So, as you might’ve read somewhere else on my blog I’m participating in the One Game a Month challenge. The headline of the site explains it best: “Make games. Not excuses”. The One Game a Month initiative challenges programmers and designers alike to release an indie game every month of the year 2013. Why participate in such a challenge? Well, mostly because I want to be a good programmer when I grow up, preferably a game developer. If you want to be a good (game)programmer, you need to practice. A lot. And above all, you need to practice more things than just programming.
This means trying to get a grasp at design, graphics (when you can’t find an artist this is a very useful skill – though I will never get any further than pixelized apples) and handling feedback will help me become a better game developer. There’s also another reason that I haven’t mentioned: a good game developer finishes his projects. You don’t want to know how much (small & overambitious) projects I started, to only get bored and throw them in the recycle bin two weeks later. The One Game a Month challenge will help me learn the most about the hardest part of game developing: actually finishing my binary brainfarts.
With the end of 2012 and the start of the 1GAM challenge slowly but steadily approaching I’ve been preparing myself. I’ve been thinking of game ideas, and have some (partially) worked out. The idea I’m working on the most right now is my january game: Relentless Escape.
A screenshot from an oldschool game, Relentless Logic.
Relentless Escape is based on a very old game you might’ve played: Relentless Logic. In Relentless Logic you have to guide a soldier through a minefield. But without knowing where the mines are, how will you get through? You are given a special detector which can detect mines! Downside is, it can only detect the number of mines around you, but it doesn’t tell in which direction. This might remind you of something. In particular, a little game that comes with every copy of Windows: Minesweeper. In my opnion this game is in short just a first-person minesweeper. However, when I wanted to play Relentless Logic, it was a bit difficult to find a playable version. That’s when I decided I should make my own clone of Relentless Logic, and so my january game idea was born.
I’ve been working on the game since I got the idea half december. First only typing in a document to figure out what the game should look like, and later on gathering (and making) assets. The asset I’m most proud of is the main menu background:
Isn’t it beautiful?
Altough it’s not much, I’m still kind of proud of it. I guess because I managed to K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid! Sometimes I go overboard when I have to make my own graphics (on the other side, I tend to go overboard with anything I do. But that’s not the point.). So that’s a great mental victory.
I’ve got some more ghaphics and sounds which I will use for my game, but I think I will save those for later. I’m not going to waste everything on one blogpost, haha. To make the background I used two sites. The first one, http://fontstruct.com/, for the Courier Noir font. This site is a great, comprehensive font database with flexible licenses, but most importantly: completely free! Another site which I visit frequently is http://www.opengameart.org/, another fantastic site which makes it easier for me to find good assets when I get remembered of the fact that I’m 100% incapable of making good visuals.
That’s it for now I guess. Soon I’ll be posting more about Relentless Escape, One Game a Month and other things I find interesting. Until then, remain calm and keep coding!