So, You Wanna Write A Crap Game?
It's easy, really it is. All you need to do is take the following elements and place them together in some vague framework representing a game.
1. The name
Should be something meaningless, preferably unpronouncible and definitely have no relevance to the game whatsoever. Avoid the word "crap" at all costs, this merely lowers expectations and makes the game seem better than it is. Only good games have "crap" in the title.
2. The plot
3. The graphics
Who cares if the main character takes half-an-hour to crawl one pixel across the screen? Big, undefinable and virtually impossible to draw quickly are the keys here. For the enemy sprites, make sure they blend in with the background in order to cause confusion and raise the "death for no apparant reason" factor. Use colour randomly - it causes colour clash and confusion.
4. The Sound
Something horribly out of tune, or simply just noise works great here. Make sure it goes on for as long as possible, with no way of skipping listening to it at every opportunity.
Pretending English is not your native language (unless it really isn't, of course), whilst writing English language text is a great way to up the crap factor. Alternatively, choose a language which the player is likely to have no knowledge of (Esperanto may be a good choice). Ensure spelling mistakes are frequent and annoying, whilst single words insist on wrapping from one end of the screen to the other, and the "Scroll?" prompt appears.
Badly-defined (and not redefinable) keys are excellent. When asking questions, use INPUT. Never use INKEY$ under any circumstances.
Either ridiculously easy or impossibly hard - there is no middle ground.
8. End Sequence
If you choose to write an easy game, just make the game loop continously. With hard games, either use STOP or NEW.
9. Loading Screen
Hand-draw it in BASIC, and save out the screen with the SAVE command. If this sounds like hard work, just don't bother to do one at all.
11. Random Unnecessary Delays
Please Wait messages can provide (literally) hours of tension which might otherwise be missing.
All multiload games come with a free "Guess where you're supposed to rewind to" bonus game. For extra crap factor arrange the files in a different order to the one which they're loaded in.
13. The Colour Scheme
Well chosen colour schemes are easy on the eye and give your game a professional feel. Avoid at all costs.
14. David Darling
Remember your crap game is "Absolutely Brilliant!"
15. Presentation is everything
You have to be able to hold the attention of the player straight away, so make sure your game has the most visually and audibly pleasing title screen going. The actual game though has to be the most terrible, knocked-together buggy piece of crap ever seen though - kinda like the average PC game really.
16. Collision Detection
If this sounds too difficult, it probably is. The best thing to do is not bother with any collision detection at all. If you do decide to implement this ultimately pointless feature, remember to always put in in the computer's favour. It gives the player an extra challenge to avoid things which appear to be too far away to be any threat, and presents false security when sailing through something which they obviously hit.
The question "Do you want instructions?" should be followed - no matter what the user answered - with 30 pages of incomprehensible gibberish which details the life stories of every character in the game and a detailed description of features that don't exist. It should avoid mentioning which keys do what or anything usefully related to the game.
Nos. 11-14,(16) written by Andrew Cadley and 15 by The Starglider