Contests

It was a matter of time, really, before I decided to enter some of the various dream-contests that accompany most festivals on Furcadia. These dreams, unlike most of my game-dreams, are geared towards larger numbers of furres, offering a lot of small puzzles and games and a quest-line to guide you from one to the other. In chronological order, these are:

2003Puzzlers Mansion
2004 Spring Fate
Tricks for Treats
2005Jujinka's Playground
2006ColdFusion

Puzzlers Mansion

The wolfhowl festival 2003 was the first to see one of my dreams in a contest. Based entirely around the spooky old house on all hallow's eve it offered a multitude of puzzles and games that you had to complete to reach your goal: reclaim your baseball that went through a window.

This dream was the first dream in which I spent an extra-ordinary amount of time on getting the patch just right for the atmosphere I was trying to create. The outside of the house itself is quite a work of art, if I may say so myself, though the inside has some interesting patch-work too. In particular the staircase is well worth a visit.


Spring Fate

Spring Fate was done in collaboration with Grace Kitten. She provided the dream, and I wrote the DS as well as some minor patching. The premises was a fair where you can play games and earn money. This money could then be used to buy special items, such as a teddybear, a kiwi, or a complete picnic set.

Though I had been experimenting with it for a while, this was the first full-featured dream that had a personal statistics system in it. The system used is kludgy at best and nowadays it doesn't even deserve consideration when deciding on what to use, but back then it was state-of-the-art.


Tricks for Treats

Another year had passed and another Wolfhowl festival was around the corner. Continuing the theme from the Puzzlers Mansion, Tricks for Treats has you questing to get trick-or-treat sweets from the selfish owner of the mansion. Another series of puzzles and games have to be completed before the final showdown with the master of the house.

Like Spring Fate, this dream featured a personal statistics system that allowed each furre to finish the puzzles in any order without the need of having to carry around specific items to mark their progress. Compared to its predecessor it's a much more 'intimate' map. The rooms are smaller and better connected, each area connecting logically to the next, with the statistics system keeping furres out of those areas that they're not allowed to enter yet.


Jujinka's Playground

As Spring Fate the year before, this dream for the Jujinka festival was created together with Grace Kitten. This dream features a number of popular games and puzzles, like mastermind and solitaire. It also has a toy-train driving around the entire island that furres can use to get around.

As before this dream features a personal statistics system, albeit quite a different one from Spring Fate. This time furres were identified by a unique (invisible) item they were given at the beginning, a method far less prone to failure than the system in Spring Fate. The train itself has some interesting anti-ghosting DS that makes sure that the train displays properly for all furres.


ColdFusion

ColdFusion is the only contest-dream that had me 99.9% certain that I'd be getting first place. It was such a complete break from the usual contest-dreams (mine and anyone else's) that I simply saw no way that I could end up anywhere else. For once, I was wrong. This dream was in fact so innovative that the judges decided to create a special category for my dream alone in which I ended up getting first place, last place, and every place inbetween. To quote Felorin:

Felorin: This year we're starting out with a special new prize category. For a while now, one furre has often baffled our judges over whether to give the top prize to him, or to another excellent dream that's exceptional in totally different ways. So now we've outsmarted him!

Felorin: Or maybe he's outsmarted us? With a dream that's so different from anything else we've seen in Furcadia he's totally outdone himself. This dream is going to receive a special Puzzling, Mind-boggling, Patching and DragonSpeak Mastering Trickster award of Triwings for Life and a dozen Purple Roses. (Whew that's a mouthful!)

Felorin: The winner is Cold Fusion by Graphite! Like the pillow game in Lygeia's Forest of Dreams, this is based on the popular game Atomica. But using every trick in the book (and a few that aren't), he's managed to totally do away with the regular Furcadia interface, and make what looks like a Java game! He's even crammed in 71 separate playfields, so 71 furres can play at once, and has it tracking high score.

Felorin: This one is well worth a look for anybody who loves puzzle games, or just anyone who wants to see how far you can push the limits of Furcadia's dream-making tools. (I managed to get through level 20 and get just over 1000 points - can you do better?)

This dream uses just about every trick I knew at that time. It has a customized palette, an enlarged viewport, and uses mod-music instead of the customary midi-files (I just happened to know that Furcadia supported those too). Its interface has been transformed from the usual diamond-shaped map design of furcadia to a square, straight interface. This all resulted in a game so different from Furcadia that the name in the titlebar was all that remained. And thanks to per-game storage of settings it can even support up to 71 furres at a time (though I suspect the dream will lag out well before that).

Unfortunately the innovative design is also the dreams greatest weak-point. As you may notice, there are two downloads for this dream. One is the dream as it was sent in to Furcadia all that time ago. The other version has been updated to properly handle some of the changes that were made in the Kitterwing update. Odds are good that future updates will continue to break this dream.