Both the volume and standard of entries to the GENESIS — Birth of a Game competition were “stunning” according to the judges who assembled in a darkened hotel room somewhere in Birmingham for the final judging ceremony.
An Executive Minion at CRASH Towers spent over twelve hours just opening the entries to the competition and sorting them into some semblance of order before they were loaded into the Editor’s car and shipped to Brum.
Judging began shortly after 11.00am, and after some discussion as to how they were ever going to manage to come up with a shortlist of entries let alone a winner, the judging panel set to work with a vengeance. As they ploughed through the entries, the members of the team specially assembled to pick a winner were continually amazed by the standard of presentation and quality of ideas contained in the entries. After a working lunch — a few plates of sarnies — and many difficult decisions, it was nearly teatime and the vast pile of GENESIS entries had been whittled down to a manageable shortlist.
Coffee was served and some detailed analysis of the remaining game designs followed. Several designs that were full of merit but somehow didn’t seem likely to make a mainstream game were put to one side. With their senders’ permission, these will be forwarded to companies active in the budget software market for further consideration.
After much discussion, two game designs were left in the lead, and two entries marked for an ‘Award of Merit’. Finally, two contestants were left to slug it out in the ring of ideas. The judges pondered, agonised, talked amongst themselves, ordered more coffee and then held a full meeting. It was clear that there had to be two winners, not one.
KAT TRAP — Planet of the Cat Men, dreamt up by John Eggleton was selected as the first GENESIS inspired game and should be out before Christmas, while The Sewer from Martin Lee is going to be programmed in time for a Spring release.
Leper Attack at Lemming Rock, a design submitted by Ian Bell was well received by the judges — in the game you play the part of a lemming hero whose aim in life to free his lemming colony from the threat posed by the Leper King and his evil minions. The final confrontation with the King requires the hero to fight in a very unorthodox manner — a flatulence attack is the only way to kill off the arch baddie!
Nigel Palmer’s game design for Headache was felt to be a little short on actual gameplay, but the core idea was sound and supported by a wealth of material covering the marketing and presentation of the game itself. Both Ian and Nigel win a Special Commendation from the judges. CRASH/DOMARK/DESIGN DESIGN goodiebags will be on their way to the two runners up very shortly.
Graham and Dave from DESIGN DESIGN duly scampered back to their Manchester lair to begin work on KAT TRAP, and by the time you read they will have had a meeting with John Eggleton and the game should be well underway. Take a peek at the Results pages for a few more details of the judge’s shortlist and stand by for a progress report on the programming next month...
There’s no doubt that there’s a strong Match Day following amongst CRASH readers — one of you is even planning to set up the MATCH DAY APPRECIATION SOCIETY. Perhaps it is time to admit that we should have made the game a Smash when we reviewed it...
During an interview with John Ritman and Chris Clarke, the people who wrote this famous OCEAN game, the idea of holding a Match Day Challenge was mooted and met with all-round approval. So, towards the end of October, John and Chris are going to wend their way up from The Smoke to the sleepy market town of Ludlow with the aim of taking on the cream of the CRASH’s Match Day playing readership.
Which is where you come in. We’re going to pit this programming duo against a CRASH staffer and a selection of readers, and report on the tournament in the December issue. If you can win at International Level with a score of 15-0 or better, John and Chris reckon you might be in with a chance (!).
There’s no way we can validate your prowess in advance, but remember, if you tell fibs about your footballing skills you’ll look a real wally when Chris and John inflict a crushing defeat, and all the other CRASH readers get to read about your humiliation...