My game graveyard, part one

Yesterday, I posted about how I start so many side projects and finish so few. Today, I wanted to follow up with a review of just some of the projects I haven’t managed to complete so far, a tour of my “side project graveyard”. I quickly realized I would have enough to say about each project for its own separate post. So to keep the scope limited for today, I’m just going to focus on video games I’ve made or wanted to make.

I should clarify at the start, more for myself than the reader, that I don’t consider all of these projects truly “dead”. I reserve the right to “resurrect” them at any time, and indeed I hope to return to several of them. Others ones I’m fine with consigning to the graveyard indefinitely. I might be more or less vague on the details of a game depending on how likely such a return is.

Vernal Luncheon

A cute little 2-dimensional platformer with a bear character. The bear’s name is Vern. The idea is that you would jump around collecting food. Each type of food would grant you a different temporary ability, such as a double jump or a wall grab. If you’ve ever played Celeste, the dash crystals from that are a similar idea.

The prototype was made in Godot, and it’s probably the most extensive thing I’ve made in Godot to date (which isn’t much). In the prototype, I got the player character’s movement fine-tuned and several foods are operational. I made all the pixel art myself, and I also gave it a soundtrack (music I had previously written) and designed all the sound effects myself.

Vernal Luncheon soundtrack


A top-down “galaxy crawler”, where you play as a legendary, planet-sized, planet-eating monster called the Tungolcweorn, Old English for “planet grinder”. The monster, which would look something like a round anglerfish made of volcanoes, flies around solar systems, eating up planets and absorbing energy from them. You would have to contend with space-faring civilizations of varying sizes trying to defend their home planets and resources. At the same time, I wanted the game to have a sort of medieval mythical theme to it, a mix of sci-fi and fantasy.

This idea never made it too far in implementation, but I had some good ideas sketched out for the various in-game quantities you’d have to collect, like matter, energy, lifeforce, and exotic forms & states of matter that granted various abilities. I wanted the game to be based on a relatively accurate gravity simulation, so you could do things like gravity slingshots, and planet collisions would be realistic. The difficulty of implementing that was the first hurdle, and the one I never ended up getting over.

Standing Wave

A musical tower defense game inspired by the flash game GemCraft. Each tower would emit a single musical pitch, but in order to do damage to passing enemies, you would need multiple towers to create certain combinations of pitches (e.g., a major chord). Different combinations would do different amounts of damage, and the game would require some musical background and reasoning to play well. I built a little bit of this one, but dropped it due to insufficient knowledge of Godot.

Well, I didn't make it through all the games I wanted to talk about, but I want to wrap up the post for now. I could talk a lot about my fun ideas for games and other things. Maybe I’ll keep going with this as a series, either this week or spread out intermittently.

Have you ever tried to make a video game? Which of these ideas do you think sounds the most fun? Would you like to hear about more of my ideas and abandoned side projects? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​