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Exploration of 1D games


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#1 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:10 AM

Hello,
my name is Andrea and I am exploring the concept of 1D games, games that can be visualized using a single line of pixels (vertical or horizontal).

Reading here and there online, I found that many developers assume that 1 dimensional games are a silly idea, or perhaps that it is impossible to create 1D games that are actually... game-like enough.

I decided to take it as a challenge and I implemented a few 1D games. These games are still prototypes and each version required from a few hours to a couple of days to develop, since I was trying to use iterative and incremental development.


The games are here:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1518199/1D%20games/index.html
and they are coded using javascript and html5 canvas for the graphics.

I would very much like to get feedback about these games, and later I would like to write a summary/article discussing the potential of game design within the 1D games genre. User reactions are also very interesting for me. So if anybody would like to play and let me know, it would be terrific.

Thanks in advance for any suggestion or comment you will provide,
Andrea

www.create.aau.dk/av

Sponsor:

#2 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1541

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:43 PM

I would argue that these aren't 1D since all of them still use a 2D background and many use 2D shapes that include x and y coordinates. At any rate Command and Conquer Tiberium uses a 1D combat system, though it explores multiple lanes of 1D encounters.

#3 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2207

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:48 PM

I don't understand the term '1D'. How could a game could be '1D'? Isn't a 2D game a game which uses 2D graphics, aka width/height or x/y? So a 1D game would have to somehow not use width or not use height, and only use one of the X/Y coordinates?
If I bring up Paint, it doesn't let me make something with 1 width and 0 height, or 0 width and 1 height. Any image/sprite you put on my screen has to be at least 1 pixel wide, and 1 pixel tall, right? It has to be somewhere along the Y axis and somewhere along the X axis, right?

I don't mean to insult your research or work. I'm just confused about the meaning of the term '1D'.

#4 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:41 PM

I'm just glad this isn't about a boy band. And just to help a bit, I see you don't mean 1D as in 1D graphics (which is just a line of pixels) but as in one line of movement. Accepting that, it's interesting enough to point out how one-dimensional many games really are.

Your version of Rogue, for example, could very well be dolled up graphically, without changing much of the movement, and you could very well end up with a rail shooter. In a rail shooter, the player might aim and fire or use some other action, but his avatar's movement is scripted to follow along some track, be it a straight line or otherwise.

So that's interesting work you have there. :)

#5 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:37 AM

Fun and very creative! I like the ones where I have to figure out how the game is played. Also, 1D Rogue is surprisingly "complex".

#6 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:34 AM

Hi Sir Mac Jefferson,
I think what I'm thinking about is that you might have simple devices in which you want to draw only a line of pixels as the visualization of a game.
In a mobile phone for example, the screen is rather small and typically more vertical than horizontal, so a game with only a vertical line of (say) 200 pixels could be interesting to have.
The space that you are exploring when you play the game could still be more rich than strictly 1D, but you can still visualize only a single line of pixels... and if you can play the game looking only at that line, then I would argue you are playing a 1D game :)
But I admit it is a bit stretched as a definition...

Another reason for thinking about 1D games, for me, is that I have a lot of students using arduino (or similar hw) to lean some electronics as well as programming. Coming up with games on such simple machines is a bit tricky. But an arduino can easily have a couple of buttons attached to it and a line of LEDs as output, so 1D games would be a terrific way to create games on arduino... But I still have to test this concept :D

Perhaps a good book that I can remember, that talks about 1D as a "place" is Flatland (freely available here http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/97 ).


I don't understand the term '1D'. How could a game could be '1D'? Isn't a 2D game a game which uses 2D graphics, aka width/height or x/y? So a 1D game would have to somehow not use width or not use height, and only use one of the X/Y coordinates?
If I bring up Paint, it doesn't let me make something with 1 width and 0 height, or 0 width and 1 height. Any image/sprite you put on my screen has to be at least 1 pixel wide, and 1 pixel tall, right? It has to be somewhere along the Y axis and somewhere along the X axis, right?

I don't mean to insult your research or work. I'm just confused about the meaning of the term '1D'.



#7 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

Thanks,
I'm personally very proud of the sokoban in 1D... it took me more time than the others to re-conceptualize to squeeze in 1 dimension.

Thanks for the term "rail shooter", I wasn't aware of this genre and it definitely is related to what I'm trying to do.

As for the Rogue example, in fact I intended that as a proof-of-concept: any 2D game can be reduced in 1D by slicing it (vertically or horizontally) as I did with rogue 1D, so it is kind of a general technique. I also think that there could be 2 version of the slicing: spatial and temporal.

In spatial slicing you go from 2D:

A---
-B--
--C-
---D

to 1D in this way:

A---.-B--.--C-.---D

and when you play, moving left-right you go to the previous or next cell; when you move up and down you jump 4 steps to the left or right.
In the temporal mapping, as in rogue 1D, you only see 1 slice at the time, where your character is:

A---

and when you move up-down, the visualization changes to the previous or next line.

As of now, all the games are (on purpose) remakes of original 2D games, but it would be interesting to consider "pure" 1D games, and see if there are things that make more sense in 1D than on 2D. Future work, I guess :)

I'm just glad this isn't about a boy band. And just to help a bit, I see you don't mean 1D as in 1D graphics (which is just a line of pixels) but as in one line of movement. Accepting that, it's interesting enough to point out how one-dimensional many games really are.

Your version of Rogue, for example, could very well be dolled up graphically, without changing much of the movement, and you could very well end up with a rail shooter. In a rail shooter, the player might aim and fire or use some other action, but his avatar's movement is scripted to follow along some track, be it a straight line or otherwise.

So that's interesting work you have there. Posted Image



#8 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:51 AM

I see your argument,
but I would say that all these games can be visualized with only a single line of colored pixels, and still be "the same" games. The various tetris 1D for example use shapes because it's nicer, but when you boil it down to what is actually relevant to show to be able to play, it is really just a long string or a long line of colored pixels.
In bloxorz 1D in fact I have the "fancy" 2D rendering, but if you look at the top right angle of the canvas, I also render the game as 1 line of colored (scaled up) pixels, to show that you can play without any problems, just looking at that line. Do you buy this "looser" definition of 1D? :>

As for the game you mention, I don't know it. Could you please post a link, I'm very curious, and I'd like to see it. Thanks.

I would argue that these aren't 1D since all of them still use a 2D background and many use 2D shapes that include x and y coordinates. At any rate Command and Conquer Tiberium uses a 1D combat system, though it explores multiple lanes of 1D encounters.



#9 Dir3kt   Members   -  Reputation: 166

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:48 AM

It's quite interesting to think about games that use a single dimension game space. For example take a look at Swords and Soldiers (http://www.swordsandsoldiers.com/) it's quite a fancy game. However most of the maps use a single dimension game space were units move on a line from castle A to castle B. So basically if you remove all the graphical elements from the game, it could be represented using a single straight line with units and builinds on it. Each unit/building would have a 1D coordinate that gives its position among the line.

I'm pretty there are many other games that, behind fancy graphics, hide a simple 1D game space.

Edited by Dir3kt, 05 September 2012 - 08:51 AM.


#10 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 755

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:37 AM

I think text games are the first 1D games... or Zero-D? o_O
 

 


#11 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for the link, I agree: it looks like a game like that could be "flattened" to 1D.

I'm pretty there are many other games that, behind fancy graphics, hide a simple 1D game space.


Also, I think CANABALT is another game that could straightforward become 1D
http://www.canabalt.com/
perhaps considering a top-down view at the character, instead of a side view...

#12 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

I think text games are the first 1D games... or Zero-D? o_O


Perhaps games like castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Adventure)... you still need a line of text anyway to do something there, so I would not say it's 0D :>

But for example (wow I'm getting old :\ ) there was rogue, which came out as a completely text-based (see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_(video_game) ) but it was clearly 2D. And there are great text-mode and turn-based versions of doom (http://doom.chaosforge.org/) and diablo (http://diablo.chaosforge.org/).
I think the way I did rogue1D could be adapted for these kinds of text-based games... Perhaps also a single line of text could be used to create 1D text games, like castle. Interesting... ;)

#13 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 819

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:30 PM

I really loved the 1D tetris. Really intuitive, the sound effects were all perfectly satsifying, and the challenge scaled as my progress did. That's everything anyone could look for in a simple bite-sized game. These might be most wisely implemented on smartphone platforms, I think. I love the simplicity of it, though, and the fact that each took less than a week to implement is really exciting. I'd love to get involved in making games like these myself. They're very inspiring and original. Excellent work.

#14 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1541

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:22 PM

Command and Conquer's combat is a grid of 9 separate columns although the graphics are 2D the gameplay encounter is essentially a paper/rock/scissors of a unit moving up a column and defeating as many defensive positions as possible. I do like this 1D term. Its kind of incredible how almost every modern game can be simplified to this structure. I plan on using this system to help develop all my designs from now on in fact :D Thx

#15 AndreaValente   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:57 AM

Thanks for the link. I'll check it asap :)

I'm very happy that this idea of 1 dimensional can be used, and I think too that many games could be squeezed into a 1D format.
Perhaps a large part of what I'd like to get with this exploration is to see how many genres can actually work in 1D and which tricks could be reused to systematically reduce 2D (or even 3D??) games to 1D.

Something like this for example'
http://retroremakes.com/nostalgia/category/wiz/
might loose a lot, when only 1D is available. So designing a B'lox-like game in 1D would be an interesting challenge. I'm patching together a kind of method to do the re-design. Do you think it would be relevant to post some of my notes on this, here in this forum?


Command and Conquer's combat is a grid of 9 separate columns although the graphics are 2D the gameplay encounter is essentially a paper/rock/scissors of a unit moving up a column and defeating as many defensive positions as possible. I do like this 1D term. Its kind of incredible how almost every modern game can be simplified to this structure. I plan on using this system to help develop all my designs from now on in fact Posted Image Thx






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