we reveal the runners-up of Get Into Games Challenge 2014
This year’s Get Into Games Challenge is now complete and, after three months of teams crunching across the globe, it’s time to reveal the winners. Protest was the theme for the third of our annual coding competitions, inspiring some extremely creative interpretations and a diverse field of games that included RTSes, puzzlers, brawlers and even a rebellious-ant simulator.
We played every entry to whittle them down to a shortlist of ten, which then moved to the next stage. The final assessment was made by Lionhead and Games Workshop co-founder Steve Jackson; Unity CEO David Helgason; The Chinese Room creative director Dan Pinchbeck; Lucas Pope, creator of Papers, Please; as well as Edge editor-in-chief Tony Mott.
We’ll announce the winner tomorrow, but before that here’s a look at the two runners up who each win a Unity Pro licence. Platform racer Outrcry was developed by indie game duo John Thompson and John Farrimond, otherwise known as Warpfish. The judges were divided over the game’s interpretation of the theme, and most felt its unforgiving controls could be fine-tuned, but its assured presentation, appealing audio and solid concept earned Warpfish a podium finish.
Mike Chambers, meanwhile, chose to build his game around the nautical definition of protest – a formal declaration made by a ship’s master to mitigate or absolve themselves of liability for damaged goods due to misfortunes beyond their control – in Nautical Protest. Players must steer their boat between ports on a colourful globe, avoiding danger. “It’s a creative interpretation of the theme, and [there’s] plenty to do and learn,” says Jackson, who picked the game as his top choice. “You lose a lot of ships before you get the hang of it, but this is a very impressive endeavour.”
Play the game: www.bit.ly/1nOKILt
In Outcry, you must guide a running figure and collect as many sympathisers as possible. The game uses a subdued colour palette and stylised characters to suggest a noirish thriller, albeit one in which you have to jump huge gaps.
“We believe protesting is about being heard by those that matter before it’s too late,” says Thompson. “A single voice is rarely enough. The loneliness of being ignored and the elation of finding kindred spirits are the central themes. Outcry is about finding like-minded individuals among the indifferent masses.”
“It’s beautifully presented, with much-appreciated controller support,” Helgason says. “It’s a curious way of interpreting the brief, which I liked. And it was also nice seeing a fresh approach to the platform genre. The controls were unforgiving, and it needs some fine-tuning, but it could be something special.”
Developer Mike Chambers
Play the game: www.bit.ly/1pe82jr
Nautical Protest is a top-down boating game in which you must deliver your cargo to port in the best condition possible. Encounters with other ships, tornados and icebergs will damage your stock and reduce the amount you’ll be paid when you reach land. Take too much damage and your ship will sink.
“A creative interpretation of the theme – maybe too creative,” Pope says. “But solid gameplay and mechanics, fun to play and the boat physics feel just right. Great presentation, too – feels very much like a good ’90s game!”
That retro feel extends to the game’s difficulty, though. “In this day and age, the frustration factor is unforgiving; you only get a few minutes to impress your audience,” Jackson says. “It needs easy tutorial levels at the start and for the hazards and bonuses to be introduced gradually.”