How the Liberated Pixel Cup changed gaming on Linux

The other problem was the kind of problem you want to have. We didn't expect so many entries, and so many great entries at that! I know it's the kind of thing you can't complain about: we got so many amazing entries, that we're struggling to judge them all. But the sheer volume of good entries we got meant that a good number of the initial people who agreed to judge couldn't handle that level of load, and it took some time to find a group of people who could. The code side of judging should be along soon, but I can't say when for sure. I'm hoping within the next month (to early November).

LXF: What have you learnt in the process of creating and running the LPC? What went especially well, and what would you have done differently?

CW: Well, we learned that the premise of the project went really well - way better than we expected, anyway! We were hoping that people would respond to the idea of the LPC. We didn't anticipate this strong a response. We built the contest along the lines of proving that collaboration in this kind of space is possible if you put enough front-loaded work into it.

The style guide was really at the core of it, and the money we put into paying for the base assets, and for having artists help us develop the style guide, really paid off.

Going through the Free Software Foundation for finances also helped a lot. I actually made some mistakes, and initially we weren't going to do everything through them, but I learned the lesson that going through a non-profit that has experience in dealing with finances just simplified a lot of things. Working with the FSF was pretty great!

And I was really happy to bridge the cultural divide of Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, OpenGameArt and Mozilla all working together on a project like this. The main thing we learned about what went wrong was that we really needed to be more prepared around judging. Next time, we'll do more planning around that so it's more smooth.

LXF: Is there going to be another next year? And will you try a different topic, like graphics for side-scrolling platformers?

CW: Signs point to yes! It's not confirmed yet, but I know at least OpenGameArt and the Free Software Foundation are interested. I'm not sure what my involvement will be, but I'll definitely be involved at least in advising and some mild co-ordination… probably not quite as heavily involved as I was this year. But the success of LPC has also stirred up a number of volunteers who already want to help next year.

If it happens next year, we'll probably have an entirely new style for a new set of games. I can't say what that would be at this time… we've only had vague conversations. Sidescrollers are a popular suggestion, so is isometric-style games, and some people are interested in 3D games. I think the latter might be harder to do, but there's a strong community of 3D people in the Blender community that maybe we could tap into.