So my first joke when I learned the theme was “My games are already minimalist.”
I was collaborating with Anand so I could have more elaborate art than I could have made on my own, and the first thought when you think of a “minimalist game” would be red wedges shooting white circles or something.
So on Friday we considered a few directions to take the idea that would address the theme, especially ones that would allow minimalist and non-minimalist elements to co-mingle.
1) A non-minimalist character exploring a minimalist world.
2) Perhaps everything is coloured rectangles until you get close to it or shine a light on it or something.
3) A strategy game that you can switch between two different modes, one with character stats and firing ranges and things, one where they are white and black pieces that move by square.
4) A strategy game of minimalists vs. non-minimalists
We started going with 4, then started thinking a Tower Defense would be easiest to finish in a weekend, ( compared to a more symmetrical strategy game, where I would need to program the A.I. ) and somehow while drawing the sketches for it, we came up with the unique aiming mechanism, which you can see here:
Note also that the towers were initially vertical boxes. The lines were meant to show where the rear towers had a clear line-of-sight, but looking at it, we thought, what if that’s how you aimed, not with a single tower, but with a pair of towers? So we seized on that as a mechanism that made the game a little more innovative than just yet another TD game, and set to work.
I programmed it in Flashpunk, because I had used it before. Anand and I hadn’t collaborated before, so I wanted to keep the number of new things under control. I looked up a lot of things on Flash Game Dojo while the Flashpunk.net site is down.
So here’s the result.
After playtesting, maybe the game is a little too simplistic, which has made it tough to balance, in terms of if you make the creeps too tough, they overwhelm you no matter what you do, and if you make them too easy, you would have to go out of your way to lose. We have a couple ideas on what would add some depth to it, but by the time we thought of them, it was too late to implement them.