Last year I joined the Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge (7DRL) in which participants attempt to make a Roguelike game in 7 days. I completely failed by day 5, having only the most rudimentary part of the game finished. I did have some random levels to explore and wandering opponents, though it was stuck in a real-time mode (for some reason) that made it completely unplayable.
This past game was using an engine I had built for Roguelikes, but the engine was very incomplete and buggy. Since then, I had been working on it occasionally and trying to use it for some other game. Neither the game nor the engine made it to any stage of completion worth releasing.
This year though, the engine was actually complete enough that I thought I'd finish major parts of it by using it in a 7DRL. This made sense for the following reasons: 1) the engine was meant for a large game, 2) a large game is not going to be finished by me anytime soon, and 3) making the engine work for a small game means finishing the essential parts of it. Since the small game will have all the things that a RL needs (e.g., random level generation, exploration, combat), then this challenge will give me the opportunity to actually finish those things.
To make sure this was even possible, I spent the past week fiddling with the engine and making sure the basic structure was still good. More work needs to be done, especially with the enemy AI, but I'll work on that as part of the challenge. Even if I fail again, at least the engine will be more capable for next time.
For 2015 then, I'll be working on A Rogue Harvest. It will be a procedurally generated simplified version of Rune Factory (the Harvest Moon game with combat and non-farming activities). Combat will be somewhat straight forward, but the farming mechanics will be tied in to it. You will need to choose what food to grow, and that food will help you accomplish the story missions (the dungeons to clear out). I have many ideas to expand on this game, but I'll add those later if the game is actually completed on time.