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MAGIC contest - The Tower

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Trapper Zoid

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If you're interested in joining the MAGIC contest you probably already know what the mystery aspect is. For those who haven't moseyed on down to the contest thread in the lounge, the secret theme is The Tower. That's the kind of contest themes you dream up when you use a pack of Tarot cards for inspiration. At least The Tower is better than The Hanged Man; all the entries I'd have to play would be about executions, suicide and crude jokes about "how yer hung".

I've pledged to make a game for the contest, although it won't be officially judged. For this week my journal will be a description of how my week long game is going, and my thoughts about how the contest is running as a whole.

A week isn't a long time to make a game. Even though Brixtar was basically done in a week, as well as Pierre and the Fish a while back, it's still very tight. This time round I'm not sure I have the energy or the time to throw everything I've got into the game. While previously I've relied a bit too much on momentum and frantic energy to get things finished, this time I'll have to pace myself or risk burnout.

So without further ado, let's get to the game. Better fish out a fresh stack of paper; starting a new game is always fun.


The Idea - Or Rather No Idea (Yet)

For a contest such as this one, the idea is fairly important. It makes sense to spend a couple of days to brainstorm a good idea, then spend the few more you have left to quickly write up a prototype, polish it off and call it done. You won't have the time to do more than that.

Unfortunately right now I don't have a great idea for what to do about a tower based game. Even though I've deliberately been trying not to think about the contest topic (despite knowing it for the last day or so), I couldn't help firing a few neurons on tower based game ideas. While there's a large amount of scope for what the tower is and what you can do with it, my creativity seems to be a bit dried up right now. Chalk it up to being excited about getting the contest underway, I guess.

The most obvious game idea is a tower defence game. It's simple enough to be done in a week, involves towers, and it's an idea I'd love to make. Unfortunately, it's so unoriginal it's an obvious trap. Every game designer probably will think of this one. Since originality is a core part of the contest then the only way this could work is with some extremely new fresh twist and an amazing amount of polish. Otherwise the judges will mark this down for being blatantly unoriginal (hint, hint everyone).

The next most obvious game idea stems from one of the flagship Experimental Gameplay ideas, The Tower of Goo. It's one of the best games there by Kyle Gabler (who has made some very fine experimental games on that site), and can easily be made in a week. It's a fair bit more original than a tower defence game, but you can't just regurgitate Kyle's idea; you'll need to add something new.

But there's still plenty of time to brainstorm new ideas. I'll spend a bit of time reading about towers and sketching things on paper, and maybe by Tuesday I'll have a good idea. A week mightn't be a long time, but with a working sprite engine it should be long enough to wager a few days on design.
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I think it's a most excellent choice for a theme; we were all expecting something lame like Europe [wink]

I need some game mechanics too, though... lol. There needs to be a set of instructions or a brainstorming guide for how to design good games. The only thing I can remember like that went something like

  • Pick a verb.
  • Think of the actions surrounding that verb.
  • Create a game from the verb.


Or something silly. lol :<

to tower

hmm...

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Original post by Mushu
  • Pick a verb.
  • Think of the actions surrounding that verb.
  • Create a game from the verb.


Or something silly. lol :<

to tower

hmm...

Unfortunately my wording of the theme clearly states "tower" as a noun [grin]. Tower as a verb to me actually seems harder than tower the noun, unless it's a tower that is doing the towering.

P.S. Looks like my journal theme doesn't like lists in quotes [smile]

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I've already got some work done on my entry, but I don't have yet a really good concept of what I'm going to do. All I can say is that it will take place inside a tower, floor-by-floor.

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Original post by Stompy9999
I've already got some work done on my entry, but I don't have yet a really good concept of what I'm going to do. All I can say is that it will take place inside a tower, floor-by-floor.

Oh shi-

You're entering? I now have no hope of winning, lulz :<<<

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Heh, I have a game idea that takes place in a tower type setting, but it's actually rather complicated for a first game. Yet, the theme is almost like an omen telling me to go for it :P Gotta love random signs.

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Original post by Mushu
Quote:
Original post by Stompy9999
I've already got some work done on my entry, but I don't have yet a really good concept of what I'm going to do. All I can say is that it will take place inside a tower, floor-by-floor.

Oh shi-

You're entering? I now have no hope of winning, lulz :<<<


That made me feel really good actually[grin]

My idea right now seems like something that would take more than a week, but I'll give it a try.

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