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Dobbs Challenge: Contest Winners Announced

June 14, 2008

It's been an intense few days of judging and we'd like to congratulate all of our entrants for their remarkable work in modding Dr. Dobbs Challenge into a variety of amazing and very different games! We'll be making our critic's choice of all the entrants available for download on the site starting tomorrow, but we can't hold the suspense any longer -- without further ado, we'd like to announce the winners of the inaugural Dobbs Challenge, selected by our panel of expert judges.

Best Total Conversion
Ninja Run (
Giuseppe Navarria, Rosario Milone)



Wow! Like all of the categories Best Total Conversion was hotly contested, but in the end our judges had to select Giuseppe Navarria's Ninja Run because it simply astounded them with the extent it was different from the original Dr. Dobbs Challenge. Turning a 2D single screen platformer into a cel-shaded 3D platform game (with working physics!) even with the help of NVIDIA PhysX was just so unexpected that it was the winner even in the face of more complete entrants. If there was criticism to be made it would be that while the technology is there the "game" isn't complete. As a result, many of our judges requested that we only give them the $1,000 prize on the condition that they continue to develop the title -- as they want to play it! [download now]

Best Game Starring Dr Dobbs And The Defy All Challenges Crew
Dr. Dobbs Challenge Remix (Georg Rottensteiner)


In stark contrast to the previous category, what won this category for Georg Rottensteiner was how complete he made his title. A full scrolling 2D platformer with a new setting, story and design, Georg Rottensteiner's version of Dr. Dobbs Challenge sends Dr. Dobbs inside a computer to clear out a bug infestation, in a challenging (and fun!) adventure. Our judges were impressed with the gameplay and level design (even if they felt one hit kills on Dr. Dobbs was a little harsh) and Georg Rottensteiner receives a $1,000 prize. [download now]

Best One Button Game
Wobble Bob (
Lukasz Lesicki)



The one button category was a challenging category that entrants had to "give their all" to in the hope of winning, and although there were many amazing entries, Lukasz Lesicki's Wobble Bob came out of nowhere to win it by virtue of its unique game design. Though our judges are au fait with many different kinds of one-button game, they had never played one with a character who "wobbled" backwards and forwards allowing movement in two directions with a subtle, timing-based gameplay. In addition, both graphics and level design offered a unified pleasant feel, and as a result Lukasz Lesicki walks away with the $1,000 prize. [download now]

Best Windows Mobile Game
Dr. Dobbs Challenge Mobile (Daniel Morillo)



Many entrants overlooked the mobile game category perhaps because of a perceived difficulty in developing for the hardware, but it was to Daniel Morillo's benefit that he decided to take on the challenge, as he takes home the $2,000 prize! Our judges were surprised and delighted with Daniel Morillo's entry, as an isometric puzzle game with 3D blocks to manipulate and clever use of existing assets to create a very playable game well worth the download if you've got a Windows Mobile device (or the ability to emulate one.) [download now]

Best Windows Game
Mr. Spiff's Revenge (POW Studios)



The big prize, with $4,000 on offer, this was one of the most difficult to judge. But in the end our judges had to go for Mr. Spiff's Revenge on the basis that not only is it a clever modification of the Dr. Dobbs Challenge source, it also innovates in ways that we never expected! Though a 2D platformer similar to the original title, the entire game is played using mouse gestures -- even movement of the titular skeleton Mr. Spiff – and while our judges took a while to get comfortable with the controls, they particularly enjoyed the gestures used to attack enemies and perform the huge, screen clearing "smart bomb" attack! Mr. Spiff's Revenge also featured excellent new graphics that only added to the immersion. Congratulations to POW studios, which consists of Betson Thomas, Justin Varghese and Chris Lau. [download now]


And congratulations to all of our entrants and winners! If you're a winner we'll be in touch, and if you didn't win, please don't lose heart, because starting tomorrow we'll be picking out the best of the rest!

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