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  1. #1
    German Community Moderator CuriousSack's Avatar
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    Default Contest ideas discussion

    Hi friends,

    since we have a vivid discussion about new ideas for future contests, I think its worth to open an extra thread for this discussion! So feel free to post all your ideas in this thread!

    Many greetings, Jürgen^^

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  3. #2
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    Story driven levels aren't easy to make and it seems that the players who are still playing LBP aren't interested, at least the majority. Simple platformers with simple tasks are easier to make. Let's say a cardboard platformer with a few tools like the bouncepad, gadgets like the hookhat or the grabbling hook for example. It would be easier for some folks, because the task is simple and seems doable.

    I am looking forward to your thoughts.

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  5. #3

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    Story levels are out of the question for me. A real quality story levels takes a long time to make, me and my friend spent 3 years on our multiple ending story! When it's a rushed story level it's simply not worth it and sometimes it feels forced, like adding a lame story to a platformer just for the sake of adding a story. If there's another contest it should be lightweight so to speak, preferably a mini-game or a single level platformer. But not just any platformer with in-game powerups and basic obstacles! It should be original gameplay that has never been done before, that's the stuff that deserves recognition and rewards!

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  7. #4
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    Default

    I personally would prefer the complex stuff of course. When LordDreamerz made his contest I was looking forward to the results but I realized that the LBP community is 'too small for that' or that it's too complex for the LBP community right now. So if we want to make a contest, we should keep it simple.

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  9. #5
    Sackperson Private koltonaugust's Avatar
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    Default

    I like quirky contest themes on forums. Something open-ended like dessert-theme (yes, food) or Tundra. I also like phrases for inspiration and I find that they create the best contest variety while still screaming things like "domino effect", "Time flies when you're having fun", or anything of the sort. Granted I don't create levels for contests so my opinion is meh. I just like the results of these.

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  11. #6
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    I’m going against the normal kind of suggestions you’ll mostly get from folk and say that go create contests that are challenging for the creators entering and motivate them to do something different from what you’ll normally see on LBP.

    Many LBP creators will want to stick to things they already do by themselves outside the contests and will prefer whatever is most easy for them. But a lazy attitude isn’t something we should pander to and there is really no point in rewarding people for doing something that they would already do on their own. Of course it depends on what type of contest one is running and why they are running it… but seriously you have to ask yourself some questions first. Are you making a contest just to give people a somewhat fun community event where the content they are making doesn't matter much? Or are you trying to actually challenge the creators and motivate them to be truly creative/innovative in a fun way?

    You also have to keep in mind not all creators are the same kinda person and only making contests to pander to the same type of creators every time is a bias and flawed method. For example there are crazy lot of story creators online and in life and sadly LBP contests typically only cater to the LBP players who make basic soulless platformers which are random obstacle courses that offer nothing else. There is a mistaken and bad belief among many gamers that stories are not a important part of any game, simply not enough gamers value story tellers, and that is sad, games should not be a limited media that caters to a single group.

    Obviously stories is just one example, more contests should be made to focus on other types of content creators like music creators and character design/artists too… with the LBP community as it is now... it is probably best to only stick to no more then 2 of any theme at a time, for example a contest theme of “fun character design and some kinda gameplay.”

    Personally part of the reason I lost interest in playing most LBP community levels is because of the lack of story/character focused levels. As a character design artist myself, when I play games or watch films the characters and their designs are among the main focuses for me… without fun characters or story... I pretty much lose half of my interest in the game. For me the best part of games is a interactive world where I get to follow the lives and adventures of interesting characters and interact with them, and have those characters interact with other stuff… Raw gameplay alone doesn’t really do much for me. And my preferences in media are not as nearly as uncommon as some folk might think.

    Anyways. It’s easy to make a contest that anybody can enter. But will you make a contest that we will remember that got people to do interesting cool things and truly inspired them is the question? To me life should be more about high quality over mass quantity…. On and off of LBP to many peps make content just for the empty sake of simply making something and most of it has nothing meaningful to say one way or the other, with the vast amount of it is just being more stuff tossed on top a massive pile of forgettable content.

    On a side note. Some of my favorite contests LBPC has done in the past were…

    “The no touching the floor contest.”
    “Everything must move to the music beat contest.”
    “Join a team of 4 creators and create a 4 level adventure game contest.”
    “Fully interconnected parts level and for it all to be doing something contest.”

    … Yeah I don’t remember the actual names. :U
    Last edited by Lord-Dreamerz; 04-13-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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  13. #7
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    Default

    I definitely agree to some extend. I love story driven games. The Last of Us wasn't a open world game or a game you always return to, but it had such a great story with well written characters and dialogues. I really love the cutscenes with the emotional moments. So yeah, I love story driven games and levels.

    But I feel like that time might be over for LBP. Most creators focused on the gameplay aspects of their projects. We see a lot of minigames, platformers that make use of the powerups and more of that kind. I didn't see too many levels that focused on a story. I can't explain why those folks aren't working on a story. Maybe they don't want to risk something, maybe they simply can't do it? I don't know.

    And I don't want to talk too much about my own project, but it is focused on story and characters I feel. Making this story takes a lot of time. I spend a lot of time on planning things, rewriting the story here and there. And I actually planned 2 more projects like this.

    In conclusion I think we can try to make it a bonus task, but not a requirement for the contest. Or we could plan that contest and give the people some more time, say like 3 months or even 4 months and give the 1st place 50$/€ instead of 20$/€. But the risk of having no entries is high. Should we risk it? Maybe.

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  15. #8
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdkd99 View Post
    Should we risk it? Maybe.
    Story was just one example I was giving. My point was that contests should more often try out different and interesting concepts instead of playing it safe just for the sake of getting more people to enter.

    But far as more on the subject of story. I think LBP doesn't have a lot of story creators somewhat because the LBP community & teams behind LBP never heavily promoted it. As a result many story tellers have gone to other media for their story creation like the game engine RPGmaker and other places.

    However there are still story tellers on LBP. I even had couple people who messaged me on Twitter who were interested in joining purely because my contest was forcing on story whatsoever. They were LBP story creators, but they noticed the existence of my contest to late, which left them not enough time to enter with a nice project, so they did not bother entering.

    While I have my own over the top crazy way of doing things. However as suggestions for other people wanting to run a story driven contest I say keep everything more simple then how I would do it, make the story telling the focus of the contest so that story tellers actually care to enter, and just keep the rest of the contest simple enough and people will be happy to join. For example maybe let them include any kind of gameplay they want with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkd99 View Post
    In conclusion I think we can try to make it a bonus task, but not a requirement for the contest. Or we could plan that contest and give the people some more time, say like 3 months or even 4 months
    If it's not a requirement then people won't do it, simple as that. And that includes story creators... because most story creators know ahead of time they will lose to raw gameplay creators that focus purely on gameplay because of the huge bias for gameplay that many gamers have. Agreed 3 months would be a good time limit for story contests.
    Last edited by Lord-Dreamerz; 04-13-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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  17. #9

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    This is my second take on this topic. A good story can add to a level but a bad level will not become complete with a good story. A good story alone will not carry a level with bad design and unoriginal gameplay. I believe that those two statements are universal facts and it's a known fact that if the core is not good then it doesn't matter how pretty it looks or how polished the story is. The core for platforming games is usually the gameplay and the obstacles, it's basically a matter of getting from A to B. A story can add a meaning to this journey between A and B but if the path is mediocre and boring then the story will not save it so to speak. LBP has always been about platforming in it's gaming core, which is why a story should only be seen as a bonus and not as something mandatory. But I do agree that when a good level has a story it makes the overall experience so much better. Stories has always been an internal part of human evolution, from bedtime stories to our own lives which are stories that we are actively shaping. Story-telling is well integrated in the human psychology but we are also very good at making up stories as we go, kids are a good example of this. This is why a level doesn't always need a story attached to it, instead let the player make up his own story.

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  19. #10
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksackman View Post
    I believe that those two statements are universal facts and it's a known fact that if the core is not good then it doesn't matter how pretty it looks or how polished the story is.
    While I would almost like to agree on the concept that the core has to be good before anything else...But those are not facts, those are opinions. Preferences in media in general are all opinions no matter how annoying that sounds. Like I tell my friends "I don't care how good the gameplay is if there is no fun characters or story I can enjoy out of it." Sometimes the side stuff in games I cared far more about then the core gameplay even in games where people think it has great gameplay. while I'll agree not all games need story, and imagination is great stuff... however not everybody wants to use their imagination to the point they are making up their own stories. Some people just want to enjoy a good interactive story. Honestly for some folks interactive stories are even more fun then watching a film. Stories where you can change the outcome even to a minor degree are pretty cool! Hohoo!

    Speaking of that. Lets not forget there is such things as visual novel games along with other almost 100% story driven games out there which their gameplay is barely even the 2nd most important part about them, plus they have their own reasonably big enough fanbases. Even platformer games could focus more heavy on story then people typically make them, and the gameplay really wouldn't have to suffer for it if made correctly. Limiting things for no good reason is a awful thing we do to any art/media and it's a real shame that so many try to enforce such needless restricting view points on how things should be done. There be whole new creative worlds out there to explore, but only if people risk the biscuit and aim high.

    As a note, I prefer games like the Shantae series any day of the week over most Mario games... even if Mario has better gameplay in my opinion... but as I don't care for most of the Mario characters and it's lack of story, I can't be bothered to play most Mario games. where as Shantae has a much better overall balance of everything for me.

    Another thing, LBP might had started off as purely a platforming game, but it evolved into allowing so much more then that. People should be more free in what they create instead of just coping what is easy/popular and being forced into some kinda tiny planet concept of what some people mistakenly believe LBP should really be. Nowadays LBP is whatever whoever wants it to be, and it was the desire for more freedom of choice that made LBP even half of what it is today. And is why MM's next game "Dreams" is even more free in what it is then LBP was.

    Not all games need story obviously, But the idea that gameplay is always more important then story is flatout not true for everybody no matter how some folk may feel about it.... And honestly as much as I think story matters more then gameplay by a small degree... I actually prefer characters with amazing designs even more then story. HAhaa! Anyways gameplay fully alone is worthless to me. But a good mix of gameplay + fun characters/story are my favorite.
    Last edited by Lord-Dreamerz; 04-13-2018 at 03:49 PM.
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  21. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord-Dreamerz View Post
    While I would almost like to agree on the concept that the core has to be good before anything else...But those are not facts, those are opinions.
    I like to use metaphors and I think that a well known one can be used in this scenario. A level without a solid core is like a house without a foundation. You don't build a house without it's foundation. While my comment itself may be an opinion, it is supported by well recognized facts. No matter how nicely you decorate the house and how much you polish the back-story, it will not change the fact that if the foundation is of bad quality, it will take down everything else with it. There are many examples in the gaming industry where games failed with the core aspects and just went all-in on the visual and story aspects while the core game mechanics where utter trash. As a result these games died very fast when the players looked past the eye-candy. Another thing with a good foundation/core is that it survives the test of time a lot better, hence why we still see old games today that has amazing core mechanics, even when the graphics are outdated. I think that you speak for a tiny minority that may very well be a majority here on this site, but out in the gaming industry, you are the minority. No matter where I look, I always hear people preferring a solid foundation before anything else is included. These are probably the words of the casual players and not creators, which is why opinions are different here.
    Last edited by blacksackman; 04-13-2018 at 03:17 PM.

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  23. #12
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksackman View Post
    There are many examples in the gaming industry where games failed with the core aspects and just went all-in on the visual and story aspects while the core game mechanics where utter trash. As a result these games died very fast when the players looked past the eye-candy.
    Honestly I can't think of any time that happened personally. Not saying it hasn't, but I sure don't see much of it. I can't offhand think of any game that I thought had amazing art/story but also thought the gameplay was trash/unbearable. The game Journey was little more then a walking sim... nothing special far as gameplay, but that game was awesome regardless.
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  25. #13

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    Failure is relative. A high-budget game can have many sales and still be considered as a failure due to not reaching the expected sales. This is open to a wide set of interpretations, such as what you consider to be a part of the foundation in a game. In first person shooters, a weak foundation can be the lack of content in the form of maps and gear. Basically when a game developer decides to minimize the core contents of a game. A game like that lacks a solid foundation, especially when it needs a bunch of DLC to become complete. Sometimes it's the in-game mechanics themselves that are broken or badly configured. If you search the internet for titles that fit into this description then you'll have a pretty long list. But as I said, it depends on how wide the parameters are set. This is also off-topic so I will not go into detail regarding this matter. I like to keep things generalized. If you want specific game titles that failed because they lacked a good foundation, then you should analyze the gaming market history yourself, to potentially avoid opinion-based picks by me or my sources.
    Last edited by blacksackman; 04-13-2018 at 04:41 PM.

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  27. #14
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    Interesting thoughts.

    I prefer the gameplay in a game. Without a story the game can work. With a bad story the game can work. But the game can't work without gameplay or with bad gameplay that is tedious. A good story can make a game work better, but the gameplay should be prioritized.

    Back to the contest ideas: It's a fact, that the majority of the creators focus on the gameplay aspects. If we really want to focus more on story we have to set less limits and see how that works out.
    Last edited by mdkd99; 04-13-2018 at 05:09 PM.

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  29. #15
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdkd99 View Post
    A good story can make a game work better, but the gameplay should be prioritized.
    I agree enough with that. And normally that is true, but there is exceptions... such as point and click adventure games and novel type games such as dating sims and text adventures. For example don’t forget some of the famous point and click story adventure games that Telltale team has made.

    Sim & Max game series.
    The walking dead game series.
    Minecraft: Story Mode.
    Batman: The Telltale Series.

    All fairly popular game series that focus on their story more then their gameplay and still are all well liked games. Actually now that I think of it... a point & click story adventure level may not be a horrible idea for a LBP contest!
    Last edited by Lord-Dreamerz; 04-13-2018 at 05:52 PM.
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  31. #16
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    There I agree, but I meant the 'classic' game genres like shooters, platformers and stuff. A point and click adventure is a different genre than that. Keep in mind that I have a different opinion and that I like more 'active' games in the sense that I interact more with the world.

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  33. #17
    Symbol of Peace gurren009's Avatar
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    I still think story is important. I just think we need to find a way for creators to implement it in a more simpler way than creating a full-on story for their level.

    Oh btw, I have a question. When Dreams comes out, does that mean that we're going to start having contests for that game? That would be awesome!

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  35. #18
    LBPC crew member mdkd99's Avatar
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    Of course other aspects can be important, but I'm not sure if there are enough interested creators who would be able to make a platformer with a little story or some other things like open world elements or topdown elements. The recent contest had one entry with a story and the task was to create a story.

    A contest by LBPC in Dreams could increase LBPC's popularity.


  36. #19

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    Question-

    Do you need official permission to allow and manipulate your own contest?
    Cuz I post a (suggested by me) contest in contest suggestion, no I do not have twitter for private reasons.

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  38. #20

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    Could we not have some kind of contraption contest. As much as aI like story based levels more, I feel like the number of entrants will be low because of it.

    Maybe a contest to make some wacky and complex marble run machine.

    Entry level for something this would seem quite easy. Can allow for a vast range of flexibility, and who doesn't like watching where that marble will go and hit etc.

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