GIG Chal­lenge 2014

It’s time to crown the top three en­tries in this year’s Get Into Games Chal­lenge

EDGE - - SECTIONS - More de­tails on this year’s GIG Chal­lenge

Our in­dus­try panel crowns the win­ners of this year’s con­test

This year’s Get Into Games Chal­lenge is now com­plete and, after three months of teams crunch­ing across the globe, it’s time to re­veal the win­ners. Protest was the theme for the third of our an­nual cod­ing com­pe­ti­tions, in­spir­ing some ex­tremely cre­ative in­ter­pre­ta­tions and a di­verse field of games that in­cluded RTSes, puz­zlers, brawlers and even a re­bel­lious-ant sim­u­la­tor.

We played ev­ery en­try to whit­tle them down to a short­list of ten, which then moved to the next stage. The fi­nal as­sess­ment was made by Lion­head and Games Work­shop co-founder Steve Jack­son; Unity CEO David Hel­ga­son; The Chi­nese Room cre­ative direc­tor Dan Pinch­beck; Lu­cas Pope, cre­ator of Pa­pers, Please; as well as Edge edi­tor-in-chief Tony Mott.

The win­ning game, Ge­orge Ing’s One Minute To Mid­night, was the favourite of four out of the five judges. “One Minute To Mid­night pro­vides an ironic twist on the idea of protest as a force for good, de­pict­ing the player’s cam­paign for so­cial re­form in the year 2029,” Ing says. “Told through di­rect nar­ra­tion, it serves as an al­le­gory about the dan­gers of pop­ulism and re­ac­tionary think­ing.”

The Chi­nese Room’s Pinch­beck – whose lat­est game, Ev­ery­body’s Gone To The Rap­ture, fea­tures in Hype this is­sue – was im­pressed by the pre­sen­ta­tion and clever use of puz­zle me­chan­ics to meet the com­pe­ti­tion’s theme. “It’s a re­ally lovely lit­tle game,” Pinch­beck says. “It could eas­ily be out there on the App Store now, which is the whole point, re­ally.”

Hel­ga­son agrees: “The style re­minded me of Mon­u­ment Val­ley, and, in­ter­est­ingly, the game would work great on iPad as well. The ti­tle has sim­ple and in­tu­itive con­trols, with new me­chan­ics be­ing in­tro­duced at a steady pace, keep­ing you en­gaged. Its eco­nomic pre­sen­ta­tion of nar­ra­tive was also a suc­cess, as it of­ten tied into the in­tro­duc­tion of a new game­play me­chanic.”

In sec­ond place, plat­form racer Outr­cry was de­vel­oped by in­die game duo John Thompson and John Far­ri­mond, oth­er­wise known as Warp­fish. The judges were di­vided over the game’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the theme, and most felt its un­for­giv­ing con­trols could be fine­tuned, but its as­sured pre­sen­ta­tion, ap­peal­ing au­dio and solid con­cept earned Warp­fish a podium fin­ish. Fi­nally, Mike Cham­bers chose to build his game around the nau­ti­cal def­i­ni­tion of protest – a for­mal dec­la­ra­tion made by a ship’s mas­ter to mit­i­gate or ab­solve them­selves of li­a­bil­ity for dam­aged goods due to mis­for­tunes be­yond their con­trol – in Nau­ti­cal Protest. Play­ers must steer their boat be­tween ports on a colour­ful globe, avoid­ing dan­ger. “It’s a cre­ative in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the theme, and [there’s] plenty to do and learn,” says Jack­son, who picked the game as his top choice. “You lose a lot of ships be­fore you get the hang of it, but this is a very im­pres­sive en­deav­our.”

Out­cry and Nau­ti­cal Protest win a Unity Pro li­cence, while One Minute To Mid­night wins a Pro li­cence and trip to this year’s Unite con­fer­ence in Seat­tle.

This year’s GIG Chal­lenge panel (from left): Steve Jack­son, Dan Pinch­beck, David Hel­ga­son and Lu­cas Pope

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