I woke up a little before 3AM, wide awake, checked my calendar, and saw that one of the 3 times to do round 1 of the Google Code Jam was in fact 3AM today, so I signed on, did that (advanced to Round 2, which will be in a few weeks), and chatted with Bart (the author of the current Code Jam platform, now, finally, eligible to compete since he left Google a while back) about the problems, and tried to get back to sleep, but ended up thinking about possibilities for the Ludum Dare (which also started around the same time). The theme for the 35th Ludum Dare was “Shapeshift”, which was not particularly appealing to me, but working within restrictions is part of the Ludum Dare. For those unaware of what the Ludum Dare is, it’s a 48-hour solo game-making competition – all code, art, and sounds made from scratch, by a single person, during the 48 hours. This is my third Ludum Dare I’ve competed in, and they’re always a blast! This one will be balanced with a bit of sight-seeing in Geneva during the same two days though.
After a little more sleep, I started my day, well, the part of the day that includes daylight, by filling out a bunch paperwork for getting on Steam, as that felt nicely productive and needed to be done, now that it could be done!
My hotel served a pretty good breakfast spread – croissants, bread, meats, Swiss cheese (maybe they just call it “cheese” here, I haven’t figured that out), so I had that, and then went back to my room to get some work done on my Ludum Dare idea. I decided to take the theme a bit literal and decided to make a match-3 puzzle game about shifting shapes. My general thought was that when you moved any piece, all of the pieces of the same shape would shift at the same time. I got started on this for a bit in my hotel room and then decided to explore the city a bit.
Past a little park with some kind of monument, I found the Cottage Cafe, which had outdoor seating looking across Lake Geneva.
It got a bit cool, but luckily each seat included a blanket to wrap up in.
After getting some basics of my game implemented, I decided to take a walk to the other side of the lake, where there was a tourist area, figured maybe I could find some lunch there. It seems almost every restaurant I looked at has meals starting around 30 Euros, often 50, which seems a bit much for me to just grab a bite to eat. Luckily I found a sandwich shop and was able to find a ham and cheese sandwich (at least I think that’s what Jambon Cru was….) for less than 10 Euros and had that. I then headed to the main attraction in Geneva which is the Cathedral San Pierre.
Not quite sure on the history, but it’s built in a bunch of different styles, so has probably been remodeled over the years.
I’m not sure if it’s a functioning church currently, seemed to be set up for tours, and was connected to the “reformation museum” next door. Maybe a protestant church? It was majestic inside.
I paid 5 Swiss franks (or maybe Euros, they’d take either) to be allowed to climb up the stairs to the towers. It was a steep and narrow climb, and at parts had traffic coming both ways (which would not fit) so it had stop lights at each landing to tell you if it was your turn to go up or to wait for people coming down – however people didn’t realize how this was supposed to work, I think, so lots of parties met half way up and had to come back down…
And from there the views of Geneva were gorgeous.
Between some bouts of programming, I went out for a bit of a walk in the evening with hopes of restocking my dwindling Mtn Dew supply.
After grabbing and purchasing a few cans of Dew, enough to get me through one more day of the Ludum Dare, I realized they were priced at a whopping 2.50 Euros – about $3 – and judging from the cans they’re actually US imports, not made in one of Pepsi’s European bottling plants. Also they contain high fructose corn syrup, that’s a dead giveaway they were made in the US. Home tastes like chemical sweetener.