Contemplation

Posted by (twitter: @bartveldstra)
December 17th, 2011 1:41 pm

The game is playable, contains two not very interesting levels and a simple dialog screen to transition between levels. If I wanted to, I could call it ‘feature complete’ and start focussing on content, adding bells and whistles and end up with a decent looking game. Trouble is that the game currently is not very interesting. It is basically ‘isolate the coloured ball as efficiently as possible’ and almost always involves placing at most three lines (triangle around the ball). Anyone with a bit spatial awareness will spot the solution in a few seconds. Not very impressive.

It was time to re-examine the game concept and, as luck would have it, it was time for dinner. I made myself a pizza and took a long hot shower, while pondering what I could do to improve the game. Then I remembered one of Jonathan Blow’s presentations about defining a world and then let gameplay rules present itself by examining its boundaries. In this case, the world is defined by a group of static red circles and a single static yellow circle. These two types must be separated by one or more straight lines, drawn with the mouse. Whenever one or more red circles are separated by a line, they will become inactive. The player wins by make all the red circles become inactive.

Now I have the rules of the world defined, I can experiment with modifying them. Consider the yellow circle: what if we have two yellow circles? Should these be grouped together to win the game or, to keep in the spirit of the theme, should they both be isolated from each other? How about making the yellow circle drift towards its nearest active red circle? Can the yellow circle switch places with a red one under certain circumstances? Which circumstances would those be?

These questions, all originating from the system I have designed right now, could all make a more interesting game. Let’s see what the rest of the evening will bring :). Onwards!

The player isolated the yellow circle from a red ball

The player isolated the yellow circle from a red ball

Level complete dialog

The player has finished a level


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