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Udacians, congratulations, you ruined productivity at the office.
We already spend a lot of time being impressed by your sheer awesomeness. And lately, we spend a lot of time playing the games you created in our HTML5 Game Development course. Let’s just say, we’re going to have to play a little bit more before we get these games out of our systems.
Introducing the HTML5 Game Development Contest winners! Huge thanks to all of you who created your own games and cheered your fellow students on in the forums! Sean (Udacity Course Architect extraordinaire and one of the instructors for HTML5) weighs in with his comments on the winning entries:
Best Overall Game
Foxes and Shotguns is a remarkably simple game, which is where a lot of its appeal lies. We knew this was the winner when the Udacity office basically shut down for a day as people tried it out…and tried it out…and, well, you get the idea. Congrats to Florian for making not only a well-made game, but also an incredibly fun one!
Utactica by Martin Conway, who will receive a Chromebook and a ticket to I/O!
Utactica is a very well-designed game. Martin went to a lot of effort to prototype his game before actually coding it up, going so far as to create a boardgame prototype to test the game mechanics. This care and attention to detail definitely shows in the final product. Not only is Utactica is a game with surprisingly complex gameplay, but the presentation is also very well-designed, with a careful eye towards UI and player experience.
Bombergirl by Matous Skala, who will receive a Chromebook.
A modern remake of the classic Bomberman game! I used to play Bomberman as a kid, so Bombergirl definitely managed to create a direct link to my childhood. A few of my coworkers in particular got a little bit obsessed with this game, and played it throughout the day (even during meetings)!
Best Use of Physics
Level Blocks by erniearl, who will receive a Chromebook.
2D Platformers are notoriously difficult to get right. You have to carefully keep the game just challenging enough, without letting it become downright frustrating. A lot of this has to do with creating semi-realistic 2D physics. Players are often willing to forgive unrealistic physics in a game, but are less understanding when it causes them to lose! Level Blocks also distinguished itself by actually allowing user-created levels. Getting this right is hard, but often very rewarding, for boththe developer and the player.
Coin Run by Rasha Hussein, who will receive a Nexus 7 tablet.
I saw a lot of parallels between Coin Run and some of the emerging trends in mobile gaming the past few years. First, Coin Run is an Augmented Reality game, meaning that you play the game by moving around in the real-world and doing stuff (Ingress, anyone?). Second, Coin Run is taking a societal problem, fitness and obesity, and tackling it through game mechanics. Gamification has been a hot topic for the past few years, and I suspect it’s only going to get bigger. I’m interested to see how Coin Run grows into this!
Most Impressive Performance
Cursed Mines by Iftah, who will receive a Nexus 7 tablet.
Cursed Mines is a really impressive concept, and I’m excited to see where it goes in the future! It also manages fairly impressive performance considering all the different features that are included. I’d love to see what this could turn into with additional educational content, and how the author plans on integrating that learning into the game.
Space Math by Dabney Blum, who will receive a Nexus 7 tablet.
When I started passing Space Math around the office, our teachers working on our Algebra classes all said they wished they had access to this earlier so they could have used it in their courses. What more do I need to say?