Game-in-a-week self challenge

David Shaw, 11:50 pm 9th December 2009
Posted under: Blog Babble

Matthew made a good suggestion that I should pick a short contest to give me a deadline and just something done, no matter how crappy. There’s actually a Ludum Dare contest this weekend, and I’m debating with myself if it’s fortuitous or folly to dive into it right now. On one hand it’s great timing, on the other I don’t think I’m ready enough to build my game in the time I have free in that 48-hr period. Instead, I think I’ll give myself a week starting from now to get a game done. That gives me a bit less pressure to constantly develop-develop-develop so I don’t ignore important things such as sleep, but is still a fairly tight schedule. The downsides are there isn’t a community working at the same time on a contest, there’s a bit less pressure to actually commit to that week deadline, and I won’t get as much peer review. I can mitigate that somewhat by posting about development both here and at my account, where shame of failure will keep me honest.

So let’s say: Midnight UTC Thursday, 17 December (11 am, my own local time) – I post my game. Sounds good.

As for topic, I’ve got a inclination to focus on something with a strategic bent. Let’s say: I’ve got to include a card-based gameplay element. I’ve wanted to experiment with one of those.

I’d also like to go back and use SDL and C. This is definitely


the best choice for a quick game building prototype language. But there’s this coder part of me that likes dealing with low-level stuff, designing architectures and spending hours tracking down obscure pointer bugs. There’s another part of me that argues that this is really stupid and then my brain goes into civil war, but if I’ve got a week I can spend some time of that working on mucking about in code to make me happy, tech-wise. Since this exercise is about fully kicking me out a rut, it might be good to give the old coder synapses a run. The other options are to use Flash or Python, both of which should work fine for the sort of games I have in mind, but I think I’ll give these a go in later weekly challenges.

Right and good. Let’s get started then, and see what this game-in-a-week challenge will lead.

1 comment for “Game-in-a-week self challenge”

  1. Matthew says:

    Good luck! We’ll be watching to keep you honest :-) You can probably keep yourself honest by latching on to the Ludum this weekend. Just set yourself a mid-week target to correspond with the submission day and time.

    Look forward to seeing what you produce, even if it’s an Asteroids clone, it’s still progress and a skills refresher.

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