This FAQ was started by kirkjerk, feel free to contribute.
WHAT IS THIS? This page is meant as a fairly friendly introduction to Klik of the Month Klub, a guide written (or at least started) by a past participant, kirkjerk. (Instead of SpindleyQ, aka ApM, who started the site and the tradition and the legacy that rages on.)
WHAT IS THE KLIK OF THE MONTH KLUB? It's the event where an intrepid assortment of gamers and geeks come together online to write the best worst game that they can in 2 hours. The games are then posted to the WEBSITE dedicated to the preservation and parodying of a certain-early-90s craptastic game style, GLORIOUS TRAINWRECKS -- http://glorioustrainwrecks.com/ -- the front page of the site has a better summary of the style we're talking about.
ARE THE GAMES ANY GOOD? Yes, and No. Some are great; some are awful, some are great in an awful way, or, best of all, awful in a great way. Two hours is a very tight time scale, and while certain types of cheating are winked at, there is a goal to get SOMETHING done in that time frame and then share it with your fellow Klikkers.
The important thing right now is: don't get intimidated. This all seems a little weird at first, and the idea of writing an actual game you can play, never mind in 2 hours, intimidates people, and that's a cryin' shame! "But I'm not a programmer!" they shout. So what! We have the tool (Klik & Play) to let anyone -- AND WE MEAN ANYONE -- to put their random and chaotic ideas into a bona-fide executable that can be run on any Windows machine. "But I don't really have any game ideas!" -- YES YOU DO. Just look with inside your soul. If that fails, look at some of the clipart inside of Klik & Play, and let it be your inspiration for new feats of creativity and "writer's-block" smashing.
KLIK & PLAY? WHAT'S THAT? Klik & Play is a very odd, clunky, buggy, glitchy, but terribly fun game writing tool. You can learn where to download it here. DO SO! DO IT NOW!
Klik & Play (KNP for short) is a circa 1994 Windows (so, we're talking Windows 3.1, pre-95 era) game writing toolkit. We'll talk more about it, and how to get started making your own creations, here later (I hope.)
We like KNP because it A. has tons of random, inspirational clipart and animations and sound effects B. is fairly easy to use, and now free, C. you can find crappy MIDI soundtracks and stick them in there as background music D. With no additional work you get some great control schemes: mouse control, normal arrow key control, "race care" rotation and thrust, even "sidescroller"-style control w/ gravity and jumping E. Oh, just because.
DO I HAVE TO USE KLIK & PLAY? Nope! You can use any game development system you choose - at least one of the Klikkers has a bad habit of using this artsy-fartsy Java-based environment called Processing. If you want to play nice with your fellow Klikkers, it should probably be something that can easily run on a Windows machine.
HOW DO I LEARN KLIK & PLAY? We've created a LEARNING KNP FAQ that has a friendly walkthrough, along with links to even friendlier and smarter sites.
Of course, arguably the best way to learn is by fooling around and experimenting with the program. So jump in! The water's fine.
WHEN IS KLIK OF THE MONTH? It's every third Saturday of the month, 4PM Pacific (7 Eastern in the USA... and actually some of the participants are in some really far-off time zones) People virtually gather on an IRC channel (IRC is one of the oldest types of chatrooms, more on that below) for support and advice. Usually there's some hanging out online before hand, but at the anointed hour it's GO!GO!GO! and people make the best, or worst, or just gamiest game they can.
SHOULD I GET A GLORIOUS TRAINWRECKS ACCOUNT? Of course! Why not? just click on "Create new account" on the front page. After following the instructions there, you can add comments to the comments board, keep notes on what glories you achieved in your own Developmental Diary, or edit the Wiki pages.
WHERE CAN I SEE SOME PREVIOUS ENTRIES? The Klik of the Month Klub page is the place to go. It has links to all the past month's results, as well as the infamous 100-IN-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart Meltdown! (See below.) Download! Play! Enjoy!
DO IN NEED TO WAIT FOR KLIK OF THE MONTH TO MAKE A TRAINWRECK? Absolutely not! Glorious Trainwrecks encourages the making of games at any time, especially if you think your ambition exceeds a 2 hour scope. There will always be a place for you to post on the Glorious Trainwrecks website.
WHAT IF IT TAKES ME MORE THAN TWO HOURS? Well, we really encourage people to scale things so it fits in the time frame. You're allowed to decide how much prep work you do, however. Some people like to come into code and see how the spirit moves them at K-time. Other people might think about things during the month, just line up some ideas in the head. Still others will go ahead and gather research material ahead of time. We just ask that the coding for "your game" be done within that 2 hour period. I mean, given that it's totally legitimate to rip off a previous game wholesale and just much with the game logic or graphics, there's obviously a big exploitable gray area between "cheating" and "REALLY cheating" and frankly, as long as you're not a jerk about it, your fellow Klikkers will give you pretty free reign.
WHAT'S IRC, AND HOW DO I GET ON IT? IRC is one of the oldest forms of chatrooms/instant messaging on the 'net, very well suited to the old school flavor of the event, so we always have a channel going before, during, and after the critical time.
The easiest way to get on IRC is on this site's own embedded Java IRC app: http://www.glorioustrainwrecks.com/chat
You should see a list of people logged in. Type something, and press return, and then everyone in the channel will get your message.
Here were the previous instructions: some standalone IRC apps have niftier features, like longer scrollback buffers and searching and stuff, so:
For ChatZilla: you can download it at http://chatzilla.hacksrus.com/ (click install link in lower right part of the page)
Once you're online, type the following:
to join the IRC server.
to pick a username to use - ignore the blahblah about how you have to register it somewhere.
to join the Glorious Trainwrecks official channel.
WHERE DO I POST IT TO AFTER? AND HOW DO I SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE MADE? Once you've made your masterpiece, you should go that month's Klik of the Month Klub page (linked from the sidebar of the site) and add a new comment. Use the "File Attachments" feature. (Feel free to ask for help on the IRC channel if you're having any problems with that.)
And once you've done that, take some time to look at the other works! KotM is not a competition, but it's fun seeing what madness your fellow Klikkers hath wrought. There's a little pride involved but mostly it's just a nice supportive micro-community.
HOW DO I ZIP MY FILE UP FOR POSTING? Probably the friendliest thing to do is: hit "Save Standalone Game" in KNP. Copy the files it generates (.exe, .gam, .img, and any others) to a new directory named after your game. Navigate one level up, right click, hit "Send To" and then "Compressed (zipped) folder"
WHAT THE HELL IS IT WITH THESE .ARJ AND .RAR FILES SOME OF THE OTHER KLIKKERS POST? Oh, jeez, those are probably the Europeans. Those wacky guys! I can't believe their currency is so much stronger than our real money. Anyway, those are like zip files, but you probably have to get. 7-Zip , a popular free program that can open these archives.
WHAT ARE THESE DEVELOPMENTAL DIARIES? That's another option! So Klikoders like to make up an entry in one of those, and then link to it from a comment in the KotM entry, rather than posting direct. Either is fine.
Also, if you ever engage in a larger scale Trainwreck, you can keep an ongoing blog in one of those.
HELP! SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE LINKS WHEN I SAVED THE THING I EDITED ON THE SITE! Yeah, that's one of the charming quirks of the site. You have to chose the "Input Format" each time you save. Most of the Wiki articles are in "BBCode", which is what many people have grown used to on various message boards.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY RHINOCEROS? You'd have to ask captaincabinets about that one.
100-IN-1 KNP PIRATE KART MELTDOWN, WHAT? So, this TIGForums for Independent Gaming had the TIGSource B-Game Competition, encouraging gamers to do for Independent Gaming what Ed Wood and Roger Corman did for Cinema: gloriously awful stuff, that may or may not know just how bad it is.
Needless to say, it seemed like a contest custom made for Glorious Trainwrecks. The vision: a tribute to those 100-in-1 game carts from days of yore, like where you'd get "100" games for your Nintendo, except maybe it would be 5 or 6 games, each with 10 or 15 sprite variations or little game tweaks.
But nothing happened in actually bringing this beautiful vision to Klik & Play reality 'til it was almost too late and the deadline was looming. So SpindleyQ put out the emergency call: KLIKKERS ASSEMBLE! Over the course of a long and mentally violent weekend, 17 or so coders joined the IRC channel, dropping in and out as their passion for artistic expression and need for sleep fought it out, and by the end, over 100 original games were created. In a single damn weekend! And very few were sequels or sprite redraws... there were a TON of great and oddball ideas... see the results for yourself: THE EMERGENCY 100-IN-1 KLIK AND PLAY PIRATE KART MELTDOWN.
That was a crazy introduction to the site for many of us, and it was truly an unforgettable experience.