The winners of the third YoYoGames.com casual game design competition have just been announced, and the results are pretty exciting.
Last June the competition theme, Cooperation, was selected by the YoYo Games community - in keeping with yoyos user-generated philosophy. Indy developers all around the world then set to work, and two months later the turnout was startling.
The $1000 winning game, beating 278 other entries, was ByteAlity Tower Defense; made by Erik Leppen, 22, the young Dutch creator of the awesome Bridging the Gap. ByteAlity Tower Defense adds a new dimension to the classic tower defense genre by making progress dependent upon the enemy kill count, as well as the integrity of the players tower, leading to a much faster paced game.
Asides from its innovations ByteAlity Tower Defense is a beautifully deep example of the genre, relying on strategy, timing and good fortune. This is compelling casual gaming at its best; with 120 levels, and a huge arsenal of towers - ByteAlity Tower Defense will keep you playing through right your lunch break and long into the afternoon. Then, as the dust settles on the destruction youve wrought, you can pick up the full level editor and create your own mayhem.
Second prize went to Visit 2; the welcome return of this platform based puzzle game. Simple puzzles made mind-bending (but passable) through the ingenuity of careful level design. As a package Visit 2 delivers much more than its predecessor, with the visuals and sound working together to create a compelling atmosphere that will keep you playing just to see where you end up next.
The final cash prize went to another classic casual-gaming sequel, Jumper Three. Ogmo is back and he's got some friends to play with. A madcap platform adventure, relying on clever level design to create an experience in which progress is challenging, not infuriating. Leap death-defying-ly over cavernous pits, bounce off walls, hang from ledges, or buy a nice new hat. All thats needed to succeed are the bizarre abilities of the Ogmo rainbow.
The competition was a demonstration of the power of the Game Maker developers toolkit (used to make all the entries); available to download, for free, from YoYoGames.com. And even more so, a great showcase for Indy developers worldwide; the result is a bumper crop of truly original casual games to add to YoYo Games 23,000-strong catalogue.
YoYo Games Ltd is a UK Based Game Start-up founded by games industry veterans, Sandy Duncan and Michel Cassius. YoYo Games launched its beta site in May 2007 and has grown to be the worlds largest user generated game site with over 23, 000 games. Employing a web 2.0 community model YoYo Games allows users to Play, Make and Share games for free.
You can visit YYG at www.YoYoGames.com