Graphics meets Games Competition

Eurographics, the largest computer graphics conference in Europe, and the 2nd largest worldwide - with thousands of attendees from all over the world, from academia and the computer graphics and game industry - for the first time this year, is holding the Graphics Meets Games Competition.

 

The Challenge

Show us a cool new graphics effect, that could be used in a computer game, and create a small, self-contained real-time 3D demo game that showcases the effect. If the player can interact with the effect or it interacts with the environment (i.e it is more than eye candy), maybe in some kind of physically based way (think for instance low-gravity, or magical physics, zero-friction liquids, balls that multiply on collision etc.), then it is even better.

In any case, show us something we have not seen in a 3D game, either through a new effect or a new use of a known effect or combination of effects. If you employ a physics engine, it need not be written by you, but you have to have a valid license to use it.

What we are looking for is something that could be incorporated into a standard PC- or videogame running on standard hardware, without the need for non-standard input devices, cameras, several monitors etc. The goal is to be creative within these limitations, and come up with something which uses a graphical effect in a novel - preferably interactive and maybe physics-based - way, where the novelty of the (physical) interaction refers to "interactive within the game environment". To make it possible for a large number of people to participate, all the hardware you need to participate is a PC + monitor, a keyboard, potentially a mouse and a modern graphics card.

Note that game is meant in a broad sense here: It can mean following a classical computer/video game paradigm, a more artistic playing around in an interesting environment (without a set goal) approach, or a learning game.

Note also, that we are not primarily interested in fancy models or animation etc.; these might help in showcasing your effect, but if your demo game can create a splash using only simple geometric objects, it is just as well.

As long as you have a novel, playful idea with 3D graphics, we want to see it !

 

Submission Deadline

Submission Deadline is August, the 28th of 2006, 23:59. The final version of your submission according to the Submission Requirements must be uploaded to the server until 11:59 pm. You can change your submission as often as you like before that.

 

Prizes

The following prizes are waiting for the best three (see below) contestants:

3rd place: 1 x NVidia GeForce 7900GS + 1 computer/videogame of your choice
2nd place: 1 x NVidia GeForce 7900GT + 2 computer/videogames of your choice
1st place: 1 x NVidia GeForce 7900GTX + 3 computer/videogames of your choice

The prices can be received at the Eurographics conference or mailed to you.

NVidia - The Way It's Meant To Be Played
The European Union GameTools Project

 

Contestants and Winner

From all submissions the best entries (contestants), selected by the games chairs and a technical jury, will be prominently showcased in an interactive large-screen exhibition, and the winner will be selected through an audience vote during the conference.

The contestants will be informed in advance and will get free admission at the last day of the conference (travel and accomodation costs will have to be paid for by contestant).
Attending the conference in any way is not a condition for participating or winning the Graphics meets Games competiton !

Note: This is only to help contestants who cannot otherwise afford to attend the conference to be able to partcipate live in Graphics meets Games. It cannot be used to reduce the price of attendance for regular Eurographics 2006 attendants.

 

Registration

If you consider submitting a demo game, you can register an email address now, to stay up to date on all matters regarding the Graphics meets Games competition (clarification of rules, deadlines, etc).
Please enter your email address here:

 

Contact

If you have questions or comments about the competition, please contact the Games-chairs.

 

Requirements

Operating System

The demo game must run under Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2.

CPU

The game should run comfortably on a 3.2 GHz dual-core Intel Pentium 4.

RAM

2 GB RAM can be assumed to be present.

Graphics Card

The demo game must run on DirectX 9 Shader Model 3 compatible graphic cards. The showcase card will most likely be NVidia GeForce 7800 GTX graphics cards with 512MB of RAM.

Graphics API

The demo must run under either DirectX 9 or OpenGL 2.0.

Directory and File Structure

Your game files must be organized according to the following structure:
  1. the main executable must be named run.exe and reside at the root level.
  2. the following other files must exist at root level:
    1. readme.txt, containing the name/title of the submission and a short description of the program, including the name and location of the configuration file (see below under Configuration).
    2. usage.txt, must contain a description of the user interface (Note: The program must contain a help screen, which also gives the full information on how to use the program; see below for details).
    3. game.txt, must contain the name of the game and a short, highlevel description (not including user interface; think advertising text).
    4. contact.txt giving the names and email addresses of the authors of the game, one name per line, in the format
      First Last email
      e.g.: Xavier Sample xsample@graphiccracks.com
  3. the subdirectory images must contain at least 3 JPEG compressed screenshots of your game. It may, at your digression, also contain 3 short (!) DivX/Xvid compressed videos of your game. In case that something with your submission is not working, these will be used to decide whether to contact you to give you the opportunity to fix the problem.
  4. if you would like to include the sourcecode of your submission (you are not required to do so), then put it in the src subdirectory.
  5. all other files must reside in subdirectories below the root level, other than images.

Configuration

Should the program require/allow technical configuration settings to be made (e.g. whether to use OpenGL or DirectX 9 as the Rendering API; note that it is not required to support both Render APIs), these must be available through either a well commented configuration text file (whose name and location preferably at root level must be given in readme.txt) or a simple configuration program (config.exe, also at root level). To hinder users from changing technical settings, do not expose these settings from inside the main program. All settings must persist in some form (in the case of the configuration text file trivially so) in some form, so that correct configuration of the program has only to occur once.

Input Devices

The allowed input devices are only a standard keyboard and an a 2-button-mouse. If you need more mouse buttons, use keys (e.g. the Shift-key) in combination with the mouse buttons. If you are convinced that your concept absolutely requires another input device (e.g. gamepad, mousewheel), please contact the Games-chairs.

Programming - Startup

The following conditons must be met at program startup:
  1. The program must not require any interaction (e.g. no select-resolution or gamesettings screens).
  2. When started with the -action command line switch, the program must not go to an initial menu, but directly start the game, without any user input.

Programming - User Interface

The following keys must be mapped to the following functionality:
F1
Help screen(s); displays an in-game help screen or help screens, giving short information on all user input possibilities (keyboard, mouse).
F5
Hint; Optional: Displays an in game screen, giving hints to the player how to interact with the environment.
ESC
Exit game (with query)
F10
Exit game (without query)
P
Pause/Unpause the game (toggle)

Programming - Game Interface

If the the submitted game uses an interaction paradigm which is, in a broad sense, similar to a typical first person shooter, then it is highly desireable for the key bindings to be as follows:
W, Keypad 5, Cursor Up
Forward movement
A, Keypad 1
Strafe left
D, Keypad 3
Strafe right
S, Keypad 2, Cursor down
Backward movement
Cursor Left
Turn left
Cursor Right
Turn right
Space, J
Jump
Alt, Return, Enter, I, Right Mouse Button
Interact
Left Mouse Button, Ctrl
Fire (in the broadest sense)
Mouse movement
standard mouselook (mouse up ... look up, mouse left ... look left, etc)
If your game uses a more complex or completely different interaction paradigm, try to stick to the above key-binding as much as possible, and use the same key-binding principle: follow convention where possible, put interesting/important activities on keys the player is likely to try or guess as the correct keys to use and which are easy enough to reach with just two hands and do not forget to describe your key-bindings on the help screen(s) (F1)!

Resolution and Colordepth

The game must accept a commandline switch to set the fullscreen startup resolution. The switch must use the format
rx x-resolution -ry y_resolution

E.g.: run.exe rx 1024 ry 768 to start the game with a resolution of 1024x768 in fullscreen mode.

If the given resolution is not supported by the graphics card, then the application shall write an according message to the logfile and exit. The default resolution for the game to start in must be 640x480.

Your game may use any color-, depth-buffer-, etc depth it likes.

 

Debugging

To facilitate giving meaningful feedback to the authors in case of program misbehavior, the program should log his startup activities and error messages into a logfile log.txt which is located at the same level as the executable. The file shall be overwritten at each program start.

 

Restrictions

Tools

There are no restrictions on the tools you are allowed to use to create the demo game.

Libraries

There are no restrictions on the libraries you are allowed to use to create the demo game.

Maximum Number of Submissions

Each individual or group must not submit more than 3 games to the competition.

 

Liability

When entering into this competition, you guarantee that none of the material you submit (including, but not limited to, the program, DLLs, libraries, 3D models, textures or animations) infringes any intellectual property rights of any 3rd party.

What this means in practice is: Make sure that all the things you submit have either been created by yourself or that the person who created them is OK with you submitting them.

 

Submission Procedure

ZIP Archive

Compress the complete game directory, containing all the necessary files, into an archive in the ZIP compression format.

Upload

To submit the game go to the submission page, fill in the required information (graphics API, graphics hardware game was tested on, name of submitting individual or group, etc) and upload your compressed demo game file. You will be informed about the success of your upload via email. Your email will also be automatically entered into a mailing list, so that you can be informed about news in the competition. Up to the deadline you can at any time upload a newer version of your submission.

Important: Make sure that your submission can be unpacked into any folder and started from there by executing run.exe at the root folder level. This includes that you have to make sure that your submission contains all the files (DLLs, etc) needed to run the application (for example, GLUT, DirectX monthly updates etc.). No installers, please !

You can assume that a .NET runtime environment (1.0 and 2.0) is installed on the target platform.

The jury reserves its right to reject any submission which does not comply with these conditions.