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Cover image for My Hacktoberfest personal challenge: I'm writing a game in 7 days!

My Hacktoberfest personal challenge: I'm writing a game in 7 days!

deleteman123 profile image Fernando Doglio Updated on ・4 min read

I've been wanting to work on game development since forever, but I've never really had a chance to get into that industry. But given that I need to get some topics to write about, I'm challenging myself in the month of Hacktoberfest to write a game, all on my own, in just 7 days.

Why 7 days?

Because I know myself, and if I don't set a deadline for my side projects, I will never finish it, nor work on it often enough to see any progress and eventually, I'll just abandon it.

With this crazy deadline, I'm forced to think fast, make decisions and go with them, and the best part? I'll get to finish it, no matter how very little I get to add to it, it'll be done after 7 days.

Why all by myself?

That's part of the fun! I love the idea of creating a game based on an idea I had, with art I made and getting others to enjoy it.

What am I making then?

Right, the game will be a typing platformer. What is that you ask? I remember playing a Mario Typing Game back when I was a kid. Every time you pressed the right key, Mario would move forward either jumping, running or doing the right thing to move you forward.
I'm going with the same concept, but instead of having a single pre-defined movement based on a single key, I'll give the player 6 words to type, each one will correspond to a direction or action the character can do (i.e move forward, move backward, jump up, jump forward, jump backward or duck).

The art will be pixel art, mainly because my skills are quite bad, and I feel like I can create something passable like that (I'll be sharing screenshots as soon as I have them).

Why a typing game?

The main motivation behind the genre for this game is my 7 years old son, he's trying to learn how to use the computer and I'm trying to motivate him. I'm hoping a game made by his dad will be interesting enough for him to play for a while and at the same time, get better at typing.

What am I using to make the game?

When it comes to time challenges, my tendency is to go with the tools I know, especially because game development is already a brand new area for me, so instead of trying to use Unity or something like that, I'm making a browser game with JavaScript.
More specifically, I'm using melonJS, since it has compatibility with Tiled, a level editor that can help me create the levels, set up the collision boxes for everything and save me a lot of thinking all around.

Day 1 impressions

Yes, I started last night, so I'm already into it.
First impressions: After playing around with melonJs and checking out their docs, I decided to take their platformer example as a template, and started expanding on that.

For day 1 the most important part was for me to understand if my concept could be made, so in other words, I attempted to:

  1. Capture user input so they can write words
  2. Map random words shown on screen to movement actions (i.e walking or jumping).
  3. Dynamically displaying text and having it be shuffled every time you hit enter (after all, the words need to vary).

I'm stocked to say it all worked. I now have a very simple, PoC of a platformer (using melonJS's assets for the time being) that works just like I need it to.

Next steps are:

  • Improve the movement physics
  • Add another level and workout logic to move from one screen into the next one.
  • Start working on the main menu screen.

Did the challenge pick your curiosity?

Are you interested in challenging yourself and moving away from your comfort zone? Are you into GameDev? Are you just plain bored looking for something to do?

Start your own #1Game7Days challenge and share it in the comments, we can support each other when things get tough and share our stories at the end of the week!

EDIT
To make this a real #showdev I'll leave a couple of attempts at early artwork for the game, this should show you the look & feel I'm going for.

Ruins

Bamboo background

I'm personally partial for the second one, what about you?

EDIT 2

  1. Day 2 Journal can be found here

  2. Day 3 Journal can be found here

  3. Day 4 & 5 Journal can be found here

  4. Day 6 Journal can be found here

  5. Day 7 Journal can be found here

Posted on by:

deleteman123 profile

Fernando Doglio

@deleteman123

Technical blogger, book author and maker of software things. In other words, I love writing specially about software.

Discussion

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Good luck with the challenge, the early artwork look already neat 👍

And thx too for mentioning melonJS, it looks really interesting

 

Thanks! Yes, melonJS has been very fun to play around with. Their docs and examples are very well done, so I'm having a great time!

 

Sounds super duper awesome! Looking forward to the development of your game.

 

It's awesome that you're making a game for your son. Very cool!

If you want to give yourself an even greater challenge, Ludum Dare starts tonight. Makes 7 days seem leisurely! I haven't done one in a while, but last time I did I made a simple JS whack-a-mole game inspired by the decrepit public transit around Washington DC.

 

Uh, I've been wanting to use Ludum Dare to work on a game for a very long time, maybe next year! Keeping up with the days will be a challenge for me already, I don't want to overdo it.

Thanks for the suggestion though!

 

I'm also partial to the second one. It's really cool!

 

Thanks! I did some parallax tests with the different layers and it looks cool. As soon as I can, I'll share some gifs!

 

Really fun project, and very challenging. Good luck!