As some of you may be aware, Mojang‘s 60-hour game-making challenge has been proceeding spectacularly over the course of the weekend, and is almost drawing to a close. And it’s been fascinating. Now, I’m not a game developer, nor have any desire to be, but it’s been so much of a insight into how different people work, and how teams like Mojang are able to drain the constructive juices of its employees so effectively to be able to deliver high-quality and original projects like Catacomb Snatch, the Real-Time Strategy shoot-em-up ancient Egypt steampunk game that’s just over six hours from being completed.
The presence of weekend-long coverage being streamed to Twitch TV (and available on http://www.humblebundle.com/) has kept me glued; even when I’ve been in the office doing my own work, I’ve had it open to keep tabs on the development. It isn’t just the game concept that excites, but how it all comes together: How everything starts from the bare minimum and some rough designs scribbled on scrap paper, to a fully-functioning game in the space of no time at all. The exit velocity that they’ve achieved is incredible – with little left on the clock, the game is coming together rapidly and developing from just a system of placeholders to something that looks almost complete. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, then, that a similar process will be in force in my own PhD project: that nothing will seem clear right up until the end, upon which time everything will fall into place and become crystal clear. I can but hope.
Anyway, if the idea of a RTS shooty steampunk game in ancient Egypt sounds like your kind of thing, get the game (plus two other being developed by two other indie companies as part of the Mojam) over at Humble Bundle; available on a variety of platforms, at any price you want and with all proceeds going to charity. What’s not to love? The clock stops at 9pm GMT, as does (so I’m led to believe) the game bundle, so if you’re interested then be prepared to deploy your Paypal account imminently.
On another note, the Be Mine indie games bundle is also now up and running, including the games Xotic, Sideway New York, Wasteland Angel, Beep and The Ball; running on a similar pay-what-you-want concept and proceeds to charity. There’s also a bunch of soundtracks and EPs from bands like Celldweller available when the total pushes past through certain goal thresholds, so help join the cause. A wonderful weekend for indie PC games and donating to charity? Sounds like a winner to me.