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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:27 pm 
Gamer Geek

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:54 pm
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Hello again.
Recently I completed my first game, a one month project called BIT Mercenary.
Starting the 2nd of februari, I will start preparations for another game, for which I'll give myself a bit more time (until the end of june).

My question to you is: what kind of game would you like to see?
Do you have an idea for an intresting game mechanic, art style, story, game concept,...? Please post it here.
There is very little that can't be done in 5 months when talking about programming, but here are a few directions I won't go in:
- No 3D, I don't have the time to research how 3D games work, much less 3D modeling.
- No sports games. They're very limiting in style and I don't care for them.
- No MMO-type game. Too much work, requires money, and again, very limiting.
- No games that require a massive amount of artwork. Making artwork takes a lot of time, and this time around I'd like to focus more on the programmatical side of things.

Fire away, and thanks for contributing. I'll check into this thread once in a while until my exams are over.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:49 am 
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Note: The reason this is so comprehensive is because I just recycled one of my interesting design documents which I wrote in 2009 for a unique strategy game originally themed about cavemen tribes. I decided to give it a cheesecake-spin. :P

Battle Cheesecakes

Image

Introduction
Battle Cheesecakes is a strategy game where nations of little cheesecake people battle against each other in senseless wars of supremacy.

Overview
- Play Area: The maps consist of tiles that are regulary organized upon a 16x16 pixel grid. Everything is aligned to this grid. Typically maps might be fairly large e.g. 128x128 to 256x256 tiles.
- Resources: For simplicity, there will only be two types of resources: Crust, and strawberry. Resources will play a very significant dual purpose: they're also the most abundant obstacles.
- Pernament Obstacles: Plate walls. They are rare and only placed where ever necessary to keep maps interesting as resources are continually collected during the game (remember: resources are also considered temporary obstaces, and they will make the primary constitution of obstacles amongst the map).
- Special Items: Just various rare toppings which will grant to whichever player 'holds control' of them some kind of gameplay advantage that can be stolen by other players (if they retake the topping in a king-of-the-hill way).
- Map Layout: The resources/obstacles will initially be placed to ensure that 4 or more empty grid squares aren't collected into a larger empty square. This rule shall form a 'Pac Man' style maze.
- Players: There will be two teams (HUMAN vs COMPUTER), where both teams initally begin the game with 1 Sponge Cake (a gatherer/builder kind of guy) and 0 resources, starting on opposite ends of the map.
- Progression: Use your initial Sponge Cake to "eat" through the maze of resources and provide enough space to build buildings within the hollowed areas. Beautifully, these resources will also provide you to construct the buildings. Train armies and more gatherers. Work your way towards the enemy to bring them to their destruction.

Unit Mechanics and Specifications
- Training: Additional units are trained at buildings. A certain limit to the amount of units you can train at a building is designated. When a unit who was trained at a building is killed, you may train another of that type of unit (villager or militant) at any building which supports that type.
- Selection: Select multiple units or resources by draging out a selection rectangle with the left mouse. Hold shift to pick individual units into the current selection.
- Movement: Units strictly only move up, down, left or right. No diagnal motion.
- Task a unit to find their way to a location by right clicking (Need a pathfinding algorithm, but have no worries!). Gatherers can be tasked on resources.
- Units always begin with 100 health; however, the amount of damage they deal may still vary.
- You will see appropriately-themed shafts (like flags, but flags are medieval-ish) on the map to indicate where any of the currently selected units are moving during the progress of their current tasks. Remember: the group of units selected will not always share the same target, so multiple targets may be marked in any single moment.
- Gathering is accomplished by the gatherers merely spending a certain amount of time adjacent to a particular target resource until it is collected. They don't need to return anywhere after collecting a resource. It is automatically added to the
- Sponge Cake: 1 Strawberry: Only unit which can make buildings and collect resources. Can't deal damage.
- Butter Scotcher: 2 Strawberry: 5 damage per second
- Vanilla Wafer: 3 Crust: 16 damage per 2 seconds
- Om-nom-nom Cup: 1 Strawberry, 2 Crust: 18 damage per 2 seconds
- Gooblet: 4 Strawberry, 1 Crust: 15 damage per second (125 max-health)
- Cream Pad: 5 Strawberry, 6 Crust: 80 damage per 3 seconds (150 max-health)

Art Direction
- Style: Cartoonish, some pastel-ish colors, but also some bold colors as well.
- Character Design: Cheesecakes have smiling faces.
...

HUD Information
- Resources: Of course, the amount of strawberry and crust you have available to spend.
- Number of sponge cakes you have in total.
- The grand collective damage-per-second of your entire army. e.g. add 80/3 to this sum for every cream pad.
- Spongecake-pop: How many sponge cakes you can train. This number goes down when you train a new sponge cake and goes up when a sponge cake dies. Initially 0. Can be negative...
- Military-pop: How many military units you can train. Behaves exactly like Spongecake-pop.

Graphical Control Layout
- No specific ideas for this yet. 'Pretty straight forward. It doesn't matter.

Buildings
- Placement: Buildings cannot touch the edge of another building, or be between two resources. However, touching the corner of one other object is permitted.
- Cake Dwelling: 1 Square, 5 Strawberry: Allows you to train 2 units of any kind. 200 Health (Population Note: you need to track the dwellings' generic population contribution seperately from the spongecake-pop and military-pop, and then add this generic amount to both of them in the HUD. Generic population credits will not be retained after units die, unless you actually track which population pools every unit got its training-credit from. Otherwise, dying units will only either add to the spongecake-pop or military-pop).
- Jellybean Lookout: 4 Squares, 1 Strawberry, 4 Crust: Can train 3 military units. 350 Health
- Tribe Pie: 4 Squares, 3 Strawberry, 5 Crust: Can train 4 sponge cakes. 100 Health
- Durations: All buildings take 5 seconds to construct, except for dwellings, which only take 3.

Walls
Walls can only be built ontop of resources. The type of resource they are built on will determine what the wall piece is made of (i.e. hard crust or strawberry barricade). For example, if you build a wall over strawberry, then the wall will be made out of strawberry etc. Strawberry barricades have 80 health, and crust walls have 150. It takes 2 seconds to convert a resource piece that is on the map into a wall.

Resource Clusters
As an exception to the maze-layout rule, several square clusters entirely consisting of a single type of resource will be placed around the map. These can be "carved" out by your sponge cakes to make great bases. You can convert the inner-edges into walls, and leave a military unit in the opening holes to act as gates.

Multi-Tasking
By holding down the shift key, Sponge cakes can be tasked to construct a chosen building multiple times, and can be tasked onto more than one resource to execute their tasks in a sequence. Sponge cakes may be tasked to gather entire areas. Your selections can be expanded to contain multiple tiles if the cursor designates a second corner of the area before the mouse leftbutton is released. Military units will automatically select new targets to attack when tasked to fight, or automatically defend their local area when sitting idle.

Rare Toppings (probably never more than 3 of each on an entire map; usually only 1 or 2)
The first player to take 300 health from a topping gets control of the topping, which then resets the total damage dealt accounted for all players.
- Cookie: Summons two vanilla wafers. They will respawn 30 seconds after both dying (both are required to die before respawning).
- Honeycomb: Summons four butter scotchers. They will all respawn 15 seconds after all dying (again, all required to die before respawning).
- Lemon slice: Summons three spongecakes. Any of these three will respawn 10 seconds after individually dying.
... (Maybe a few more; I'm running out of ideas and I want to get this idea posted)

Note:
In traditional RTS games, villagers will continue gathering the same type of resource until none nearby remain available. This will not work with this game because it is important to enable the player to strategically pick out which resources they want to clear off the map and to interact with the resources in a more interesting and tactical way. Allowing villagers to mindlessly chomp through "whatever they want to" might ruin the player's plans.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:54 pm
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After reading this twitter an idea came to mind.

Concept:
You play a highly intelligent, but unique alien life form crashlanded on earth. You have to find a means off the planet and collect as much information about the native lifeforms as possible.
Any interaction with the earth's inhabitants may have far reaching consequences for everyone involved, especially interaction with humans.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Missing details: Game mechanics?

Here are my ideas for this concept.

Gameplay type: Platformer.
Suggestion: One of the most common sorts of intermediate goals in the game could be to collect major target sources of information.

1. The challenge of maintaining your *good* condition with "the native life." Mechanics for stealth (avoiding interference) and isolation (stopping interference)? Avoid harming the lifeforms, though they may be stupid and try to attack you. However, if you harm them too much in the act of your own defense, then they will run away and quickly return to fight in greater masses against you. Solution: Isolation can stop them from spreading anger. The player will be fast and skillful if they can manage to block the fleeing lifeforms from returning to the center of their local population by doing something like pushing a block off of a ledge that to block their way, or hitting a lever somewhere to activate dynamic components of the level (like gates or security chambers) before the local population becomes aware. To avoid this in the first place, the player will need to navigate the levels stealthfully, and be careful to not get close to them. Design consideration: How will this aspect of stealth be leveraged by the level designs and complemented by other game mechanics to make the game more fun, rather than frustrating or redundant? Secondly, if the player fails to isolate fleeing lifeforms, what kind of circumstances can you immerse the player in for the cost of surviving their hoards? If they survive the hoard, how will they be affected in a way that complements the richness of the player's overall experience? Note: Also, simply killing the creatures would be the worst means to prevent them from becoming collectively angry. Let's just assume that somehow this action can trigger hoards much faster, even though its a way to stop them from fleeing. So like, implement a kill count that slowly returns to 0 over time, but triggers a hoard if it gets exceeds a certain limit. The "Native Interference Meter" or something... This can also help notify the player when they are in danger of triggering a hoard, or prepare for an incoming hoard (e.g blinking red bar on the HUD).

2. Challenges of agility. May the player either take a path that is more difficult to cross in present terms, or a path that is more risky to cross with concern for circumstances of the future?
* Stealth (native life) or natural danger (dangerous road; "hostile levels") ?
* Quest-like journeys that comprise of an array of challenges that are necessary (or at least useful) to surpass before accomplishing the goals.

3. Collecting information.
* Getting the information? Unlocking it? Task complexity (i.e. step 1, step 2 etc.)?
* Confirming the information? Will all of it come together & be granted instantly once you arrive at the goal point, or do you need to return it to your spaceship? Will there be interesting ways to manipulate information to return it? Imagine sling shotting it around the level after activating various contraptions in an ensemble to return as many 'pieces of information' as possible, in the fastest and safest way i.e. during some levels, it may be exceptionally difficult or impractical to return all of the information via manual transport. Then maybe it would be more practical to use creative (and fun :)) mechanisms provided by the game e.g. slingshots or contraptions integrated into the levels.
* Measurements. How much information do you need, and where is it from? How is this integrated into the gameplay?

Player Comprehension: How will you approach the player's understanding of their personal situation in this game, and how will they be enabled to make critical decisions during the game? I would not recommend maps or anything like that. Figure a way to keep it simple and intuitive, but also as rich and interesting as possible.

Plot Idea: The game begins where you are playing in a challenge against your dearest friend, Steve the Alien, with a compensational reward offered for the winner. To pass this point, you must beat Steve the Alien. After you beat Steve, he tells you of a "glorious but very secret motherload of bacon that is hidden on a distant planet"... During the game, as you collect information and eventually find your way to the motherload of bacon, you discover that the bacon has already been taken by Steve the Alien. Not only this, but he causes the structure housing the bacon motherload to collapse, destroying your ship and trapping you inside. Steve the Alien is angry about his loss and too ashamed to let anyone back at your home planet to know of his "unimaginable" defeat against you in the dual-challenge.This is the game's halfway point. Now rather than collecting information to get to the bacon mother load, the goal becomes rebuilding your spaceship. At the end, the player may choose to either return to their home planet and take brutal revenge for Steve the Aliens's actions of exile, or to live in peace with the native life forms by using your ship to do friendly deeds (implicitly implemented through level design; it would be lame to have a "Would you like to take revenge, or live in peace?" question box).
Controls and specific gameplay: I have no ideas... I'll let you think about this. You're turn. :D


Last edited by Pieman on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:54 pm
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Pieman wrote:
Problem: game mechanics?

To be decided, but not undoable.

Yep, thanks. Very helpful addition.


Last edited by DrDima on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Quote:
To be decided, but not undoable.

Whoops. I edited my post to be more constructive. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:01 pm 
Gamer Geek

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:54 pm
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To elaborate on my idea, the alien lifeform you play would be radically different from earth life. It might look totally different from the traditional 'big black eyes thin humanoid' profile.
Also the alien would look at our world very differently from how we see it. Things we take for granted such as aging or reproduction might be alien to it.
I guess the idea behind it is to look at our world from a totally outside perspective.
But I'll stop myself from fleshing out anything, the idea here is to spitball.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Quote:
the idea here is to spitball.

Good idea. Spitball action game where you must right click to suck nearby balls into your straw and then shoot them out at monsters (left click). When the monsters die, they break apart into more 'balls' that you can shoot. Multiple 'balls' can be sucked into the straw at once; increasing power but reducing accuracy and speed (goes sniper -> shotgun as more balls are added).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:42 am 
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First of all, posting here in regards to your first project, BIT Mercenary. I actually found this forum while looking for game engine ideas/tutorials, which in turn led me to your topic DrDima. Have to say, coming from someone who has a little experience in self-taught game design, you've done a pretty good job, and am currently waiting to try out BIT Mercenary.

As to the topic at hand, both ideas would be interesting enough, and quite a bit to be learned from either. You could also try a simple rpg, zelda-style. I've found a lot can be learned through RPG games depending how you decide to work it, and can always be added on to anytime.

I do also have one question for either DrDima or Pieman, or anyone else who sees this for that matter. I know a little about programming, most self taught, and a little as far as game programming (all learned from GraalOnline) What I'm looking for are any tips as far as game programming, it's been awhile since ive done much and am wanting to actually program a game ive been working on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:47 am 
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The simple answer is get stuck in. See how far you get and ask questions if you get stuck.

Obviously you shouldn't take on a huge project such as a MMORPG, choose a project that will test you but still be achievable in a reasonable timescale.

There's a thread on here somewhere about one game a month, that would be a reasonable starting point?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:02 am 
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Quote:
I do also have one question for either DrDima or Pieman, or anyone else who sees this for that matter. I know a little about programming, most self taught, and a little as far as game programming (all learned from GraalOnline) What I'm looking for are any tips as far as game programming, it's been awhile since ive done much and am wanting to actually program a game ive been working on.


So do you want tips to help you advance your existing knowledge (albeit maybe small), or are you an absolute beginner who is seeking a guided introduction? Ask us any questions if you wish. Tell me more about the game you have been working on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Pieman wrote:
Quote:
I do also have one question for either DrDima or Pieman, or anyone else who sees this for that matter. I know a little about programming, most self taught, and a little as far as game programming (all learned from GraalOnline) What I'm looking for are any tips as far as game programming, it's been awhile since ive done much and am wanting to actually program a game ive been working on.

So do you want tips to help you advance your existing knowledge (albeit maybe small), or are you an absolute beginner who is seeking a guided introduction? Ask us any questions if you wish. Tell me more about the game you have been working on.

Either way the answer is to 1) read lots of code 2) write lots of code as you experiment with your ideas

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:31 am 
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Quote:
Either way the answer is to 1) read lots of code 2) write lots of code as you experiment with your ideas

I just wanted to know whether they'll need help jumpstarting. Good advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:39 pm 
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glitchsyn wrote:
I do also have one question for either DrDima or Pieman, or anyone else who sees this for that matter. I know a little about programming, most self taught, and a little as far as game programming (all learned from GraalOnline) What I'm looking for are any tips as far as game programming, it's been awhile since ive done much and am wanting to actually program a game ive been working on.


Yes, coding is the main thing there.

One more exam to go for me. Luckily it's an easy one.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:04 pm 
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So, Dr, have you decided on a new project yet? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:19 am 
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Pieman wrote:
So, Dr, have you decided on a new project yet? :)


Not yet.
So far I'm debating going with a tried and true game formula and starting from there, or going with something more unconventional.
I'm getting some new books today, some about game design so I'll see if I get any inspiration from those.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Quote:
I'm getting some new books today, some about game design so I'll see if I get any inspiration from those.


That's really exciting! :)
What are their titles?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Pieman wrote:
Quote:
I'm getting some new books today, some about game design so I'll see if I get any inspiration from those.


That's really exciting! :)
What are their titles?

Now reading: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses by Jesse Schell. So far looks very promising.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Awesome. :D

While you read it, you can try sharing some of the striking concepts it teaches you here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=11762

Some day I want to use that topic as a basis for a vastly improved Game Design section in the Wiki, but I want to let it build up a little first.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:13 pm 
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Pieman wrote:
Awesome. :D

While you read it, you can try sharing some of the striking concepts it teaches you here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=11762

Some day I want to use that topic as a basis for a vastly improved Game Design section in the Wiki, but I want to let it build up a little first.

Will do.
I've more or less come up with an idea now, I'll start posting some stuff in a new thread when the weekend is over. Right now I'm working on some concept art.
If this works out the way I want, it might just be a good game.


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