PyWeek Game Progamming Challenge Themes

revision date 2005/07/11

The theme serves two purposes; firstly as a means to inspire entrants, but also to provide some way of limiting cheating.

The selected theme may be interpreted in any way you like. If the theme is "Light" then you may interpret it as "Light", "Light & Dark" or "Dark". We would hope that entrants interpret the chosen theme with creativity, though if people are truly stuck, then, for example, "Space Invaders" might very well be an appropriate entry for the theme "Existence".

The following list was inspired by Roget's Thesaurus (Penguin, 1984). Click on the word to see its meaning - which may include interpretations you'd not thought of.

Age Agency Amorphism Approach
Ascent Assemblage Beginning Bisection (or trisection, or ...)
Causation Change Circumstance Conformity
Continuity Convergence Conversion Dimensions
Direction Distance Distortion Duality (or triality, or ...)
Duplication (or triplication, or ...) Effect Equality Existence
Expansion Form Identity Increase
Infinity Ingress Interaction Life
Light Location Mixture Motion
Multitude Opening Order Oscillation
Period Power Production Progression
Quantity Relation Repetition Revolution
Size Stability Substitution Superiority
Symmetry Synchronism Time Transferrence
Travel Velocity Violence

For ideas about game design to help you get your brain juices flowing, try some of these links:

The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford.
This text was originally composed by computer game designer Chris Crawford in 1982. It was subsequently made free in electronic form.
Designer's Notebook Columns by Ernest W. Adams
"The Designer's Notebook is a (mostly) regular column I write for the Gamasutra developers' webzine."
Game Design Wiki
This site has been established to foster the collaborative development of the principles of GameDesign, and in particular, a PatternLanguage of GameDesign.
Initially, we will gather together all the GoodIdeas that have appeared in different sources, scattered throughout the web and other print sources. Then, we will begin transforming these ideas in Patterns that will link a problem to a solution, enabling us all to build better games.
Another Game Design Wiki
AntiFactory is a [wiki] focused on the art and science of GameDesign. We are designers by trade and this site serves as a place to collect our thoughts and communicate with each other as we develop ideas and put them into practice. newsgroup
Discussion of game design related issues.
The Game Design Patterns Project
The focus of the Game Design Patterns project is on studying computer games in terms of interaction, components and design goals with the intension of creating the basis for a common language for game designers. As the basic building block for this language the project uses the concept of Design Patterns, originally developed by Christopher Alexander et al. Design Patterns is a semi-structured formalism that has been used for similar causes in areas such as architecture, software engineering, human-computer interaction, and interaction design.
The BIG LIST of RPG plots
"I built this by examining the premises of hundreds of published adventures for all systems (including those systems dear and departed from print), trying to boil them down to common denominators."

The PyWeek Game Programming Challenge Themes Committee <>. The committee is:

With thanks to Rachel Holkner for advice and editing.