Title: I have a new idea for a game!
Posted: March 07, 2007 (03:22 PM)
What I plan to do now on is to share my creative process, as much as possible, and blog the game-making process here.
The gestation of an idea.
It started with joystiq linking me to a flash game, called Super To-suta. Which was ... pretty awful. So awful, I am not going to link you to it. It was some rather bizarre shooter thing, the likes of which you have played a thousand times already, which was almost completely uninspiring and almost entirely lacking in merit. I left the game convinced that the only reason it was linked to was because it used Katamari Damacy's STUNNING music, Katamari on the Rocks. Seemingly, joystiq and Kotaku both link to pretty much anything Katamari-related.
Which got me to thinking ... perhaps I should make a game that used Katamari music? Then, perhaps joystiq/Kotaku would link people to it, send hundreds of visitors my way, and I can coin it in from the advertising revenue! (Of course, this means that I have to put the game onto a page with adverts, but that is a mere detail. Something I can get round to later.)
Also in the last couple of days, I was linked to something called Sketch Fighter. This is a shooter, but where all the graphics are hand-drawn, on little pieces of paper. This got me to thinking about Line Rider, and it's upcoming DS port. And I thought ... "There is a potential market for games that defy standard graphical conventions. Hand-drawn is cool. Blogs link to quirky."
This is all on the back of a semi-project that I have been discussing with fellow University students, as well. Here, we had the idea to do a Half Life 2 mod, where all the textures are transparent, but made up of letters. So, for example, a tree trunk would be the word "tree" overlaid onto the mesh, and all the leaves would be made up of "leaf". I then adopted this idea slightly, and thought that I should make a simpler game along those lines. A 2D platformer, or shooter, perhaps.
All these ideas fell together this afternoon. From nowhere, the thought came to me ... Doodle Wars! A Geometry Wars clone, but with hand-drawn spaceships. Obviously, I am drawing inspiration from a truly great game, but I don't want to be accused of stealing anything. So, I wanted to adapt it somewhat.
A quick google search revealed that no-one else has made a videogame called Doodle Wars. (Some guys have made a site about a pen and paper game they call Doodle Wars, but there is nothing registered or trademarked.) While I was at it, I noticed the word 'doodlebugs' in one of the links. Inspiration then hit me like a ton of bricks!
Instead of being a spaceship, fighting swarms of aliens, the player will be a hand-drawn insect, or 'doodlebug'. Based in a garden, swarms of other insects will attack the player. All sprites and backgrounds are to be sketches/scribbles, and the game will be in a 2D top-down view.
Below I include a transcript of my first design document :
A 2D top-down shooter, 360 degree movement. The player controls the eponymous Doodlebug, who is beset by ever increasing hordes of enemy bugs. All sprites and backgrounds to be hand-drawn, sketched, as if they are doodles.
Ant : Drone. Doesn't attack. 1 shot kills.
Spider : Hunts. Web freezes doodlebug for 1 second. 1 shot kills.
Beetle : Hunts. 3 shots kill.
Woodlouse : Armoured. Slow. 5 shots kill.
Centipede : FAST. 1 shot splits it into 2. Each of these can also be split. (4) Splits again into 8. 1 shot kills the 8.
Cockroach : BIG. 10 shots to kill, but will hunt for (3-5) seconds when it gets hit.
Good bugs :
Snail : Drops its' shell, which gives a 1-hit shield.
Butterfly : Drops 10 second speed-up, smart bomb, or 5 second spread-shot powerup.
So far, that is all I have done. I plan to make the game in Game Maker in the first instance, and possibly remake it later in flash, or even XNA. I just thought it would be an interesting insight to blog the entire creative process, for people to read, and to also leave me feedback. I plan to update this blog every time I add, remove, or alter the game, as well as every time there is a version of the game in existence.
I hope you enjoy reading, I hope I enjoy writing, and I hope we all enjoy playing!
Posted: March 08, 2007 (09:30 AM)
What programming language do you normally use?
Posted: March 08, 2007 (02:08 PM)
For now, Im sticking with Game Maker. It is a really good tool with which to visualise game ideas. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in learning the basics of games design.