Today I am happy to announce a new ColdFusion Newbie(Beginner) Contest. The last beginner's contest was held almost two years ago. I've had a few more since then but nothing like the original one, so hopefully the participation will perk up a bit. I've got some great prizes, but I'm not going to announce them until I finalize the list. So what's the contest?

Your job will be to create a pocket monster/Tamagotchi ColdFusion game. In case you don't remember those toys (which may still be around - my kids don't have any) - they were simple little LCD based life simulators. Your creature (monster, dog, cat, Insane Clown Posse member) would exist in real time and demand to be fed, played with, etc. Depending on how much attention you gave it, the creature would either be happy (and grow), or sad (and I think some even could die).

The toys were pretty addictive and I've always had a soft spot for simulators, so I thought this would make a good basis for a simple ColdFusion application. Now for the specifics.

  1. Your application must represent a virtual creature of some sort.

  2. Your creature only has two stats. You can add more, but two are required: Hunger and Happiness.

  3. Your application will allow the user to feed and pet the creature. How the creature reacts to being fed/pet is completely up to you.

  4. Your application must use state management of some kind. If you want a full registration/login system and have the creature live in "real time" - great. If you want to just use session variables and have button represent the passage of time, that is fine too. You just need some way for your monster to age and get hungry/unhappy.

  5. The "rules" for what make the monster unhappy (not enough petting, too much food, etc) are totally up to you. They will NOT impact the judging as much as your ColdFusion code will. Have fun. Make it complex. Keep it simple. It's up to you.

  6. The one really important rule is this. Not enough developers make use of ColdFusion Components. Your solution must have (at least) one CFC. I am not talking OO here. (And if you don't know what OO means, that is perfectly fine.) You can use any style of CFC you want.

So thats it. As I said, this is a newbie/beginner contest. We are going on the honor system here. If I get a submission from Ben Forta I'll be deleting it. ;)

In case folks are new to how these things work - I will be reviewing the entries and posting my responses online. In general these are kind, but firm, pointers to things I think could be done better. I try to be fair and educational, not snarky and mean. My readers also typically chime in. So I know that it can be a bit scary sharing your code with the rest of the world - but consider it as a chance to get a free code review! (And a chance to win some prizes!)

The contest begins right now and will end May 15th 11:59 PM. All entries should be emailed to me as a zip file.