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Messages - Sinitrena

I loved Soko-Ban. It was my very first video game (well, after Pong, but definitely the first on a computer) This remake gives me feels!

Should I post the link to the online version I found a couple yeaes ago, that has countless additional levels? Oh, here it is, in case someone is interested: https://www.janko.at/Spiele/Sokoban/index.htm
And we have a winner - a pretty clear winner, considering the amount of votes.

4th place goes to Pajama Sam: This entry didn't receive a lot of love, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I like the idea, the murderous trees looking down on the protagonist in their eery landscape - a classical theme for a dream. From an artistic poont of view, it might need a little more work, but I could see this as a delibarate contrast to a more colourful and detailed real world.

3rd place goes to stylez75 (technically ildu and stylez both received 2 points, but because ildu voted and stylez did not, I use my executive tie-breaking powers): This is very surreal and psychedelic. I would say the character stumbled into a drug-induced dream, not just a normal one. It's a bit difficult to tell (at least for me) where walkable areas would be and which elements are just background, but that just adds to the strange atmosphere and feelings this background oozes.

2nd place goes to ildu: What a cute little ghost! This is a very artistacilly pleasing background and I'd like to walk a character through it. It doesn't feel much like a dream to me, but in context with other backgrounds in a game it might. It's still my favorite of the bunch.

1st place goes to Reiter: I'm reminded of Trilby's Notes (I think it was, unless I'm mixing up the games in this series) in style, atmosphere, general feeling abd theme. This is a background that's easy to use, clear defined walkable areas, objects, hotspots and an accompaning story - basically, it's ready to go. Now go and make the game, I want to play it!

But first, start the next round of the Background Blitz. Congratulations, Reiter.
Alrighty, nobody else wanted to vote, so we have a winner.

But first, let me tell you that I love both entries. They are both creative, clever ideas for a slightly weird topic and I think they would both work really well in a game. Well done to both of you.

But there's only one person eho can win here, and in this case it is Reiter with the smallest of margins.

Congratulations, Reiter, your turn to start the next round!
Two very good stories - as one would expect from such great writers!

Mandle: Beautiful written and a very thorough application of the topic. Full marks on this account. I did get kinda right away that the protagonist was in the wrong place, I'm not sure if the reader was supposed to figure this out right away, after a few scenes or only when the narrator does at the very end. Either way, I'm glad the story didn't turn into an embarrasing situation where one character tries to explain himself or tries to trick the other - or all kinds of other awkward possibilities one might find in a comedy. The way it is, it reads like a nice feel-good story. I liked it. A minor detail I'm slightly disappointed (this word feels to strong) about is that we never learn whom Billy was actually expecting, leaving a (somewhat) important plot-threat hanging. Otherwise, all around a good story.

Baron: Good characters make for a good set-up here. I felt with Zippo when he laundered the money, that's how I understood this expression when I heard it for the first time. The crime drama I was watching then as a child turned out rather confusing.  ;) I love the character of Mrs. Phong, though it is dofficult to say if she acts intentionally or not - does she just have a goid business instinct or is she setting up the two thieves? Is she naive or devious? I like the ambiguity in her personality. There's one minir detail I would probably change: Mrs. Phong's business moves too fast. Zippo and Curly should probably check on Mrs. Phong werkly, not daily to make it more realistic. Also, the ending is a bit sudden and needlessly deus ex machina: the cops just happen to be there, just happen to hear something incriminating. A cleaner (pun intended) ending would do the story good.

I haven't decided on my allication of points yet, so I'll send them sometime later today or tomorrow.
Oh, votes!!! Votrs make the competition admin happy  ;-D

A few more would be nice, though. As it stands, this is a three-way-tie with four participants.
Voting is open for a couple more hours.
QuoteNormally it's up to the host to decide who the winner is, and the winner will be the host to the next constest.
I guess that's technically the rule, but I don't know when it was practiced like that the last time. The next admin can certainly revert back to this. For this round, the winner is decided by the practical application of the democratic principle  :P

We have a very small lead - I'll leave voting open for a few hours more and post the winner sometime early evening (forum time)
That's... that's not how this works. You entered, you will FIGHT TO THE DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :P
Or to the most points, which we're seriously lacking here, just one single vote is just not enough.
Everyone: all you need to do is look at two nice little sprites and then post a single name, nothing more, that's all, I sweat. No secret fees, no contract, just the good feeling of having voted. Anyone? Please?
This competition needs more love (or any love at all, for that matter) in the form of some votes.

- everyone is allowed to vote!
- additional comments are nice, but not necessary (posting just the categories and names is perfectly fine!)
Oh, I'm not that strict. Nobody has voted yet, so I accept the entry.

We have four entries, voting is open, as described above.
The Long and Short of It

They lay next to each other. One long and thin, the other short and thicker in both body and mind (at least, according to the other brother).

For the time being, they were sleeping, while the grass around and under them swayed gently in a late summer breeze. Tim, the long and thin one of the brothers, occasionally rolled from one side to the other and just as occasionally he hit his brother Tom in the side with his long limbs. As they were both sleeping, one cannot fault him for this, and besides, Tom did not seem to mind. As a matter of fact, he didn't even seem to notice it. Only his dreams were sometimes interrupted and jolted in a different direction but he never remembered them, so their disconnection did not matter to him.

Now, though, noises drifted to them. Heavy steps shook the ground they lay on. Running and jumping feet disturbed the wind and rouse the little animals, the insects and the rodents. Bugs scattered and little brown mice lifted their noses towards the sound.

The two children, for it were two little boys confusing the serenity of the meadow, chased each other. Soon, one boy bent down and picked up a stick from the ground. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh it went through the air.

Tim, as it was Tim who was just picked up by the child, shook and shivered and his still fresh leaves - he had fallen in the storm last night and not all leaves had been blown away, you must know - quivered in the draft. He blinked a few times with his brown and green eyes. Created from other, smaller twigs, they still glistened in the sun.

Tim looked around for a moment, recognized the two boys, brothers, the son's of the owner of the tree he had once belonged to, and settled comfortably in the child's hand.

"Now I am a knight, and this is my sword!" the kid called, running over the grass, followed by the other one running after him with a stick of his own.

He had, as you already guessed, chosen Tom as his toy, and whipped the air with his stick like mad.

Tom was woken from his dreams, of course, and he soon heard the boys call to each other.

"I am the Black Knight, you'll never catch me!"

"Not true! I'm the White Knight, and this is my sword Excalibur! Surrender or die!"

Tom, not yet entirely awake, looked around for the glint of metal in the child's hand. Not seeing any, he followed the child's arm from his shoulder to his hand with his deep brown eyes.

It couldn't be, it was impossible, but no, he was sure. The child had nothing in his hands but Tom.

I'm a sword? he wondered, confused, but then, more certain, I am a sword! There was no doubt in his mind, no uncertainty, no question. It was sudden, this realization, but that was just the way Tom was: slow to understand reality but quick to draw conclusions.

Tom shook his thin limbs, making the rest of the foilage still on the wood shake and rattle.

"Tim. Tim!" he called over the sound of the wind rushing past his body, "Tim, I am a sword. The wizard" - for what else could the child be, if he had that kind of power? - "has turned me into a sword!"

Tim hardly heard his brother. He had gone back into a comfortable state between sleep and alertness. He blinked a few times, trying to parse his brother's words. "An imaginary one." he finally said, "In the mind of a child. In a dream."

Tim spoke his words so silently that Tom wasn't even sure he heard him - and he certainly must have heard him wrong. How could he doubt the powers of the wizard, when Tom clearly saw the bark breaking from his own silvery wood - silver like the edge of the great sword Excalibur - the leaves falling down to the ground or the dew on them shining like jewels in the sunlight, or the little twigs near the child's hand forming a guard.

Preposterous, it was preposterous to doubt the child-wizard's power!

Meanwhile, the game of tag the two boys were playing had turned into a standoff between two powerful knights. Were the fence confined the meadow, they stood facing each other, mighty swords in brawny hands (well, if you believe in the powers of imagination, of course). Soon, they called playful insults at each other, soon point of stick touched point of stick.

Tom, spurred on by the sweaty hand around his hilt, called out to his brother again: "I am the mighty sword Excalibur! I shall defeat every enemy, break every foe's weapon! No sword shall ever win against me!"

Tim sighed. "Whatever."

"You don't believe it? You don't believe in the great magic..."

Tim interrupted him, bored. "You're not a sword, Tom. These children are not knights or wizards. They are the same boys who climbed up on our tree just days ago and threw mud at each other. One day they are..."

Tim could not say more. The swords clashed against each other, sending leaves and little twigs flying. They clashed, they clanked, they fought like hell, the children as much as the sticks.

It was a rough, uncouth fight. One cannot say that there was any elegance in the steps of the boys. No sophisticated swordsmanship disturbed the flow of their play, just wild fun lead their arms in confusing circles through the air.

Leaves flew, twigs broke, until one final, heavy blow let the two sticks crash against each other. A maddening sound shook them both to the core. The wood, dried already from the time the two branches were seperated from their tree, creaked and crunched. And then, with a swoosh and a plop, three pieces of wood, that were once two, rushed to the ground.

Now, as is often the case with stories that are told from one generation to the next - as this one should be - there is more than one beginning, more than one middle, and, most notable of all, more than one ending.

One brother broke the other, that much is known, one stick crushed to the ground in two pieces while the other survived, one sword claimed the victory of ages. But which one lived and which one died, and if you find the answer to this question, then can you tell me why?

For the children, it did not matter, their swords were forgotten as soon as they fell. Their play brought them to other parts of the garden, into different times and stranger worlds.

But what happened here? What happened to Tim snd Tom? Did imagination, a magic far deeper than any witch's spell, turn a stick into a sword to break a measly stick? Was Tom, short and thick, just stronger than the leaner Tim? Or do you want a lesson on the limits of imagination, on the harsh truths of reality, and Tim broke his brother Tom, his body and his dreams?

Whatever your answer may be, forever it shall be yours alone.


I'm pretty sure this had more to do with the topic when I started writing.
(Written on my phone, so please ignore all typos.)

I think I waited long enough. I'd love to see your entry, ildu, even though it won"t be eligable to win. :)

But we do have three four entries that are eligable, and so I kindly ask everyone (participants and interested readers) to cast their votes in the following categories:

Concept: What is your background about? What sort of mood does it spark? What is, as it were, the big idea?
Playability: What is its opportunity for gameplay like? Walkable areas, hot-spots, and so forth?
Artistic Execution: How well does the picture convey an atmosphere? How well is it executed?

Get your votes in until 24. Feb.
Two entries - that makes this a competition! Nice!

And as it is a competition, we need to decide a winner. Please vote for your favorite and second favorite entry. Just votes are fine, some comments are even better.
Remember, you do not need to be a participant in the Sprite Jam to vote in it, everyone is allowed to. Get your votes in until 24. Feb.
One day left. Come on, guys, someone must have an idea!
Oh, three entries, not bad. But there's always room for more, and there's still a day left.

And if you need a bit of inspiration, there's the Share your dreams thread in a different part of the forums.
I think I do, indeed, need a few more days. If you could be so kind?
I'm working on something, but I'll need a bit more time (and even then I'm not sure I'll finish it - I'm not exactly healthy right now).
This is a long extension, but it does make sense to have the same deadline for both competitions.

So, deadline extended: 18. Feb
A day left. Anyone else working on something?
Wow, 25 years!

I did not realize how old AGS already is or how long I've been part of this community. I joined 2004. Time flies, time flies indeed.

Happy b-day, AGS.