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GAME JAM 2015: Winners announced!

edited April 2015 in Competition Posts: 2,020

We have six entries for Game Jam 2015. [UPDATE] The links below are to the gist page. Click the "raw" button at the right of the page to go through to the raw page. You should then see the "COPY" button, if you are using the in-app browser.

3D Tilt Racing code / thread

Bridge Builder code / thread

Lilypads code / thread

People Popcorn code / thread

Spaceflight raw / thread

Squash and Stretch code / thread


  • All Codea Talk forum members can vote for the entry that they feel best meets the 3 criteria below, as well as an overall winner.

  • Voters should play all of the entries.

  • You cannot vote for your own entry.

Theme: "responsiveness"

Think user experience, controls, feedback (visual and auditory), rewards. Think touch and tilt. Think sockets.

This isn't just about having good controls, but also all of the feedback (including animations and sound) by which we let the player know an action is completed, the rewards they get when it is completed successfully. All the things we mean when we talk about "the feel" of a game. This sense of how a game feels is often left to the end of game development (or worse, neglected all together), but the beauty of Codea is that we have that PLAY button continuously available in the bottom corner: unlike the desktop-bound developer, we can continuously test and tweak "the feel" of our games from the very beginning.

Criteria for judging

The winning entry will....

  1. be a fun and replayable game around the theme of "responsiveness"; ie with special attention paid to the user experience, with tight controls and feedback, and some kind of goal and reward structure, even if it's just staying alive or racking up a high score

  2. have concise and readable code, with a reasonable amount of documentation in the comments. There's no line limit, but try to avoid code repetition

  3. "show off" some aspect of Codea, whether it's Box2D, shaders, 3D graphics, sound, the newly announced sockets (online multiplayer) or iOS technologies like gyroscopes or system voices


  • entries should largely be an original work created for the competition (though inevitably you will reuse bits of other code you have lying around)

  • entries can be individual or group efforts, but no more than one per person

  • you will retain all rights over your entry

Further suggestions welcome on all of the above!



  • Posts: 835

    Im in

  • Posts: 509

    You didn't mention either the Anagrams or the Roller Coaster examples. Anagrams weighs in at 5000 lines, the Roller Coaster at a mere 400 lines. I did once extend the Roller Coaster into an actual game (where you tried to collect gems while going round the track). I'm not sure where that went to ...

  • Posts: 2,020

    Oops, sorry for overlooking anagrams! If you cut some of the colour definitions you could probably get it inside 1000 lines :P

    I didn't count roller coaster, because I didn't realise there was a game-ified version

  • I would love to participate. I suppose, if @Simeon agrees, an amazing prize would be to have one's program featured as an example, though examples are mostly for the kind of entries you described that you did NOT want(engines, examples, etc.) Not sure if this is feasable, but it would be great. Anyways, I would love to participate.

  • Posts: 2,020

    @TheSolderKing yes, I was thinking that would be an awesome prize too. Codea immortality to the winner! (Of course, some forum members have already attained that prize....) If it were a 1000 lines it would only be around 32 kb, which would hardly affect the install size of Codea.

    I did wonder though whether there could be issues with a certain company based in [cough] cup@rtin0, and their hostility to any app that resembles a platform for software distribution (of course, one you allow code executing apps, the genie is out of the bottle...)

  • Posts: 892

    I do like the idea of short, simple, jam type competitions. Some observations:

    Having a limited timescale is much better than a long timescale in my opinion. A week max is a good length. Any more and it eats up too much time IMHO.

    Having a common theme works well - generating ideas for new games can be difficult. How about restricting to a genre and/or a theme?

    Assets - I'm a big fan of using the pre-supplied ones only. This encourages learning about coding rather than producing pretty graphics. I'm guessing the point of the competition is on game design and promote use with codea.

    Full(ish) demo games - I've posted a few here: including missile command, asteroids, an infinite runner, lander and snake

  • Posts: 2,051

    I like jams, but I have a couple of suggestions:

    • A month is too long.. A week or two would be better IMO

    • I prefer no line limitations, especially if you want nice readable code as with limits people will combine multiple lines leading to messy code

    • Only built in or code generated assets would be best I think, so it is easiest to share.

  • Posts: 2,020

    Ok, that's two votes for holding it over a shorter time scale, and for sticking to the built-in assets, both suggestions that make a lot of sense. @JakAttak You're right about the line limit problem, you could get silly things like entire functions in one line. If we only have a week most people aren't going to have time to write more than a few thousand lines anyway.

  • Posts: 2,020

    On the subject of assets though, if you want to do 3D, having some nice textures is really key to it looking good, and there aren't any texture images bundled with Codea (ageing concrete, old wood, scratched metal etc).

    How about this: if you want to use external assets, you have to include code that will automatically download the assets from where you've stored them online, and they must not total more than 1 megabyte in size. That way, the code will still be shareable and self-contained.

  • IgnatzIgnatz Mod
    Posts: 5,396

    Any downloaded assets should also self destruct as well, ie there should be a function that gets rid of them when you're done.

    I once ran somebody's prograsm that had 78 images, that I had to delete one by one...

  • Posts: 2,020

    @Ignatz good point, I didn't think of that! How about there has to be a button in the parameter area that wipes the images and closes the program? That way, if people like the program enough to keep it on their iPad, they don't have to download the assets each time they run.

  • Posts: 2,020

    For a theme, it's probably best if we keep it flexible and suggestive rather than tying people in to a specific genre, I think.

    How about:


  • Posts: 835

    Maybe a Codea CookOff 2.0?

  • Ok, I have a few questions.
    1. Is it OK to work in groups?
    2. When will it start(I think a good time would be after the next Codea update comes out...)

  • Posts: 2,020

    Yeah, group submissions are welcome. Good idea about waiting for the update to come out.

  • Posts: 418

    @yojimbo2000 I agree with a shorter time limit and no line limit.

  • @Goatboy76 me too. I agree, because no line limit gives one the opportunity to write beautiful, clear code. Shorter time makes it an actual challenge, and so people won't forget about it. I can't wait for the next version of Codea and for this challenge to start, seems like it is taking an extremely long time, but I suppose that is just my excitement making it seem longer.

  • Posts: 2,020

    @TheSolderKing I'm starting to have second thoughts about whether to wait for the update to drop. In the past Apple have been known to sit on them for weeks... What we could do is wait until, say, Wednesday, and if the update isn't out by then just start the competition anyway? If the update does come out mid-competition it shouldn't be too hard to make the code Lua 5.3 compliant. Unless, was there a specific feature of 5.3 that you wanted to use (sockets maybe)? If that's the case, then I guess we could hold off until the update.

    Any thoughts on the theme? I don't think we really need one...

    Thoughts on how to submit an entry

    Before we begin, we need to decide the best way to submit entries. I think as this forum is really the go-to place for Codea, and because I'd like the winners to be voted for by everyone on the forum (using something like surveymonkey, as I don't think we have a poll function built-in), I think the forum is the best way to handle submissions.

    How about if, to submit an entry, entrants start a new thread with the title "GAME JAM: [name of your entry]", and tagged "competition", "game jam 2015", and then post a link to the source code (in GitHub,1 PasteBin, whatever your preferred hosting service is), along with an image or a video, and a brief description (or even a mini-development blog, if you have time).

    Depending on the number of entries, it could clutter up the forum a little but it looks as if there's around 5 "ins" so far, so probably not too much, and it would only be for a couple of days. Having separate threads would be useful if people wanted to "announce" their entry, or troubleshoot teething issues before the deadline, and for discussion afterwards.

    1. With gists, the "copy" button in the inline browser works if you click through to the "Raw" page of the gist, which is super handy 

  • I vote no line limit, but I liked the longer time frame as I can't compete in most competitions due to being too busy to make things within one or two weeks

  • edited March 2015 Posts: 2,051


    Theme: I don't think we really need a theme, but I liked the idea of showing off an aspect of Codea (that's enough of a "theme")

    Submitting: I like using gists and the forum, keeps everything nice and separate (maybe one of the Mods could create a GameJam category?)

    Threads: I liked the idea of having people do a "dev blog" if you will. Like in the Codea Cook Off, part of the scoring was posting code updates and snippets. I think it would be really cool if every entry tried to do an explanation, kind of like one of @Ignatz's blogs. Especially if newbies later want to use one of these small programs to learn from.

    Anyways, those are just some of my thoughts. It's your show to lead anyways ;)

  • Posts: 2,020

    @Monkeyman32123 ok, people who are super busy can start now to get a bit of a head start. The rest of us will wait for the update to drop.... Unless it takes an age

    @JakAttak those all sound like good ideas!

  • Posts: 2,020

    OK, let's start this thing on Saturday, regardless of whether or not the Codea update drops.

    We don't have any prizes as yet, other than being immortalised in a "Game Jam 2015 Entrants" page on the Codea wiki of course (looking at previous contests, it seems that getting prize money to entrants in various countries is quite tricky).

    @Simeon what did you think about @TheSolderKing 's idea of one of the entries being bundled as one of the example programs with future versions of Codea? I could see there could be all sorts of issues with that, not least being that the example programs should probably have more than a week's work put into them, would need to have a small footprint, not use any licensed content etc. It could be a special judge's prize awarded to an entry chosen by the Codea developers, i.e. separate from the overall winner that forum members vote for. I'd be interested to hear what you think about it.

    I think that just having a "hall of fame 2015" or whatever on the wiki though is probably reward enough, IMO.

  • Posts: 892


    My thoughts - at the moment it seems like a pretty open ended "show us completed games and give us the code" - if it is in this state the chances are you are wanting to post it to the appstore. I would much prefer to see a "challenge" type approach with a tight pre-defined scope. Something like:

    Limited time (week at most) - it needs to be "disposable" enough to complete and move on rather than taking over from other "main" projects

    A concise brief having a couple of constraints, including a genre. I feel this is important to allow comparsions to be drawn between entries (what is better Pacman or Space Invaders?), but for me more importantly to see how other people have tackled the same "problem" and learn from it.

    Using only the supplied assets or ones created by the program. This puts the focus on game mechanics rather than producing pretty pictures.

    Full sharing of all the code - linked to previous point but also allows people to learn

    Bonus marks for code commenting and development blogging

    Maybe include a very basic starter for 10 outline code to allow beginners to have a start point?

    Possibility grow into a monthly competition with a new topic each month.

    Sample topics could be:

    • An endless runner game
    • A top down shooter
    • A word/number based puzzle game
    • Any game, but not using any pre-built assets (i.e. graphics must be generated within code using line, rect, ellipse, etc)
    • A game using multi-touch gestures as an input

    And so on.

    The voted for winner could chose the topic of the next challenge?

    However, you'll notice I'm not stepping up and proposing running it (I've too much other stuff going on and can only dabble here and there) and it's your original suggestion so run it how you feel will work best (what I've suggested is just my opinion). Good luck and look forward to entering if I can!

  • edited March 2015 Posts: 2,020

    @West thanks for your comments. I think I need to explain my idea a little better. My saying "full" game is confusing, I'll change the wording. When I said that, I didn't mean highly polished and App Store ready. What I meant, I suppose, is that often, if we're throwing something together quickly, a proof of concept say, we neglect the user experience side of things (actually, you often see this in full-blown AAA releases too...). So you might see a demo that is a really interesting idea and has a lot of potential, but it isn't fun because the controls suck. Or it remains a toy, or an experience, rather than a "game" as such, because there isn't a goal or a reward structure (although the question "what is a game?" is an ancient philosophical conundrum that I didn't want to get bogged down in). Maybe this is because user interface and things like score mechanics are neglected because they're seen as not very exciting to code. But I do think that even when you are prototyping and only have a few hundred lines or so, your project can still be fun to play, it can still be a game. So instead of thinking, "if I just add feature X, then it will be a game", it can be a game from the outset.

    Regarding theme, I'm reluctant to be too specific, setting a genre and so on (eg not long ago a suggestion for a horror themed competition was raised, but I don't think there were any takers, maybe it was too specific?)

    How about, given what I was just saying about the importance of user experience, we make a theme of "responsiveness"? Something where a bit of effort has been put into really nice, tight, intuitive controls. iOS often gets a bad rap on this front (particularly from the console crowd), but I take the opposite view that touch (maybe not so much tilt) has incredible potential. That way you'll get to see different people's approach to the same problem, but without being too restrictive in terms of genre etc.

  • Posts: 300

    I think the horror theme competition didn't work out because it was for a 3D horror game, and not many people work with 3D in Codea. 2D horror would be much more doable.

    Everyone loves horror games. ;)

  • Posts: 2,051

    @Crumble, I used to like horror games.. then I played one on my Cardboard. No thanks!

  • Posts: 418

    @Crumble I think horror games require a lot more work then most other genres. I think that a good horror game needs a good atmosphere and vibe. This takes fancy music, art and graphics.

  • Posts: 2,020

    Well, Codea 2.3 is out, in some time zones it's now Saturday, I declare the game jam OPEN! Theme is "responsiveness". Think tight controls, feedback, reward, user experience. Post at the top of the page has been updated with details.

    Mods, could one of you make this thread sticky, just for 7 days?

  • Posts: 2,020

    Details at top updated

  • Posts: 2,051

    Someone already asked me about this, so I figured I'd let everyone know: If you want to use my Multiplayer class in your entries, please feel free (as long as @yojimbo2000 is ok with it)

  • Posts: 2,020

    Of course! And thank you @JakAttak for creating it

  • Posts: 1,976

    Do you think you could explain "responsiveness" a bit more? Do you mean sensitive controls?

  • Posts: 2,020

    Well, controls can be too sensitive of course. I'm talking more about attention to the user experience as a whole. So not just controls, but all of the feedback mechanisms by which we let the player know an action is completed, the rewards they get when it is completed successfully, the way that sound and animation contribute to that sense of control. All the things we mean when we talk about "the feel" of a game.

  • Posts: 2,020

    Updated the details at the top of the thread

  • edited March 2015 Posts: 2,020

    2 more entries announced:

    A day-and-a-half or so (depending on your time zone) to go, not too late to enter!

  • Posts: 2,020

    Entrants, can I ask you all, if you haven't already done so, to decide on a title for your entry, and update the title of your forum thread to include the entry title. This is so I can put together the voting form on survey monkey.

    And a reminder that the deadline is the end of Saturday, your local time. I've really enjoyed seeing the entries take shape, there're are some really interesting ideas there I think. Good luck to all!

  • Posts: 2,020

    Well, 1 hour to midnight in the UK, though I guess entrants in Honolulu still have quite a bit more time!

    I'll post a link to the voting form tomorrow

  • Posts: 2,020

    OK, voting form and links to the raw code are now in the post at the top of the page. Currently I've set the voting form to finish on Thursday. Do you think that's enough time for people to play all of the entries?

  • Posts: 2,020

    Hmmm, the "COPY" button doesn't seem to be appearing in the in-app browser when you look at the raw code. I'm sure it used to work with Gist raw pages... oh well, if you select a word on the raw page, then pull the right hand blob all the way out to the right, you can lasso-select the entire raw text without too much hassle.

  • Posts: 835

    All the "Copy" options worked for me except squash n' stretch

  • Posts: 2,020

    Weird! Why doesn't the copy button appear for Squash and Stretch?

  • dave1707dave1707 Mod
    edited March 2015 Posts: 9,470

    I was able to copy each of the games. I only had trouble with squash n stretch because it didn't put the Level code in its own tab. I had to do that manually. Once I did that, everything worked fine.

    EDIT: There wasn't a Copy option for any of the raw code. I had to select a word and use the drag tabs to select all of the code.

  • edited March 2015 Posts: 2,020

    I've changed the post at the top so that it links to the gist page, not the raw. The reason is that the raw url changes with each revision posted (I didn't realise this), whereas the Gist url is constant. There was too much risk that I might have grabbed the URL of an incomplete version of the game, or that hot fixes would be ignored.

    Entrants, hot fixes are allowed! (I've had to make a few).

    @Ignatz @TheSolderKing @JakAttak @West @CodeaNoob could you all please make sure that your code installs OK from the links at the top of this page, and there aren't portability issues (with emoji etc)?

  • Posts: 892

    @dave1797 if you copy from the raw file then long hold on the add new project in Codea you get the option to post as a new project. This will create the correct tab structure

  • Posts: 2,020

    I'm really enjoying playing everyone's entries. There's some fantastic ideas here. Really split over who to vote for!

  • Posts: 2,020

    I'm going to extend the voting period until Saturday morning, UK time

  • Posts: 2,020

    We've had a fantastic response so far, thanks to everyone who has voted. Voting closes in 12 hours, so do get over to the voting form if you haven't done so yet (links to the form and all entries at the top)

  • Posts: 2,020

    Here are the results of the voting. Thank you everyone who entered, and everyone who voted!

    "Responsiveness" and user experience

    • 1st: Squash & Stretch: 5 votes
    • Joint 2nd: People Popcorn and Lilypads: 4 votes each

    Clear and concise code

    • 1st: 3D Tilt Racing: 6 votes
    • 2nd: Squash & Stretch: 3 votes
    • Joint 3rd: Bridge Builder and People Popcorn: 2 votes

    "Wow" factor

    • 1st: Squash and Stretch: 8 votes
    • 2nd: 3D Tilt Racing: 5 votes
    • 3rd: Lilypads: 2 votes

    Overall Winner

    • 1st: Squash and Stretch: 7 votes
    • 2nd: 3D Tilt Racing: 4 votes
    • 3rd: People Popcorn: 3 votes
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