I made a game last weekend! It's stupidly hard (and just plain stupid) but I'm a certain fashion of proud of it.
It began with an email I skimmed and ignored last week. Itch (an indie-friendly gaming site and distribution platform, think Steam but with no real entry barriers) frequently hosts game jams, which are week- or weekend-long (and other durations I'm sure) events where a genre is chosen and game makers are encouraged to quickly build a new game, optionally around some given theme(s). One-mechanic games were on the docket this time. I generally don't have time to participate in these jams, so I paid it no mind.
Then a work buddy of mine had a case of beer on which the word "Escape" was written, split by the seam in the cardboard. He jokingly said we needed to make a game about an ape escaping. We had some fun chatting about that. There could be fruits or something to collect, but you would be scolded for doing so. "Why would you waste time collecting stuff when you should have been escaping?" Each level could just be the displayed image, with a corresponding bit map of which pixels are grab-able. With the one-mechanic idea freshly ignored in my brain, the ape could constantly swing his arms, and you could swap which hand he was gripping with using one key or button. ...This could almost work out.
It's Kim's busy season (beginning of the year, accounting) so she was going to be working Saturday. That left me plenty of time, should I choose to spend it not sleeping.
Well that was that. Surely I'm a quick enough programmer to make a one-button game about Esc the Ape escaping! The event kicked off, and the themes announced were "water", "capitalism", and "man versus machine". ...Well, that was fine, those themes are optional anyway.
Kim to the rescue, as usual. I talked to her about this ridiculous plan, and without even knowing the themes, she had a suggestion. "The ape could be collecting anything, even coins. What does an ape need with a gold coin?" And there it was. I could even slap a mild capitalism theme onto this thing.
Anyway, I had already developed some rudimentary code to help turn my scribbles into animations and games. So I made some scribbles...
...and, with a day-plus of programming, turned them into this game! Enjoy!
[ afterward... ]
I got some great feedback. Fellow indie developers are a great audience, and willing to find good nuggets even in rushed, sloppy work like this. :^)
[ even more afterward... ]
The people who ran the game jam streamed themselves playing all of the entries. Couldn't make it past my first level, but I have to credit them for trying. :^)