Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
JLW

Two game concepts I can't decide between.

This topic is 808 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I have a question that is straightforward, but not at all simple. I have two game designs, one of them I think is all capital letters AWESOME but will be hard to implement and one that I think is awesome in lowercase but much easier to pull off. I cannot decide whether I want to do the better but harder game or the inferior but easier game, and I desire input on this matter. I'll provide a quick summary of each. (Okay, that's a bold-faced lie, let me try again.) I'll provide a wall of text on each. (Yeah, that's more accurate.) 

 

Concept 1: (Difficult but AWESOME.)

 

[spoiler]

This game is called Wounded Gaia. I believe I had quite a few threads about it back in the day, it was a stylised shooter-RPG with very strong survival mechanics. It's in three dimensions with first-person and third-person options. You play as a small child who may or may not be in a coma trying to survive by themselves in a frigid patch of post-apocalyptic Germany, in the dead of winter, while a war rages on around them, the front just a few short miles from their house.

 

Why it's awesome:

This game has a heavily philosphical bent expressed through bizzare metaphors and disturbing imagery. It's got such heavy horror influences I have no doubt it will be classified as horror by at least some sources, and the lack of immediately apparent fantasy makes it more relatable and pack more of a punch. It is exceptionally realistic and brutal, complex and aimed at hard-core gamers who will be able to handle the difficulty and extract more enjoyment and more meaning out of it as a result. Minimizing the differences between the game's logic and reality makes it more immersive, and the setting (while slightly fantastic and with a bit of alternate history) is relatable and believable enough to further that immersion. The game world is more of a psychological landscape than a physical place (when I said "may or may not" be in a coma, I really meant "is in a coma after the intro sequence but the game never actually says it"), and it aims to explore concepts of mortality, grief and loss, it looks at war from the perspective of an innocent victim and it explores factors of human psychology such as (bonus points if you have ANY idea what these are) outgroup homogeneity bias, collectivism and tribalism, and it doesn't compromise the gameplay to do so.

 

Why it's hard to make:

It's 3d in first AND third person and has a more intensive art style with voiced NPCs, the stats are more numerous and in-depth and it puts a heavy emphasis on realism. Skills and attributes have their own experience points based on usage instead of using a single experience pool based on questing, there's a complex shot-placement model and numerous health pools for body parts struck, pixel-accurate hitboxes and visual effects that impact the gameplay significantly. All this complexity is used to buy a LOT of depth and realism, but it is harder to do. It has a map maker, and while the other game does to since this is a 3d game it'll be harder to make and to use the map maker on it, so it'll be more effort for ultimately fewer user-generated maps. Even when there's a respectable number, they'll be larger files so fewer will be able to download and place themselves in the player's procedurally generated world.

[/spoiler]

 

Concept 2: (Easier but less awesome.)

 

[spoiler]

This game does not yet have a title, and I've only made one thread about it so far, back when I came up with the initial concept which has changed a lot. It's a sidescrolling survival-based action-RPG, set in a fantasy "afterlife" where those whose minds have gone from too many years in the nicer afterlives are sent. Your character just arrived here, and is left to try and make a place for themselves for as long as they can manage.

 

Why it's not as awesome:

Simply put, there isn't as much meaning to the game. There is still a fair bit there, the game and its setting are ultimately about mortality and impermanence, and both do a fair bit to get these points across, but they don't do as well. While the fantasy setting is nice and it does allow for some added flexibility with the ruleset, it's harder to convey messages through fantasy as people are simply in a different mental state when playing a fantasy game, though it's by no means impossible. Further, the gameplay ultimately isn't as realistic nor does it strike me as being nearly as engaging and especially not as immersive. It's not a bad game, it'd still be a pretty good one, but it's just not as good as the other, much harder one.

 

Why it's easier to make:

It's a 2d sidescroller, the art style is much simpler and none of the NPCs are voiced. There are fewer stats that are less in-depth and overall simpler and less realistic. One means of progression, experience, is present in-game and is gained through quests where it is spent on attributes, talents and skills alike. This experience is also ONLY gained through quests, making it exceptionally easy to manage as well. The game's procedural generation will be much easier due to it being short a dimension, and while both games will have map makers this one's map maker will be much easier to use because of that same missing dimension, so there will be more of them made faster and the smaller file size means more can be downloaded and placed.

[/spoiler]

 

In a perfect world, I wouldn't be asking this question, because in a perfect world which one is harder to make would be a non-issue and I could do the one I wanted to do more. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world, and I can't decide if it's worth it to go for the harder game, and I would appreciate input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

I think you are asking a wrong question :) A more interesting question is, how much time do you have (when the game is scheduled for release)? And then, given that amount of time (and other resources) which game would turn out better when done in that timeframe? I mean, if the time budget is short, the less ambitious project will likely turn out to be more awesome due to additional polish.

 

An idea is nothing, execution is everything (OK, it's a lie, but an useful lie to drive the point ;)). Don't gauge awesomness of the finished game by awesomness of the idea (those do not colerate that much).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for fun or profit?

 

if for profit....

 

its all about the hassle to benefit ratio.

 

game #2 sounds like it might have wider appeal and thus sell better (greater benefit).  and as you say its less work to implement (less hassle).

 

btw, the only extra work in supporting 1st person as well as 3rd person view in a 3D game is the 1st person attack animations. for everything else, you can just move the camera and use the game graphics for both.

 

but even game #2 might have lack of uniqueness issues.  don't go head to head with existing titles unless you can beat them at the quality game, or can provide a better value in a marginal good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!