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SoaringTortoise

7-day game design

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Howdy. I''ve got a small problem in that the game we are making is massive and likely to take a long time to finish making. However, it is the game we all want to make and so we''re committed to it. The thing is, due to real-world work constraints the artists and level editor get minimal time, and are therefore the bottle-kneck, whereas I, the coder, have a lot of free time. I want to take the tools and technology that we''ve built for the main game and make a sort of mini-game in my spare time (because I have more of it, and because it helps me to work on multiple projects). However, I have no idea what kind of game to make. We''ve got a 3d terrain engine running that is ideally suited to an RTS/RPG style of game, although with minor tweaking it can be used as a 1st-person terrain engine with limited view-distance (around 300 meters). I guess it could be used to do just about anything except indoor BSP-type levels so puzzle games, arcade shoot-em ups (like Xenon but in 3d), etc are all possible. Any ideas for a simple game from anyone? If I like it and use it, I''ll happily include you in the credits. Just bear in mind that my sole limitations are graphics and sound so... although I can get them, I can''t do anything too intensive or the artists will be too distracted from the main game. Last thing to go through a tortoise''s mind before it hits the ground at 40mph? "D3DXVec3Add (Tortoise.Pos, Tortoise.Delta, Tortoise.OldPos"

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Survival.

You're surrounded by hordes of very stupid creatures. From a top-down view, there are walls. Your objective is to lure hordes through narrow corridors, through which you retreat. You spray fire at the hordes as you run. You need to lure them through corridors, or else your flamethrower will not be able to kill them fast enough. (if a flame effect is too much work -- it's probably not -- then you can use machine gun fire or whatever, as long as it's got a field-of-effect) You need only move the character, as he will automatically fire upon the nearest enemy.

You should try to balance it so that you have to keep running no matter where you are, and you shouldn't be able to survive indefinately running in circles in the open -- you should only be able to survive by running through narrow corridors. You should design the terrain such that in the beginning, there are lots of corridors, no dead ends, and little open space. Gradually you add dead ends and open space and reduce the number of corridors, as well as steadily increasing the number of enemies.

[edit] This was inspired by the "Blood" maps in Starcraft, btw.

[edited by - Flarelocke on May 6, 2003 4:34:38 AM]

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Why don't you do a battleship-kind-of-game...

I'm thinking something along this line myself...
...if you too decide on it maybe we could exchange thoughts / ideas.

this game need a minimum AI, it could be extended to support network-play, it's fairly easy to decorate with eyecandy...

/Niklas

[edited by - nirklas on May 6, 2003 4:40:45 AM]

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Flarelocke: The flame effect is already in there, but drawing all the beasties... nah.

Nirklas: Battleships? Something like Worms 3D? Currently under development by Team 17.

Last thing to go through a tortoise''s mind before it hits the ground at 40mph? "D3DXVec3Add (Tortoise.Pos, Tortoise.Delta, Tortoise.OldPos"

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I thought you said a _simple_ game =)

I ment battleship as in:

player 1: b-4
player 2: miss
player 2: e-2
player 1: hit

It could make a cool 3d-game.
...Open sea ...you see your fleet ...only a very subtle grid. Maybe splashes where the opponents shots goes into the water. You see the area where the enemys ships are on some kind of radar.

...you could have the shots fired from one of the ships...
etc

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I mean, we''ve got a pretty neat engine going and not exploiting it in some way is a little... I don''t know... unrewarding.

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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How about a maze game. Remember those pen and paper mazes that were extremely massive and left you backtracking quite a bit?

Picture a 3D maze viewed from above (perhaps fixed camera, perhaps not). Now, you are a guy running through the maze. After you've run for X amount of time someone releases a fairly smart AI behind you that will chase you down. The object is to get to the end point before you are captured. Can also add in some extra traps and such. Possibly a field on the floor in a side area (meaning incorrect from the actual path). When stepped on it can have different effects like speeding up the already existing AI behind you or releasing something ahead of you causing you to duck into more incorrect areas from time to time in order to get past them.

Easy to see a continuing amount of difficulty. Level 1: Straight line with 3 corners, 1 AI and no traps. Very easy.
Level 35, Hundreds of ways to go, lots of AI on your tail, many many traps.

Now, just don't allow a pause function for people to cheat and preferably, if they lose then start them on a different map of similar difficulty so that they can't "easily" learn the correct path through. Allow a pause function, but make it blank out the screen when paused (perhaps a guy running through a maze type of screen saver).

Maybe you can even offer "powerups" along the way but make the player have to deviate from the actual path to get them. They could increase running speed, allow you to destroy a single creature, open up a video cut scene for after the map, show you a very limited portion of the correct path, and whatever you want.

Make the mazes as elaborate and cool as you want. Heck, throw in some wrenches and make some mazes with spinning walls so that the "best" way through is liable to change at any time.

You could even add in a background story pretty quickly if you really wanna.

Damn that's pretty good for 8 in the morning. I might attempt something like this myself over the upcoming summer semester. Let me know what you think.

Webby

[edited by - websitewill on May 6, 2003 9:35:33 AM]

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I actually quite like that idea. Wanna continue with it?

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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quote:
Original post by SoaringTortoise
I actually quite like that idea. Wanna continue with it?



Yes i think that is an interesting idea but you would need some awsome level design / program so that your not just dumping the player into larger and larger mazes. The player would get bored quickly if you just made the game harder and harder.

And mazes can be hard! So watch out.

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quote:
Original post by SoaringTortoise
Flarelocke: The flame effect is already in there, but drawing all the beasties... nah.

Draw 1 beastie manually, then over and over again using your engine.

Might be good as a stress test, anyway.

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FlameLocke: Eh? I think you misunderstand my use of the words "drawing all the beasties". Or perhaps I do.

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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Thanks for the warnings Critical_Waste. The game engine is currently designed for an ARPG, so I think there should be enough variation available to the map designs. Changing it slightly to be more maze-like as opposed to natural landscapes is going to be a small challenge but certainly do-able (just got to edit the brush shapes to do rectangular deformation instead of rounded... and maybe a little bit more).

Meantime... any more ideas?

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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Ideas:
Tic-Tac-Toe
Chess
Maze
Gauntlet
Smash-TV


But first.........

Can you load maps, add enemies, use scripts in the maps, etc?



- Rob Loach
Current Project: Go Through Object-Oriented Programming in C++ by Robert Lafore

"Do or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda

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Yes. Can do all the following:

. Deform the maps using custom brushes
. Texture the maps using tiling, self-blending, textures with bump-mapping
. Build maps from bitmaps (heightmap)
. Theoretical maximum map size is around 1024x1024 kilometers (map granularity is in meters).
. Position objects on the map (trees/cliffs/whatever... it loads from x files and allows you change properties such as scale, behaviour - movement, animation, teleportation, key/door, etc - , damage, surface friction, collision detection, LOD, etc.)
. Position enemies and set behaviour.
. Create Event/Action based scripts
. Change lighting parameters to set glow and time-of-day
. Create and customise particle effects (rain, explosions, smoke, rockets, fireworks... all particles are defined using an emitter and a localised particle physics system. You can even use it to create weapons like flame-throwers, grenades, machine-guns, jacks... with their own damage properties - impact, radius, cone).

It doesn''t have a cut-scene camera system yet so in-game cinematics are not currently doable, and I have to complete the event/action scripting system to enable a lot more events and actions, but by & large the whole thing is there.

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
FlameLocke: Eh? I think you misunderstand my use of the words "drawing all the beasties". Or perhaps I do.


What I believe FlameLocke means is that all you would need is ONE beastie. You''d just render it over and over and over again until you have teaming hores of them. Presumably your artists already have at least one beastie completed? And, even if they don''t, just stub out the beastie with a simple cube or pyramid or something. You can always put a real beastie in there once your artists complete modelling it.

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OIC. Yah, we''ve got a couple of beasties ready, and we''ve already stress tested with up to 100 on a single map without any issues.

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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Hmm... Well, how about a 3D version of the Atari Classic "Adventure"? I sure know I''d play it. *Memories come flooding back* Ahh...

Curse you windows and your poor explanation of my errors!!!

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I am already currently working on a small project here for the summer. Actually something I''ve been working on quite a while. Actually been in design for ages and I''m still amassing the required knowledge to proceed with it. Feel free to use the maze idea if yu wish. I have some other ideas for it just to add flair if you decide to go this way. I might pick up the project at a later date simply because it seems like it would be a blast to create.

Webby

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Thanks WSW. It''s a long and evolutionary journey from here to there, but I''ll keep you updated if you like.

Always prey on the weak, the timid and the stupid. Otherwise you''ll just get your butt kicked
For a tortoise, this is extremely hard to do, but when you get it right... the expression on their faces ...

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