Feathers, the universe, and everythingIf anyone is having trouble coming up with a theme, do a search for feathers in mythology. There are tons of myths etc that involve feathers that are ready to be plundered.
Or you can go a bit more literal, and make it a game about actual feathers. There are some nice ideas I can think of for that as well.
Our idea involves feathers and a pesky bird who owns the feathers - more detailed info yet to come. Here is an early concept art, by me, a self-proclaimed artist of no renown:
If it makes no sense to you, then I have done my job well.
I feel though that we have a very solid design. It requires only a small amount of balancing toward the beginning of the game, and since there is no way to win (it's "endless" mode - at some point you lose), bad balancing toward the middle and end of the game will not have a huge impact on first impressions.
And we all know first impressions are what matter here (not that I care too much about the scoring, but it's still what I aim for in these contests. (Or at least it's what I strive to aim for. I usually aim a bit too much toward the end of the game and making the game work as a whole than the first impression, which results in most people not really getting into the meat of my games, and basing the whole game on maybe lackluster presentation or confusing early sections))
The other thing that is nice about this idea, is it is tailored to really WORK as a game with a very small amount of content, yet it is not difficult to continually add content and polish content to make it better. With so little time, it will be great to get something playable, and even submittable, as soon as humanly possible. There wont be much time during the week for this, at any point I may have to just stop working, so it needs to be something that people can play and enjoy for a minute or two in the next few days. This also means that if, shock of shocks, there is time later, the game will be that much better for having been in playtesting for that much longer.
It's been interesting to see the progression of Century of the Fruitbat over the last 8 (eight?????) pyweek's. As far as what we have tried to accomplish, each pyweek we have tried to accomplish a little less. As for what we actually accomplish, it has felt like we have accomplished a bit more each time. Specialization I think is important.
In contests, as in life, it is better to be great in some small thing, then to be mediocre in many.
I don't know if I believe that, but it sounded good :P