Well the we finally made it back to London today. Rockstar threw a bash last night with a free bar! Was very cool of them and much appreciated! Also NCsoft gave us a free lunch as did the Scottish Government, which was also much appreciated!
The competition was a lot of fun and we got to meet loads of very cool people. We didnt win but looking at the games that did win (and several that didnt like Captain Cannonball, Infection Vector, Plight of the WeeDunks to name my personal favorites) we have no hard feelings about it. Many of the games were genuinely very very good. I know its kind of the nice thing to say but this year the competition really was too close to call. It wasn’t just the build quality of the games it was the standard of the designs behind them too. A lot of them were just great fun to play.
As for the amount of work that some teams had done prior to the competition, it would be a lie if I said there weren’t a few raised eyebrows in week 2. Having said that there was large variety in the amount of prep work each team had done. Some teams had based it off their end of year projects. As far as I know some teams used open source art assets. There was a huge difference between the engines used, some of the engines used were Xna, Darkbasic, Blender, Dxstudio, Torque X pro, Flash, Ogre, Source and a few wrote their own. Those of us coming into the competition and going from a "cold start" knew that would be the situation. I think its a very difficult thing for judges to define where to draw a line with regard to prior work. I do know that a team from Ballyfermot was rejected last year for having too much done so I think it’s something that is considered carefully.
Next on the agenda for the team is finishing off our thesis’s which are due on the 21st of September! (We have had a lot of fun trying to manage that and do DARE at the same time!) and are looking for jobs. We will also be investigating taking the game further as we are pretty close to a completed product, and there are opportunities for getting it out there with Xna.
Its been a blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It really reminded me why I want to make games. I’m quite bummed out today that its actually over.