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kiwasabi

Need help designing an action-packed fishing mini-game

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Hey everybody, I am in the process of designing an arcade style 3rd-person character-based action title and decided that a fishing mini-game might fit into the theme pretty well. The only problem is that while I don't necessarily hate traditional fishing games, I don't think that style is going to fit into this game. The issue with those games is that since 90% of this particular game is the action portion of the game where the camera is right behind the character, the camera can't move to zoom in on the lure like it does in most other fishing games. What I'm trying to achieve is a quick, easy, and fun fishing game that is action-packed and doesn't involve changing bait/lures, driving a boat around a lake, etc. I would like to get at the core of what is fun about fishing games. Anybody have any insights? Some suggestions for existing games that are more arcade-style and less realistic would be very helpful as well. Any help is appreciated. -Adam

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When you say that the game could be unrealistic but should be recognizable as fishing, what part of fishing do you want to preserve?

An existing example of fishing in a 3rd person game:
(I don't remember which game)

1. Static Click - You cast the line by clicking a button.
2. Observe - You wait until the buoy moves.
3. Dynamic Click - When it does you click on the buoy to get the fish.
4. Failure Cond. - If you click too late you miss the fish.


Another particular 3rd person solution that address some points in your post:

1. Interaction - Dig a hole through the ice using combat skill at the ice's resonance
2. StaticClick - Set up a robotic fishing rod, where the "hook" is a grabbing hand
3. Movement - Take the hand, dive into the hole,
4. Interaction - Play the lure by wiggling, different wiggle attract different fish
5. Interaction - Attach the hand to the fish when fish comes for you
6. SuccessMode - Hand yanks fish above hole, if the fish could fit through
7. FailureMode1 - You attached the hand to yourself and the rod yanks you out
8. FailureMode2 - Fish eats you
9. FailureMode3 - Fish is too big for the hole, the hand is detached and fish eats you
10.FailureMode4 - Fish is too strong for the rod, it yanks the rod down and fish eats you
11.FailureMode5 - Some other fish swims by and eats you

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Quote:
Original post by Wai
When you say that the game could be unrealistic but should be recognizable as fishing, what part of fishing do you want to preserve?


The casting of the lure and the reeling in of the fish are the things that need to be included to make the activity resemble fishing. Other than that, I definitely don't want to have any of the waiting that is usually included in fishing games. I'm also kinda interested in the possibility of once the fish has been hooked, having to steer the fish around obstacles to prevent the fish from getting off the line by letting itself get caught up on an obstacle (which is actually a real part of fishing, but the fishermen rarely has any control over whether or not the fish does this other than reeling the fish in as quickly as possible before it gets the opportunity to do this).

Quote:

An existing example of fishing in a 3rd person game:
(I don't remember which game)

1. Static Click - You cast the line by clicking a button.
2. Observe - You wait until the buoy moves.
3. Dynamic Click - When it does you click on the buoy to get the fish.
4. Failure Cond. - If you click too late you miss the fish.



This sounds a little bit like the fishing mini-game in Mario Party:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuKQprNJh5E

Any idea of how to figure out what game this was? It may be pretty helpful.

Quote:

Another particular 3rd person solution that address some points in your post:

1. Interaction - Dig a hole through the ice using combat skill at the ice's resonance
2. StaticClick - Set up a robotic fishing rod, where the "hook" is a grabbing hand
3. Movement - Take the hand, dive into the hole,
4. Interaction - Play the lure by wiggling, different wiggle attract different fish
5. Interaction - Attach the hand to the fish when fish comes for you
6. SuccessMode - Hand yanks fish above hole, if the fish could fit through
7. FailureMode1 - You attached the hand to yourself and the rod yanks you out
8. FailureMode2 - Fish eats you
9. FailureMode3 - Fish is too big for the hole, the hand is detached and fish eats you
10.FailureMode4 - Fish is too strong for the rod, it yanks the rod down and fish eats you
11.FailureMode5 - Some other fish swims by and eats you


The robotic hand stuff probably won't work since you'll be using a typical rod and reel, but this stuff is definitely interested and appreciated. I like all the failure conditions where the fish eats you. For my game maybe one of the failure conditions is that the fish gets stuck on your hand and that would be when the game ended (since this is a bonus level / mini-game).

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Also, here are a couple other more action oriented fishing games that I found late last night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_25-gc-sno0
Atari 2600 Fishing Derby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njxKxMNul9w&feature=related
Atari 800 Fishing Fun

Obviously these are very old, but I still think they may be useful as inspiration.

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Original post by Wai
It turns out it was from WOW. It definitely does not have as much action as in Mario Party.


Thanks for tracking that down. You're right that it isn't as action-packed as the Mario Party mini-game. Also, that game does switch perspectives to the bobber, which seems a little surprising for WoW since it is so heavily-rooted in that third person perspective.

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Some fishing games I've seen:

Side-to-Side:

Variant 1, Gaia Online - After hooking a fish (the player does not know what kind), guidelines appear on the right and left side of the screen. The fish pulls left or right, changing occasionally. Different types of fish may pull more strongly or switch more quickly. The player must pull the opposite direction, reacting as quickly as possible to keep the fish between the guidelines; if the fish crosses a guideline the line snaps and the fish escapes, otherwise it is successfully caught (and the player finally finds out what it is). The player can attempt to influence the type of fish caught by location and type of bait or lure. Goal is to catch a certain number of each type of fish which can be exchanged for a hat, and also a lot of low level fish can be exchanged for fewer higher level fish.

Variant 2, Okami - After hooking a fish (the player does not know what kind) a line stress meter appears. The fish will alternately attempt to escape, and rest. If the player reels the fish in while it is moving, this rapidly adds line stress, but reeling the fish in while it was resting does not add any line stress. Bigger fish add line stress faster or pull more often. The victory condition is reeling the fish all the way to the shore or boat without filling the line stress meter; the failure condition is filling the line stress meter before completely reeling the fish in. Successfully catching a fish results in a bonus game of sorts - the next fish hooked is from a higher bracket of possible fish. Loosing a fish resets the fishing to the lowest bracket. Overall goal is to catch one of every fish, this goal did not fit very well with having almost no influence over what fish you catch.

Variant 3, Zelda Twilight Princess - The type of fish can be guessed before starting to fish. The player can reel the fish in while it is in the water, but if the fish jumps the player must stop reeling until the fish has returned to the water, otherwise the fish will escape.


Button Mashing:
From a handheld game - Once the fish is hooked, the fish will try to escape at a constant rate, while pushing a button will reel the fish in a set amount. The victory condition is to mash the button fast enough that the fish is reeled in faster than it can escape. Pretty obnoxious to play.


Fishing as gateway to an array of minigames:
When the fish is hooked, the type of fish is announced and the player can choose whether to try to catch it or to cast again for a different kind. The kind of fish determines which mini-game the player must play to catch the fish. Minigames can be arranged around an educational theme such as 'math problems', 'spelling and grammar' 'typing speed', or minigames may be an array of classic minigame types such as snake game, pacman, shooting gallery, shoot or catch descending objects, tetris, drag a line of objects to make combos of 3 or more, guide one of more objects through a maze, jigsaw puzzle, solitaire card game, etc. Catching the fish is determined by a minimum score, then higher scores would give a bonus depending on which bracket the score fell into. Bonuses might include a larger or different color of fish, two fish instead of one, a money bonus, an item awarded in addition to the fish, or unlocking a new type of fish, or allowing the player to switch to a harder level of minigame which would give better rewards per amount of time spent.

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You're welcome. The Gaia Online fishing you can just go play though, if you're willing to create a character, it's free and has no prerequisites except having a basic pole and a bucket of bait in your inventory, and I think the game supplies those with a new account. I don't really think it's that fun - it's too hard, and you end up getting thousands of the same few level one and two fish and I've never gotten a single level 4 or 5 fish. But, I think the prizes are pretty cool.

I wouldn't really describe the okami or zelda versions as particularly fun either, although they are not as boring as fishing in WoW or A Tale in the Desert or the Harvest Moon series.

The fishing with educational minigames I think was from one of the JumpStart Games or ReaderRabbit games, sorry I can't be more specific.

You know what I personally think would make an awesome fishing game? If fishing was done by transforming into (or using a pet) mini water dragon - like Mushu from Mulan except blue and green. Or maybe a 'fishing cat', some sort of finned feline that could breathe either air or water. Then you the animal could swim around looking for fish, and when you found one swimming into it would initiate combat (preferably arcade/action type) and winning the encounter would catch the fish. I think that would fit very well into your game - no zooming is necessary, instead you are switching to a different character in an underwater level but the camera controls could probably stay the same as in the main game mode.

[Edited by - sunandshadow on January 20, 2009 2:05:14 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
You know what I personally think would make an awesome fishing game? If fishing was done by transforming into (or using a pet) mini water dragon - like Mushu from Mulan except blue and green. Or maybe a 'fishing cat', some sort of finned feline that could breathe either air or water. Then you the animal could swim around looking for fish, and when you found one swimming into it would initiate combat (preferably arcade/action type) and winning the encounter would catch the fish. I think that would fit very well into your game - no zooming is necessary, instead you are switching to a different character in an underwater level but the camera controls could probably stay the same as in the main game mode.


Although I cut out the rest of your post, based on what you said and what I've noticed, most fishing games in general aren't very action oriented except for what you experience while in the underwater "lure view". It seems that it's pretty important that anything I create be pretty original since what I'm wanting to do hasn't been done before to very much success (except the Mario Party fishing and possibly that Fishing Derby game for the 2600 I linked to earlier).

This idea of yours sounds very interesting. I always remember my dad telling me about how this diving/underwater swimming duck that is found in Florida is also used as a fishing device. People will put a net in their mouth, which will prevent them from being able to swallow the fish, but will still allow them to catch fish. Obviously this probably isn't legal, but it's pretty interesting stuff.

Anyway, back to your idea. I think it's a great idea to have the lure be a living creature that can move around and capture the fish. This seems very promising and I'll give it a lot of thought.

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Original post by ChrisDominic
I heard of 3D Studio Max and Maya. I'm wondering which one of them is better and I would like to create a 3D game. But I don’t know from where to start. Can any one answer me?


Why on earth are you asking in this thread? Go to the art forum and read the stickies there. [rolleyes]

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I found this when looking at the LostGarden site yesterday. Having given it a play for about 40 minutes or so, I think it might be right up your alley in terms of researching ideas.

I don't think anyone has posted it yet, but if I'm duplicating a suggestion I appologise in advance!!

Anyway, I was hooked for a short while, and I'm sure there are more than a few potential nuggets of inspiration lying in the design of the game.

Hope that helps,

Steve O

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Original post by Cpt Mothballs
Harpoon fishing for mutant squids.
Most awesome sounding mini-game, ever.


The Amazon Trail games had a pretty fun (from the eyes of an ~8 year old) harpoon-fishing game, and that was without mutant squids. You could see the fish in the pool, and it was always exciting when a large, rare fish came by.

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Original post by Wai
It turns out it was from WOW. It definitely does not have as much action as in Mario Party.



The first flavor is pretty much the fishing mini-game in Lord Of The Rings Online. No innovation, just another tediuous grind.
Very disappointing (I was amazed at the lack of imagination as it could have been made into a real 'game' with little extra effort)



UO had a fishing skill and it was funny to get a monster once in awhile especially when they allowed fishing in the town moats (next to the main bank) and a monster would spawn and attack a newbie (and scare the $%^&* out of them).

But that was ages ago (back when UO was fun and didnt have anything/everything interesting nerfed out of it)


The harpoon gun and giant squid was done in one of the Indiana Jones games -- with no tentacles drawn, just the big sucker objects moving in patterns to indicate where the tentacle would be (if they could draw them)

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