It's been a long, long time in coming, but I'm happy to announce that we finally have the code results in. More to say on that front, but first let's announce the winners:
Winning the grand prize is Lurking Patrol Comrades, an impressive MMORPG with a vast world, plenty of characters to speak to, both a melee and a magic based battle system, and a polished user interface. The project has the same client as The Mana World but implements its own server. It's an interesting project worth checking out, and it's lived on under a new name, Source of Tales.
Congratulations, and please do keep up development; we'd love to see more!
Coming in as the HTML5 Grand Prize is Big Island. Big island lives up to what the name promises… it's a huge, beautiful environment. And it does some interesting things: by day, you have to explore the island to get a sense of where various features are, hire guards or upgrade your weapons or health. By night, zombies come in and try to kill the villagers, and it's up to you to save them. There's a somewhat meditative aspect of the game because inevitably you simply won't be able to save everyone: the task before you is just too large. But you can try to do as good as you can for as long as you can.
In addition to being an interesting game, Big Island is an excellent technical achievement that shows off the powerful future of HTML5 gaming. We hope that Big Island is an indication of a beautiful future ahead for free software in gaming on the web!
Next up for the secondary individual prize we have Castle Defense. If I had my way, Castle Defense would be a mandatory install in elementary school computer labs everywhere: it's an educational game that's not only fun, it's extremely hard to put down. You are facing off against an army of skeletons invading your castle, and the only way to beat them back is to instruct your archers to fire. The archers have an odd habit of only listening to firing orders that correspond to solved math problems though! At certain points in the game skeletons come in from multiple paths and angles, and you have to combine your math skills with timing, planning, and quick thinking. Definitely a load of fun (and a cool HTML5 entry to boot!) and worth trying. You might find that you have a hard time putting it down!
Last but not least is our secondary prize for teams. Laurelia's Polymorphable Citizens comes in as an impressive single-player RPG. The game makes use of a modified version of the FLARE engine (if you haven't seen FLARE, well you should, because it's an incredibly impressive project… really great if you like dungeon crawlers). The game doesn't play like FLARE though; for one thing, instead of being an isometric game like FLARE, it has all the Liberated Pixel Cup look to it. And it works great! The game has a good story and some neat features. And as the title suggests, the game makes interesting use of a lot of transformation: in order to succeed in your task, you have to switch between the powers of various creatures!
It's an interesting game, and has a good sense of story and adventure, and cool to see the FLARE engine being put to different use. Check it out!
I'm excited that we've finally been able to announce the winners of this contest. We had a huge turnout, and we had a huge amount of entries, and a huge amount of quality. In an ideal universe, we would be handing out many, many more rewards. There were so many impressive entries!
If you're interested in seeing more reviews, I highly recommend reading Nushio's blogposts on Liberated Pixel Cup… he reviewed every game that was written. (I avoided reading any of his posts until judging was in, but now that that's done I did some reading through and Nushio did a very thorough job… it's too bad he couldn't have been a judge, but he was also a participant in the contest and was part of writing one of many extremely excellent games that unfortunately did not win, called Unsealed: Whispers of Wisdom.) There's a lot of gems that came in through this contest and the above link is an excellent guide for looking through them.
Of course, there's also the embarrassing fact that the contest took way, way longer to judge than we anticipated. I've mentioned this somewhat when art judging was wrapping up, and it took even longer for this code wrapup. As with the art, we were overwhelmed with submissions. The code judging took even longer, and I feel bad about this. Between the length of time to play each game, many more games than we anticipated, personal issues in the lives of some key organizers, and the complexity of building so many games, doing this judging was a lot harder than we expected. However, I am still proud of Liberated Pixel Cup. I think it's been a great achievement for many, many people. I'll be writing up a summary post explaining some behind the scenes (including what happened with judging) shortly.
Despite the judging delay, one other sign of success is how excited many of the participants of this year's Liberated Pixel Cup have been to find out if there would be another one. The answer is simply: we aren't sure, but we are certainly interested in it. We think that aside from the judging delays, many of the decisions made in Liberated Pixel Cup were very successful, and we'd like to repeat them. There's a lot of discussion still: will we use the same style? Would it be this year or next? And we will definitely want to update the way judging is done (we have some ideas on this). If you're interested in such things, you should perhaps join us in #liberatedpixelcup on irc.freenode.net and join the conversation.
Congrats to everyone who participated! You rock!