Make a game challenge

Happy Tuesday to you all!
We keep receiving emails asking us “how to make a game”, and while we do have plans to write tutorials for game development with GameMaker, we simply can’t find the time to do so.
So today I came up with a nice idea (at lease I hope so): Why won’t you join the CG team for the development of one game, and have your say?
The goal will be developing a game which in its making you will be involved, starting with the early plot ideas and ending with testing and trying it before anyone else.
If you want to see your name in the game’s credits, and if you want to be able to tell your friends that you were part of the team that made this game – now is your chance!

Here’s how it will go:

Phase 1 – Brainstorming:

You are all welcome to write any idea you have regarding the game in the comments bellow: the basic plot, interesting characters ideas, items to use, how to use these items, etc. We will turn your ideas into a short game plot.

Phase 2 – Revealing the game’s plot:

We will post the game’s full plot (which means you will all know how to solve the game!) – You’ll be able to write your opinion and if needed, we will change the plot accordingly. Once everyone will be happy with it, we’ll move forward to…

Phase 3 – Revealing the game’s graphics:

You’ll get to see the game’s background sketches and characters. Once again, you’ll get a chance to have your say about the graphics, and we will do necessary changes. After that we’ll move on to the final round:

Phase 4 – Game testing:

A beta version of the game will be available for you to test. You’ll get to hear the music, see the graphics, watch the dialogues, etc. We will listen to your comments and modify the dialogues and/or music according to your opinions.

Phase 5 – Game release:

Once everything is done, we’ll release the game, with voice-overs and with the names of those who helped in the game’s credits.

Are you up for the challenge Matey?

In order to save us time, I’ve already selected a theme for this game: Pirates!
So think about treasure maps, pirates inns, barrels of rum and hidden caves, or think about something more daring and rebelling, feel free to suggest anything.
Here are some photos to get you inspired:

Photo by Cliff Johnson

Photo by Loren Javier

Comic by Arnaud Ahache

Anyone is welcome to join in on any of this game’s development phases. Once you see an idea you like in the comments below, give it a thumb up. I hope this experiment will be a success and the we will all have fun in the process.

Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Rum…

Carmel games story writer and graphic designer

  • Cap’n Marcela


  • Cap’n Marcela

    2 families (1 viking and 1 pirate) have had a fight over many years. I little pirate wants to become a viking but cannot do so. The pirate tries different methods to join but just as he succeeds the long fight is ended and the vikings and pirates become friends.

  • Cap’n Marcela

    A pirate has saved the last bottle of his favorite rum. He is about to drink it and the ship shakes. He drops the bottle of rum and then it floats to the mysterious island where it is said that the Big Baboon lives. The big baboon takes anything shiny. There is a treasure map which leads you the cave where the big baboon keeps his thing. But watch out! There are traps. The pirate must somehow turn the ship around and get his favorite bottle of rum back.

  • Vikhyat Agarwal


  • Vikhyat Agarwal

    dude i wanna take part in programming is there anyway i can cause i love programming

  • Lívia Dai

    One day on Sirene (the ship’s name) the captain’s parrot disappear! The captain send someone of the crew to search for he’s parrot. And in the end the seaman find the captain’s parrot with a lady parrot! 🙂

  • Miss Swag RebelDreamer

    plot: OK then there is treasure stolen from the pirates and they blame the vikings then we have to try and find it then basically we find a girl viking and a boy pirate falling in love with each other and running away with the treasure and everyone tries to stop them.

  • andrea

    I like your idea 😀
    Plot: An Archeologist is traveling in Egypt to find a Pharao’s treasure and the mythological Phoenix; while the protagonist is collecting clues, he finds the help of a librarian who offers herself as a guide. In the end they find the treasure and a Phoenix feather in a tomb, but the librarian shows her true colors, pointing a weapon against the protagonist and claiming the treasure; the protagonist burns the feather making the Phoenix come back to life from its ashes; the Phoenix uses its feathers to tickle the librarian making her fall into a tomb where she gets trapped, freeing the protagonist.

    • andrea

      I’m sorry, i was so excited that i did’t pay attention about the pirate plot! Sorry 😀

  • shmoolik

    I have some ideas:

    first- a game about one piece DDDDDDDDDDDD:

    second- the flying spaghetti monster helps for pirate to save the world 😛
    ~and say “Ramen” :P~

    third- two young pirates dream to get all the treasures on the world.
    one day, they found a treasure map for a big expensive treasure.
    but… when they came to their ship, the map was torn and flew from their hands to the big sea,
    now they’re need to find the all the pieces of the map around the world.

    ~the second is the best option :P~

    if they are spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, it’s because i’m noob 😛

  • shmoolik

    one pirate said for his wife “choochoo”
    his wife said for him “chichi”
    and the something happend :S

  • i hate kylo ren™

    A group of pirates sail the seven seas looking for the captain’s ancestor’s treasure (Davy Jones, Blackbeard, etc): The captain – lighthearted and funny, a bit too fond of rum; The First Mate – seemingly innocent and subservient, hides a secret; The Hero – the character that the player plays as, observes an evil plot and has to figure out a way to save the captain; and various characters that you need to obtain things from.

    You play as the cook’s son, just helping your father on board when you notice a diary under a table (or something to that extent) belonging to the first mate. It reveals his identity as Hobblin’ Harvey Backswash (or insert generic pirate name there), a lifelong enemy of the captain’s family – he thinks that the captain’s ancestor stole the treasure from his ancestor, and is out for revenge. You are shocked, and set off to stop him. You are just in time to witness him give the captain a bottle of rum. As soon as the captain drinks it, he passes out, and the first mate ties him to the mast. You hide before the first mate can see you, and after he rows off in a smaller boat to find the treasure, you obtain various objects to help you find him and stop him (a map etc). You manage to stop him, and make him walk the plank. Ends with crew ‘cheers’ing with rum.

    So yeah, that’s my plot! I am a fan of your games and it would be really cool to be apart of it (spon spon promo).

  • Dizzy

    How about pirates who smuggle stuff? They need to smuggle barrels of rum or parrot feathers, without the Governor’s army catching them.
    Maybe they need to get a rope in order to ring the giant town’s bell to signal someone for help.

  • Mary Alvin

    the pirate ship cleaner boy wants to show the captain that he is real pirate material so he sets out to find the lost treasure of *blank* which is said to be on the island. but he has to be careful of the other parties trying to get in his way. he finds it, but, decides to make his own pirate crew instead.
    the villain could be the one who gives him the map hoping that cleaner boy will lead him to the treasure.

  • Irenne

    Great idea, I want to help too!

    Here some plots I thought about:
    1 – During a brief stopover in a random island, you got distracted and your crew sailed forgetting you ashore! They are still around so, if you manage to signal your presence somehow, they could still come and get you. You have to do something to make them notice you (a bonfire, maybe?)
    2 – The captain is really in a bad mood. Find some rum to calm him down, or he will throw you overboard! (“why is the rum always gone?”)
    3 – You are a kid who wants to become a pirate. You meet a real pirate, and he says you will be part of his crew if you pass a challenge: you have to steal a precious object and bring it to him. In the end, when you bring the object to the pirate, you discover that he was sure you would have failed, but he cannot go back in his words so you get admitted.

    And here some random ideas:
    1 – Multiple endings could be a good idea.
    2 – Alternatively, you could make one or two “little bad endings” if the player does stupid things (like you did in Mermaid City, where, if the character leaves his shop unattended, the bad guy burns it).
    3 – Put a talking parrot somewhere. Maybe he stole an useful object and he wants a cracker in return.
    4 – Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free, you are a pirate! 😀

  • Thank you all for your great ideas! We’ll combine them into a single plot.
    If you have any ideas for special items to use in the game (and how to use them) please share them with us!

    • HEY !!! I have been playing your games for quite some time now and its cartoonish graphics and humorous plot really opens a creative and positive gate in my mind .
      So , lets get to the point ,
      I believe that the characters are represented by their mood and actions . So as pirates are known to be somewhat barbaric , it wound be better to add a character that has a bit of anger and rage .The other would be unlikely nice and filled with positivity! And ya of course , and old experienced pirate is ALWAYS needed !
      Looking forward for you guys to take my ideas into consideration ( not to mention that I would LOVE to help and be in the credits ) !

  • Cap’n Marcela

    You can make a choose – your – own – path story.
    A group of pirates are trying to find the greatest treasure ever buried by the captain’s ancestors. They reach the island but find out that the captain’s arch enemy, Viking (name) got to the treasure before them. You play as the first mate. You are walking back to the ship when you find a note dropped by the vikings. It says –

    I will tell you, Viking (name) the location of the treasure of ( captain’s ancestor’s name) if you promise to give me one thing… The diary you find over there. Bury the diary under the only neon blue flower on the shore of the Ria Island.
    – Anonymous

    You obtain various items and stop him, getting your treasure back.

  • HEY !!! I have been playing your games for quite some time now and its cartoonish graphics and humorous plot really opens a creative and positive gate in my mind .
    So , lets get to the point ,
    I believe that the characters are represented by their mood and actions . So as pirates are known to be somewhat barbaric , it wound be better to add a character that has a bit of anger and rage .The other would be unlikely nice and filled with positivity! And ya of course , and old experienced pirate is ALWAYS needed !
    Looking forward for you guys to take my ideas into consideration ( not to mention that I would LOVE to help and be in the credits ) !

  • shmoolik

    special items:
    parrot ~because all pirate need a parrot :P~
    pasta colander- the headdress of flying spagetthi monster
    ship- because…. :S
    map- … :S
    and the best important- a DVDs of anime DDDDDDD:

  • Miss Swag RebelDreamer

    use my name – Arini

  • MIP

    Plot : It’s the story of Oscar, a young man who dream to see the world. One day Oscar sneaks into the wedge of a boat in the harbor. Once the boat left the shore he came out of his hide but he quickly notice that it’s a pirate boat ! The young man has to learn how to be a pirate if he don’t want to be busted and kicked out of the boat, to feed the sharks! His mission is to find a costume, to learn how to speak (yarrr !) and how to behave like a real pirate ! (This is basically the goal of the game). Fotunately he achieved to fool everybody ! Some time after, they moor into an Asian harbor, this is the chance for Oscar to leave and achieve his dream of adventure ! But he decided to stay, being a pirate is way more exciting !

    Object : when Oscar go into the boat he have is “lucky charm” : a sort of magic 8 ball. He will use it to help him trought his journey.

  • rickytutin



    Items to collect:
    – Spanish dollar coin (from a Treasure Chest)
    – cutlass

    Using the cutlass on the coin cuts it into eight ‘pieces of eight’ which may then be used as currency (any attempt to buy using the uncut Spanish dollar will be met with “I can’t give change for that.”)

    Maybe have a click-able book explaining the origin of “pieces of eight” if you think that’s not sufficiently obvious.


    At the bay are three hut/log-cabin-style shops, described below. In the water of the bay is a message/map in a corked bottle.

    Item to collect:
    – corked bottle. It won’t break (super-thick glass)

    (i) Barnacle Bay Boutique

    A table-top is leaning against the outside of the ’boutique’.

    Barnacle Bay Boutique is staffed by Petey Pirate, a well-groomed and rather camp character evidently concerned with fashion. This could be M. Hasan Ullan Khan’s “unlikely nice and filled with positivity” character.

    He has a rather posh white parrot – as close as is parrotly possible to a fluffy white poodle.

    Protagonist: “Polly want a cracker?”
    Parrot: “I am rather partial to the occasional organic pumpernickel and rye craker, topped with cream cheese”

    Petey Pirate: “Would Sir care to purchase some wooden legs? One never knows when an accident might befall one. We offer several ergonomically designed prosthetics for the discerning customer”
    Protagnist: “They look like table legs with bits added on for decoration.”
    Petey Pirate: “I can assure Sir that these have been lovingly created by master craftsmen.”
    Protagonist: “And you have a table-top outside which is missing its legs.”
    Petey Pirate: “That is Japanese in design, for when my friends and I have our traditional tea ceremonies.”
    Protagonist: “Yes, because Pirates are well-known for their Japanese tea ceremonies.”
    Petey Pirate: “Sir, your tone offends me. I think I might cry.”
    Protagonist: “Is that a Japanese tear ceremony? Look, OK, I’ll buy the legs. Who knows when I’ll be in need of table repairs?”

    Items to collect (each costing one piece of eight):

    – monacle (because one-eyed pirates don’t need spectacles…)
    – fishing net (needed to catch the corkscrew-beaked hummingbird)

    Four wooden legs:
    – Standard peg leg (needed to burn as a torch to see in the Mayan temple)
    – Deluxe peg leg (has a rectangular block of wood at the end as a substitute ‘foot’; this makes the shape of the leg rather like a key)
    – Super Deluxe peg leg (has a carved foot at the end)
    – Simon Pegg Legg (decorated as a zombie leg, with actual rotting flesh – Shaun of the Dead reference)

    Other item to collect:
    – white parrot (which you can collect by offering it the pumpernickel rye cracker)

    Items to inspect:
    – picture on the wall of the Statue of Liberty, its lit torch looking suspiciously like a lit pirate’s peg leg (this is a visual clue that the peg leg needs to be set on fire – see Jungle Clearing)

    (ii) Cove Crafts

    Cove Crafts has a sign above the shop entrance together with a tagline “for the discerning Arrrtist”

    Item to collect:
    – colourful paints (needed to paint the white parrot later). Costs one piece of eight.

    (iii) Bay Brunches

    Bay Brunches is staffed by “Angela”, an old fat female pirate who may or may not bear a striking resemblance to a certain German Chancellor. This could be M. Hasan Ullan Khan’s “bit of anger and rage” character. At some point she will complain about her “Good-fer-nothin’ daughter Marcela”.

    Her wares are on display, including rat pie and a live rat in a cage.

    Item to collect:
    – organic pumpernickel rye cracker with cream cheese (needed to lure the white parrot). Costs one piece of eight.

    Item to inspect:
    – live rat in a cage. After you inspect this, a vulture will swoop in and carry off the cage (see Secret Caverns later).

    Inspectable (but not needed) items:
    – rat pie
    – shmoolik’s spaghetti monster soup (“Here on the island we had trouble with a flying spaghetti monster, so we made a soup out of it”)


    The Secret Caverns are a network (nothing too mazey – mazes are the refuge of weak game designers) of caverns accessed via a cave just off Barnacle Bay. Outside that cave is a tall dead tree, with the vulture from earlier perched on top with the caged rat.

    Within the caverns is a sort of pirates’ graveyard, with several skeletons lying around. At least one of these wears an eye-patch.

    Item to use:
    – the Simon Pegg Legg. The rotting flesh will lure the vulture, who will drop the cage. The cage will break, freeing the rat.

    Item to collect:
    – the rat (It is a pie-rat. You will need it to obtain the pie at Thagorus’ Home.)

    Item to inspect:
    – the eye-patch (which reveals that a pearl has been hidden in the eye-socket of that skull)

    Item to collect:
    – the pearl (to open the door of the Mayan Temple)


    A few rays of sun shine onto a particular patch of ground.

    One tree has two prominent branches; a lower one and an upper one. On the upper branch is a rare corkscrew-beaked hummingbird. You cannot reach it. On another tree is a snake.

    Items to use:
    – Standard peg leg
    – Monacle
    – paints
    – white parrot
    – fishing net
    – corked bottle

    Items to collect:
    – corkscrew-beaked hummingbird (see below)
    – snake (for what, I don’t know. Maybe to use as a rope to get across a pit in the Mayan Temple.

    Put the peg leg in the clearing. Add the monocle. The monocle with focus the sun’s rays and catch the peg leg on fire, such that it becomes a lit torch (needed to see in the Mayan Temple)

    Combine the white parrot with the paints. This will paint the parrot in the same colourings the hummingbird has.

    Place the now-colourful parrot on the lower branch. This will attract the hummingbird, which you can now catch with your fishing net.

    Combine the hummingbird and the corked bottle. This will uncork the bottle. You now have an empty bottle and a message/map. Perhaps it could be a map of the Mayan Temple. Or an important message such as that revealing the first mate’s “identity as Hobblin’ Harvey Backswash” (as per “i hate kylo ren”‘s idea)


    Thagorus is a primitive native to the island (cue stereotypical bone-in-the-hair/nose accessory etc) who does love his pie. He is standing outside his hut guarding a delicious-looking pie (“None shall take my pie!”) which is on a table behind him. There is a tree right next to the table, with a happens-to-be-pie-sized hole right at the level of the table-top. All these things are in the background.

    In the foreground is another tree which happens to have a hole just the same as the one described above.

    Item to use:

    – rat (put it in the hole on the closest tree. It will scurry in and emerge from the hole on the tree by the table. Never mind how, this is a story. It will drag away the pie, emerge from the hole in the tree in the foreground and eat the pie, leaving behind a pearl which had been in the middle. Good old pie-rat.)

    item to collect:

    – the pearl (to unlock the door to the Mayan Temple)


    The stone door blocks your way in. First it must be unlocked. On each side of the stone door is an open clam shell. Placing a pearl into each shell will cause the shell to close, revealing a (key)hole behind it.

    One hole is rectangular. The Deluxe Peg Leg fits it and you are informed that you hear a clicking sound as though a mechanism has been unlocked.

    The other hold is footprint-shaped. The Super Deluxe Peg Leg fits it and completes the unlocking.

    Once the door is unlocked, on entering you will be greeted with the message “It is too dark to see”, unless you have the torch (see Jungle clearing)

    From that point forward, perhaps the story can unfold along similar lines and themes to andrea’s archaeologist/Pharaoh’s treasure concept.

  • Plot summary:

    An old pirate (Shybrag Dreepwooth – you have to make at least one reference to monkey island 😛 ) doesn’t want to be a pirate anymore because he wants people not being scared of him. so he is out on a quest to un-pirate himself by performing 3 un-pirating tasks:

    1. dress as a normal person – the problem is that all the local normal clothing stores went out of business because of pirates and the one store that’s left sells only pirate cloths at a discount for pirates. he’ll have to figure out a way to combine different pirate clothing and make them look un-pirate.

    2. save at least 3 people’s lives – the problem is people are more scared of his then their life threatening situations (for example: a girl stuck on a tree will not let him climb the tree and save her). he’ll have to find a way to save them against their will.

    3. distribute his pirate wealth to the local people – the problem is he stashed his treasure chest somewhere and he doesn’t remember where. for theat situation exactly he gave each of his crew clues that when put together can lead him to the chest.

  • leonie bodicoat

    your idea is great but maybe people are asking from a more technical viewpoint?

  • fadrique

    how about this:
    All happens on an island, its very rocky, and spooky with fog everywhere . A young pirate is there because he wants to find the hidden boat of his great grandfather, inside of the boat theres supposed to be the most valuable treasure of all time, his great grandfather went to that island trying to hide the treasure from other pirates but never came back. He finds it very easy but the problem is that the key for the treasure room is missing. He must find a way to open the door. The way to open it could be combining a canon, a cannon ball and some powder and then using fire to break the lock. So the story is him walking through the island and inside the boat searching for this objects and the objects to make the fire like some wood and stones or maybe with a magnifying glass and some paper. After opening the door he finds a treasure chest and the skeleton of his great grandfather. The key for the chest is inside a necklace on the skeleton, to open it you must solve a puzzle. When the pirate uses the key on the treasure chest the ghost of his great grandfather pops out from the skeleton and tells him that thanks to him finding the treasure, he will now be free. The ghost disappears and he opens the chest to find a picture of his great grandfather holding his baby (grandfather). He returns home and take the picture to his grandfather. After this he realizes that in the back of the picture there was a map for the treasure (this could be the an option for making a second game).

  • Sarahfin Richard

    main characters: Pirate, talking parrot, ______ ( evil man who wants to use the treasure to rule the world)
    main objects: bottle of rum( which is not mentioned but i guess he could take that bottle to exchange it for a stick) he could find an an empty box, (he uses the empty box and stick to get some bananas, he gives it to the monkey) key, chili spray, and a few coins by playing a puzzle to rent a boat

    Plot:- this story is based on a pirate and his talking parrot . as they set out on an adventure a storm sets out and he and his parrot are washed ashore on a strange island unconscious. As the Pirate regains unconsciousness he finds his parrot missing. He speaks to various people in the town and finds out that there is a cursed treasure and the key, the whereabouts of which is unknown except to a talking parrot. He also heard of _______ has been looking everywhere for the cursed treasure as it gives the owner the power of transportation to any land. the pirate has a feeling that ______ stole his parrot. So he goes to his house and finds that the person says that he is busy. but notices that the backdoor is locked from the outside. so he must now find the key to that. he meets a monkey who steals a lot of shiny objects. He gives the monkey a banana which he finds on the way from a tree. So the monkey moves off and so he takes the keys and a container of chili spray. He then goes to _______ place and finds out that nobody is at home. But he finds a diary and he see’s that he has gone to another island nearby for the treasure and that he is also allergic to chili. so he goes and rents a boat with the coins he got by solving the puzzle. he then sets out in boat with another mini game by dodging the rocks, alligator etc and reaches the island to meet ______ and sure enough his parrot. __________ is extremely annoyed and tries to attack but the chili spray comes to the rescue and he lies unconsciousness or probably dead. and thus you find the treasure and parrot, the parrot helps you get the treasure, take it and transport yourself home ( or maybe rather it can be an ordinary treasure with the help of which he buys a ship and gets home and ….. bought lots rum!!!)

  • Angelica Baaij

    A pirate is
    on his ship, he is hungry and out of food so he decides to go fishing. (you
    have to find the fishing rod behind a door and the key is inside a barrel)
    When you’ve
    found the rod you have to look for ace, the only thing you can find are dry
    little fish in another barrel. The first time you will catch is a sea urchin, the
    next thing is a can with brown beans. he decides to give it one more shot.
    This time
    it takes a bit longer but then a giant sea monster pulls him down in the water
    and eats him!

    You’re now
    inside of the sea monster, you will find a skeleton with clothes on and a bag.
    when you go
    a little further you will find another pirate. He only wants to talk with you
    when you give him something to eat (beans) now you can start a conversation.
    Together you will find your way out. You can borrow some stuff from the skeleton

    you’ll find a rope, with the rope you can make a lasso and throw them to the
    tongue. It will hold and you can jump on to the tongue. to open his mouth you
    throw the urchin against the uvula and
    he will spit you, your pirate friend and lots of fresh fish out on your ship.
    Now you can
    have fresh fish to eat! and a new friend!

  • AJGaming546

    Plot = We are a character who has a funny name like Chummy whose dressing sense is like a sweeper . In the intro he is shown making a mistake and everyone is criticizing him for example putting the wrong sail up the boat which damages the boat. Then the Captain says that if Chummy is not able to atone for his mistakes he will die by that classic jumping-off-the-ramp-and-you-get-eaten-by-sharks cliche’ Then The character need to impress the Captain in only 1 day as this the allotted to him . Then Chummy can find innovative ways to impress the captain like he can bring the captain his favorite rare wine or find him a treasure or fix the boat with DIY methods something like that. And then at the end the Captain gets so impressed by Chummy’s work that he makes him the Captain of The Ship.

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