Monday, February 17, 2014

So what shall it be?

Before you can start making a game there is something that you must have first... an idea. In general, it's pretty easy to come up with a game idea. However, it is much harder to come up with a fun game idea. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to come up with an "original" game idea. Pretty much all of the games that I have ever made are derivations on games that I have played on the past. In general, I play a game that I really like, and then I think about how I would change it, and then I go do that. As a result, I have a lot of respect for indie dev's who can actually come up with things that have never been done before.

So, in light of that, what kind of a game should I make now? Well, when I was teaching myself Unity last month I prototyped a game that my wife had suggested. It was a puzzle-platformer that had a very unique twist to it that I have never seen or heard of before. You can tell it came from my wife because it actually was original! I got all the way to a playable prototype which I really enjoyed making, but then came the moment of truth. I needed to actually design a puzzle that was fun to play. It turns out that I am completely terrible at puzzle creation. So, I gave up on that and decided to move towards something more familiar.

Recently, I have been having a lot of fun playing Roguelike games. For those who don't know, Roguelikes generally are RPG games which have a focus on procedural generation and perma-death. Some recent examples of games like this are "Dungeons of Dredmor" and "FTL" which are amazing games. I really like the perma-death idea for a couple of reasons
  1. It keeps play session shorter since it is no fun playing a game for more than a few hours if your entire progress will suddenly be lost.
  2. It adds a real intensity to the game since the consequence of death is so much higher
  3. It creates a great stage for re-playable content

Dungeons of Dredmor

My last game "Legends of Descent" was an action RPG with a lot of procedurally generated content, so it is not too far off from a Roguelike. However, the only consequence of death was a small gold cost. I wouldn't want to delete anyone's character because some people had actually logged 100's of hours into their characters.

So, what do I want to do differently with this new game now? Well, here are the main design points that I am currently thinking will guide me...

  1. Perma-death for all characters
  2. One play through from start to finish should take less than 2 hours
  3. The theme will be fantasy of some sort, likely an dungeon crawler still
  4. If players level-up, it will be pretty simple. No complex skill trees
  5. Most of the progression of the game will be through collecting items which will drastically change how you play based on which ones you equip.
  6. The game will be real time action, not turn based
  7. There will be a strong emphasis on replay-ability. Likely there will be unlockable content and some randomization to support this.


I know that leaves a huge portion of the game still completely unknown. I agree, and I plan to flesh those details out as I go. I will try a bunch of things out and keep the fun and toss the rest. If anyone decides to read this blog, then they can contribute to shaping the end product as well. Hopefully at the end I will end up with something worth the time!

No comments:

Post a Comment