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Damon E. Washington

Advice on Gameplay Choice

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Hello Everyone and Good Morning.


I, like most, am an indie developer starting out in game design.  However, I have a slight problem, I can't seem to figure out what gamepla option to go with.  See I've been doing this since I was 12, but never made a game because I always aimed to high and fell flat.  Almost out of school, I would love to make this into my career, but those high flying ideas keep coming back. 


Over the past few days I have been jotting down every idea in my head, eventually narrowing it down to a few different gameplay styles.  I jsut have no idea which would be the best for a beginning indie dev...


Gameplay Styles:


1) Narrative-Survival Horror :  The best way to sum this up is to think of a game like "Gone Home" or "Proteus" and combine it with "Amnesia"/ "Penumbra."  The player would be in a area and they are free to explore at their own pace.  Occasionally they may see a threat and/or be chased by it. Ultimately the game is a twisted story to the end.  The player has iteraction, mostly unlocking doors or small puzzles.  FPS PERSPECTIVE


2) Adventure-Narrative-Horror : Taking #1 and combining it with "Monkey Island"/"Maniac Mansion"  The player would need to solve more complex puzzles, pick up a variety of items and figure out where each piece goes.  They race against the clock as the threat (of some kind) closes in on them.  They are free to do as they wish.  The game would have a day/night cycle, and have the threat only appear at night.  A need for sleep might be implimented.  The game highlights strong narrative and iteractibilty. FPS


3) Action-"Text" Adventure - Horror ("ZORKER") :  Just to get it out of the way, no, it isnt text based.  Remeber the days when PC gamers were playing "ZORK" and imaginition ran wild.  Those days also involved complex thinking.  you couldnt just run around in ZORK and gets somewhere, you had to think things through.  Well what if the thinking and captivation could come back today.  In "ZORKER" the player would enter a mystically world in search of an item.  However, they would soon discover the dangers of such a place and as tension/horror players rush to open the next door, or find the next item.  The best way to describe it is "The Elder Scrolls" + "ZORK" + " Monkey Island" + "Amnesia"  and even that is a stretch.  Slight combat will be included, but even the best of weapons break forcing fleeing to always become an option.  "ZORKER" uses stronger narrative, fun gameplay, and captivating environments to its advantage.


4) "DOOMER" :  I wasnt really sure what to call this one so I nicknamed it after the classic FPS game we all know and love.  This one is simple.  It combines horror, narrative, and adventure with explosions. The gameplay would move back to more classic FPS games where one still had to think before they acted.  Keys are hidden in odd places, and the scenery is twisted as could be be.  Guns arent and end all be all.  Eventually, they run out of bullets (where horror/tension comes into place). FPS



Well thats it.  So I am curios what you guys think is possible for a new indie dev.


Just for a better opinion, here is some stuff about me:


- Worked with UDK since it was released (know my way around).

- USCRIPT > C++ > C#

- Horrible java coder.

- Good at in-organic modelling (weapons, items, environments, etc.)

- Ok at organic modelling (living beings)

- Texturing = good

- Level Design = very good

- Animating+ Rigging = ok

- Engine: Unity/UDK/Cryengine (undecided, as of now... Unity/Cryengine)


Feel free to ask any question that are needed. I will happily answer them.\


Thank You in Advance and thanks for your time.


Happy Developing!

- Damon E. Washington



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None of the above! :) 


You hit the real problem early on in your post, "I always aimed too high and fell flat".


So aim lower.


Here's a great guide on which games  you should start with first and why. I can't recommend it enough:



Read the comments too.


- Eck

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