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Tumbleweeds - A creative challenge with rewards

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Haha. Makes me think of this old game, though that's not the type of game I'd design as a response.

Okay, my response...

Title: Secret [Admirer is crossed out, Nemesis is scribbled in]

Genre: Oldskool Adventure Game (recent example, the Dream Chronicles series by KatGames)

Story: You are a young superhero attending superhero high school, and someone seems to have started a prank war against you without notifying you of this fact. Opening your dorm room door to find yourself buried in an avalanche of tumbleweeds was just the beginning. Each day your unknown foe (could it be someone from the supervillain side of the divided school?) springs a new and more absurd prank on you. Each day you look for clues as to who your demented secret admirer might be, and whether they are actually dangerous or just socially inept.

Gameplay: Mostly you are collecting found items, using them on other items, and talking to NPCs. Each prank is a scripted scene or cinematic beginning a level, then the level is exploring the school or other setting looking for clues and rumors to get you a step closer to figuring out who is playing the pranks, and why.

Game Time: Less than 10 hrs (and an appropriately low price). Would be part of a series of quick-to-produce games about super heroes and villains. Each game is like a comic book or short story; they share the same engine and some of the same characters, setting, and graphical and audio assets, but each tells a different story.

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it's a bit confusing, and parts of the story don't fit together exactly, but it's what I came up with since I felt you didn't need an exact design of the game. You just wanted to understand the concept right? I'm bad with this stuff :3



Growing Pains


Top-Down Fighter with RPG elements


The government caused a radioactive spill in the area of
your city, which has unnatural tumbleweed growth. The reasons are unknown, but
they’re covering it all up, and suddenly the tumbleweeds mutate into a “hive”
as such. Your job is to locate the core and destroy it, therefore saving
everyone. The game will start off with this:

Blog Entry 01:

The growth of tumbleweeds has always been unnatural within
this forgotten city, yet daily trimming has kept it at bay.

Until now.

You could write off the radioactive spill as an unfortunate

That is, if a radioactive plant ever existed near here.

Yet this is an unfair world, and a town against the
government is like an insect against an elephant.

An experiment? A test? Whatever it was, it’s too late now.
You see, the tumbleweeds were already unnatural, so begets the question.

What’ll happen when unnatural is mutated?

Sadly, we found out sooner than expected. It seems the
tumbleweeds truly did mutate into something else, and it appears to hold

A simple tumbleweed? Intelligence? You may scoff, but it
appears to work like a hive. If we can just find the core, and decimate it,
maybe this nightmare will end.

That is, of course, if we can make it there.

What’s that? Get help from outside?

The government caused this; you think we could really leave
here or get help?

Besides, we’ve already tried. The internet is a great accommodation
for such events these days. Sadly, we didn’t realize how far the government
would really go.

“Texas home covered in tumbleweeds”

The fools believe a storm blew it all there.

They’re being spoon-fed this bullshit, and believing it.

Well, whatever. It’s not like there’s much that can be done
now. I just hope this reaches someone, in-case we can’t end this.

They’re still mutating.

The government underestimated the impact the spill has
created, soon enough this place will be overrun and they’ll turn to the outside

Prepare yourselves.

Unknown Sender, 01/03/2013, 5:00 PM

You start off with that message, before it shifts to you on
the computer. This is where you commence, as you shut the computer down and get
up. You’ll see tumbleweeds knocking on all the windows, unnatural smiles in the
midst of their body. You’ll get up, and the gameplay will commence.

Also, after the boss fight at the end, the following will

After defeating him, you’ll discover the truth of why the
government did this. You’ll find out that the tumbleweeds were always a hive,
but the government did something to them which enraged them, causing them to
attack the humans.

You’ll have two choices.

One is to use all of the mutated genes of all the
tumbleweeds in order to resurrect everyone. If you do this, you’ll have mass
genocide on your hands.

The other choice is to undo whatever the government did, you
won’t be able to save everyone in the city but you can save what is left and
you won’t have the death of the tumbleweeds on your hands. Also, right at the
end, some tumbleweeds will walk up and you’ll see them sacrifice themselves,
reviving your tumbleweed friend. This signifying a friendship between you and
the tumbleweeds.


I put it as a top-down fighter in order to make it more
realistic, making you feel like you really are a survivor in a town that went
to hell. Everyone has already used the guns, in the first wave of attacks. You’ll
start off with something like a bat, but as you progress you’ll be able to
discover objects that you can use to upgrade weapons or create whole new ones.
These can be missed, making you want to explore. There should also be little
e-notes that you can find which give backstory.

You’ll also receive “mutation genes” every time you kill
tumbleweeds, which act as experience points. Upon level up, you’ll be able to
choose various things like upgrading the abilities you already have, making
whole new ones, or unlocking things you can create/upgrade.

Near the beginning, you’ll meet a tumbleweed who doesn’t
attack you. After careful contact, you consider it friendly and you let it tag
along (it’ll sit on your shoulder). If you’re not careful, he can die, making
the last boss battle a lot harder.

There’ll also be other survivors along your adventure, where
you can make choices depending on what you hold. Say you need a rope to save a
man surrounded by tumbleweeds, but you used it on the last upgrade. On the
other hand, that upgrade could’ve allowed you to hold a gun that gives you a
boost of speed, which could save the man by pulling him out of the circle.

When you rescue a survivor, you’ll be granted a choice. Send
them back to your fortification, or send them back to your fortification and
take all their stuff. Some people will resist, but what it’ll do is lean you
more towards an “evil” person as such.

While to start off with, this’ll seem like it doesn’t affect
you. As you progress, and gain more experience, the mutated genes will react to
your nature and slowly mutate you. While this won’t kill you, it’ll make you an
ugly ass guy. Other various actions can do the same thing, like leaving a man
to die because you wanted that rope.

There’ll only be one boss battle, at the end, which will
reveal itself to be a giant intelligent tumbleweed. You’ll have found out previously
that a tumbleweed mutated in such a way that it can consume something and receive
its energy, or rather its intelligence. This is what made him so smart, so the
way you die is by him grabbing hold of you and consuming you. To combat this,
you’ll need mobility and –uh oh- if you were evil you’ve mutated into a slower
and more cumbersome body. Making it harder to defeat the last boss.

Anyways, he’ll grab you at random times, and has multiple
hands so always be on the move. If you kept your friendly tumbleweed guy, he’ll
combine certain weapons you hold into a weapon that helps you move. Weapon changes
depending on what you hold. He also sends out other tumbleweeds to attack you,
so you have to avoid him whilst fending off the tumbleweeds. To defeat him, you’ll
have to destroy the three cores’ he uses to maintain contact with other
tumbleweeds. Once that’s done, all your weapons will combine together (cause of
the mutation genes from all the cores) and, depending on what you hold, a
weapon will pop out. If your tumbleweed hasn't been killed by the boss yet, he’ll
sacrifice himself to give you his mutation genes which give you the roll ability,
allowing you to avoid his hands a lot easier (since you lose your weapons that
help you move). 

Edited by ShiftyCake

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Tumbleweed - a multi player storytelling game

1. Each player chooses a character from a preset list. These are the protagonists.

2. One player takes the role of director, controlling the character's interactions.

3. The remaining players suggest props using a scribblenauts style object dictionary. The director gets to choose which props are actually used.

4. The remaining players may also throw tumbleweed to indicate that they are bored or otherwise fed up with the current director. If enough tumbleweed is thrown, the directorship passes to a different player. The tumbleweed remains in the game and can be interacted with as any object.

5. Players have randomly assigned objectives to try and incorporate certain objects into the story. The story ends when one player acheives all objectives, or when the set is buried in tumbleweed.

6. Players score points for time spent as director, suggested props used, and objectives met.

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Beginning :


"So many ... so many ... we are so many here, I can't remenber where I was before, It was like a dream, the wind ... , everything rolling around me ..., then, the impact, many impacts, no more rolling, no moving, so many branches everywhere, tangled branches, connected branches ... We ... I ... am so many now, I can feel that strange rock under me, with these strange sharp angles, and something else, it makes so many vibrations, I can feel it pulling on my .. our branches .. Ouch ! it took a part of me ! Oh no I can feel it pulling again ! But there is something else, that feeling like in my dream, the wind ... Ouch ! Did it take some part of me again ? No ... it was another impact, another ... us, connected to me, I ... we feel better now, may I find something before the Thing take another part of me ! Ouch ! Another impact ... more branches ... feel so good ...

the ... branches I ... we can disentangle them a little bit it is ... strange ... Oh no I lose it ! I lose it ! A part of me ! I ... we disentangled too much ! But ... the Thing ... it makes no vibrations anymore, I can feel it next to us, not moving on the floor ... all the part of me I lost, they rolled over it ... but ... it begin to move a little bit again and ... other vibrations coming, other ... Things ... no ! ... we ... I ... WILL ... NOT... LET THEM TAKING PARTS OF ME AGAIN !"




Kind of strategy/arcade game, you begin in the same situation as in the article : many tumbleweeds on a house, people trying to remove them. The direction of the wind change ("as a function of the time", no idea how to say that correctly in english), sometimes new tumbleweeds carried by the wind arrive, you can see on your screen the others houses of the little town (btw what's the difference between town and city ?), when a new tumbleweed arrive on the first house it is caught by the other tumbleweeds, but when it arrive on an house with nothing on it it stay a little bit before being carried away by the wind, you can "cut" some part of the mass of tumbleweeds to let it escape with the wind, either to roll on people to prevent them from pulling tumbleweeds away, or to "colonise" another house, or both at one time, you can also try to knock down trucks going out of the city filled with tumbleweeds that people removed.

The goal is to colonise every house or a particular one according to the mission.


When you have enough tumbleweeds on one house you can have ameliorations (the collective mind becomes more intelligent and find new things), such has ability to launch tumbleweeds instead of juste letting them being carried by the wind, to use the soil of gardens to grow etc ...


Many special techniques can be used : for example if you launch a special "western" tumbleweed beetween two people they will make a western duel and people around will look at them, losing their time biggrin.png

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Aliens and Tumbleweeds



You're on the outskirts of a mid West town that has been overrun by aliens installing technology to create their base. The town has been set up like a maze which you need to navigate to reach your objective for that level. Alien sentries are patrolling the town.

Using tumbleweeds that are rolling around you can:

1. Use them as cover to avoid detection

2. Hurl them at aliens to temporarily blind them or

3. Set them alight to either burn aliens or create a diversion.



The final objective it to kill the alien leader and destroy their mother ship but along the way (levels) you would start by finding a weapon. Level two's objective could be to find a map. Other objectives could include obtaining matches, rescuing hostages, finding ammunition, upgrading weapons, sourcing whisky to make Molotov cocktails etc.


I'll just keep this idea simple. Could make for a fun app.

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I have a question can we vote for several ideas ?


Upvote or downvote as you see fit for as many posts as you want - though my personal preference is not to downvote in a thread such as this and the only reason I include it is simply because it is an option that is there. 

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Wow, i immediately went in the complete opposite direction than most.


For some reason, I assumed a tumbleweed was the object of control.  I think a mobile game with motion controls would do nicely.  Create an endless 3d scrolling map, where you try and travel as far away as you can from the center point.  


Implement things like, "wind-tunnels" and require the player to seek additional 'twigs' to keep your tumbleweed strong.  Alternatively, maybe the player uses their finger to 'blow' the tumbleweed in different directions to avoid obstacles or chase down powerups.  Wind can be a resource that slowly regens once used.  Otherwise, you have mild control via tilt.

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Wow, i immediately went in the complete opposite direction than most.

For some reason, I assumed a tumbleweed was the object of control.


There is no wrong game idea for this particular competition...unless you don't have tumbleweeds somewhere in it :)

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Tumbleweed Tumble.


You are a delivery driver for amco feed and you control a dilapidated old farm truck named bessy that goes a minimum speed of 50 mph at all times.


Your delivery route includes multiple cities across southwestern texas. You have to get to each stop as fast as you can while dodging tumbleweeds because your vehicle lacks a windshield.


Taking a tumbleweed to the face at those speeds blinds you and causes you to wreck your vehicle and lose all of your delivery. Your boss gives you a second chance, if you can make your next delivery you'll keep your job (continue playing) if you lose 2-3 deliveries the game is over, you're fired.


Gameplay revolves around steering to avoid flying tumbleweeds or find shortcuts, timing a turbo boost that has a cooldown, ramping off jumps to avoid walls of tumbleweeds.

Edited by lmbarns

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Rolling Tumbleweed.


You start of as a small ball of Tumble weed rolling in a large 3d world growing by gathering dead plants and solve complex puzzles using the force of wind.

Exploring 3d worlds ,flying true the air and maybe going to other dimensions.

OK so katamari merged with a puzzle game,fun and easy to make.

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Still looking for more game design ideas to enter this mini-comp (22 days still left!). Don't forget top 3 get gamedev membership for a year or equivalent steam prize if you have membership.

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Title: Tumbleweed Freedom!
The tumbleweeds peacefully rolled along in the desert, free as the wind that had pushed them for as long as they could rememeber.
Suddenly along their usual path, they found themselves facing an unrelenting foe - urban sprawl!
Faced with this ancient foe, the peaceful tumbleweeds did the only thing they could - they tried to bounce their way over it!
But will their numbers be enough?
2D side-scrolling puzzle/platforming(ish)
  • The game is divided into "Towns", each Town consisting of a number of Levels.
    You start each Town with a set and limited number of tumbleweeds.
    Your goal is to finish all the levels in the town, with as many tumbleweeds remaining as you can!
  • Each level consists of various obsticles - starting with small fences, cars, buildings, all the way up to angry citizens with baseball bats, and people with rilfes.
  • You control a single tumbleweed at a time. Your tumbleweed has the ability to roll back/forth, jump (possibly double-jump), and to 'root' itself.
    A tumbleweed can 'root' itself on the ground, or when its touching another already rooted tumbleweed (but not on the side of obsticles)
    Once a tumbleweed is 'rooted' it will remain there forever, and is subtracted from your total number of tumbleweeds.
    The only way to overcome obsticles is to build up a small stack of these rooted tumbleweeds so that the next tumbleweed you control can jump over the obsticle. 
  • People with bats can swing at your tumbleweed, knocking it back on the first hit. On the second hit of a tumbleweed, it's destroyed, removed from your total number of tumbleweeds, and you start with a new one (That can also take two baseball bat hits)
  • People with rifles can destroy your tumbleweed in a single shot, but they take aim slowly, and after aiming at a single spot, they don't adjust their aim, so you have to be quick and dodge out of the way of the shots.
  • Both people with baseball bats and rifles can only aim forward.
  • There are checkpoints along the way, which are activated as soon as a single tumbleweed reaches the checkpoint. From then on, all following Tumbleweeds start from that checkpoint.
  • Once a single tumbleweed reaches the end of a Level, the level finishes, and your remaining number of tumbleweeds is what you start with on next level. 
  • A level is failed if you run out of tumbleweeds (Your Tumbleweed Tribe is Extinct!)
  • A Town is complete once you manage to finish all the levels (meaning you have at least 1 remaining as you finish the last level), and your score for that Town is the number of remaining tumbleweeds. 
Yeah, not part of the story, but for inspiration:
Feifle Goes West scene with Blues Brothers music:
Cows with Guns (ideologically the same idea - Tumbleweed Freedom!):
NOTE: May edit it later to clarfiy concepts, since I wrote this up really quickly
Edit1: Fixed typo
Edit2: Made videos into links, instead of embedded, fixed typo.
Edit3: Hey, last post of page 1. This happens to me a lot, and it often results with less people reading my post. Huzaa for my crappy luck.
Edited by Milcho

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Operation Tumbleweed.



Mother earth launches an attack against the human race that is destroying here.

Things to do.

As a tumbleweed you attack crops and suffocate exhaust chimneys. The more you destroy civilization, the more natural vegetation grows back and the more tumbleweeds you have at your disposal.

More things.

There are environmentalists you can help, banksters you can lock in their house, and economies you can break by blocking roads.

Additional things.

Beware the fires that will quickly destroy your collected tumbleweeds. Rich industrialists will occasionally start large projects to combat you with enormous vacuum cleaners. 

One last thing.

You can also let yourself be eaten by wild animals, hoping to create a plague.


Game ending.

Once the Dow Jones is at zero the rainy season starts and all tumbleweeds are washed away and go back to the earth.

Game ending 2.

If all humans are destroyed the tumbleweeds inherit the earth and come alive as tumblepeople. A strange folk with many annoying habits (arrogant!).

Game ending 3 (loosing).

If the tumbleweeds loose the human beings use geo-engineering to make the earth their bitch. She is transformed to resemble a giant clowns face. Variations: giant boob, baseball (and using it), giant hole in the center (using her for galactic ring throwing), entire surface filled with disco lights, carved out shapes so light of the center comes out.





Edited by Wouter79

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Mechs made out of Tumbleweeds with a rockem-sockem-robot game mechanic - turning and shuffling is slow so player has to try to predict opponents moves (perfect for network/internet play).    Sorry no real AI with A* and Influence mappings and a planner for the strategy.


Weird indian shaman magic to create tumbleweed golems ?? 

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