Level & Graphic Design Contest for Indie Remake of Jetpack

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by AdeptSoftware, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. AdeptSoftware

    Indie Author

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    Design contest, $200 in prizes. Creative fans will have 5 weeks to design levels, graphics, and sound for the upcoming web-playable classic game Jetpack. http://www.jetpackhq.com/blog/2010/02/05/the-jetpack-retrofit-contest/

    Press Release follows:

    Adept Software Launches Level Design Contest for Re-Release of the Classic Game Jetpack

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, Feb 05, 2010 -- Adept Software today announced a game design contest open to all Jetpack fans. Creative fans will have 5 weeks to design levels, graphics, and sound for the upcoming web-playable classic game Jetpack.

    The new release of Jetpack ends one of the longest Vaporware runs ever, since a sequel had been promised since 1995. 15 years later, the re-release of Jetpack will include significant enhancements to the classic game, including web play, high-res graphics, remastered sounds and music, and new levels. It will also include a pixelated "retro mode" to let fans reminisce about the original game.

    Jetpack was originally released as a MSDOS game in 1993, and quickly became the #1 top seller for its publisher out of 70 titles. Since its re-release as freeware in 1995 it has been downloaded over 1 million times. The game was popular due to its easy-to-learn gameplay and creativity inspiring level editor.

    The contest will let fans of the original game use that level editor to win prizes and even get their name in the credits of the new release. Fans can enter and keep up with the contest at JetpackHQ: www.jetpackhq.com

    SOURCE: Adept Software, Inc.
    www.adeptsoftware.com
     
  2. chillypacman

    chillypacman Guest

    This seems like a dodgy way to get people to do work for you.
     
  3. AdeptSoftware

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    There's nothing dodgy about it, people like the game and want to be a part of it. We already have several volunteers creating some great stuff for free, and this gives us a way to reward the best with a limited budget.
     
  4. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    I remember Jetpack. 8)

    It does seem dodgy to ask for free work in contest form. If you plan on charging for the game or monetizing it in any way then you should pay professionals for the work.
     
  5. AdeptSoftware

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    It's not exactly free - I'm trading a free copy of the game for the smallest contribution - and from a hard core Jetpack fan, that is almost certainly a lost sale. Typical MOD songs I've seen are $5-$10 to license royalty-free, and to many fans, trading a song or a few sprites for a $10-$15 game (with their name in the credits) is a good deal. Those who contribute more are very likely to get a standard rate or better for their work thanks to the cash rewards, and given the relatively small amount of content needed for Jetpack. I'm also happy to be working with amateurs and hobbyists - it would definitely be easier to pay a professional (if I had the money) than to run a contest, but I like getting the fan community involved, and it brings more interest to the game. The rules and circumstances are clear, and it's up to the individuals to decide if the trade is worth it - if they don't, I won't get any content.

    I understand your concern, as a contest format could be misused to put together a content-driven game and sell it without doing much work. Being fair to Jetpack fans is very important to me: the content load of this game is light, I exchange something for every contribution, and the rules are in plain sight for people to make up their own minds. If you find anything specific that is unfair in the rules, I welcome the chance to rectify it: http://www.jetpackhq.com/blog/2010/02/05/the-jetpack-retrofit-contest/
     
  6. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    My attitude about these things is that it's a free world, and people can do whatever they want to try to get other people to do free/cheap work for them. That doesn't make it a good idea, however... hiring a single professional artist almost invariably produces better results than "crowdsourcing." And from the artists' point of view, no professional with any business sense participates in such things, as unless the prize is equal to what they'd regularly charge TIMES the number of equally talented people participating, they're not statistically earning enough to pay for their time. To clarify:

    I charge $33.33/hr. for most work. So a 3 hour job is $100. If my contest entry would take me three hours, and there are 20 other artists of about my skill level participating, then the prize had better be at least $2000. And it almost never is - in fact, the prize offered in these things is often less than what I'd charge if I had a 100% chance of getting paid.
     
  7. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I agree with Alex.
     
  8. cyodine

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    I couldn't help but think the exact same thing as I read it. Whether it is or not, that was my first impression. Maybe if you offered royalties or something later for winners.. since they did contribute to the content. That would at least put it to the level of 'do work now and pay later if I make money' - still not the best approach but at least a step up in my mind.
     
  9. AdeptSoftware

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    To clarify, I don't expect anyone but Jetpack fans and hobbyists to take part in this contest - and they are! ( http://www.jetpackhq.com/blog/retrofit/ ). I would never expect or ask a professional to work for a chance at getting paid.
     
    #9 AdeptSoftware, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  10. jrjellybeans

    jrjellybeans New Member

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    My 2 cents:

    I really don't see why this is that bad.

    As it's been said, it's a free world and people are allowed to do whatever they want. As long as the rules are out in the open, people can CHOOSE to participate in it if they want. As professionals, I can understand how YOU wouldn't take part in it, but there may be some professionals who would. Because they like the game or something....
     
  11. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    You wouldn't ask mechanics to compete for a chance to work on your car for free just because it so happens that you have a Dodge Viper and they are Viper fans... even if you offered them a ride in the car afterwards.

    I don't think the contest is illegal or even devious, it just goes to show how little artists and musicians are valued.
     
  12. AdeptSoftware

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    An email I just received, which echoes several others:

    (Account name: -----, as doubtful as it is, but if anything I make does make it into jetpack, I request that you do NOT send me any money, I am doing this to help an awesome new game to be released, not to make money :) )
     
  13. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It's cool you have that kind of response (really, it is), but I think the point here is more to do with the mindset of developers than anything. I've seen no end to 'Make art for us and see it in game', 'Beta test our latest version for a chance to see the next version early' and other such classics.

    Too many devs take well-meaning people for a ride these days. How right or wrong that is will come down to your morality meter, but to me it's annoying to watch, and sometimes be a part of.

    So, long story short- there's just a point in this thread to respect the people out there, no matter how willing they are.
     
  14. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    That's fine, but I can tell you with 99% certainty that the people you're getting are hobbyists, not professionals. There are certainly some talented hobbyists out there, but there's more to being a professional artist than just being able to draw. You're likely to find these guys inconsistent, unreliable, bad with deadlines, unwilling to take criticism and art direction, etc.

    Anyway, we'll see what the final game looks like... I predict that it'll be better than programmer art, but not good enough to compete with games made by people with an art budget.
     
  15. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    This flabbergasts me. Seriously. Most indies aren't making any cash - especially in light of the current price wars and the race to free games for everybody. If people are having fun taking part in his contest then why would y'all be pressuring him to hire artists so that he can likely lose money?
     
  16. AdeptSoftware

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    Heh, present company excluded of course, but in my personal experience, the score between hobbyists and professional artists for ability to take criticism swings highly to the former. As for quality, I'm pretty good at editing and polishing, and not so good at creating, so I think the end result will be ok, and I'll massage the various styles to be somewhat coherent. My own performance with deadlines hasn't exactly been stellar, since this game is 15 years late. My main concern is not getting any submissions for specific characters, in which case I'll turn to royalty free sprite sheets & stock.

    Reactor: I don't know the situation today, but when this was developed in 1992 we never paid our beta testers, and we used what few offers we had for free labor. I'm fortunate to have a property that millions of people have played and remember fondly from their youths, that I don't deny.

    Adam
     
  17. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Community beta testing in and of itself is a great thing. But, you can understand that times have changed since '92, and expecting people to chime in for nothing is seemingly now taken for granted by most companies. You seem like a decent guy who understands this and respects those who've helped. No worries there... I just couldn't help but bring up the point :p

    I hope it works out well for you, and the community gets a kick out of it.
     
    #17 Reactor, Feb 11, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  18. Jamie W

    Original Member Indie Author

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    I wonder if there are any legal issues re: using the JetPack name? It could be considered cashing in on someone else's brand etc..
     
  19. AdeptSoftware

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    Whose brand would that be?
     
  20. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Ultimate play the game -> Rare -> Epic Fail

    EDIT: I see my memory does not serve me well. In which way did software creations get ripped off, resold and burned please?
     

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