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Rock, Scissors, Paper ONLINE

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TANSTAAFL

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So, I get some weird ideas sometimes, typically because I thinking about and looking at several things at once, and have a few ideas on the back burner.

I admit, many of the ideas I have are silly, but just because an idea is silly doesn't mean that the idea is worthless.


Idea #1: A while back, I had a book idea that I pitched to a publisher that was turned down. There is nothing really wrong with the idea, it just wouldn't sell well, and publishers aren't interested in new and innovative ideas. They like to build on their previous successes, and don't like taking risks.

Of course, the book idea wasn't exactly "new". It was a game development course starting at square one. And by "game development" I don't mean "graphics programming" (lots of folks seem to have confused the two).

The basic idea was to start with the simplest games ("Guess My Number[1-100]", "Russian Roulette"(essentially, DONT guess my number 1-6), and "Rock, Scissors, Paper"), and then progress to more complex games that are more challenging to write. I still have the list of games I wanted to do for the book. There are over 50 games in this list, and while I've made a good number of them, I haven't made ALL of them, and I figured that making 50+ complete games under one's belt could not help but add value to that person.




Idea #2: I've now got 6 games in flash, in various stages of completion. for some of them, I'd like to have online high score lists. This is not a new idea for me either, I've thought about this before, but now that I'm gussying up playdeez.com, I'd like to actually get something up there.




Idea #3: After reading a lot about game design, game mechanics, and so on, I was thinking of "Rock, Scissors, Paper ONLINE". A simple web based game where you get an account (really just a user id and password), and select your moves for 10 rounds of Rock, Scissors, Paper. These are stored in a database, and through creative use of SQL, you play everyone else simultaneously, and the statistics are neatly shown on a reports page.

This idea also reminded me of an old PBM Wrestling game that my cousin and I used to play.




I have done a lot of derivative work lately(with "lately" meaning the last several years). According to the Ernest Adams article "What Kind of Designer Are You?", I'd be somewhere between the Engineer and the Lazy Plagiarist, and probably a little closer to the Lazy Plagiarist.

Basically what I do is take games that are played on a square grid, and make it so that they are played on a hexagonal grid. That is my only "novelty", with perhaps the exception of the theme I add to the game (like bees or atoms).

I now only work in abstract games, although if I actually go anywhere with the ideas I have based on HeroQuest, that'll be an exception. My games don't have rich and involving stories. My graphics aren't that great (although in many cases perfectly acceptable).

And I have finally admitted it: I do not have the patience for the Big Project. I never really did. I like that in Flash, I can come up with the basic game play in a somewhere between an hour and a day(although the JetLag version I did took only 30 minutes). And I like that people enjoy playing my games, and I especially like that I didn't spend months hammering away at it until I hated it.

The consequence of this is that many of the games lack a certain level of polish. Certainly, they are playable, but in most cases, until you've actually learned to play by trial and error or someone has shown you how to play, they do have an ever so slight learning curve to them that might turn off the casual player. Yes, putting in a hand-holding tutorial level would fix this. No, I don't think it is likely that I'll be putting such a level in the game, or at least not right now.

But this might change. I've found new energy to work on my games, to refine my games, to apply what I continue to learn about gamecraft.

One of the things I do when I want to have a game playtested is that I give a link to the game (like my new >Unnamed Game) to someone who has never seen it before, and see how long it takes for them to figure out how to play. The goal of this is to find out how much I need to hand-hold your typical casual player.

However, I have made a mistake in my choice of this playtester. He is too "with it". For one thing, he has played other games of mine, and immediately picked up on the "green means I can move there", which is a natural assumption to make, but in this case relies on his knowledge of how I think.

Does this devalue him as a playtester. Not at all. The games I make are exactly the type he likes to play, and he's very good for declunkifying how the game is played, and typically has several good suggestions for streamlining the game. But he can no longer be the "here, try this" blind guy, because he knows my games too well.

Also, he is a good indicator of the addictiveness of my games. He played ChemHex constantly for a good month.


Just realized I'm going off on a lot of tangents today. Figured maybe one more.

I recently volunteered to help out with the website of the church I go to. I meet with the man in charge of the project tomorrow. I figured I was a good fit for this because of my involvement with here as well as my own independent projects, and I've learned a thing or two along the way and I hope my skills will be useful. And yes, I did tell him that that while I've got the skills in doing web page back ends, I'm not the guy who makes it "pretty". That will have to rely on others. Apparently, in this project group, there are lots of the creative folks with no web design experience for that, and a few folks who are seasoned and can make the intelligent choices, but we shall see (and I'll be certain to report the progress as it goes along).
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I remember that game. On the first try, I thought I was one type of piece, that is was a hex-version of Conway's life.

The second try I figured it out. Neat stuff.

I'd be interested to see the complete list of 50 games because... well.. this VB whore is trying to learn C++

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