Doomed To Success: The 7 Day FPS Challenge

By Alec Meer on June 6th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

Shit, I forgot to define what a 'day' is. I'm a rubbish tutor.

The trouble with the 7 Day FPS Challenge is that its name is just so damned cryptic. I’m going to have to spend hundreds of words explaining what it means to you before I can even begin to say anything useful about it.

Right, let’s start at the beginning. When God decided to build the universe, he first had to travel forward in time and consult the ancient Jewish calendar, thus establishing that a week would eventually come to constitute seven days. He then proceeded to conveniently build the universe within this arbitrary, but admittedly useful for the purposes of scheduling, timeframe.

When God decided to build Doom in 1992, he first had to travel forward in time to read games magazines circa 1996 that had gradually stopped referring to other shooting games as “Doom clones” and instead as ‘first-person shooters.’

When Jan Willem Nijman, Sos Sosowski and Sven Bergström decided to create the 7 Day FPS Challenge, they first had to voyage to Mount Doom and throw someone’s jewellery into it, before reflecting upon recent and older concepts in videogaming that might be combined in order to create something fresh and new. Still coated in ash and ichor from their journey through Sauron’s kingdom, they settled on merging the indie game-jam with the first-person shooter, in the manner of the popular 7 Day Roguelike competition.

So, to recap:

A first-person shooter is a videogame in which the player shoots things from a first-person perspective, as popularised by the 1993 videogame Doom.

“First-person shooter” can be contracted to “FPS.”

God built the universe in a week, or at least he did if you’re a crazy person who doesn’t believe in evolution. A week comprises seven days.

Jan Willem Nijman, Sos Sosowski and Sven Bergström are orchestrating a worldwide gamejam in which anyone participating attempts to build a first-person shooter with seven days. This is, you see, a “challenge.”

Hence, “The 7 Day FPS Challenge.” I hope this makes sense to you. I can go over it again if not.

The 7 Day (because it takes place over a week) FPS (because it involves creating a first-person shooter) Challenge (because doing this is quite tricky) commences proper on June 9. You can gaze helplessly at at its non-interactive front-page here, or follow what people are saying about it on Twitter here, but to be honest you’d be better off brainstorming/learning how to make a videogame ahead of the launch in 3 days. We’ll report more soon after the whole shebang kicks off.

(3 days is just under half a week. It is not as much as seven. Therefore, it is not the period in which you should attempt to make a first-person shooter. That would be too much of a challenge, and also not part of this particular challenge. Again, hope this is clear. If there are any questions, you can reach me via fax or pager.)

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57 Comments »

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  1. Theschiznits says:

    First

  2. Theschiznits says:

    and SECOND!

  3. Reefpirate says:

    Third person!

  4. dontnormally says:

    Very cool logo.

    edit: I mean fourth. (sorry)

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    Rebooting limited time indie challenges as FPSes?

  6. Hilden2000 says:

    7 day FPS? Sorry, I’m an Anglican.

  7. Ian says:

    Wait, so how long do they give you?

  8. admanb says:

    A Dexys song in an RPS post? I thought Gillen was gone?

  9. Ross Angus says:

    OK, ok, but what are “games”?

  10. Didero says:

    7dfps? That’s a lot more d’s than I’m used to.

  11. mooken says:

    Alternately, someone could interpret the instructions as an FPS that must be played over a continuous 7-Day Period.
    Damn you, ambiguous English language!

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      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      What, you mean 7,364 repetitions of Modern Warfare 3?

  12. Maldomel says:

    I first read the title as “The 7 Day RPS Challenge”. My hopes were so high.

  13. sinister agent says:

    I thought first person shooters were games were you were only allowed to shoot the first person you saw. RPS is educational.

    • Torgen says:

      Oh, that would be a twist. The only person your gun could damage would be the *first person* you saw. The twist being that you might not have been the first person HE saw.

      but then it breaks down if more than one person sees the same person as the first person, but that could be mitigated by a “right of defense” allowing the target person to shoot the person who saw HIM first, even if he didn’t see THEM first.

      So, a “first person shooter” where you can only shoot the first person you saw, and the the person who saw YOU first.

      It might work…

    • thegooseking says:

      First-person shooters are games where one can only shoot the first-person, i.e. oneself. They are suicide sims.

  14. fiddlesticks says:

    If there’s one thing the gaming industry needs, it’s more First Person Shooters.

    Seriously though, I’m looking forward to the results. Most entries in these kinds of contests tend to be fairly forgettable, but there’s always one or two with a unique and exciting take on the basic premise that are worth playing.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Indeed.

      The main problem is probably that for roguelike you can sink straight into interesting mechanics (Save Scummer, You Only Live Once, Smart Kobold etc…basically insert Jeff Lait here), because they’re not desssperately technically complicated, and have basically no art assets to create—slap down some characters on a grid and, bam, visualisation of game state. (There’s also quite a body of code built up you can leverage and hack about with, like libtcod.)

      Even if people hack about with DOOM source ports as a starting point, you’ve still got to draw up sprites for this. If you want to use something like UDK or Unity you’re probably looking at having to create/import/faff with models. That seems quite a lot more work, really.

  15. arccos says:

    What, now you’re too good for telegraphs?

    Some people these days!

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    Llewyn says:

    Complicated indeed, but on the bright side it’s a simpler concept than One Song to the Tune of Another.

  17. Berzee says:

    Alec, AS A CHRISTIAN, I take issue with this article.

    God is outside of time and therefore would not need to travel from ’92 to ’96 to read magazines, as he would already encompass/be in both years simultaneously.

    (One of my Wizardry VI characters just achieved 100 Theology, so I’m *pretty* sure I know a little bit more about God than you do).

    • Berzee says:

      Also — I feel like I should totally do this 7 day challenge, if I can muster the gumption. Gumption levels currently at 3% :(

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      Scandalon says:

      Don’t feed the troll, Berzee, even if it’s a (usually) esteemed RPS hivemind unit.

  18. Tom Walker says:

    Doom clones! I’d have never thought of that phrase again had I not been reminded. I’m going to start saying it again.

    Counter Strike: Global Offensive is currently my most eagerly anticipated Doom clone.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Do we have the new phrase for “GTA clone”, yet?

      • Tom Walker says:

        Sandbox? It’s a bit vague though, isn’t it? Most games could sort of be played as a sandbox in one way or another.

        ‘Doom clone’ is pleasingly belittling. Battlefield 3 – best Doom clone of 2011?

        • Jay says:

          And why did roguelikes never get a proper name like everything else? Is it just because it’s not as belittling as ‘rogue clone’ so nobody cared?

        • kalirion says:

          I recall when “sandbox” was a term used only for titles such as SimCity.

          And when “shooter” was used for what are now known as “sh’mups”.

          • LionsPhil says:

            That reminds me that I’ve got a little binder of cheat codes from some early ’90s magazine somewhere where every category of game is listed as some kind of ‘em’up.

  19. phineas says:

    I also happen to be one of those crazies that doesn’t believe in evolution, but I still love me some PC games, perhaps with a little FPSing thrown in on occasion. ^_^

  20. adonf says:

    7 days of Doom would be such a better name

  21. TechSmurfy says:

    Minor correction, as far as my age permits me to recall; (chronologically) right between the terms doom-clone and first-person shooter, it was the term corridor shooter that was most frequently used to describe the genre.

  22. ninjamnox says:

    Hi all, interesting game made during 7dfps, Deadlock.

    Have fun

    Game : http://7dfps.org/?projects=3524
    Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nODXBKo4so&feature=plcp