If there's one thing that the Child's Play charity has brought out of gamers (aside from generous donations), it's creativity. And what's more creative than making a game from scratch in 14 days to raise money for to help sick kids?
Big Block Games are a small indie studio with staff spread across the world. To raise donations for Child's Play, a charity that aims to better the lives of sick children in hospitals by providing them with video games and toys while they undergo treatment, the team of six have set themselves a game design challenge: to build a complete video game in 14 days.
Those who donate can help them shape the game and also receive perks such as the ability to name a monster in the game, access to all playable races, receive a DRM-free downloadable version of the game, and the highest donor will be made the major game character.
"We're working full-time on it, literally all waking hours," says the lead programmer and co-founder of Big Block Games, Michael Reitzenstein.
"The timeline for the game is insanely packed. We did pre-production on the game before starting this event — concept art, a combat prototype, general discussion about where we'd go — but we still didn't have a complete idea of what we were doing on Day 1," Reitzenstein says.
"The game is complex for its size — it's going to have quests, leveling up, many weapons, enemy stats — so we're actually going to have to be feature complete by Day 7, with Week 2 solely dedicated to polishing, improving, bug testing and balancing."
The team are currently into their second day of development and they have already made a significant amount of progress, with their development blog being updated several times a day.
Reitzenstein said that the team had a rough idea about what kind of game they wanted to make before the challenge began, but a lot has changed since yesterday.
"There's no way we could do an RPG in 14 days without thinking it through first, but many critical design decisions have changed already on Day 1 as we've actually started on the game and found out what plays well and what doesn't," he says.
"For example, we came up with a slot machine mechanic for the loot late last night, and we don't have a clue whether it's going to work or not. We're just going to have to implement it and see!"
You can follow their progress on their website and make donations on the same page.