Status Report: (43 Hours Remaining)

Posted by
August 24th, 2012 11:19 pm

I received the theme by mail on my phone while at the bowling alley with some co-workers. I promptly looked for the rest of the e-mail where it would say “Just kidding! It’s XXX”. I also checked the website. No, it really is evolution.

At a loud bowling alley, I tried to steal some moments away to think about possible game mechanics, but all I could come up with is “evolution of bowling”. Yeah, I got nothing there.

Anyway, on the ride home I decided I would start naming occupations. Just trying to do SOMETHING other than just repeating “evolution… evolution” over and over, like that would somehow help.

The first occupation I came up with was “Pilot”. I thought about a game where you are a pilot, and the course had a number of different obstacles. Some obstacles you might be better at than others, and the ones you do worse on are the ones you’ll encounter more of in the future. Of course, this being my first idea I immediately threw it out.

I also figured it likely that biological evolution would be pretty standard, as it was another idea I had. So I started trying to concentrate on other definitions of “evolution”. Really, in the end, it came down to the fact that many small changes occur that will eventually produce a large result.

Somehow, I thought about the “large result” as the “goal”, and the “small actions” as what the player does. I instantly thought about a game idea I had a year or so ago where I would create an entire town and allow the player to interact with various characters at various times. These small interactions would change the way people view other people. I went down this road for awhile:

The game makes you the “Ghost of Fate” in a town, and you have to get people interested in topics. For example, Little Frankie should grow up to become a scientist, while Suzy and Derek should fall in love.

I started to realize that there would be a TON of graphics and interactions that would need to occur for this to work. I soon just rubbished the entire idea, and tried to move on.

I eventually came back to it, though. At some point (I’m not sure how) I came up with the idea of a “Summer Camp”. Rather than an entire town, you are a lead counselor of a summer camp, and are given a goal (“win the water marathon race against the rival camp at the end of the week”, “help Derek have his first kiss”, etc.) You do this by interacting with the the campers to find out their various likes/dislikes, who their friends are, picking up rumors of love triangles, and convincing them to participate in different activities throughout the week. If you want to win the water marathon against the rival camp, you might want to get Steve to anchor your canoeing team. But Steve probably won’t want to do the canoeing activity during the week, because his friends seem to prefer swimming. If you could convince Stephanie (the girl Steven has a crush on) to join Canoeing, then we might have a different story.

I have some worries:

1.) Game Complexity. I’m mocking the entire game idea on paper, and I think if I limit the amount of interactions, the code for this shouldn’t be that hard.

2.) Graphics: It’s a game about a lot people doing a lot of activities. I suck at drawing. If I can find a good way around drawing a bunch of people, I will, but I might need to spend a lot of time just doing graphics of faces. This seems entirely ok to me, since I think I could get away with cartoony-style faces alright. The environments might be a bit different though.

 

Well, I got a few hours late start, but at least I have an idea. It’s not entirely fleshed out, but it’s ready for me to start coding. However, it’s 2AM, so I’ll give myself some rest, then start tomorrow.


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