And that's why competitions are "bad": everyone gets up in arms about who should and who should not have won...
Throwing emulators, tools and games into the same pool only made matter worse here anyway.
Though let's try to reason why the entries are placed the way they are (and what we can draw from that):
(I am using the status
at the time of writing, mirrored here
- Qemu - this one simply is a beast. It alone opens so many new possibilities or at least it seems like that. A novice user might just read x86 compatibility and directly transfer to emulation heaven, then on a second guess performance factors in, too and many "possibilities" become just a pipe-dream. Yet, it still it "worth" a couple of games running (almost) perfectly and a good starting point for some optimizations and tinkering (also just opening a whole new space). But how do you factor that in this competition? Do you judge this as several games and programs it runs perfectly or do you try to value the amount of work put into the port (nearly none source modifications related to performance, yet a GUI and extensive wiki entry to even allow novice users access to this quite complicated tool) - comparing it to original entries becomes very hard at the least.
- PND Management suite - It looks nice, it works well, it something most Pandora users have waited for since the very beginning. Then PNDStore came along and did the job, still iPhone users would laugh at you for the horrible interface and now you can show them with this nice piece of software. A lot of work also went in the backend (libpndman), which can easily be used in other apps or as a CLI tool, still the main GUI derives from Panorama (granted with a lot of work put into it) - is it worth more than a game fully created from scratch or an emulator granting you access to multiple games?
- Hurrican - It looks nice (and probably plays well, too, I have not tested it yet sadly) and putting graphics over gameplay or originality sadly is becoming a trend. But it looks so nice and there is no arguing with that, also an "original" Turrican/Contra-style game seems to miss in the software library of the Pandora and well suited to the device (not counting emulators). Yet, it's "only" a port and how do you compare that to an original entry? Just as much work (=man hours) might have gone into getting this to run properly as have into created an original game, yet not much creative work obviously. Again as the first two entries it's really something to show off and show the capabilities of the Pandora (but what's that really worth?).
- Slackware - It's a whole new OS, so this should be worth more than anything, right? I can't really get into the functionality because I have not tested it and am not particular interested in it being satisfied with the default one (and after all I personally vote for the entries I like the most and which I feel deserve to win for one reason or the other).
- Dino Defense - The first original game. I would have loved to see this come in higher to get iprice a Pandora to keep his motivation up working on the game (and many to come in the future). The main problem here (as with most game entries in compos in general) is that it's not finished. Graphics contain many placeholders, there are not too many levels and different enemies/towers/etc. Yet if that was intended you could view it as a finished game, because it's definitely play-able and fun (also showing a lot of potential). iprice came up with the concept, did the code, the graphics, mostly everything (in contrast to the previous entries), yet is this worth "more" or better than the other ones? Also this is only one game, you play through it and there is little to none replay value whereas qemu comes with a huge library and the PND Management suite is something you might end up using every day.
- Beta Block Quest - An engine, it's not even a finished game or even remotely useful to the end user at the moment. So why do users vote for it that much? Just like with Rainy Day they see potential, this could end up being "our" Minecraft (and many seem to be interested in that), although it won't. Yet the engine is pretty impressive and might allow for a compelling and vast experience. But should you judge on potential? Shouldn't you judge on what's available now, because as far as we know nothing might ever come of this?
- and following - Most games are sadly lacking in one aspect or another. Either being uninspired, buggy, unfinished or simply not fun (though that's a pretty ordinary statistic actually). Things like the Kill-Overlay will definitely prove to be very useful (especially with added functionality), but again that's potential and an overlay surely cannot be shown off as well as a graphically impressive demo. Most tools submitted are rather niece and therefore probably not appealing to many users.
So yeah that's my thoughts on the matter and some questions people maybe should ask themselves (pretentious? yeah maybe).
In the end I think it comes down to the lack of separation into groups and the general drama surrounding competitions on the basis that everyone thinks the results should be different (or rather everyone who thinks so posts his opinions, the other people hardly have reason to do so).
The only thing you can really read from the results is the lack of participation in the voting and the fact that maybe the community is not as active as it seems (active meaning actually being productive and contributing to things - even when it's just clicking 4 times to show your opinion), which in part might be related to the short voting deadline (though everyone looking in here at least once a week should have caught that and there certainly was enough time to test all entries).
I think a frontpage highlighting important news posts (like on gp32x.de) would be a good idea to help the latter problem (PandoraPress kind of was that in the past, but as you can see we kind of lost interest copy pasting news...)
In any case, I hope nobody gets up in arms about this, becomes demotivated and people keep working on their entries, there certainly were a few gems in there, which just need some polish or a push in the right direction to really shine
EDIT: Oops, forgot Slackware, sorry about that...