The web site Ludum Dare - a website for indie
game developers to meet and discuss junk - held its first contest this
weekend. It was the 24 Hour Game Programming Competition. The theme was
Indirect Interaction, which worked out beautifully, because every entry was
totally different, instead of seeing the same thing executed 20 different
ways. You actually were required to do *everything* in the 24 hours - art,
sound, code, everything. And there were rules on what libraries you could
use, to limit you to starting with just the absolute basics (no rotating
alpha-blended sprite functions or anything - just straight blitting). That
was intended to get you working only on the core issue: gameplay. This shot
is of my entry, Castle Smash. You can download it and all the other entries
at the Ludum Dare site.
My entry is kinda like an RTS. You start with 5 peasants, who do
nothing but wander, and you build Schools, Barracks, and Guilds, to train
your peasants to become Workers (which harvest wheat to make more peasants,
and gold to buy more buildings/walls/bridges), Warriors (which attack the
enemy castle and people), and Wizards (which defend your castle). I'm
actually really proud of how it turned out. I forgot it was possible to
make games so quickly, and this contest has really helped me get back into
the "true spirit of game development"... it's like a Game Dev Carol!
There's not a lot of special features to discuss - this was made in 17
hours, you know... but in the shot, you can see workers harvesting stuff,
and my mighty yellow warriors well on their way to absolutely wiping out the
red castle (it's a 2 player game, I was playing yellow). There are also
some wizards milling about in my castle area. Your own troops can walk
through your walls - consider it symbolic of there being gates in them,
okay? You can also see a little red dot where a yellow warrior and a red
warrior are duking it out across the water (there's also one right on the
red warrior's face!) - warriors fight by shooting little dots at each other.
I didn't want to write any aiming code, so they actually shoot in random
directions, but it's okay - it adds to the tension of combat! Because the
theme of the contest is Indirect Interaction, you can't make your people do
anything. Each type of person just automatically acts in a certain way.
All you can do is build buildings (and blow up buildings you don't want
anymore). The number of the different types of buildings you make influence
how many peasants choose which jobs (if you have more Barracks, you'll get
more of them to become Warriors, and stuff like that).
There are about 20 other entries at the website to check out, so you
should go see what your fellow developers can do in 24 hours! And they all
include source code, so you can rip off our hard work. Please don't do
that. Here's a link to the list of entries: