The competition held during the Adventure Convention where the aim was to score as many points in 20 minutes playing a text adventure game written for the occasion. All players payed an entry fee and the money was split into 3 prizes.
The last Megapoints Competition was held at the 2009 Adventure Convention at which is was decided to alter the format of the event.
Not sure of exact first competition year, but the inception of the competition would have probably gone something like this:
Post Adventure convention, in the hotel bar sometime in the small hours of the morning, group of adventure authors sat around the table too "tired" to get up and go to bed. Question "What can we do to make next years convention different?"
Winning Answer "Lets have a competition where people have to try and solve an adventure in 20 minutes or at least score as many points as possible"
Victim "Hic! Great idea, I'll do the firsht (hic!) one!"
Move swiftly on to breakfast later that morning: Victim "I agreed to do what???"
The author of the game is chosen / volunteers the previous year, so a whole 12 months is available for planning and playtesting before the convention (yeah, right.)
Players put their names on a list and pay the entrance fee, usually £1 or £2 (UKpounds) for the prize fund and await their turn. There are up to three computers running the competition game. Pencils and paper are provided for mapping use. The game is reset to start, the organiser shouts "go" and then 20 minutes later shouts "stop" and records the scores achieved. Top three scores on the day get a share of the prize fund.
The games are usually written in such a way to enable players to score points by doing the usual adventure game actions, not just being rewarded for solving puzzles, but also how they approach the game in general. In many cases, the game is re-written by the author for general release, but not always.
Mildly Interesting Stuff
One year the author of the game did not quite make use of the full 12 month development time, I think it was closer to 12 days. I think players were awarded extra points for each bug or typo they found. High scoring year, I recall.
Mention "Megapoints" and the name "DaveH." comes to mind. Mr Megapoints himself. After winning the competition three years in a row, it was decided that it would be easier to mail him the cheque for first prize so he didn't have to go to the trouble of turning up on the day. However, in recent years his form has deserted him and he has only managed a feeble 2nd place.
- Update. 2006 Megapoints competition, DaveH. didn't even manage a top three finish. His comment to me was "At least I finished higher than you." He can be mean sometimes.
--Froggy 07:28, 4 November 2006 (EST)