I’m too excited to sleep. I’m excited about the game. I’m excited about our future games. I’m excited about the games we will play. And I’m excited about the milkshake you make for me in the morning.
Neva on the night of October 14
I have kept quiet for almost two months. First of all, because the kids asked me to keep this whole thing a big secret. Secondly, because we have been down with covid and it hit me hard, even though fully vaccinated. Now that the big secret is out on Simon’s YouTube channel and I’m feeling better, I can share the beautiful process I have been lucky to witness here over the past several weeks: the kids came up with, designed, coded and published their first game! 🚀
The process involved meticulous planning, heated arguments and debugging pains, and the most wonderful part about it was that it was all real. No school task for a grade, no homeschooling project initiated by an adult instructor, no simulated work environment. It was real, as real as it gets when a team puts out a product designed from scratch. As real as it gets when people engage in creative play, no matter their age.
It was so beautiful to just back off and observe them teach themselves the relevant gamedev skills they chose to learn. Self-Directed Learning in its essence. Play meets work, because those aren’t and never should be opposites of each other!
Simon did the coding, Neva composed the music and did the sound effects, their friend Abhay did all the art. All the three of them did level designs and came up with a system to vote for the best ones.
When the coding became too tedious while implementing the approved levels, Simon got really bored with it. So you know what he did? He built a level editor to do the tedious work for him. ‘Cause no one should do tedious work when we’ve got the computers to do it for us, right?
Another memorable highlight: Simon spent hours coming up with a slow frame rate solution for a friend with a slower computer, to “be inclusive” he said. “We can’t just discard people with bad computers, it would be like discarding people with a disability!”
Please check the game out at https://thegamesteam.itch.io/ and leave some comments! The code is open source at https://github.com/The-Games-Team/Key-Quest
And here is Simon going over the devlog and showing a play through:
Update: The Game’s first review on YouTube by sparkly Béla from Belgium (in Dutch) 👇