In Spring of 2008 we decided to participate in a game programming competition called PyWeek. We had seven days to create an entire PC game, which is not a lot of time! The game had to be from scratch, written in the Python programming language, and adhere to whatever theme was chosen by popular vote. The theme that time around was "Robot".
We spent the first evening brainstorming ideas. Platformer: CHECK. Side-scrolling: CHECK. Character: ROBOT. Motivation: ENVIRONMENTAL NAVIGATION. Gameplay: WALL JUMPING, JETPACKS, GRAPPLING HOOKS. Levels: THREE. Reward: TOAST. There was more, but this was the gist of it.
At the end of the week, just in time for the deadline, we had a functional game incorporating all of the major elements we wanted. The competition was incredible. Part of the judging process was each team playing through the other entries, giving ratings and feedback. There was a lot of talent involved that time around, and it was a joy to see how other people interpreted the theme. We took Second Place. Some serious consideration and a year later brings us to where we are now: treating our PyWeek game as a prototype for a full retail release.
We'd love for you to check out the PyWeek prototype, also titled Robot Toast. You'll find the link below. Enjoy.