Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Free FDT 4 Pure & Chance at Max!

The Flash community continues to impress w/ its generosity as Bruno Fonzi of FDT added to our list of goodies for Hackathon's Flash Game Competition.

FDT will donate a FDT 4 Pure licence to ALL participants.  This is a $129 value.  Combined with our previous prizes that means you get roughly $180 in software, private beta software, and free PR just for ENTERING the competition.  Since the free prizes are piling up I did add an additional rule: 
You can be disqualified from receiving any prizes if your game is deemed to be not compliant with the spirit of this event.
That rule was added in case someone uploaded something completely un-related to the competition and slap a Hacakthon tag on it and ask for a handout.  

But Wait... There's More!  Act now and we will throw in a free knife set!  ;)   Just kidding about the knife set. But seriously, there is more.  FDT will also be donating a FDT 4 Max license worth $699 dollars!  We created a new category for this prize: The People's Choice and community voting will occur shortly after the deadline.

That brings us to well over 3000 dollars in winnable prizes and that doesn't include the 180 dollars in prizes for all participants.  You really can't go wrong here... make a charitable game and we will hook you up!

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Free Software & Prizes for all Game Competition Participants (thx to GameBuilder Studio)

Lavon Wood, of GameBuilder Studio, just donated a very generous offering of software to All Participants.  Just create a charitable game and you are in!  This software includes the following:

- A Private Beta invite to GameBuilder Studio (available to all entries after the competition)
- Single Developer License to Push Button Engine's Isometric Component ($50 value).  This is Available now! All you need to do is validate that you are entering the competition by e-mailing me with your game concept and contact information.  Then either myself or Lavon will send you instructions so you can use this immediately.  My contact: ickydime[ at ]yahoo.com

GameBuilder Studio also beefed up the Grand Prize by offering One Pro License to GameBuilder Studio (once it is released) to the winner! 

Please check out the full list of prizes, rules, and general information on the competition here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Free AS3 Game Code!

For those of you who want a jump start on the competition, head over to Iain Lobb's blog and grab the source code that he is graciously giving away.  Even if you aren't joining the competition, you should definitely check out his code.  He was the technical reviewer on The Essential Guide to Flash Games (which basically means he knows his stuff and then some).

I am continually impressed by members of the Flash community like Iain.  He has taken the spirit of the competition and has ran with it.  The Benevolent Bug is spreading!  ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Prizes/Support for Hackathon's Flash Game Competition

GamesChart graciously volunteered to place the three winning games on their featured chart.  I updated yesterday's competition announcement with the updated prizes.

We also have had some nice PR from MochiMedia and JayIsGames.

If you or your company would like to get involved with supporting or promoting the event (or Hackathon in general), please contact me at: ickydime { at } yahoo.com.

Much love for the Flash Community right now...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flash Game Competition (Stanford, Adobe, Mochi, JayIsGames & more!)

Stanford University's 2011 Hackathon is throwing a three week long Flash Game Competition in conjunction with their upcoming philanthropic coding marathon.  We have lined up prizes valued over $3000 and an all-star cast of judges!  Anyone can enter so check out the details below and post any questions you may have.

DEADLINE: February 13th at Noon PST


As Wikipedia states, Benevolence is the act of, or a general inclination towards, charity. However you interpret the theme is up to you.  Possible ideas include but are not limited to:

  • The game could be about charitable acts in general.
  • It could be about a particular charity.
  • It could draw awareness to a certain cause.
  • It could educate on an issue.
  • The game could be unrelated to charity but then donate its proceeds to a charity.
  • It could take the word Benevolence and twist it in any manner that deems fun an appropriate.
Judges will be instructed to choose a game that not only do they enjoy the most but also ties best in the theme described above.





  • FDT 4 Max donated by Bruno Fonzi of FDT ($699 value). The voting for People's Choice will occur shortly after the deadline.

  • FDT 4 Pure donated by Bruno Fonzi of FDT ($129 value).
  • Invite to Private Beta to GameBuilder Studio 
  • Single Developer License to Push Button Engine's Isometric Component ($50 value).  Generously donated by GameBuilder Studio to anyone who wants to use it in the competition. This is Available now! All you need to do is validate that you are entering the competition by e-mailing me with your game concept and contact information.  Then either myself or Lavon will send you instructions so you can use this immediately.  My contact: ickydime[ at ]yahoo.com
  • Recognized as Hackathon Supporters and projects will be displayed/promoted in our official records and online releases.

  • MochiAds needs to be enabled to ensure that we can find your game in the database.  However, since this is a charitable event, you do not need to use the standard network ad.  Instead, feel free to use a 'Custom Ad' that coincides with your game's theme/charity.  
  • Tag Your Game: In order to properly find your game, you must tag it “hackathon2011” without the quotes.
  • You can be disqualified from receiving any prizes if your game is deemed to be not compliant with the spirit of this event.

This contest is directly tied to Stanford University’s Hackathon, which is a software development branch of Dance Marathon. Their 24hr Hackathon will start on February 12th and finish on noon of the 13th in conjunction with this contest. All entries to this competition will be considered part of Hackathon and thus gain the recognition and promotion from the Hackathon organization. You will retain all rights to your code and final creations. You can learn more about Hackathon at their website.

Post any questions you have below. Good luck!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wildlife Refuge: SOE Tucson's Latest Facebook Endeavor

I haven't been able to speak much about what I have been doing at Sony since I joined in June.  Our game was tightly under wraps until our quiet beta release this past November.  After a month of bug fixing and additional features I think its finally time to dust off the keyboard and try to put a couple sentences together about the game.

The first question I always get when I mention if I am working on a Facebook game is...   Is it like Farmville?     I dislike Zynga... I dislike their practices (towards customers and employees) and I dislike the 'spaminess' of their games.  Therefore, I cringe whenever I get thrown in the same lot... but to answer the question, yes... looking at it from the big picture it is kinda like Farmville.  They are both on the facebook platform, they both use isometric engines, they both involve tending/caring for things, they both allow you to decorate/personalize your space, and they both rely on helping and interacting with your friends.  

So yeah, our game falls into the Farmville genre... BUT OUR GAME IS DIFFERENT DAMMIT! ;)

Our game, Wildlife Refuge, drops you into the African Savannah and tasks you with helping the native ecosystem.  You get to explore the terrain in your jeep (Away3D) in hopes of finding and rescuing rare animals which you can take to your refuge to nurse back to health.  You can assist your friends through gifts, neighbor visits, and best of all... Animal Mating!  I'll let you check that last one out for yourself... :)  

I've really enjoyed being a part of this project, more so than I think I would have enjoyed a typical facebook game, since it has some noble/rewarding goals.  We are tied to non-profit charities (ex: Cheetah Foundation) and thus some of the money you spend on the game can go to a good cause (besides helping pay my rent).  We also have a fair amount of educational content in the game to help players learn about the African ecosystem.

I am going to shy away from going into details about the game's development and design decisions at this point and plan on touching on those points in a post mortem down the road.  Right now the game is very much alive.  We are fielding bug reports/feature requests from our player base while trying to improve our virality, stickiness, and overall profitability. 

We have gotten some very positives reviews (4.7 out of 5!) as well as some nice accolades (top 10 facebook games released this year).  However, the last line of the InsideSocialGames article shows that there is much room for improvement: "Sadly, despite how well-made the game is, it only has 58,000 MAU."  

I'll touch more on that in the post mortem, but for now I am going to enjoy my remaining holiday before I jump back into trying to help this baby get off the ground.  As for you, take a minute and check out our game: Wildlife Refuge.