Read it here for nice formatting and style.
Let me say this at the outset: I am in favor of the Kongregate move. Now let me clarify some points:
- Kongregate is not offering monies based on how well you do in the Ludum Dare ratings. Instead, they use the popularity rating system of their own site. This means that those who do not choose to submit to Kongregate are not in any way forced to participate. If you are for whatever reason steadily opposed to the idea of being involved with Kongregate, go nuts. Block all the entries hosted there. Really show ‘em who’s boss.
- Kongregate is not paying the hosts of the competition for the opportunity to conduct this separate competition. They are choosing to spend their money in a way they feel will be beneficial, to who or for what reason is outside my knowledge and the scope of this writing. They are not “paying off” McFunkypants or Kasperzak to take the jewels of our fine competition. They are simply offering another opportunity.
- Kongregate is well within their rights to do what they are doing. They have in no way broken any law, written, assumed, or otherwise. What they do with their money and site is their business. If they want to have an incentive for great coders to host their game on Kongregate, good for them.
- This does not go against the spirit of the competition. The idea of this competition is to make games, and have fun while doing so. It is beyond me how someone could feel that money somehow removes the fun-factor. Money is used to motivate fun in *every* competitive sport! If you ask an average athlete why they play their game, they’ll tell you it’s because they love what they do. Same goes for us game developers.
- A chance to win a prize will indeed increase the popularity of the competition, but not necessarily the quality or focus of the games. Fun games get played. Crappy games get tossed. If your game is a fantastic one (and web-based), it will probably win both competitions. If it sucks, you’re not going to do well in either.
- This is great for publicity of the competition. Duh.
- This provides another way for coders to gauge the quality of their game. More feedback in the form of their rating and comments system is just another way to improve our processes.
- Making money for an indie dev is a good thing. Some people take issue with involving money in the competition. WHY?! If a person who is new to the competition x-posts to Kong, and realizes they can make money off of their talents, the industry and their lives are bettered. Of course, this creates more competition, so there will obviously be resistance to this idea.
So why are we fighting this? Why not embrace the next stage of this wonderful competition? Lets all accept that this is happening, and figure out how to best utilize it for our industry, and the fun it involves.