But, we should ask ourselves, why explode?

November 10th, 2013 § 0 comments

It is probably pretty obvious why I chose to make a game about chaining explosions as my first game.  It’s simple! I have dozens upon dozens of documented game ideas (not to mention those unfortunately undocumented ideas), but most of them are complicated. Some very complicated. This one that I’ve chosen might, in fact, be the simplest idea I have, and as a bonus, it’s a pretty recent addition to the ol’ Idea Log, which means I’ve still got a decent amount of motivation and inspiration sitting around.

I don’t have to worry too much about physics, beyond basic collision detection. For the time being, the most complicated movement I have planned is a continuous circular movement – something easily scriptable. The art is easy to make, because I chose low-resolution pixel art. (I have enlisted a friend to assist in that regard, but he’s fairly busy himself.) I mean, hell, in just three or four solid days of work, I’ve already got most of the mechanics working as intended. The only thing left is deciding on the timing of explosions (and decay of explosions and splitting of objects and… okay there’s a lot of specifics to work on, still). Beyond that, there’s adding some sound effects, maybe some music, and finishing up the art. Then I can start making levels, seeing what works and doesn’t.

It’s important that everything be as simple as possible, because I’m using this project to learn Unity. There’s still plenty of work, but because it’s so simple, I spend less time worrying about the whats, and more time worrying about the hows. It’s pretty neat!

So, this latest version comes with objects that continue moving even after getting hit by an explosion (!), some new explosion art (unfinished, but functional), a main menu (unfinished, but functional), and a debug controller that spawns any prefab I want it to. Middle-click spawns the object displayed in the top-right corner. Mouse-wheel scrolls through all the available objects. It basically turns the sandbox level into a toy/mini-level-editor. I’m a little curious about trying to make it a real level editor, with which to quickly edit and test things without even having to move stuff around in Unity. Mostly just curious, though.

At any rate, immediate future plans include: getting my friend to hurry up on that art, experimenting more with the timing of explosions, and crafting a few levels. The deeper I get into this, the more worried I am it won’t actually work as a puzzle game – not enough player interaction. It’s just kind of click-and-watch right now. Maybe sound effects, or an actual constructed level will make it all feel better.

Some ideas I’ve had proposed to me and/or am considering to solve this problem are:

  • Making it a multiplayer competitive game, sorta like pool (the details are still up in the air as to how THAT would work).
  • Giving the player an avatar to walk around and drop bombs (kinda like Bomberman, I suppose, but with more focus on destroying the level than killing enemies).
  • Giving the player the ability to drop a limited number of items (or perhaps rewarding the player items for good chaining of explosions).
  • Including a rudimentary high score even in the proposed puzzle mode – using things like looping explosions, such as a single ship splitting and creating two chains that meet in the middle to reward extra points.

Beyond that, I’m very strongly considering increasing the map size (or reducing sprite size)! It feels pretty cramped right now.

Eh, we’ll see! We out.

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