Archive | September 2016

Daily Design: Day 274

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Kingdom, Get and Drop.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Kingdrop

 

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This was the only picture I could of a king falling. I am so, so sorry.

Kingdrop is a game about two kingdoms at war whos kings have gone missing. The two kings met for peace talks in a neutral castle, which was then inexplicably launched high into the air. Of course, it falls (so to speak) to the citizens to catch the kings on their rapid descent.

It’s a 2D sidescrolling game, in which each player (oh, uh, it’s multiplayer) controls a castle town, located on either extreme direction of the screen. In other words, one player is to the far left and the other is to the far right.

Soldiers will automatically spawn from your keep at set periods and march to the right, attacking enemy soldiers when they meet. These battles will inevitably result in a draw, with both groups being wiped out simultaneously. To combat this, players can spend Gold to spawn more units (of different types).

For example, players could spend 10 gold to spawn Infantry, which are heavy-hitting melee soldiers. This would give you the edge over the opposing player, and your soldiers would easily beat theirs. However, since they have to cover a lot of ground before they reach the enemy castle, they’d have to fight through a few waves of enemies and might not make the entire journey.

Games can be won in two ways – either conquering the enemy castle, or by the enemy letting their king die (more on that in a sec). The first is relatively straightforward, if not easy. Soldiers that make it to the enemy keep will attack it and lower its health – at zero, it’s destroyed.

Along the way to the castle are gold mines. When a player has troops move over a mine they’ll capture it, and it’ll spawn a miner that moves between their keep and the mine. Each time it makes this journey, that player generates a small amount of gold. Players also have to worry about how they spawn their troops – for example, spawning a tanky melee unit before archers is a good idea.

Finally, there’s the whole deal about the kings falling out of the sky.  The kings will randomly fall from the sky, and each player has to use a flying trampoline to bounce them back up again (it’s a bit weird, I admit). The problem is that as the game goes on, the kings will fall more frequently and quickly.

Gold can be spent on trampoline upgrades, which is a core mechanic of the game. Worse, your king will begin to fall more frequently and quickly if you’re winning the game. In other words, if you’re making more gold, it’s a good idea to spend some on trampoline upgrades.

The idea is to add an element of action to the strategy game, while also ensuring there’s a bit of balance to the economy system. Players need to decide where their money should go based on their confidence in their trampoline skills, and it stops one side from “snowballing” the other.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.

 

 

Daily Design: Day 273

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Rock, Support and Seat.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Flimsy Foundations

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Flimsy Foundations is a game about stacking rocks on top of each other, only it’s a video game, so it takes thousands of dollars and many working hours to make it.

It can be played by as many players as are interested – each uses the same controller (or phone, or keyboard) and takes turns. Simply, players place a rock down. The next player places the next rock and so on. When the tower collapses, whoever caused the collapse loses. If there are two or more players remaining, the game repeats until a winner is declared.

When a player goes to place a rock, they’re given a choice of three (random) rocks. They can only select one to place, and when they do so the next player receives a different three to choose from. That’s it!

It’s a very simple game, but there’s plenty of room for strategizing and risk-taking. For example, using a flatter rock is considerably safer for the player, but makes it very easy for the next person. Similarly, placing a rock toward one edge will make it harder to balance, but that can easily come back around to bite you later.

I imagine this is a game best suited for phones and shared among friends or family while travelling or waiting. I can’t imagine people getting in line to pre-order the rock stacking game collector’s edition.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

 

Daily Design: Day 272

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Command, Spreading and Hurry.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Ft. Creep

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Ft. Creep is a multiplayer RTS about warring elemental factions, such as Fire and Ice. These factions build their power through the land itself, and as such will try to conquer as much surface area as possible.

This is the central game mechanic that separates Ft. Creep from other, similar games. Rather than having gold mines or farms for resources, players will have to “grow” their element from the starting position. The more surface area of the map they cover, the more “Power” they generate, which allows them to build new structures and troops.

For example, the Fire faction will try their best to burn the land, leaving embers and ash in their wake that will build more Power. Power is the only resource in the game and is used to construct buildings and further elemental progress.

The elements are progressed by building structures, which will spread the element from where they’re built (like the titular creep from Starcraft). Importantly, the elements will diminish if cut off entirely from the base.

In other words, players can attack towards the back of the elements to cut off everything else, which will cause it to diminish. Players have to focus on spreading as much element as possible while ensuring they don’t spread their defences too thin.

The idea of the game is to make the economy aggressive. I find that in too many RTS games, the economy simply isn’t engaging or fun. I think that making it a key part of the bulk of the game – warfare – is an interesting way to tie systems together and make them more interesting.

Otherwise, the game is a fairly traditional RTS. There are structures to train troops, ones for upgrades and so on. Despite the factions being elemental, they aren’t granted innate benefits against each other – in other words, the Fire faction receives no advantage against the Frost faction.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

Daily Design: Day 271

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Chess, Impossible and Baffled.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Kotov Gambit

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Kotov Gambit is at its core a chess game. Players can go up against the AI or other players online or locally to have some chessy fun.

What makes this game different is “Kotov” mode, where random rules are assigned to the match. Worse, players aren’t actually told what these rules are until the match has begun. The rules range pretty drastically from game-to-game, some of which are much more drastic than others.

Some of the simpler ones include shuffling the pieces around or changing the board size. The more complex rules include things like making the board entirely a single piece (excluding Queens and Pawns) or limiting the number of pieces that a player can have. Some are more specific and different, like being able to instantly win the game by having a piece reach the opponent’s backline.

That’s essentially it! Regular chess can also be played, and players can set up custom games with whatever rules they like. For fun, new boards and piece “skins” can be unlocked through play. Competitive mode is also ranked, both with and without the Kotov rules.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

Daily Design: Day 270

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Selection, Wind and Secure.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Big Fans

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Big Fans, as the name suggests, is a game about fans that are big. It’s set in a country that’s relatively poor, but is also home to several stores of natural resources – so, naturally, it’s being invaded.

They can’t afford a complex defense system or military, but they do have a gigantic metal fan. Yes, their expenditures are strange, which probably explains why they’re not financially well-off, but in this case at least the fan has a purpose.

Because, of course, it can defend against missile strikes by simply blowing the missiles away.

The game is 2D, and the fan can only be moved up and down (vertically). It always sits on the far-left of the screen, as missiles, planes and more start coming in from the right. Letting once pass results in a failure, and the game would have to be restarted.

The player can control the exact amount of force that the fan is giving off by pressing either the trigger or the mouse button. The longer it’s held in, the stronger the force but the slower the fan moves. There are also other reasons to not necessarily want to go full force; namely, if you drop a missile or plane out of the air with full force, it will fly off backwards. If you drop it with less force, though, it will drop down on to (and destroy) other missiles and planes.

So the game is essentially extreme pong with a bit more complexity. Players can buy upgrades between rounds (it’s a survival game, so there are infinite rounds until the player loses), and these upgrades range from faster force build up and movement speed to things like the fan giving off freezing air.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

Daily Design: Day 269

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Novice, Baffled and Mole.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Intelligence

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In Intelligence, players take the role of an elite double-agent who has recently infiltrated a hi-tech technology development firm of some kind. The infiltration has gone well, and the protagonist has gotten a job at the firm through legitimate channels. The problem is that they’re very good at being a spy, but have no idea what they’re doing at work.

Hence, they’ve decided to double-down on their skills in order to succeed. The idea is to avoid having to do your assigned work at all costs – this is done by stealing the ideas of coworkers, avoiding managers entirely and making sure you’re always where you’re meant to be during an inspection.

The game is a 3D third-person stealth game. It’s level-based, with each level providing a unique challenge. One may have the player tasked with making a coffee, but because the spy has never made a coffee in their life (too busy spying) they have to instead steal a fresh one.

In many ways, it’s similar to Hitman. There are sections where the player is allowed to be, but also sections where their presence is disallowed. These sections will be clearly outlined, but do differ from mission-to-mission.

It’s a kind of goofy take on the Hitman formula with a nice sprinkling of Splint Cell. The idea to steal other people’s work just to stay afloat in a business is pretty evil (and petty), so I think the double-agent idea offsets this nicely while giving a good justification for the protagonist’s skills.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

Daily Design: Day 268

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Typing, Degradation and Cobbler.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Feet First

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Feet First is a typing game about repairing shoes, which I’m just now realizing is a concept that doesn’t sound very exciting.

The player inherits a shoe repair store (everyone’s dream!) and has to manage it. This is done by typing the phrases that appear above each part of the shoe – typing a word correctly will repair it, but typing the word incorrectly will repair it poorly.

When every part of the shoe is repaired, the player is paid and moves on to the next. Their amount of pay is determined by a combination of their skill and “reputation”, which is a level that can be increased by working efficiently (and at higher difficulty levels).

For fun,the player has access to a house that can be furnished with the money. New furniture can be bought,and all menus take place in this home. It’s a fairly “cheap” way to make players feel rewarded, but I believe that typing games are best when they exist solely as light motivation to get players practicing, and that a system like this is a viable way to go about.

Reputation is a player level that determines the quality of their store. There are visual upgrades as player increase their reputation, and they earn more money by attaining a higher reputation. The visual improvements to the store are solely seen while playing the typing game, so they’re fairly minor as well.

In the end, as with others, it’s a typing game that exists solely to motivate people to improve their typing skills. This is why I’ve introduced the idea of a penalty for misspelling a word; in many typing games, word can be corrected by quickly deleting and re-typing the word (sort of like in everything else). I prefer the idea that people should first learn to type well, then learn to type quickly. Whether this is a more efficient method of teaching or not, I don’t know! This is something that would require fairly extensive research before development began.

As a quick aside, this is (I believe) the third or even fourth time that “typing” has appeared as a random word, so I may just skip it next time. I’ve had multiples of other words, but this one is very specific and has been appearing more frequently, as well as basically defining a genre by itself.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.