October 6th 2003
Winners of the Game & Watch Design Contest
Between July 1st and September 30th 2003, I held my second contest, which
was called the Game & Watch Design Contest. Participants could win many
nice prizes, such as an e-Reader, Pokémon-e theme decks, and more.
In terms of participation, I'd say it was much more successful than my
previous contest, as the listings below indicate.
First, allow me to present the winners of the contest:
FIRST PLACE: Car vs. Tanks, by Ronald C.
I picked this one as the top entry because I liked what Ronald tried to do
with his design. I especially liked the way his sprites were "meshed" together.
SECOND PLACE: Spaceman Sentry, by Heath Walajtys (a.k.a. TheJerkle)
Among the entries that were standard dodge-and-shoot games, Heath's was my
THIRD PLACE: Fly Away!, by Jonathan Breeden
I liked the quirky idea of controlling a fly. I think it's good Game & Watch
Here are the rest of the entries, in their chronological order of submission:
Rock and Roll, by Daniel Chan (a.k.a.
Planet Saver, by Samson Felshman (a.k.a.
Zap 'em, by Jonathan Breeden
Crook's Craziness, by Ronald C.
The Death Tomb, by John A. Holcomb (a.k.a.
Clumsy Waiter, by Darrin Thompson (a.k.a.
Beat the Beat!, by Jonathan Breeden
Bungalow's Knifedodging Madness, by Jean-Philippe Larivière
A few closing comments
I'd like to use this opportunity to thank all the participants for their
efforts, and for helping to make this contest a success!
Now there's something I really need to get off my chest, and if you're reading
this right now and you happen to be one of the participants, please don't take
this the wrong way, because it's not meant to take anything away from the
effort you put into your work: I found most of the entries to be, well,
The graphic layouts are very good in most cases, and some participants put a
lot of effort in describing the background story of their games, but I guess I
expected people to look at existing Game & Watch games (especially the classic
ones made by Nintendo), figure out what makes these classics so good, and use
this knowledge for their own creations.
As I received more and more entries, it seemed to me that instead of thinking
"Okay, these are the submissions so far, how can I do better?", people
thought "Okay, these are the submissions so far, I'll just do something
different, yet similar."
There was certainly a lot of variety, but I guess what I'm trying to say is
this: Did the participants really stop to think whether their games would hold
a player's interest for more than a couple of minutes? I've played a lot of
LCD and table-top games, and they had a way of drawing players in. It takes
more than just a good idea to make a good Game & Watch. The design needs to
be optimized to achieve maximum enjoyment.
I guess I'm just a perfectionnist... :-)