Sunday, February 17, 2008

Optimized the Repaint

Work done today: Optimization of repaint, so only parts absolutely in need of a repaint will be refreshed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I just finished a conceptual design work for a testing environment of Where-Is-My-Heart? I was thinking about the game-play a lot. How does the player win the game? Or a level? How about this: As a player you have to find the way to the heart balloon. As the player grabs the heart, the level is completed. At the beginning of each level, we could have a short sequence of events, that in one way or another make the player lose his heart again. A bird stealing it, a gust of wind, etc.
So the main objective about the game is to explore and find a way to the heart. Riddles would be about combining information from the different frames. So it is more a cognitive game than a classic platform game.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finding out how the Game works

I just produced some more frames. Finding out how puzzles could work. This could become a really, pretty daftly hard-core puzzle game. The frames in the small picture left are taken as cuts from the big "level" picture above. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Game Engine, Level Builder and Thoughts on How to Proceed

The current status of the game engine: For the player guy we have basic collision and the player can skip from one Comic Frame to another, back and forth at well defined spots. 

The player falls downwards, when not touching a platform underneith. Jumps and falling are non physical for the moment. A jump will move the player guy up in a linear way,  (no gravitational constant, no quadratic curve behavior, ie. no speeding up with time falling). Maybe I will add that at a later stage. But correct Physics do not bother me right now. Instead I am working on overall game rules and mechanics. 

What else? Ah yes. I have the basics of a level editor ready. You can place platforms, walls and portals by mouse drag.

Next things to do? Humm, maybe think first before carrying on. First to further develop the rules of play. For example what happens when the player is in the middle of jumping and suddenly presses down? We could have that be a function. Like an attack, or something. 

Also, what do we want the non player characters to be like? Can they walk around? Talk? Do stuff?
Actually do we want text in the game or an absolutely non text game, which is kind of neat, I think. Only sounds and music? 

Inspiration from Marcel Dzama

I had this inspiration from Marcel Dzama. He painted one picture with a pile of dead bodies, and a text saying,

"Inside I died this many times."

or something similar. We could use that for the game. When the player guy kills somebody. You see in one frame how the person you just killed falls down on top of the pile. Or later at the time when the player guy dies by some game incident, all the ones he killed prior to his death fall onto the pile. 

Thus the player will accumulate this pile, and depending how many he killed the pile will grow and grow. It's a pretty mean thing to do with the gamer, I know. But it seems interesting. 

At a later stage, maybe towards the end of the game, we could have the player guy walk over this pile. That's gruesome, even if we use "cute" graphics.  Or maybe especially because of the cute graphics.

I was also thinking of use real painting scans for everything. Animations, background graphics and all.. That would make it look really home made, which it is. And the animation could also be really edgy and non-soft, just like a really selfmade cartoon. Collage and Decollage would be very interesting too.. Gives it this really used look

Monday, February 11, 2008

I had the idea of switching the content of the comic frames, like switching tv channels, with analogue noise pixels intermitting. And there could even be this sound of a bad tv reception. Maybe the player can use a switch and thus control, what's on display in another frame. This should give ground for a whole variety of interesting situations and puzzles.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Where is my heart" will be the working title for now. Here is a first no-great-effort design for an ad.

So this is kind of a first mockup for the game I have in mind.. It's like a platform puzzle/adventure game with comic frames. You walk out of one frame and end up in another frame.
This comic frame mechanics should give us some levers for interesting puzzles. Some frames are partly congruent/overlapping, so you would see the guy walking in both frames. From frame to frame, it's not neccessarily how you'd read a real comic. Maybe the guy ends up in an unexpected frame..Another thing is, I want the game to be very forgiving, you shouldn't die, or if there is death, then there is a really close place where the guy gets back into game. I don't want goodies in the game, only the bare neccessities.
I think I first want to have the game design complete before I start with programming. Because, as Jonathan Blow says, programming is easy, Production is harder, Design is hardest. Taking care of that early, should be the key to a good game.
I am now thinking up a story line (maybe nonlinear) and then also I need puzzle ideas, interesting game elements, that lead to a good puzzling/adventurous/explorative gameplay.

Monday, February 4, 2008