Right, so here’s the plan…

Ben wants me to join in with his WriMo (which I think he should call RaWriMo, or Random Writing Month, as opposed to the NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing month, he entered last November, but that’s another story). He wants to do a 40K word novel in February, and he wants me to do the same.  It’ll be fun, apparently.

I don’t really have the sadomasochistic desire to subject myself to that ammount of work.  I can’t handle that much work.  I mean I don’t do half the stuff I want to do, I’m that lazy.  Plus I don’t really have the desire to write a novel.

However, I would like to set myself a challenge.  I think it would get me off my backside and doing something, rather than mindlessly surfing the web for hours on end (though it is good fun).  Also for a long time I have wanted to write a computer game.  I know I don’t have the staying power to write a big one, but I might just be able to crank out a simple prototype of something or other if I set myself a tight time limit.  And by tight time limit, I mean one week.

So, call me crazy, but here’s the plan:  I want to do an unofficial PyWeek challenge.  An unofficial one for two reasons – I don’t know how long I’d have to wait for the next one (I’m thinking I’ll do it in the February half term,  probably 16th – 22nd Feb, inclusive),  and I don’t think I’ll actually create something of competition standard anyway.

“And what does this PyWeek entail?” I imagine you’re saying right about now.  If you haven’t guessed already, you build a game in a week, using Python and Pygame.  I’d be doing all the game logic and graphics and music and testing (and hopefully documentation as well, so I can let you all know how it’s going).  Well, actually, that’s not true – I’d have to get the music from the internet, though it would have to be legal (probably under some Creative Commons licence).  As much as possible I’ll be following the official rules, though if you look you’ll see that many of them are irrelevant to me.

Now I don’t really know what I want this game to be about, so I’d like your help.  Each PyWeek has it’s own theme, and I could pick one of them (for example, the latest one was “The length of a piece of string“),but I’d like to hear some new idaes as well.  Please post more suggestions in the comments, preferably in the open-ended style of the above example.

You already know I’m crazy.  This whole idea supports that.  But I tell you that there have been a lot of good, innovative games, award-winning games even, that were originally prototyped in a game-in-a-week challenge such as this.   In fact there is a whole website about these protoypes (I can’t guarentee that that link works, or even links to the page I think it does; at the time of writing, the site is down).  Both Crayon Physics Deluxe and World of Goo (speaking of which, the soundtrack for the latter is available for free download, and is thoroughly fantastic) started off in this way then won prizes at the Independent Gamers Festival last year.  And they are both fantastic games.

One thing this goes to show really is that the best games dont come from the multi-million pound companies – they come from the new guys, the ones willing to take risks, that publish their games from a messy room while they still live with thier parents.  I don’t expect to reach their level of popularity, but I know that the experience I get from this will be fantastic all the same.

So, what theme should I do?

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~ by Dominic on 24 January, 2009.

One Response to “Right, so here’s the plan…”

  1. I think you should make a game called portal

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