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What does the world really need right now?

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I'm trying to decide what single-player game to work on. As with most people, I have many more ideas than anything even close to finished. Action Platformer - A combination of a Super Mario-style platformer and a Streets of Rage/Final Fight-style beat-'em-up (actually, Bonesaw kind of comes close). Upgrade and combo fighting and magic together. Positives are that I already have some of the characters figured out and most of the story in place. I also have the most motivation in this. Big negative is that it requires a lot of art, which I'm not especially good at. Space Shooter - Fly around in a customizable ship and explore space and meet aliens. Choose who you side with and how the outcome is shaped. Fighting is done in SubSpace/Continuum style. Big positive is that this requires minimal art. Negative is that I have no details for it yet (but that's not too bad). Fighting Game - Heavily influenced by Street Fighter II, III & IV but with different characters. Positive is that I think this is the easiest to code. Negative is that this requires a lot of art as well, though if I do it in 3D, that will be partially minimized. Something Simpler - I'm not oblivious to the fact that I may be taking on more than I can chew with each of the above, especially considering that I've never finished a major project. While there's no way I'm gonna do a Pong or Tetris clone, perhaps keeping it simple is the way to go for now...? Thoughts and/or advice is welcome.

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While there will always be your big-hitter triple-A game development companies putting out games costing 30mil to develope, indie developers are starting to get the love now that game distribution doesn't neccesarily have to go through publishers, and they can concentrate on innovative concepts; ideas that don't have to conform to market research.

Your best bet is to avoid the standard genres because you're not going to be able to compete; instead try to develop a new game mechanic, or if all else fails, combine different game mechanics that are in games already.

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Thanks for the feedback. I should have said earlier that either of these would be released for free and it's just something fun to do in my spare time. I'm not looking to wow that world (though sure, that's a nice bonus). I'm just looking to create something polished and as enjoyable as possible. If something like it has been done before, it doesn't bother me. As long as it's not too close.

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*sings* "What the world needs now, is love, sweet love; it's the only thing there's just too little of..." YouTube Link

Sorry, I couldn't resist. [grin] Although I can see using the song as an argument that the world needs more dating sims and romantic interactive fiction... That would make me happy anyway, lol.

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Original post by sunandshadow
... as an argument that the world needs more dating sims and romantic interactive fiction... That would make me happy anyway, lol.

When I read the OP I thought "more visual novel ports". :)

GameCreator, I think you are right that space sims require fewer assets, but that "fewer" is still quite a significant amount. So I wouldn't necessarily base your decision on that (I say this even though I am writing one myself). As for Fighting games, if you look at games such as Virtua Fighter which have hundreds of moves, in 3D, all choreographed with precision down at the single-digit frame levels, I think you would think differently about whether or not it's easiest to code. I wouldn't know where to start writing such a game!

Ideally, you want to create the next World of Goo. Simple graphics, appealing and innovative mechanics.

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I'd say which ever one seems most appealing to you. I think you're much more likely to create a great game if it's something you really actually enjoy playing, testing and developing, as opposed to worrying about where the demand is.

How about trying to write the simplest possible platformer, then add features until you personally find it addictive?

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Original post by GameCreator
I'm trying to decide what single-player game to work on.

Just curious, what's the intended platform?

Other than that, I'd point back to lightbringer. If you get the chance, I'd take a peek at Groov for the XBOX 360. It's really a kinda bad game (albeit not for the price), but the sound effects mechanic to it has me addicted.

Groov: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxypfyIqvGo


New concepts and ideas, or mixes of old ones never thought of (or rarely thought of) have almost always been the big hitters in nearly anything. Come up with something new completely and you'll make a lot of people happy. Put a new twist on something existing, and you'll risk it a bit more.. but still potentially please many. Clone existing games with different graphics and I hope you really enjoy putting it together, because rarely do those kind of games do that well.

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Original post by GameCreator
I'm just looking to create something polished and as enjoyable as possible. If something like it has been done before, it doesn't bother me.

I don't see how you could do something so similar to what others have already done, and still do it better. The world needs less imitation products, and more originals :P.

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Thanks again all.
Quote:
what's the intended platform?
Windows, only because I really like coding with HGE, and it's limited to that OS (which I don't mind).
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The world needs less imitation products, and more originals
I don't disagree with this. But I also think there's plenty of interest in clones and sequels (think of how many millions of people will be playing Starcraft 2 - even though it's pretty much the same gameplay and many of the same units).
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How about trying to write the simplest possible platformer, then add features until you personally find it addictive?
This is how I generally start but I get overtaken by the desire to get to the addictive parts faster. I need some discipline in this respect. I have a lot of respect for those that can finish a game that starts with the first several weeks/months spent just working on the engine.
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I don't see how you could do something so similar to what others have already done, and still do it better.
I'm not sure I can. But I'm interesting in trying. Not so much to copy something but rather to marry existing concepts with new.
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if you look at games such as Virtua Fighter which have hundreds of moves, in 3D, all choreographed with precision down at the single-digit frame levels, I think you would think differently about whether or not it's easiest to code
You may be right. I've coded enough to know that theory and practice are often worlds apart.

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Make a mountain-climbing game with grappling hooks and gravity-warping fields. A 2-d side scroller


Personally, I always get stuck/sidetracked on art - so for me it's got to be something that is either art-light or abstract

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If you're more into programming than art, you could do some experimentation with procedural content, like Audiosurf or Love. If you just want to finish a project, you could clone an oldschool console/arcade game using all the graphics (although now I think about it, you might get in trouble for something like that. I seem to recall someone that got in trouble for making a game too SIMILAR to one of the Zelda games... :/).

EDIT: Once you pick something, you should just stick with it, no matter how hopeless the project seems to be. I don't even know how many times I almost gave up on my current project. It's hard to stay motivated to finish it when you're the only one working on it, and you also have school/work/friends competing for your time. You just have to remember that every time you almost quit makes it that much more satisfying when you finally finish it....

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Make something that doesn't exist yet, or has been done badly, or was last done well at least ten years ago.

Stay away from "traditional" 2D or 3D fighting games. Even if you managed to make a good game in these genres, it's not going to be worth playing given that there are so much better out there. Due to the time investment required to play one of these games at an interesting level, and the network effect in fighting game players, you can't compete with anything but stellar quality. I'm not even talking about graphics or coding (which need to be pretty good too), but game design. Most competetive multiplayer games are hard to develop for the same reasons.

As for the single player, non-competetive concepts...

I'm guessing the space shooter idea is something like Star Control, etc.? Doesn't sound like a bad choice. Designing it is pretty open-ended, which can potentially be a problem.

Action platformer is a solid choice to get something worthwhile done. You definitely want to stand out in some way. Choose a key mechanic, feeling or type of action, and stick close to it. Only include other elements if they fit in with the core.

I would be cautious about "upgrading". Not that it's bad to offer variety, but in an action game it is far too often mere camouflage for a dull and uninteresting core game. If the game would suck with one set of abilities, it will definitely suck with another layer of play added where you collect those abilities. An action platformer doesn't need to have any upgrading or a huge arsenal of abilities to be at the very top of the genre. For example, check out Rocket Knight Adventures or Contra: Shattered Soldier. A limited (but very powerful!) set of abilities to start out with, and no upgrades at all. Super Castlevania IV has mild upgrading, but would still be very good if you had a full-power whip from the start.

One more thing - you say this is for fun, but in case you would also like the game to boost chances of future employment, that affects what types of games you should be looking at. For instance, you would probably not want to showcase your design skills with something like the great placement of secrets in Donkey Kong Country 2, or your programming prowess with an amazing AI in a hardcore strategy game, because to appreciate these things a person has to play the game a ton.

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