I recently participated in Pyweek, a bi-annual game programming competition where entrants build a game within one week in the Python programming language. I never usually finish the games I build, so I thought this would be a good incentive.
The theme, released only at the start of the competition, was "Get Off My Lawn". Entrants had to include this theme in their game -- though as it turned out you can interpret it quite liberally. I was fortunate enough to start and finish a game for the competition and, out of 29 entries, mine was ranked 6th, which I'm quite pleased with.
Due to the time constraints of the competition, I found myself taking all sorts of coding shortcuts, which, if you applied them in a programming course, you would be failed for. I also quickly learnt to accept the various bugs in the system and move on to the next component. It was an excellent, but exhausting, experience that I recommend to anyone with an interest in game programming.
I have redesigned my website, and you can grab a copy of the game there.