~ By Ed Smith
Recently, I ran across the One Game A Month Game Development Challenge on Twitter, and was instantly intrigued. I've had fun doing GameJams in the past, and have posted several Game Prototypes online, but the premise of this particular challenge is to produce 12 completed games, 1 per month, for the entirety of 2013! Now THAT is a challenge!
"No prizes, No Awards, No Rules... so what's the point?"
It's simple - self improvement and experience!
Starting a game is easy, as is creating the basic game play mechanics and art. What many Independent Game Developers, including myself, struggle with is FINISHING a game; melding the various pieces and parts together with a nice overall flow, refined user interface, and making it for people other than ourselves to play and enjoy... that IS the point of why we do this after all.
Indie Games have existed since the 70's, but it's only been within the past decade that the popularity of this genre has taking the industry by storm. With the availability of low-price but equally advanced Physics Engines such as Unity and 3D modeling software, and a very active community, some of the most fun and engaging games scattered across the internet were built by a few people in bedrooms and basements... without the huge teams and budgets rivaling some movie productions.
Another unique element of this challenge is the Gamification of Game Development, earning "Experience Points" throughout the year by hitting various landmarks. Gamification is defined as the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-gaming contexts in order to engage users and solve problems, and its use is becoming more and more prevalent as companies continue to find ways to engage their customers and employees. There are several companies specializing in Gamification of ideas and applications, ranging from large corporations to smaller, more specialized firms such as Click the Toad, blending Neuroscience with Gamification to create Brain Engine Optimization.
No matter what your skill level, this challenge is for you! Sign up using your Twitter Account and start making games, not excuses!