Writing fifty games in one semester

Four computer science graduate students recently created fifty playable game prototypes in one semester. Each student worked alone, putting out around twelve games at a rate of one per week. And they were responsible for not only the programming, but also the graphics and sound. That is quite the Herculean effort, and their results are impressive. I’ve seen that Swarm game before (I guess it was linked on Digg or something), but I didn’t know to examine it in the context of this rapid development game project.

The idea of creating lots of simple game prototypes in rapid succession really appeals to me. Yes, not all of them will be great, but some will be good. Little enough time is invested in each one that even if only one pays off, it’s all worth it. Compare this to the traditional game development process, which takes longer to create one game than these guys could use to pump out 100, and often yields terrible results nonetheless. Yes, that’s right, some of these fifty games are already better than what professional studios spend man-decades creating.

Unfortunately, I just don’t have the free time at the moment to devote my attention full-bore to creating lots of neat games in short periods of time (what with work and all). But I do have enough free time to create a couple, so I think I shall have to try it. Flash seems like the obvious language to do this in, but I’m not experienced in it, and I am concerned by its closed, proprietary nature. I think I’ll do what I did a lot of in high school: making prototype-sized Java applets. I guess I’ll have to read up on some Free Software Java libraries, because I don’t want to have to code something as simple as sprite rotation from scratch.

And working on creating some fun little games will also give me the opportunity to try out the ultimate form of game loop which I expressed a desire to attempt a month and a half ago. Now, I just need an idea. Hrm, stats in RPGs are fun, why not try to play around with that mechanic? I’ll see what I can do.

One Response to “Writing fifty games in one semester”

  1. Pining for the coding fjords | Cyde Weys Musings Says:

    […] so now I’m off to code up a game in Java. I have a general idea of what I want to write, which I’ve already made allusions to, but I don’t want to talk more about it in case the nifty idea in my head utterly stumbles […]