Friday, January 16, 2009

Game in a Day - Introduction

Hi there! This is Steve helping Valerie out with coverage for the Game in a Day event.

I thought I'd introduce the concept a bit, for those who don't already know what's going on. I'll post more later, but for now...

What is Game in a Day?

The Game in a Day event is an attempt to put together a playable game prototype in less than a day. Our whole company put aside everything else they were working on in order to help out with the project. One downside about doing this as a work project is we really only have about 8 hours of production time (though we started with planning and discussion yesterday). The upside is that we've got a bunch of people all working together on it. (Or is that another downside, too...?)

What are the Rules?

We get today only to make the game. Nobody was allowed to write code (besides setting up a blank template project linking to our Wraith engine) or create music or work on scripts or create art assets until this morning, and we have to stop at 6pm. (OK, we might go a little past that, but we'll see how it goes).

In fact, nobody but the four leads (and management) knew what the game was going to be before yesterday afternoon. We had a big meeting to talk about the design and brainstorm a plan for producing it.

We have to start with a clean project, but we're allowed to aggressively borrow useful code from previous games that we own, just like we would for any full project.

Almost all of the art and music is expected to be completely new.

At the end of the day today, we'll post a playable version of the game. Or heads will roll.

What's the Point?

Here are the objectives of the project, in approximately their order of significance:
  1. Have some fun, shake things up a bit.
  2. Stretch our abilities and get better at our jobs. This includes some people trying out new art styles, new programming techniques, and taking on new roles outside what they're used to.
  3. Try out a specific game idea we think might be fun.

Where did this come from?

A bunch of other people around the world have done game-in-a-day events for years, sometimes in big teams and sometimes in teams of just 1 or 2 people. There are similar "Game Jam" events as well, sometimes lasting more than a day.

We've done this a few times before as a company, and some of us have done it before as individuals. Even A Kingdom for Keflings was loosely based on some ideas from a Game in a Day prototype!

See or search garagegames for GID-related posts. I wish I could post URLs for some other sites that used to be all about game-in-a-day contests, but they seem to have died and grown ad weeds.

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