A game before the new year

So I’m supposed to be completing a new game before the new year comes in.  Including today, that’s seven days.

In the past, my approach to “game in a week” projects has usually been:

Days 1,2:  Brainstorm ideas

Day 3: Pick a project to make, set up a repository, get an empty “game” shell set up.

Days 4,5:  Do small amounts of programming in the evenings.

Days 6,7: Heavy programming (6 to 12 hours per day) to finish everything off.  (Optional, change mind about the project to make and start over from scratch around lunchtime on day 7)

This time, of course, Day 1 was Christmas.  So I haven’t actually done a whole lot of brainstorming yet.  In fact, the only ideas I’ve had so far are three projects that I’ve wanted to do for a long time anyway;  one being a remake of a puzzle game I designed for a former employer (which therefore makes it ethically dubious to create a free version of it), and a remake of Red Planet, an old location-based game which I loved, and which isn’t available any more.  Even on Wikipedia and YouTube, so I can’t even provide a link to it any more.  But choosing a game that’s already been designed before the week even started seems like a bit of a cheat.  And I’ve wanted to make my own version of The Sentinel, forever.  That’s another game for which there’s no good version available right now.

But I always feel bad when I spend time remaking games which already exist.  Feels like wasted time that I could have spent creating something new.  So I don’t know.  I almost certainly won’t work on any of those games I mentioned above.  Problem is that I don’t really have any other ideas just now.  Maybe after a day of brainstorming.

The other tricky thing is that I’m away from home at the moment, and don’t have access to my usual method of picking a randomized topic.  So I’m mostly left to my own devices in order to pick a game to make.

Here are the criteria I’m trying to meet:

  1. Won’t require all my time to program.  (Ideally, I’d like to aim for a programming time of about 12 hours).   This pretty much kills the ‘Red Planet remake’ idea entirely, which would really require networking + server.  A proper basic job on that would probably take about two weeks full-time;  not one week part-time.
  2. Won’t require any GUI at all.  Or as little as possible.  MT2 requires lots of GUI, I don’t want to be coding more GUI on this project which is supposed to be a break from MT2.  ;)
  3. I’d really like to use some of the procedural mesh generation systems from MT2 in some way, so that the work I do on the break project will benefit MT2 as well.
  4. If I could use the new Bullet physics systems that I put together yesterday, that’d be a very nice bonus.