After much hemming and hawing, I thought it would be good to lay out what the project concept is from a high level without being too abstract. A lot of my earlier posts are a little evasive, so here I’ll try to be a bit more to the point.
Game Design Concept The Seal (working title) is a third-person 3D puzzle-platforming game. In the game, an unnamed protagonist carries a manhole cover through a series of platforming levels in a temple setting, solving puzzles and evading enemies and traps.
My last project was a 2d sidescrolling puzzle-platformer, and for this project I wanted to make something in 3d. I’ve made a few things in 3d before, but haven’t made a full game, and haven’t gone through a whole level design process. In the course of making Light Sucker, I built up a module toolkit for constructing levels and populating them with enemies and challenges. Once I had the initial set of blocks built out, I found that I loved designing levels.
The Shape of Treasure
It is not enough on its own to consider what the meaning of a treasure should be to the player-character; we must also consider the treasure’s form, as this form will have consequences on the mechanics of the game in play.
Cube A cube is a very easy shape to build and to work around, but I’m not convinced that the cube on its own provides a particularly rich set of interaction opportunities.
As prompted by The Elements of Game Design, Chapter 7:
1. What is the urgency in the game? Ultimately I’m not sure that this game needs to impress a serious sense of urgency in the player at all times. I’m quite content with building a game that allows the player to play at their own pace. Thinking on this, I do wonder if there should be moments of urgency throughout the game, especially ones that can be triggered into existence by player action.
The Meaning of Treasure
The notion that we should seek treasure for the sake of treasure appears time and time again in video games. The player, venturing forth, uncovers a treasure chest. This is, invariably, for the player. Players could ask themselves “why do I want this treasure” or “why does my character deserve this treasure”, or “what does this treasure mean”. Do they?
For most games, the world exists for the player; it is inert without the player.
Two years ago, Johnson & Johnson cynically bought the top-level domain .baby
(dot baby), seemingly in an effort to corner the concept of babies on the
internet. A top-level domain can be purchased by anybody if they pay ICANN
enough money. They’re also hilarious and charming, and every time I hear about
an idiosyncratic TLD, I fire up my domain registrar’s admin panel and put a
few in to see if I can pick up a cool newly-available domain name. This
practice is getting increasingly dated as more and more TLD’s hit the
A Dozen Small Games
A dozen game concepts playable by anybody with minimal materials and no advanced knowledge.