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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignHelp to expand a prototype :)
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Mr.Flibble
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« on: September 08, 2010, 12:54:17 pm »

Hi guys.

I'm pretty new to game creation and game design although I've been playing games for decades now.  I've got a couple of games in various stages of creation, but most have been done before and probably better too, so my enthusiasm quickly wares off.

However I have a prototype I made a while back that I would love to expand into a full game, but the game creates a few problems with how to structure it properly.

Basically it's a collect'emp up platformer but the whole level is created using Cellular Automata.  The platforms can be born, die due to overcrowding or live on for a generation.

What I'm looking for is a few ideas on how to structure the game, since you're never quite sure how long the level will survive before dying out it can cause a few problems. 

I have a few but they are rather cliche/well used in the gaming world.

1.  Timer based game - Collect as many top hats in x minutes as you can to get a high score.

2.  Free play but end the level when <x number of platforms exsists.

You can download the windows only Sad prototype HERE

Quote
Aim - Collect the top hats for points.  Option 2 on the main menu has a crude and overpowered combo system.  The line always points to the top hats.  You can wrap the screen too ala Asteroids.

Controls -

Arrows Keys = Move
Z = Jump & Double Jump
C = Use Umbrella to float

or

Watch the YouTube Video



Sorry for rambling but any ideas/help/feedback would be great to help out a rather daft new game creater/designer.

Smiley
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Landshark RAWR
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 01:16:53 pm »

so your worried about being unoriginal even though you made a platformer from conways game of life?


why?
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SirNiko
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 06:05:57 pm »

I think you could implement both of your ideas, and then the focus is polishing and tweaking so that the game works well, for example showing animations that indicate to the player which cells will be born and die next cycle to aid with planning.

I think the randomness of the platforms and the player's high mobility will work out that getting a high score isn't just dictated be a favorable arrangement of platforms, which was an initial concern of mine. Add some minor powerups to make things more wacky and this looks like it could be really fun.
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shadowdim
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 04:19:15 am »

Original game = yes.
Over-original game = nononopleaseno.

You have a collect-em-up platformer, and the platforms are creating and dying with conway's game of life rules. That seems fairly enough for a good game, don't add anything more!

Keep your other ideas for other games Wink
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Mr.Flibble
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 12:36:01 pm »

Thanks for the input guys.

At the moment I seem to have problems deciding what would be fun for the player, whether my game has been done before, will anyone play it, is it original, will people call it a clone.  Silly things like that.  Something that more experienced designers/programmers probably take in their stride.

I've spent the day revamping the graphics a bit, well to the best of my graphical capabillites.  So, I think at least, it looks much nicer to look at than black squares.

@Landshark MEWW~~ - Erm yeah.  Google doesn't throw up many results.  I don't think I explained my thoughts very well in the original post.  I seem to have a low opinion of my games/ideas at this early stage of my game design hobby.  And some of the comments you read about games posted on the TIG Frontpage & the IndieGames blog make me think "My god my game/idea is just like "X" game.  Imagine the hate it'd get."

@SirNiko - Any ideas of the effect to show the next generation of platforms to the player?  I thought about just fading out/in the platforms but it seems a little boring.  I also thought of the blocks crumbling away.

@shadowdim - Point taken Smiley Thanks Smiley


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increpare
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 12:46:37 pm »

I'm not on windows here, but if you're looking for precedents, you might want to look at this prototype.

As for how to structure a larger game - I think it might be interesting to look at the various functional units (gliders/&c.) that people use to describe the geography of some automata, and try to make levels based on them - it wouldn't fit in with the random hat collecting, admittedly, would maybe need a more structured environment.

Also, I wouldn't worry at all about comments either on the tigsource frontpage or indiegames.  Those people can be pretty scary.  They're mostly a different crowd.
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Mr.Flibble
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 01:41:41 pm »

Thanks increpare .

The game in the link doesn't seem to run very well for me & the fact that I always seem to get stuck in the walls.  But from what I can tell my version is very similar, apart from I seem to have fixed the getting stuck issue.

I like the idea of the shapes/units you brought up.  It would be interesting to see how long you could ride a glider or spanning a large gap using a gosper gun.  Although I don't know if I have the ability to work it into the game.

In the other thread someone mentioned allowing the player to influence the next generation of platforms, that maybe something I'll try to explore further.

Thanks Smiley
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J. R. Hill
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 03:46:00 pm »

The jumping and gravity is way too fast for me to tell what's going on, much less navigate through the world.  Seizure mode is an awesome idea though. Gentleman
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hi
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