Some thoughts on the theme.

Posted by (twitter: @need12648430)
December 5th, 2014 10:36 pm

This video is really useful if you’re struggling with ideas, by the way. I saw it a few days ago and it’s invaded my thought processes.

From a purely restriction-based mindset, 2 possibilities:

  1. No global “state” changes. You can’t change levels, you only get a single “screen.”
  2. No scrolling, off-screen game content isn’t on the one screen.

Delving a bit deeper, there’s some more potential to it:

  1. What if “screen” was an in-game item, and you only get one to finish the entire game?
    1. Maybe impacts damage the screen, hindering your view of the game state? No fixing, you only get one.
    2. Maybe the screen is dying, dimming gradually over time? Collect energy to keep it on, if it goes black – game over. You only get one.
    3. Maybe the screen isn’t like a computer screen at all, maybe it’s more like a net or filter.
      1. Tile-based puzzle game (Bejeweled-ish?) where you define the cursor shape?
      2. Binary XORs have some interesting patterns, maybe the goal is to find a number that “screens” out a stack of others?
  2. What if the “screen” was an in-game playing field, and you only get one of them?
    1. Maybe you’ve got X pieces and you need to fit as many of them into the screen as you can.
      1. Maybe the pieces are the method of reaching your goal, building a path, kind of like an interactive jigsaw puzzle with more than one solution.
    2. Maybe the pieces DEFINE the game? Sort of like logic blocks?
  3. If we assume restriction 1, maybe the entire game could be played on the title screen. What could we do with that?

Just throwin’ some stuff out there. Take them if you’d like, I’d love to see where you bring them!

2 Responses to “Some thoughts on the theme.”

  1. pkenney says:

    Cool, man… I take the themes a little more literally because I find them a useful constraint for the core mechanics and I end up surprising myself more that way. But when I’m playing games I’m always glad there are folks out there trying to find that second or third layer of meaning in the words and doing something different!

    • The Jahn says:

      Same, largely. I mostly wrote this post as practice for doing things the other, more expressive way.

      I also found thinking from a purely mechanical perspective lead to done-to-death games, since pre-1970 games were pretty much all in one screen, due to hardware limitations. Might just be me, or maybe I’m just being too picky. :p

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