Yesterday the first RubyWeekend ended, which is a two and a half days Ruby game creation competition. The topic was "Pirates Versus Zombies!"
Seven contributions were made: kiba's digital piracy parody The CopyPirate [video], atiaxi's tbs Port Town [video], satoshi's console-based footracer [video], jlnr's ZombieSoccarrr [video], ippa's Zombie Horde [video], jacius' Election Year: Zombies vs. Pirates! [video] and trejs' Caribbean Onslaught.
PyDay #2 - a rather fresh 24-hours Python game making contest and the smaller brother of Ludum Dare, which is the granddaughter of PyWeek.
I also seriously recommend two out of the three PyDay #1 games. They're in the video at the end of this post.
While some games turn out terribly (it will be either less than ugly graphics or inhuman controls), gems tend to appear on such contests. I love the idea of brain-storm programming, even though results are likely to be buggy and incomplete, the important thing is that a playable model of a game exists. It allows to see the potential for fun.
For example I enjoy playing Port Town much more than I should. It's a game based on boring random numbers, where you get a random number of units and position them in a part of the town, where they fight and win randomly. The tiny detail that zombies will convert humans to their own kind is what makes the game shine for me. Also the zombies start on the graveyard and the pirates start on a ship. It makes so much sense! I see a lot of potential in this minimal Risk-like strategy game. It only needs a bit more complexity and then a bit more graphics.
Another example is The CopyPirate, which is no fun to play at all for me, but which has a cool scenario. You're a pirate, who has to steal some music and escape to the intertubes while avoiding the RIAA's Zombies! How awesome is that? I hope this scenario will find it's way into a decent satirical game someday.
There is one problem with short time game contests' results though: documentation. I think it's a big deal, as many contest contributors won't be willing to spend any more time on their quickie creations while being the ones who understand the game's code best. (The reasons will be "The source is sooooo dirty!!", "I would, but I got this totally awesome idea for my next game!", "I'll rewrite it instead, rly!!", "I don't care if you like it, I don't!", "I'm lazy!" and "I can only work under pressure!") But at least the small size of the games protects against total unsuitability for further development by others.
I'm looking forward to PyHour. Less is more!
[Edit] This just in: Sauerbraten has the new release "CTF Edition" for Lin/Win/Osx. There's a changelog. I've noticed following new things: pretty weapons (which have been in the code repository a long time now), new maps, new capture the flag game mode. New models too I think. Fun!