April 30th of next year is the fourth annual OGPC event—where middle and high-school programmers compete to make the best game fitting a given theme, using Game Maker. It’s a ways out, but I’m not posting to get you to join it. Not yet.
Right now they don’t have a theme for OGPC 4.0. Email theme ideas, and get yours picked. If this is something you can do (you work in teams; you don’t have to be a great programmer if you can come up with ideas, or make art for the game), send them an email. From TechStart, the folks in charge:
The ideal theme should be broad enough so there is plenty of opportunity for students to be creative and come up with subtopics. The theme must also:
- Encourage research, presentation and teamwork
- Be constructive and socially and/or environmentally responsible
Past themes include health and wellness, energy and water usage.
Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Their deadline for theme ideas is November 12th.
You don’t have to be an expert at this to be useful for this competition.
The website he uses is LazyFoo.net. Bookmark it if you’re into programming.
The OGPC Coach Training PDF says their goals are not to just focus on programming, but to “teach general life skills,” listed to be:
- Project planning
- Time management
Sounds a bit agenda-ish, but this is a pdf geared towards coaches. Read: you only need a couple programmers in the team. Everyone else can work on the project as a whole, make art, make music, or research and present the theme.
It also states that the ideal team size is probably four, but 7 can be good too if the team communicates effectively.
Registration is $50, and teams can probably function on a budget of about $100, assuming you want the pro version of Game Maker (I own a pro version, and recommend it for its features, but it’s worth mentioning that you can get it pretty easily for free on the website) and can get to Salem on $25. And it is recommended that each team have access to a laptop.
Not entirely unfeasible. If you jump on it early–talk to a teacher about being a coach for your team, talk to your folks, and hook up with some friends who may be interested–you can get the wrinkles ironed out before registration, which looks to be around February of next year.