Here are the rules and requirements for the competition!
First, download the Official Template. The template provides a recommended structure for you to follow. This should help provide a little bit of order to the madness that usually follows the competition. Be sure to read the readme.txt that is included. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.
The Rule-O-Matic has been cranked and the following rules apply:
E for Everyone
No hot coffee for you! This game has to be rated "E for Everyone". To quote from ESRB:
"Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language."
So the game must, in your best judgment, be suitable for a six-year. If you want to implement this genre to its fullest, then you should consider something that a child would enjoy to play. However, the only requirement is that it cannot contain content that is age-inappropriate.
But how is the ESRB going to know about a secret code or hidden area of the game that violates that rating?
Technical requirementsThere are two technical requirements:
The player never plays the same game twice because the game randomizes some core elements of the game: characters, items, maps, scenarios, etc. This randomness must affect the gameplay.
While something as simple as shuffling a deck of cards would satisfy this rule, you should try to randomize some crucial part of the game play that doesn't necessarily need to be.
There are always players that are lazy. And what happens with the lazy players? They quit (shame on them)! Your goal is to keep those players from dropping out.
As you detect that a person is failing in the game (e.g., by dying, taking too much time, etc), automatically and silently decrease the difficulty of the game. Perhaps the player begins to take less damage, or tetris blocks move more slowly, or the opponent "accidentally" runs into a trap, and so on. In other words, it may be apparent that the game is getting easier, but you cannot explicitly reveal that.
This behavior must be enabled by default, and it must not be explicitly mentioned during the normal flow of the game. (It is fine to include an option to disable it in a settings page that a person wouldn't normally see when simply selecting "Play Game.") The whole point is to make somebody think they are getting good, when in reality the game is just compensating for how pathetic they are.
Optionally, you may also increase difficulty if the player is too good.
Artistic requirementsThere are two artistic requirement:
Include some sort of propaganda. It doesn't matter what the idea is, but the program should stamp it in at every available moment, or let it sub-consciously sift into the user's mind. The more complicated idea the better. The more effective the better.
Keep in mind that this is a creative rule and subject to your interpretation. You could use blatant in-game advertisements or rely on subliminal tricks. But if someone can play the game without getting your message, then you failed!
Colors must have special meanings in the game. It does not need to affect gameplay, nor does it need to be immediately obvious what purpose they serve.
Bonus rulesThere is one optional bonus rule:
Act of Chameleon
You may replace the genre, or one technical rule, or one artistic rule with a rule of the same category as found by a spin of the Rule-O-Matic. Of course, you may spin it as many times as you like to find a new rule. The new rule obviously must not contradict with the remaining rules.
Please write, "I am invoking the Act of Chameleon to replace a rule with name-of-new-rule" as the first sentence on a blog post if you decide to take advantage of this bonus rule.
Here's the catch: the rule must never have been used in a prior competition as an official rule. (Use the drop down on the top left to navigate to previous competitions.)
Here's the other catch: the rule must also have not been picked by another person in this competition. If you decide to invoke this rule, you must state on the blog here which new rule you are choosing.
Don't be wishy-washy! Once you make the announcement, it is a binding decision that cannot be changed. (Unless, of course somebody else has already announced that they are using that new rule.) I will, at some point, leave a comment on your post indicating that your request has been granted.
Other Important Info
All entries must comply with all requirements except where made void by the Bonus rule.
All entries must be submitted via the online form on or before 12:00 UTC on Monday 25th July without fail. All entries must be supplied in a ZIP file equal to or less than 250 KB in size. All source code, makefiles, documentation, and references to additional libraries used must be supplied in the ZIP file. You may optionally attach a second ZIP file of 10 MB with additional "bonus pack" content. If you choose to supply that, the 250KB ZIP still must fully implement all rules and be playable as a "light" version.
Your entry must be source compatible with Allegro 4.4 or 5.0. You should consider uploading binaries for people who have problems compiling the source onto your own website.
If source code is reused from legal sources (your own, GPLed, public domain) you should declare this and what changes have been made, so that your work can be assessed for the voting.
People should keep a informative and interesting account of their development through the competition. This can be sent after the competition for those people with no Internet access over the weekend. This does not affect your space requirement.
A web-based "blog" update page is available. This will allow spectators to see what is going on :-)
You can make use of all information sources, mailing lists as you see fit. This is not an exam! :-)