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Good morning! And Design Thoughts

Posted by
April 30th, 2011 8:22 am

I woke up this morning, and unfortunately my dreams didn’t help me come up with a cool game concept.

I started the day with a typical breakfast.

Start the day right.

After my shower, I put on my custom Ludum Dare t-shirt.

I'm wearing my custom LD shirt

I wore that shirt at the Ludum Dare Meetup at GDC 2011. And as I type this, it has been covered in white cat hair. Thanks, Diego. B-(

Throughout my morning, I’ve been thinking about game mechanics that wouldn’t require a full AI engine or physics or anything else complex. At first I was keen on getting rid of any entities besides the player’s avatar. After all, you’re alone, right?

But then I realized that I could make other entities follow simple rules. There doesn’t have to be decision-making or goal-driven actions or complex evaluations. Enemies or hazards can simply follow basic rules, so any decision-making is in the code when I write it.

And more and more, I’ve liked my Hot Potato idea that I mentioned last time. So here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Your crack team of couriers have to delivery a very important package to a very important man who works for a very important organization. This man is standing in a busy plaza in the hopes of blending in with the crowd to avoid detection from secret agents who hope to intercept the package.

The plaza will be tile-based grid.
The play will be turn-based.
And hopefully the AI will be quite simple and dumb, yet effective. B-)

Some basic rules:

  • Entities can move into adjacent tiles if they are free.
  • Entities can also shove other entities into other tiles.
  • A shoved entity pushed into an occupied tile will shove the other entity in the direction he/she is facing.
  • Secret agents can’t be shoved.
  • The very important package can be passed along to a teammate directly.
  • Alternatively, if the package handler shoves a chain of people who end up shoving a teammate, the package can be passed through the chain.
  • The very important man can only receive the package from the package handler directly. No chain can be used.
  • If an agent gets the package instead, it’s game over.
  • If the agents shove the package handler, it’s game over.

I think it can be an compelling game. My intent is to design the game so that if you try to deliver the package using only one courier, the agents will easily stop you, so you must rely on passing off the package to get it past the agents. The crowd may or may not grow/shrink in size as the game progresses. I don’t know how it will turn out, but I’ll have to do some paper prototyping to see if it has a chance of succeeding. BRB.

Off to go prototype, brb

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