I consider Project `C` to be my first real game project, even though I had made other “games” prior. It was created for the first and only 528 Hour Contest in early 2004. When the contest was first announced I was in development of my first game with SDHawk, but we didn’t have much direction and were just sort of fucking around with different ideas. The first idea during this period was Zombie Shovel Whack. It was supposed to be a Zelda-style game where you hit zombies with a shovel. We got as far as pixel-perfect movement around the map and swinging a shovel, neither of which were standard with the engine we were using at the time.
Zombie Shovel Whack, “Sdhawk.rpg”, or Project `A`, as it would later be known, had a short development time. The graphics were mostly modifications of earlier sprites I already had laying around, and everything that Hawk did for ZSW wasn’t insanely out of his comfort zone for the time. I think the utter lack of direction killed this project, but we were young and a project dying quickly wasn’t the end of the world. I don’t even remember Project `B` at all. Not even a little.
The 528 hour (22day) contest started on Jan 23rd 2004, six months after Zombie Shovel Whatever. The theme of the contest was simply “Simulation”, and we decided to make a horror game that simulated light. I don’t remember any debate about other ideas. Code named, then immediately actually named, Project `C`.