But first things first:
My idea of a 'fun' Tetris is actually pretty simple: as I don't want to significantly change the rules, I expect the fun to come from the 'content'. I have seen many Tetris clones featuring nicer and nicer graphics, yet mostly in the "more refined, higher resolution, special glowing/lightening/transpareny effects" sense.
While such improvements indeed provide the players with graphical beauty, it always left me with a cold and austere feeling - kind of like visiting an ancient cathedral.
Somehow counterpointing to this approach, I would like to add fun through funny content... So straight forward isn't it ? Alright, what I mean by fun content is rather something combining several of the following elements:
- cartoon oriented visual art and sound effects (with no excess)
- significantly animated
- humorous in a surprising way
- game performance influencing the whole audio/visual atmosphere
On this last point, I'll add some details later, but basically, it includes: game speed in accordance with music tempo, which increases with difficulty levels, and thematic levels which feed the thirst for beating the whole game - provided that the first levels surprised the player in a good way (e.g. "Hey that's funny, I want to see more !")
That's it for the design idea.
Tech... tris (ok, this one is poor...)
Technically speaking, I already coded a Tetris in Java some time ago. Yet I realize that if I want something clean and easy to enhance content-wise, I'll have to make better than have the main class (TetrisPit) inherit from the main graphical class - basically having a 2-class application :)
However, I also want to avoid the far-too-often-seen-let's-develop-a-2D-engine-for-my-game with no actual game ever being developped. Thus, I'll go on with an iterative approach, coding for the game as needed, and then refactoring when modularity is at stake and code redundancy becomes a real burden (or maybe a little earlier than that :P).
That's it for now, and before leaving you, a somehow irrelevant picture illustrating my earlier mentioned sandboxing with SDL: it just illustrates regular sprites blitting with block sprites I did draw in approx. 2 minutes as temporary tetris blocks, hence their fantastically genuine look :)
(click for full-size)
Also, I should mention that I have a full time job and a girlfriend, both imposing drastic constraints on my productivity.
Please feel free to ask or comment as you wish!
Have fun and see you around!