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Four Elements IV Contest
Discuss this contest
in the forums

View and download the entries!


1stNinja Loves PirateATI, Softimage|XSI, ionForge Evolution, The Game Creators Dark Basic, EDI's Morning's Wrath, Extremely-Sharp, GDNet+
2ndToy RoboBeyond Virtual, Charles River Media, EDI's Morning's Wrath, GDNet+
3rdInk WarsLab Technology.NET, Game Institute, EDI's Morning's Wrath, GDNet+
4thZirconia 2: BattleEDI's Morning's Wrath, GDNet+
5thAgainst the DeadGDNet+

GameDev.net's most popular contest is back! Due to popular demand, we've brought back the beloved Four Elements contest, but this time we decided to make it more challenging - and more rewarding - than ever before.

The Four Elements IV contest is about bringing back the spirit of gaming. After years of research1, we determined that every successful game requires one of four elements: robots, pirates, ninjas, and zombies. So what better than a contest that combines them all!

Your goal in the Four Elements IV contest is to take at least two of these four game elements and do what you do best: make a game!

Sounds like fun, right? Well it gets even better! We have an amazing line up of sponsors for this contest, including ATI, Softimage, ionForge, Game Institute, Charles River Media, and that's we're just getting started. Interested in being a GameDev.net contest sponsor? Email us.

Now that we have your interest, take a look at this important information:

Vital Information
Theme:Four Elements - Robots, Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies
Description:Create a game that includes at least two of the four elements: robots, pirates, ninjas, and zombies. You have complete creative freedom over how you want to include these elements.
Categories:Technical, Creativity, Fun, Polish2
Platform:PC using Microsoft Windows; Web-based games also qualify
Start Date:June 6, 2005 at 12:00 AM EST
End Date:October 31, 2005 at 11:59 PM EST
Judging:November 1, 2005 to November 8, 2005
Winners Announced:November 9, 2005

Contest Rules
1. Entries including less than two (2) of the four elements will be immediately disqualified.
2. All files required to use and execute the entry must be submitted to qualify. You need to provide all materials required to play your game, as if you were packaging and selling it to gamers.
3. Source code submission is not required, but it is encouraged for educational purposes.
4. User documentation describing game use (i.e. a user manual) is required to be submitted with the entry. User manual may be submitted in any common document format (TXT, PDF, HTML, DOC).
5. Entrants may use and are encouraged to use 3rd party libraries, engines, and middleware to develop their entry, provided the library, engine, or middleware used permits unrestricted distribution of the resulting entry executable per the Legal requirements of this contest
6. Entrants may submit as many entries as they would like under the following conditions:
  • Entries are judged individually.

  • Should more than one entry place in a prize-qualifying position, then the prize awarded to the entrant will be for his/her highest placed entry. All other entries will be awarded places, but prizes will be awarded to a lower placed entry who has not already received a prize.
  • 7. Entrants may be individuals or teams, with no limit on team size. Prizes will be awarded on a per-entry basis, and GameDev.net is not responsible for determining how a team breaks up a prize.
    8. The entry must be able to run on Microsoft Windows to qualify. In other words, standard Windows executables, Flash, web-based games, etc. all qualify as long as we can use the entry on our judging machines.
    9. Entries may be single player or multiplayer or both. The entrant should use discretion when determining gameplay parameters.
    10. Variations of elements are allowed provided the elements are distinct and discernable. Judges have the final say on whether an element variation fits the criteria of that element.
    11. GameDev.net will not enforce a size limit on entries. However, please be reasonable. If you are concerned about the size of your entry, then please contact us regarding the size of your entry, and we will determine the best course of action for submitting your entry.
    12. Entries exhibiting poor judgment in character as determined by GameDev.net may be reviewed and acceptance possibly refused. For example, an entry that should be sold in an "Adult bookstore" will be disqualified.
    13. The contest is open to entrants who are 13 years of age or older and located anywhere on Earth. Void where prohibited by law. GameDev.net staff members are not eligible to participate. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and provincial laws and regulations.
    14. By entering the contest, entrants agree to provide proof of identification for any prizes awarded as required by law.
    15. US and non-US citizens are eligible to enter and win prizes.
    16. GameDev.net reserves the right to modify contest rules or cancel the contest at any time without prior notification.

    Technical:Stability, Use of Technology, Speed
    Creativity:Game Design, Artwork, Technical methods
    Fun:The Hook Factor, Gameplay Quality
    Polish:Presentation, Installation
    Kudos Points:Discretionary points awarded by judges for obvious efforts by an entry to go above and beyond the contest requirements.
    Overall:Overall score is calculated as follows:
    Technical average  +  Creativity average  +  Fun average  +  Polish average
    +Kudos Points
    Each category will be rated a value from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score possible and 10 being the highest. Average is defined as the average score across all judges.

    Suggested Minimum System Requirements
    CPU:1.5 GHZ
    RAM:256 MB
    Video:ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce2 GPU, shaders will be supported
    Input:Keyboard/Mouse, Joystick or gamepad optional
    Operating System:Microsoft Windows XP
    Hard Drive:10 GB
    Other:Microsoft DirectX 9, minimum OpenGL 1.1, Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1, latest Sun Java Runtime Environment, Macromedia Flash

    The Prizes Prizes are provided by the following contest sponsors, but this list is subject to change. Prize distribution to be announced soon!

    Latest high-end Radeon graphics card at contest end
    Softimage|XSI license
    ionForge Evolution licenses
    Single-title indie license to Beyond Virtual, which will include the Developer Toolkit (value: $200) as well as a Publishing License of the engine (value: $500).
    DarkBASIC Pro, FPS Creator Early Adopter, and DarkBASIC V1 with DarkMATTER Online licenses
    Three free courses of your choice
    Complete Graphics Gems collection (or series equivalent)
    $100 cash or $150 store credit (with proof of ID)
    One full year of GDNet+


    To submit an entry you must have registered before October 24th. To register click here (You will need a GameDev account).

    Once you have registered you will recieve a unique entry code. Before October 31, 2005, 11:59 PM EST you must use the entry code to submit a ZIP or RAR archieve containing your entry. If you send multiple files with the same code, only the last one will be counted unless you contact us. To submit your file, follow this procedure:
    1. Ensure all files required for your entry are in a single ZIP or RAR file. Add your entry code to the front of the filename, for example "fungame.zip" would be named "entrycode_fungame.zip".
    2. FTP to ftp://ftp.gamedev.net/. Login anonymous.
    3. Browse to the incoming folder.
    4. Upload your entry file. Only one file allowed per entry.


    By entering, the entrant represents and warrants that they have the right to grant GameDev.net the rights set forth above and hereby warrants that (1) the entry material is original and they are the sole author of and owner of all rights including copyrights to the entry and that the entry is not subject in whole or in part to claims of ownership of others or (2) the entry is subject, in whole or in part, to claims of ownership and copyright by others but that the entrant has the right to grant GameDev.net the rights set forth above. The entrant retains any and all rights of ownership, intellectual property rights and all other rights entrant may have in and to the entry. Notwithstanding mentioned ownership rights, by entering, the entrant personally or on behalf of their company grant GameDev.net permanent, non-exclusive, world-wide rights and a license, but not an obligation, free of any charge or compensation, to use, edit, copy, distribute and publish all or part of the entry, and all rights subsidiary to and derivative from the entry, in any medium now known or invented in the future, for promotional, advertising or demonstration purposes for GameDev.net's products or services or for GameDev.net generally.

    1We are exaggerating. We just thought it sounded like a fun contest.
    2Polish, as in "to remove flaws from; perfect or complete."

    All logos and trademarks are Copyright 2005 of the respected parties. All rights reserved.