The weekend 16-18 October I attended the Indie 9000 game coding competition.
The concept is intriguingly simple. Be there friday by 1600 hours, find out who else codes in your language (flash/xna/java/gamemaker/etc.) and chat for a couple of hours.
In the evening the theme of the competition is announced. Last time (February) it was "Horror", this time it was "Climate disaster". That set the frame for entries in the competition and we were given till midnight to come up with ideas and at midnight the first competition was held: The Pitching Competition.
Competitors were given up to 10 minutes to pitch their idea. There were some very interesting ones, ranging from "Destroy the earth" where all people must be punished for destroying earth, using only the powers of Nature. Others put you in the role of Law Enforcer where you had to beat up demonstrators at a climate summit. Lotsa fun ideas being tossed around.
Here's a video from our pitching (yes - we were the only ones who made a little play ;-)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HojmWezSkW8
People teamed up and found graphics artists, sound producers and coders. Till sunday morning we barely slept, making up for it with plenty of strong coffee and bad jokes
We didn't win either "Best GrafX", "Best Original Sound" nor "Best Game", but we would have won "Had The Most Fun" if there was such a prize :))
The game we ended up making is "Climate Conflict" where the Oil industry dukes it out realtime with the TreeHuggers. The fractions are symbolized by an oil barrel and a sack of seeds respectively spreading oilpuddles and sowing flowers. Check it out - we are currently building a level editor (Jesper Niedermann) and improving both handling and AI. As we improve the game the lessons learnt will find their way into this blog.
It is the first time I've worked with a project hosted on CodePlex, but it worked a charm. Using Visual Studio.net 2008 and AnkhSVN for synchronizing with CodePlex was a great learning experience.
The project is at : http://klimakonflikt.codeplex.com/
Keep ideas and comments coming