Sunday, 26 October 2008


I made progress with my 3d modelling. Here's a picture of the work-in-progress of my affectionately nicknamed 'Sir Bucketface'. He may not look much, but please be nice to him, he took me about six hours to make. The best moment was when he had a head and torso, but no arms and looked just like the Black Knight from 'The Holy Grail'!

Currently working on the pitch document for 'Palette Battle' (named from 'Paint Fight' I'm not sure it's a great name, but I rather like the assonance of the hard double t in the centre of both words). It caused much mockery in the house when I said 'I'm doing my homework' while drawing cartoon characters. Since normally drawing cartoon characters would be what I do all the rest of the time, haha.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Playground Nostalgia

So lately I've been thinking about games I played at school and how these could translate into gameplay ideas for video games. It started with the water fight idea and kind of went from there. Of course, most of the games we played were either things that are already games, such as sports like football (though I don't think netball or rounders are games, I view this as a GOOD thing) or games which lacked enough of a structure to really make a good game (when we made them up, they tended to involve a loose narrative and a lot of running around aimlessly).
But there are some that would work. A game we called 'Blocky' has formed the basis for one of my ideas. It's basically a team stealth game, like capture the flag.

Maybe some others will come to mind in the future. It's quite a good way to think of game mechanics.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Paint fight!

I was thinking 'I have a lot of puzzle game ideas, how about an FPS'? I'd like to make a Fun, simple FPS. I have memories of playing Goldeneye with my school friends in High School. The fantastic thing about Goldeneye is that ANYBODY can play it. We even had a guy who literally didn't know which way around to hold a controller and he could still play it!
Strangely though, all subsequent games made things more and more complex. Though this suits a person who likes to play FPS games, it tends to put casual gamers off the genre, which is a shame, because FPS games can be really fun to play with friends!

So let's go back to basics here.
My idea for an FPS is inspired by the water fights I used to have in the garden with my siblings. On a hot, sunny day, you'd get out the water pistols, super-soakers and even a bucket, and the aim was to soak each other. We even had this big plastic tray that could be used as a shield. Oh, and water balloons, which were a bit like grenades.
Water doesn't show up too well, so how about paint instead. Your aim is to cover the opposing player/team in as much of your colour of paint as you can. This is reminiscent of the 'paintball' mode in Goldeneye, exept that just put a coloured blob on whenever a character got hit, and the colour was random, not dependant on who hit.
The style would be bright and cartoony, maybe even Super-deformed, since a headshot would mean nothing in this game, it means big heads are no disadvantage. Bright, over-the-top, slightly chibified, cute characters might really work for a game like this.

To reload, you have to run to a reload point (just as we had to run for the tap). There are a few of these on a level. Some weapons have the advantage that they don't need reloading much, ususally the less powerful ones. You can see how much is in yours or a friend's weapon because the weapons are see-through and you can see the reservoir of paint inside. Paint-bombs are like grenades or bombs, and can be found around the level, they are thrown and cause a big splatter of paint, inaccurate but can cover a lot of people in paint if you're lucky! There's also the shield, which prevents the use of two-handed weapons or dual-wielding one handed ones, but shields the area it covers for a while, until it is covered in paint and must be discarded.
The controls would be very simple. Oh, and there would be other game modes than just 'soak the opposition' such as a mission where you have to tag certain points with paint, or capture the flag etc.
There are also 'water jets' in some places, which fire sporadically in a certain area and wash paint off. The player has to decide whether standing still, waiting for a jet is worthwhile, when standing still in an exposed area can be a dangerous tactic!

I think this sounds pretty fun personally.


Right, so my project this time is to come up with some simple gameplay-based game ideas and type up proposals for them, then I'll choose the best one and follow through with a pitch document for it.

Coming up with simple ideas which are gameplay-based should help make me think more like a Games Designer, as before, with Lena, I approached it more like I would approach a project as a Comics Artist, coming up with a story and characters and fitting gameplay to that idea. This time, I have to come up with gameplay first, and if there's a story to fit it, that comes second.

So far I've got a few, but not all are suitable. There's an RPG idea that's just too complicated among other things.
Some of the best are: The beam shooting robot game (platform/puzzle/action). A game in which you're a gravity-manipulating astronaut (puzzle/adventure). And a game where you ricochet a ball through a chamber by manipulating angles of obstacles to make it bounce right (puzzle).

As you can see, mainly puzzles, because puzzle games have easy, simple, but interesting mechanics. Portal is essentially a puzzle game. Most games involve an element of puzzle solving.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


So I know this is kind of unrelated, but yesterday I had an idea for a game.
It's about this Robot who shoots special beams. S/he can shoot two types of beam, which I'm going to call 'bungee beams' and 'strut beams', bungee beams stick to surfaces or objects, can bend around like a rope or cable and are stretchy. Strut beams are rigid like a pole and glide across smooth surfaces, but always retain the length and angle at which they were fired.
The robot must use these in order to escape a massive floating fortress complex.
It's kind of inspired by a mixture of Portal, Cave Story and the bungee/ninja rope from the old 2d Worms games. I remember my brother and I got really good at using the ninja rope, and we would ninja flip across ceilings and into difficult areas, and it was totally awesome. I'd like to capture the epic 'feel' of Cave Story and 2d Sonic games. I remember it felt so climactic when you were on Dr. Robotnik's airship at the end of the first Sonic, and then for some reason in Sonic and Knuckles, they made the second level an airship! That's just wrong! The airship level where you're leaping above the clouds, climbing the side of this great flying structure...that should be the last level! (or if there's a further last level, it should be a surprise and be like a Space station or something). Er, anyway, Cave Story, there's this amazing bit a fair way into the game, where you have to climb the side of the flying island, with clouds floating past and this fantastic music, and it's totally epic!
I'd love to recreate that climactic feeling in a game.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Learning is fun!

So I guess I'll just continue using this blog as normal until somebody comes and unlocks it...

I finally played 'Portal', which is quite possibly the best designed game I've ever played. The commentaries on it are fascinating. So much thought went into the game's creation.
Firstly the art and look of the game, which uses clear visual cues, ie. square objects are scenery, round objects are objectives, and colour, white is the contained 'test' area, red is the inner workings of the building etc. Oh, and the little warning logos that come up on the signs at the start of each level are great too, and the graffiti left in the off-limits areas by the 'rat man'. The design is so beautifully restrained. It made me realise that sometimes I overcomplicate things.
The level design is also very well done, so that even though you have relatively limited abilities, you get to use them in many ingenious ways.
The game makes a virtue of being a simple concept perfectly excecuted.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Oh for...

...And so blogger try to delete my blog, because apparently having a decent-sized vocabulary these days indicates you're a spammer.

Well done, guys, keep on fighting the good fight and locking my University course work.