Challenge: Playable!

edited in Online Competitions & Jams
Ok, so to jumpstart my freeing up of time again (uni has been killer this year) I decided to challenge myself and you guys to take what you are working on and get it to playable.

The rules are simple:
1) Post here to tell us what you are working on, put your game name in bold.
2) Post here with your progress from now (9pm 15-04-2013) until closing date (9pm 15-05-2013).
3) Try to get to playable by the closing date.

If you can make your project playable by then you are already a winner! (The point is to make games isn't it?)

Parallel challenges:
1) As an artist convince a programmer to take your concept art and make a playable game! OR as an artist polish your concept art as if you were trying to sell the idea to your dream game dev company!
2) As a musician make a set (so at least 2 songs) with contrast and polish them to the best of your ability (e.g. peaceful ambient music and intense tension-building combat music)

Ideally the game should be in some form akin to a Beta version to be considered fully "playable". From Wikipedia:
Beta, named after the second letter of the Greek alphabet, is the software development phase following alpha. It generally begins when the software is feature complete. Software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, as well as speed/performance issues and may still cause crashes or data loss.
You will note that this means it should give us a rock solid idea of what you want your game to do as far as a playable game is concerned.

I hope the "parallel" challenges are realistic time wise and can give enough motivation for involvement, if not, let me know how I can improve.


Some inspirational codswallop:
You should focus on a "prototyping" methodology (for all of the challenges proposed).

1) FIERCELY REDUCE YOUR SCOPE until you have a single condensed idea. "Super awesome RPG with 1000 items, 10000 enemies and 1000 hours of gameplay" is not realistic, nor should you be discouraged from making it. Something manageable to build and finish within the next month will still sound difficult to complete, but you can condense most ideas into something that is simple to build, and you can choose things to add one by one to add that are in your full game concept from there to make the game more complex. For the "Super awesome RPG" you might start with "A simple RPG movement system where you can get into combat with an enemy and fight them with 3 skills". This will be easy to expand to have more enemies, equipment for the player, more skills, and thus gain depth and replayability. As soon as you start deciding things should be added you need to stop, return to your simplified idea, and focus on finishing that first. This will be the most difficult step.

2) You need to INCLUDE THE USER as soon as you can. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, including the user means that very early on you can find out what is working, and what isn't (thats besides the fact that if you are even able to involve a user at all it means you are doing well towards this "playable" goal). The only way people can start to like (and spread) your game (unless you are already famous) is for them to play it for themselves.

3) Prototyping prevents you from making the complete wrong game. It has happened to many before you, and will continue happening to others as long as there are people making games, simply put, if you make a game in a manageable prototype you can easily make sure you arent committing to something you wont enjoy developing, and similarly wont make a game that wasn't what you originally wanted to make.

4) Make the game you WANT to play. Now this doesn't mean you can make the next Half-Life this coming month, but pick the right tool (e.g. UDK, Source SDK) and find a way to focus on the game play. Yes, it is here on this list, make a mod, don't make everything from scratch, especially because you don't need to!

The same applies to the parallel challenges, can't finish 3D models by the end of the month for your concept? Make some 2D images. Cant colour the images? Make them black and white. Can't finish a 10 minute perfect ambient sound loop? Make a 30 second ambient sound loop. Cant make a 30 second ambient clip loop? Why does it need to! Fiercely reduce your scope and make sure you choose something you can complete to the best of your ability! Get feedback early and maintain contact with the people that give you feedback. Don't hesitate to throwaway concepts that stop working, dont hang on because you have invested time, rather consider the remaining time dedicated to the new idea you have, find something you actually want to work on (and enjoy working on too!).


Try to post back here weekly (daily if you have the stamina and dedication), try to making it somewhere from Sunday evening to Monday evening to let us know how it is going. Give us new screenshot, new concept art pieces, new sound bites to give our thoughts on! Take it as a challenge to try something you havent done before!
Thanked by 1hanli


  • Nameless F******* Awesome RPG
    Yeah, I am working on my RPG idea still (some of you may recall I was head over heels in love with "False Eden"), but have decided to reduce the concept, and have built myself a realistic goal. In the time in between lectures (5 to 10 minutes here and there every 3 to 4 days) I have built some of the more tedious technical parts that would make my life much easier.

    In terms of the codswallop I posted above I am probably not following it nearly as well as I could, but this is what I have so far:
    - SDL through C# ( )
    - I used Diorgo's TuDee for map layouts using the default exporter, and I used LINQ to XML to load it, when I care about optimising this I will most likely build a binary exporter and an importer that works with binary data to save space and get some extra speed, as far as playable is concerned I dont need to optimise this, so it stays as is ( )
    - I have added IronRuby which took perhaps 25 minutes initially to add in, and then I hacked on a method to allow myself to add items, skills, etc. through ruby scripts. I like Ruby, and I can do some really cool stuff using it, and in the end it will mean my game will be easily mod-able, mostly I use it because I can quickly rough up formulas for things like health and mana amounts and have then change immediately in the game without having to recompile and relaunch. Sure I can be throwing lots of performance out the window, but I think the benefits outweigh the detriment introduced. ( )
    - I pulled sprites for my character and for the world's tiles from a quick google search for RPG Maker tilesets, and I can easily change these out later, but I can have nice looking things in game very easily without me needing to worry about attempting to put my ill-suitable artistic skills into the game, I can worry about it later.

    Brief overview of what I want to have:
    - Combat with some (one is fine) enemy.
    - Several (perhaps 3 or 4) vastly different skills to show different mechanics I like that I want to include in the combat mechanics of the game.
    - A recipe based crafting system (something like "You need 2 Wood, 4 Metal (of any type) to make a MetalType sword)", materials being dropped by enemies, nothing difficult, but I want the prototype to be there.
    - A handful of weapons (initially just will have different stats, like range, damage, etc), but one day after this I want to have it have more depth to the system. (e.g. sword, bow, staff).
    - Some NPCs, like a shop, a crafting master, signs you can read, etc. to show that it is all possible.

    After all the above:
    - Story of sorts
    - More skills
    - More items
    - More content in general

    I have a more clear cut design document I am following, but that is my goal this next month.

    1366 x 768 - 208K
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