The Click Me Challenge

Yesterday I talked about using what you (already) know to create a game. One of the things I mentioned was to create a very simple game, as quickly as possible, to get that out of your system. You CAN make games. You can take all those half-created demos and random collection of code that you’ve amassed like a giant Tinker-Toy set and you can make that into a game. I flippantly mentioned something like “Click Me to Get Points” as a lame game that you wouldn’t share with your best friend, but that could help you realize that “yes” it’s easy and fun to make games :)

I decided to put my money where my mouth is and actually create this cheezy and pathetic game. Not only to get a chuckle out of you but to do something potentially very cool. Here is my sad, pathetic game: Click Me to Get Points. Imagine this as some tiny protozoa of a game, floating in a vast wasteland of ill-used table tags or poorly typed HTML. I did this to show you that games are not these special creations that only special, super smart people who obviously have more time, energy, and brains than you can make. Instead, games are made by people with deadlines, day jobs, and severe shortages of artistic skill. However, they have one thing you dont (yet). They gave up on the idea of creating a “perfect” game, and they got their hands dirty and created something cool. It probably doesn’t look like what they set out to create. It probably has bugs that would embarass them to no end, if you were to encounter them. Instead, it’s something flawed, and not-quite what they want. But it IS a game, and it IS something they created. It’s also probably the product of many many rounds of iteration, dead ends, and late nights of inspiration.

I want YOU to have that kind of experience as well. If you are willing. I present to you the Click Me Challenge. I have taken my pathetic little HTML “game” and I’ve placed it on GitHub. Right here. My Challenge to you is simple: take this code and add SOMETHING to it. Change the color. Make the button dance around. Do SOMETHING. ANYTHING you like. You have 24 hrs from the time you read this to pull down the code (you could clone the repo or just download it, up to you, sport) and modify it in some way. Then post a link to the changed page back to this article.

I want everyone to see how something can start off as minor, simple, and not extremely useful, but can be the SEED of something really cool! That’s what game development can be like. Sure there’s all kinds of other things you have to think about – design, fun, blah blah blah. But right now this is more like a scratch pad. A way like NanoWrimo is for writing. Do this for your Game Development ideas.

Anyone and everyone who contributes a changed version of this code will be recognized here in a future post, all changed games will be added to the Git repository (you need to basically agree to that if you want to do the Challenge. Sheesh, come on, I’m trying to give you an object lesson – gimme a little of yourself … in code I mean. ) The winner of this Challenge will have his or her name used as a Main Character in a future RPG that I’m building just for this website. So, if you want to be Famous, then download CLICKME, do something with it, and post a link here. Don’t think to much about it. No design documents, no architecture plans, just have fun! You have 24 hours from when you read this article. We are on the honor system here…

Plus I have hidden cameras. SHHH.

  • http://twitter.com/Chaoseed John Evans

    http://chaoseed.com/clickme_001j.html

    Instead of just adding 1 point every time, it…varies. You'll see!

  • http://www.andrewwooldridge.com triptych

    OMG that is the greatest thing ever! You made my day.

  • SteveJstone

    That's strangely addictive.

  • http://thankstree.com/ Luke

    This challenge was the inspiration for the first game on Thanks, Tree – you can check it out at http://clicker.thankstree.com

  • http://fbindie.posterous.com/ Facebook Indie Games

    What a great concept! I wish I'd seen this before.

    I remember writing a chapter for an ASP.NET development book. It was pretty much the first chapter, for people who had never programmed before. I created a Snake Eyes game — it generated 2 random numbers between one and six. Then it would total the numbers and add it to your score.

    UNTIL you rolled two ones. At that point, your score returned to zero.

    Your game is even more fun than that.

  • http://fbindie.posterous.com/ Facebook Indie Games

    Ha that's pretty funny. Nice work.

  • http://fbindie.posterous.com/ Facebook Indie Games

    Snakes and Ladders meets Monopoly.

  • http://fbindie.posterous.com/ Facebook Indie Games

    Now it's social: http://bit.ly/X35lM

  • http://fbindie.posterous.com/ Facebook Indie Games

    He might not know yet, but @mentalized has made his own contribution to the genre: http://progresswars.com/

  • etali

    I made ClickMe twitchy:

    http://www.myth-games.com/clickme.php

    I'm thinking of making it move on mouseover, or adding a time limit.

    The code isn't tidy – today I have two reviews to write, some proofing to do, and some articles to finish, but when I saw this post I couldn't stop thinking of ways to change the game so I had to do *something* :)

  • http://www.playdeez.com/ Ernest Pazera