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Damned Elements!

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Trapper Zoid

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I think I'm going to have to scrap the plan to make a simple action or puzzle game for the 4E5 competition. I just can't seem to find a good way to get all four elements integrated to a sufficient degree to make the idea work.

For example, the idea I was planning on doing involved a Risk-like board of Europe, where you can win sectors by making successful trades with each country. That's two elements incorporated very well. But how do you put in Emotion? Just making people like you isn't enough. And the Emblem doesn't gel very well with this game either.

Emblem is my biggest problem. For some reason the idea of plastering a symbol all over a game doesn't really appeal to me. I've a suspicion there's going to be a lot of games based around some sort of fascist totalitation groups (countries, companies or other organisations) in order to get that theme. I've got no real problem with those sorts of themes for games, but it just isn't what I want to do right now.

I'm strongly suspecting that I'm going to have to do a game in the either strategy or RPG genres to get all four elements and be a game I wish to make. Given most people seem to be doing classic TBS or RTS games, I'd prefer not to do that. But strategy management type games are open. And of course, there's always the RPG, a very good genre for combining weird elements together. I had banned myself from considering RPGs for the rest of the year, given the debacle that was Project Jack, but if I keep the game simple it should be doable in a few months. The lure of the RPG genre is always very strong on me...

I've got a few ideas that might loosely fit with the contest theme this year, so I'll see which seems best. The challenge with strategy and RPG isn't so much meeting the requirements for the elements, but figuring out a way to do that and complete the game by November. I'll give the ideas a quick brainstorm tonight and see which seems best.
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I thought of that, but it all seemed a little bit trite. It was like I was just going through a checklist: got my Economics, check, got my Emblem, check. If I design a game like that, the game never seems like a single entity, but a rag-tag collection of random junk thrown together to meet some arbitary requirements. Which is exactly what it is, in this case.

Nah, I'm going to have to come with an idea completely independent of the four elements, but yet still manages to incorporate all four of them to an appropriate degree. Tricky, but it's the only way that works for me.

I've got a few ideas now which might have enough in them to satisfy most of the elements (except for mayble Emblem [smile]), and one in particular strikes my fancy, so I'll see if I can make it work.

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I haven't been keeping up with the rules, but does the emblem have to be an actual logo?

Why not make the emblem a building, or even a nation itself?

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According to the discussion in the Emblem thread, where a disproportionate replies seem to be from me, it's still unclear exactly what qualifies as an emblem. superpig is understandably being a bit on the fence on this.

I think you could possibly use something like a building or a nation as an emblem, but you'd also need to heavily explain why it is an emblem, which makes it a bit of a spoiler from a gameplay perspective.

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
I thought of that, but it all seemed a little bit trite. It was like I was just going through a checklist: got my Economics, check, got my Emblem, check. If I design a game like that, the game never seems like a single entity, but a rag-tag collection of random junk thrown together to meet some arbitary requirements. Which is exactly what it is, in this case.


That's more or less what I felt about 4E5 this year; adding the emblem or the emotion would probably come off as very trite and so I'd never get interested in working on the game enough to finish.

I "sort-of" got an idea involving europe/emo/economy working (angry european lawyers invading member states and thrashing them) but couldn't figure out a decent emblem to use (other than like a LAWYERMAN logo or the Euro sign) without hacking it on. Sigh.

Edit: RARAWRAWKRMNAFD QUOTING BUG

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
According to the discussion in the Emblem thread, where a disproportionate replies seem to be from me, it's still unclear exactly what qualifies as an emblem. superpig is understandably being a bit on the fence on this.

I think you could possibly use something like a building or a nation as an emblem, but you'd also need to heavily explain why it is an emblem, which makes it a bit of a spoiler from a gameplay perspective.


I don't think you need to explain so much as show the player its important.

For example, the Citadel in HL2 could be considered an emblem. No one ever explains to you that its the base of operations for the Combine; you just infer it is based on what you've seen of the current state of the world and because its bigger and more exaggerated than any of the other buildings.

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I've noticed that RPGs are great at allowing for the incorporation of all four elements without any elements being "tacked on." Dwarfsoft and I didn't even have to modify our original vision of a medieval fantasy/steampunk game too much to do it, which was pretty surprising. Of course, now we have to do a Modern Arcana game, but that's a minor concession.

Europe: The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic Europe, which allows us to take advantage of this effect:



Emotions: The game requires you to deal with the feelings of the people you're dealing with. Keeping party members happy is especially important.

Economics: The game allows you to buy, sell, or trade items. Well, that was easy.

Emblem: Although I haven't developed the game's plot in great detail, the idea I have in mind will include a corporation that plays a major part and their logo will appear often during the course of the game.

As you can see, RPGs do seem to allow for the greatest ease in adding all four elements effectively. So easy, in fact, that we were able to add the basics quickly. All we need to do now is to flesh out design details. Also, we need to implement everything. If only we could get some more help with that... [wink] I'm sure that a creative fellow like yourself could easily replicate our feat, such as it is.

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Yeah, ArchWizard is right, it was amazing how quickly the ideas that we thought we would have to scrap actually found themselves being used in the alternate idea.

We had a fairly well worked out plot, and had to basically justify to our own satisfaction exactly how the world got to the state that we needed it to be in.

Mind you, there is a lot more work ahead in getting this Dragaeran of a project to fly between the two of us.

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