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Four Elements VI

Home Rules and Regulations The Elements Sponsors and Prizes Results Your Entry See the Entries Forum

  1. Entries that do not include at least three of the four elements will be disqualified. An element must have a significant presence in the game to be considered as included.
  2. All files required to use and execute the entry must be submitted to qualify, with the exception of the software already installed on the machine as listed in the minimum specification. 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. However, entrants should be prepared to submit whole or partial source files if the judges require it (e.g. in the case of accusations of IP infringement).
  4. Submissions for the Windows platform must be made as a single file in RAR or ZIP formats, or as an EXE or MSI installer. Submissions for Mac must be provided as DMG files, and submissions for Ubuntu must be provided as Debian format packages. Any installers used must be licensed for distribution, as per rule 16.
  5. The entry must include some form of manual (or at least a readme). You may use any common document format (TXT, PDF, HTML, DOC, CHM), but PDF is recommended.
  6. The entry must support the taking of screenshots. Unless an entry provides an alternative mechanism, it is assumed that pressing the print-screen key will take a screenshot of the game and save it to the clipboard. If an alternative mechanism is provided, it must be clearly documented in the manual. Any entry that does not support screenshots will be disqualified.
  7. Entrants are both allowed and encouraged to use 3rd party libraries, engines, and middleware to develop their entry, provided that whatever they use permits unrestricted distribution of the resulting entry executable per the Legal requirements of this contest.
  8. An entrant may only submit one entry. An entry may contain multiple sub-games, but the collection will be judged as a single entry; a good game and a bad game make for an average collection.
  9. 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 distributes prizes within the team.
  10. There is no size limit on entries, but please be reasonable. If you're concerned about the size of your entry, then please contact us to discuss how to handle it. It is the entrant's responsibility to ensure that their entire entry is uploaded by the time submission closes.
  11. Any entry containing content that would qualify it for an 'AO' rating from the ESRB will be disqualified. In other words, if it's the sort of game that one would find in an "adult bookstore," it is not acceptable.
  12. 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 eligible to participate, with the exception of Richard "superpig" Fine, the contest manager. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and provincial laws and regulations.
  13. By entering the contest, entrants agree to provide proof of identification for any prizes awarded as required by law.
  14. The judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed to be contrary to the spirit of the contest.
  15. Any entry that infringes the intellectual property of any third party will be immediately disqualified. This includes but is not limited to the use of 'ripped' sprites or graphics from other games, the use of sound effects and music from other games, and the use of registered trademarks. Use is permitted if the entrant has permission from the owner of the IP, but you should be prepared to prove that you have permission.
  16. Any entry that uses third party technology without a valid license to do so will be immediately disqualified. If in any doubt as to whether your license permits distribution of your entry as per our terms and conditions, check with your licensor.
  17. Entrants must give permission for GameDev.net to pass entrant contact information to sponsors for the purposes of delivering prizes.
  18. Multiplayer games are permitted; multiplayer-only games are also permitted. If a game operates using a central server, the server software must be submitted to the judges so that they can ensure that it is not changed for the duration of the judging period. The server software must thus either run on the platforms given by the minimum specification, or be submitted in the form of a VMWare Virtual Machine. If you do not wish your server software to be released as a part of your entry, contact the contest manager to arrange separate submission.
  19. GameDev.net reserves the right to modify contest rules or cancel the contest at any time without prior notification. It is the entrant's responsibility to check the rules for changes up to one week before submission closes.
  20. The contest manager's decisions are final.

If you've got any questions about the rules, the best place to check is the Forum.

Minimum System Requirements

If your entry does not run on a computer with one of the following sets of specifications, you will be disqualified.


CPU: 2.0GHZ Pentium 4 or equivalent
Video: GeForce FX 5900 or equivalent (shader model 2), 128MB video RAM
Input: Keyboard and 3-button wheel mouse
OS: Microsoft Windows XP or Ubuntu 7
Hard Drive: 10 GB
Software: Under Windows:
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0c, with all versions of the D3DX DLL preinstalled
  • OpenGL 2.0
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0
  • Managed DirectX 1.1
  • XNA Framework 1.0 and 1.0 Refresh
  • XNA Framework 2.0, but no Creators Club subscription - i.e. LIVE is not supported
  • Sun Java Runtime Environment 6.0
  • Adobe Flash 9
  • Adobe Shockwave 10
  • Firefox 2.0
  • Internet Explorer 7
Under Ubuntu: All dependencies will be handled by the package manager.

Apple Macintosh

CPU: 2.0GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo
Video: Intel GMA 950 onboard graphics with 64MB shared memory
Input: Keyboard and 3-button wheel mouse
OS: OS X 10.4
Hard Drive: 10 GB
Software: TBA


Entries will be judged across three major categories, each one made up of five subcategories. Judges will score an entry for each subcategory. No single category or subcategory contributes more to your total score than any other.

Technical Production Gameplay

Stability and robustness
Does it crash? How does it handle errors?

Best Practices
How does it act when multiple or limited user accounts are in play? What's the install/uninstall like? Is it secure?

Framerate, load times, and memory usage

Advanced technology
How technologically advanced does the end result appear to be?

Do enemies get stuck in strange places? Do collisions let objects move into the walls?

Appropriateness of art style, quality of artwork, effectiveness of icons and symbols

Quality and appropriateness of sound and music

Quality of both interface and story/dialogue/descriptive text

General 'togetherness' or 'smoothness' of the user experience

Was it finished on time? Are there any obvious loose ends?

Exactly what it says on the tin. Is it fun?

Replayability and addictiveness
Would I still be playing this next week? Would I have trouble not playing this next week?

How original is the gameplay and game concept?

Learning curve, complexity

Does it feel like a single, smooth system? Does everything 'fit' in the design, or do bits feel like they've been 'bolted on?'

Legal Requirements

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.

Summary in plain English (only partial, not legally binding): We want to host and distribute your entry, and we might want to use it to advertise the site. You need to give us permission to do that, and you also need to check that we can do that with any parts of your entry that belong to somebody else (e.g. licensed technology or artwork). By submitting an entry, you're implicitly claiming that you've made all those checks and that we can do what we want with it.