Week 7

This will be a short post since I didn't get too far this week.

Idea: I saw this vine and thought "I want to make this; there's got to be a game in this". 

What went right:  I ended up with a pretty good starting point for something interesting to work on at a later date.

What went wrong: I didn't spend as much time on it as I wanted to due to the holidays.

What I learned: Music games are a lot trickier than I first anticipated.

Week 6

Idea: This was one of the ideas I came up with when I first started working on one game a week. I thought it would be fun or interesting to have to independently control a character's limbs to move them around. This one was most definitely inspired by GIRP 

What went right: I like the low-poly look that came out of this (lightmapping helps a lot). This is also the first time that I feel like I've designed any sort of level in a game that I don't think is terrible.

What went wrong: I got stuck trying add new mechanics with only a day or two left in the week, which really zapped my enthusiasm to try to finish the game. It wasn't until the last day where I was able to watch someone play the game that I realized that the climbing could work on its own, and I didn't need to add anything else in to make it complete.

What I learned: I need to design out my games before diving into execution; Most of the games I've made so far have fallen into the trap of bottom-up design. Games don't need to have a lot of complex mechanics or design to be fun.

 

Week 4

Idea: Every so often, I'll go on a flight simulator kick and try to learn (or re-learn) how to fly planes. DCS A-10, with it's fully clickable and functional cockpit, is a beast to figure out at first, but there's satisfaction in learning and becoming competent with complex systems. I wanted to see if I could create something that would evoke those same feelings. This idea has stuck with me ever since I worked with some friends on  a game inspired by Artemis. Role playing as a space ship's engineering officer and having ship systems modeled with high complexity is something I would love to be able to create and play with one day.

I realized pretty early on that this is a pretty big task. There are two games here: managing the subsystems that fit into the larger game, and managing the input for one of those subsystems. I decided that I would try to get the physical controls feeling "right" mainly because I didn't have a good idea for the larger game that could be completed within a week. 

What went right: Lot's of juice and polish. I was able to integrate feedback from friends and co-workers throughout the week, and I came up with a decent system for adding in new effects for each stage of the machine. 

What went wrong: Same story as previous weeks: too light on gameplay. I ended up with a poor version of Mastermind. The decision to have the order of the buttons randomize themselves at startup for each game for replayability's sake makes it difficult to give the player a feeling of mastery over a system. Instead, you wind up with players randomly pushing buttons and hoping to get some sort of feedback. I think I also got hung up on modeling systems too much and forgot about how those systems should interact with the larger game.

This week and last week could probably be parts to the same game, so I should probably try to break out of that pattern for the next few weeks.

What I learned: Lots of technical learning this week, especially for sound, particle systems, and lighting/rendering.