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November 23, 2014, 02:56:30 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeThe Brainstorming Thread
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Rabbit
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« on: January 24, 2013, 08:20:45 AM »

If this thread already exists somewhere, I apologize. I looked but couldn't find something like it.


The purpose of this thread is to post your half baked game ideas, and for others to help you flesh out those ideas. You could even team up! Who. Knows.

I have an idea for a mechanic I'd like to use, but I'm not sure what sort of game to build around it. Basically the player has a sort of pip boy arm computer thing, and when you push enter, a text box comes up in which you can type. You can use this to take notes, or to access various computer functions and maybe even some hacking stuff! Maybe it would work in an adventure platformer, and you can hack open doors and security systems?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 01:57:11 PM by Rabbit » Logged

jmptable
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 08:47:09 AM »

Aye, I've often toyed with the concept of a game centered on hacking. Before holidays I was thinking pretty hard about this concept, but I haven't done anything with it yet and the scope is still too large. I'll dump an explanation I gave to someone over AIM. Hopefully it stirs some ideas in someone.

The context here ("how the player will explore it" below) is that this is not your traditional graphics-based game, nor a wholly text-based game, or a mix with ASCII art. It's a world you interact with through programming, and through hacking. The implementation as I see it would present the player with a terminal window showing that a connection has been made over the internet to some BBS-esque software called "SatOS" (explained below). Through poking around the player comes to the realization that they are interacting with a satellite in space. Eventually they realize it's in far off space, not around earth. Even later they realize there are many more satellites and a large immersive procedurally-generated world to interact with. If they are smart they discover that the satellite has an accurately emulated microprocessor (yeah yeah I know - but this is actually not the riskiest bit) and SatOS can be legitimately hacked (because it is not some interface put forth by the game, but software running on this imaginary system), allowing indirect access to other satellites, information embedded in satellites, sensors on satellites (like cameras!), propulsion systems, and etc.

Quote
So here's the overarching, no-secrets-held-back story. Keep in mind how the player will explore it though.
There is a planet that is inhabited by the Old.
They are animals like humans that are smart and use technology to make progress
But on their world, for millennium, they've encountered a limit
when they develop certain technologies they are wiped out. missiles fall from the skies across the world and burn their civilization down
the limits are very specific. if they develop weapons of mass destruction, vessels for space travel, or technologies that deplete the resources of their world they are hit by catastrophe from above
the Old have learned over a long stretch of time, and occasionally relearn, the entities that enforce these limits on them
whenever they reach the stage where they are capable of sending objects into space they encounter the implements used. machines in high orbits above the planet, containing technologies so advanced they seem to be magic.
these machines are what enforces the limits. they were placed there by the New to watch over the Old
the player enters in a unique segment of this cyclic history
their own origin is unexplained, but it could be assumed for all intents and purposes that they are who-they-really-are, a human being who is exploring a world using human technology

==== I like their names. ====
the Old and the New? me too. i'm thinking about it like it's a loose metaphor for humanity
the New left the planet for something better out in space
but they left some on the planet with machines to watch over them. keeping their origin safe
maybe they are sentimental, or maybe they want a source of themselves that is untainted by the change they've created. one that can take another shot if the New discover their path is the wrong path
the stuff from before stays basically the same though. the Old sent up satellites every time they reached a Space Age. then they were destroyed, but the satellites stayed up there

==================
the Old had a few golden ages. where they pushed the technological boundary but purposefully not far enough to be destroyed. at the end of one of those golden ages they put together everything needed to escape. they developed tech just far enough to be able to attack the machines of the New
they put everything in place and then one day coordinated a world-wide attack
launching missiles at each of the machines, which they had been carefully tracking for years leading up to this day
they knew that the machines would probably be quick enough to send down death upon them before being hit, but there goal wasn't to escape themselves. they only wanted to free the next generation, or the next generation able to reach space
so their attack did fail, but one of the missiles got through. it smashed directly into one of the New Machines at the same time retaliatory fires were raging across the civilization on the planet below. after the explosion the machine remained, but with a visible chink in it's external surface
i'm going to put that chink into one of the machines of the new in the game for the player to find
to show that the machines aren't completely indestructable
one thing i'll let the player eventually decide is whether to free the Old
 
==================
there is a ton of space junk up there because the Old send more up every time they reach a Space Age
but I could spend my whole life designing each piece of junk up there. adding components and writing software for each satellite. so i need to generate an arbitrary amount of the junked / filler satellites procedurally
that's easy for the structure and most aspects of the satellites because I can just make a couple of base components and then stick them together randomly. like solar panels and radars and cameras and etc
but it's hard for the software inside of the satellites. because they have those fully programmable computers. you would expect that the software would vary a lot between the satellites, because they come from different ages and were made by different factions within the Old
it's waaaay too difficult (pretty much impossible as far as I can think) to procedurally generate unique software for this
but i thought of an excuse not to
the latest generation of the Old to reach the Space Age, the one that is currently on the planet's surface when the player gets caught up in things, has a unique problem
there is so much stuff up in orbit from past efforts that Kessler Syndrome is in effect
Kessler Syndrome is a real thing in our world. There's a certain critical level of space debris. if you add any more debris after that point you cause a cascading chain reaction. where the stuff up there smashes together and makes more high velocity bits and eventually all of the low orbits are giant meatgrinders
and it effectively shuts down access to space for all of humanity for hundreds of years
that is about to occur for the Old
so they were smart and didn't send up new stuff
instead they wrote what is effectively a virus: SatOS
it takes over any satellite it can and puts it under centralized control
so the Old can use the satellites of past generations for their own use. recycling and getting around Kessler Syndrome
so now I can procedurally generate as many satellites as I want and just slap SatOS on them and be internally consistent with the story :D
and then there will be just a few pieces of space junk that have unique programming because they are integral to the story in their strangeness

It's expert-level and a massive undertaking (I'd love to hear ideas about cutting it down) but the kind of sandbox I've always wanted. A mix between freedom of exploration, incredible challenge, and an immersive story.
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 11:31:18 AM »

I had this idea for a turn-based strategy, where you controlled a hacker/mechanic and a team of robots.  you could adapt this for a platformer

hacking system:
your hacking system works in a field of range
search immediate proximity for hackable objects
the prompt pulls out a list of objects
objects are highlighted in the field
you can dig through these objects for information
regarding available programs and functions
that you can try typing into your box to have the object perform

You can extend your field of range by throwing a mechanism near the outskirts of your field, you connect with the mechanism like a wifi relay, you can reach inaccessible parts of the map this way.  For instance, you are on a ledge, on the opposite side you see a computer and a retracted bridge, but you can't access the computer from that range.

As you can access other computers, gadgets, robots, they or hackers or virus's can access your computer too through the recieving signal emitting  from your pipboy.  You can flip this signal on or off at your discretion.

you can acquire programs or bits of programs, that you can run on other computers.  information gathering, crippling virus's, virus's that turn robots hostile towards their own allies.
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Rabbit
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 11:34:12 AM »

Had an idea where you play as a flock of birds living on a cell phone tower. The goal is to build a nest so big that the tower stops working. The humans in the surrounding town realize they are free from the oppressive grasp of technology, and tear down the tower. You then fly to the next tower and repeat until all humans are liberated.

Maybe the military or cops come in and try to stop you.
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PeteDevlin
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 01:42:48 PM »

I hate to interrupt and formalise your thread but I think I could find a home here. The birds on a wire one sounds interesting.

Mine..

Once upon a time there was a beastly sea creature! And ever 100 years it would rear it's head above the surface, after it came out of hibernation, to visit a small shipping town where it would visit a local family. Under agreement it would consume all of the fish in the harbour and then return to hibernation. For centuries all went well until it awoke in 2015 and upon waking and visiting the port, the creature found that it was now owned by an enormous fishing corporation who declared that the agreement was over. With consent with the government, the creature was now prey to be captured and harvested!!!The creature turns to run...
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Rabbit
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »

Unless this is an idea for a game, you are definitely not using the thread for its intended purpose.
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PeteDevlin
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 03:41:18 PM »

Unless this is an idea for a game, you are definitely not using the thread for its intended purpose.

Nope, this is definitely the place but I get your point, I'll flesh it out.

If you take that core story idea and then try to build it out I get some kind of shmup with you playing the sea creature, or perhaps a hunting game if you take the side of the fishing corporation out to destroy this creature. To be honest I'm mostly interested in what mechanics others would suggest given that premise?
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 11:30:46 PM »

I don't think a brainstorming thread would work because everyone has such different opinions and approaches. It would just... evolve into.. something really messy.

Maybe fun to watch people brainstorm though.
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Rabbit
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 08:30:23 AM »

I don't think a brainstorming thread would work because everyone has such different opinions and approaches. It would just... evolve into.. something really messy.

Maybe fun to watch people brainstorm though.

We will see.

The idea isn't to continue the idea above yours or anything, its just to read what people have in mind and help fill in the gaps. For fun. That may be too much to ask of this particular community but you know, fingers crossed.
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keo
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 10:31:08 AM »

going back to the hacking system.
let's say you implement a simple brute force attack
that depends upon your skill level.  it crunches numbers and letters to crack passwords.
the brute force attack spits out numbers and letters at a variable speed dependent on your skill your level.
you could limit passwords to just a few digits and characters long, updating the brute force attack loop at regular intervals based on your skill level.
you can assign exp or skill pts whatever to increase the stat.
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Impmaster
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 04:51:49 AM »

Hacking in the future: You play as a super AI, and you have to get past firewalls and other enemy AI in a first person puzzle game.
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 07:58:14 AM »

Half-baked concept:

A survival-exploration game that alternates between shmup segments (between worlds) and Metroidvania platformer ones (exploring worlds). Kind of like a Star Trek: Voyager thing, where you start off at home and some freak accident bumps you galaxies away, and you're trying to find your way back (and then save it from some kind of imminent threat).

Weapon effectiveness (amongst some factors) is based on color relativity on two scales - hues, and "color classes" such as bolds, pastels, neons, grayscales. Worlds are dynamically generated from bigger shuffled setpieces (like an entire preconcieved/designed biome, or at least left/right or top/bottom mix-and-match halves), are usually made up of 3-4 colors of one class, and then are given a graphical style/theme that's then tinted to reflect the world.

You scour the worlds for resources that can sustain you and your ship, as well as some temporary Metroidy powerups that allow you to explore further in that world; but the atmospheres can vary greatly, which affects factors like gravity/friction. Food-like items will increase your available time, and one of the 2/3 liquid colors can be used to heal wounds or repair damage (basically recover HP).

The primary objective though, is securing Gradius-like weapons, upgrades, and energy for your ship, so it can continue your voyage home. You don't have to stop on every world, either; provided you have the fuel/energy to make it to the next one (but you'll never know what that would be like). It'll give you some initial statistics to make an informed decision (risk/reward or hostility factor, gravity, inertia/friction, colors/style featured there, approximate number of major resources [IE: the Metroid + Gradius powerups, but nondistinctly]). Maybe it'll even feature a DKC or Yoshi's Island kind of minigame on it somewhere, even.

There's gotta be a few recurring factions in there too; friendlies, competitive rivals, and maybe a couple of competing nemeses.

Then comes my greatest issues. Scaling! And assets. Giving these planetary formations plenty of depth and distinctive variety in spite of their setpiece orientation may pose some trickery, and ultimately decide just how long the game would actually be.
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 01:22:00 AM »

A roguelike maze game where you play as a old man that will die unless he finds a tiime machine. Each time he enters the machine he jumps back to a younger age and starts the whole process over again.

Obsticles in each level would reflect the time period in his life and the challenges that he had faced, family, divorce, taxes, getting fired, car accidents, hospital.

I just run into some logistical problems with it such as if you keep completing levels, you would get younger, so the endgame would be cease to exist.
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 09:23:09 AM »

I just run into some logistical problems with it such as if you keep completing levels, you would get younger, so the endgame would be cease to exist.

And that's a problem?  I guess if the time machine rewinds the world's events, maybe.  However, that's not the only way to resolve causality.  In experimental writing for a game of my own involving time travel I resolve paradoxes via the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics: Traveling back in time to your birth forks that time line.

If you kill your infant self to prevent the heinous events in your later life from unfolding, they still happen in another time-line (the one in which you live through them, and are able to travel back in time from).  In the new timeline your young self will not exist anymore and this new world may be better off without the mistakes your younger self would have made (and will be making anyway in the other world).

Although traveling back in time and killing yourself had eventually saved your life, the result was bitter sweet.  You still live with the mistakes you've made over the years, and you're now living in a new time line unfolding causally different from the past you experienced -- no amount of time travel will get you back to the world you left.  You can't very well marry your wife again, you're now old enough to be her grandfather...

Not sure how well any of that translates to a roguelike, but even the endgame where you simply cease to exist would be satisfying to me if it was revealed that your sacrifice was worth preventing the horrible events that would unfold otherwise.
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 07:16:45 PM »

A game where you play as a predator (wolf, tiger, leopard, or whatever) hunting in a dense jungle environment. The goal is to survive as long as possible without starving. Every few in-game days, the seasons will change, changing the kind of prey, and when they come out. After several days, strange things will begin to happen. At random times, crazy random events will occur in the jungle such as alien invasions, mutant animal outbreaks, meteor showers, tribal hunting parties. As the days go on, events will begin to get crazier and more bizarre, challenging your very survival.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 09:15:07 AM »

A game where you play as a predator (wolf, tiger, leopard, or whatever) hunting in a dense jungle environment. The goal is to survive as long as possible without starving. Every few in-game days, the seasons will change, changing the kind of prey, and when they come out. After several days, strange things will begin to happen. At random times, crazy random events will occur in the jungle such as alien invasions, mutant animal outbreaks, meteor showers, tribal hunting parties. As the days go on, events will begin to get crazier and more bizarre, challenging your very survival.

So, I'm imagining I'm a lean mean lion at the climax of this game.  I can handle anything this planet can throw at me.  Suddenly a Giant World Ending Meteor hurls towards me.  For this king of the jungle to survive I must escape the planet and survive as a Lion in Spaaaaaaaaaace!

Hey, wait a minute, isn't that just the plot to Thunder Cats?!
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2013, 03:37:50 AM »

a theme that haunts me:
portals connect everything. you cannot create them, but you can find doors, chests and other things with some kind of frame, that are portals and connect you to a counterpiece in another world. you carry a bag or a chest that you can enter (it is a portal to a specially built cave in some mountain, in another dimension or so). in your chest/cave you can collect other portals connecting you to other places/worlds/rooms.

imo the biggest problems with this theme are the physical consequences of portals. to make it authentic these portals would need some passthrough volume limit. when the limit is reached it closes for some time. this would stop worlds being destroyed by oceans of other worlds or being sucked into space. It would also limit the perpetuum mobile effect of two vertically arranged portals. Gravity should not be able to pass the portals. Another problem is what happens, when you press against the inner of a closed chest through a portal from another world.

It would be probably a), but this would lead to very unspectacular flying devices, which would hurt the theme from a narrative standpoint. Gravity makes this exploit even more severe and leads to a very mighty perpetuum mobile effect.
after all I think one would have to introduce some kind of special portal magic that enables only things with a free will to pass through portals together with all their belongings without transferring forces like thrust through the portal.
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2013, 06:12:25 AM »

I think that problem depends heavily on the type of portal. If they are like wormholes then I'm not sure what would happen (trying to work it out on paper for the sake of curiosity though). But if they are this kind of teleporter machine a lot of the problems go away:

Each portal is really two special machines paired together. Imagine them as big stickers packed with nanotechnology. Throw something at one of them. The object hits a surface made of nanomachines and is broken down atom-by-atom at the same time as the structure is recorded inside the computer of the sticker-portal. The portal streams this data about the structure of the object to the other sticker, which takes source atoms and puts them together at its surface to match the structure of the object passing through.

From an outside perspective the technological underpinning doesn't matter, but if we're talking about how it would behave physically it helps a lot. This kind of portal would be firmly planted in the case B that you drew. Objects coming out of a portal can press against the portal itself (which offers no resistance but conserves momentum because the atoms have to go somewhere - to some kind of exhaust) so the container would not act differently than if you had been inside it and started pushing against the top.

Aside from the physics question, I really like your idea. It's a cool premise that would lead to a lot of interesting mind-bending situations.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2013, 07:11:22 AM »

Ah teleporting particles instead of really connecting space is a good idea. I don't think I tapped the greatest story angles yet. I really like the idea of being able to switch between very dangerous and very peaceful places in a consistent manner. Having limits on the stuff that passes through the portals is probably necessary to gurantee scarcity of resources and as a result ongoing conflicts.
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2013, 07:13:03 AM »

Portal can only be formed on the surface it is targeted at. Was the portal formed on ground and box placed there? Or was it formed on the bottom of box? That is not clear here.
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