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DSMatticus Want Make Vidya Gaem
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: DSMatticus Want Make Vidya Gaem Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I've got free time and energy these days, and I've been thinking about pet software projects I could burn it on. I finally decided, hey, why not make a video game? Obviously, we're not talking about anything particularly complicated or ambitious. I'm a one-man hobbyist, so I'm aiming for something between "Newgrounds flash game" and "this is supposed to be worth money on Steam? Really?" at best.

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble coming up with ideas that I think would fall in that range that I also find personally interesting. And if I don't find it interesting, it is going to be hard to drive myself to actually work on it at all. So, I have come here to solicit ideas from denners. What silly little time wasters do you wish existed and/or think would be interesting projects to work on?

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional artist (or even a good one), so excuses to engage in pretentious minimalism ("Art? Yeah, I can put geometric shapes on the screen") or avoid animation ("you know what doesn't have any moving parts? Spaceships!") or use shitty low quality pixel art ("retro is cool it's not because I'm lazy shut up") are much appreciated.
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fectin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Can you do something vaguely like SpaceChem? Maybe steampunkish instead?

Something like a guided tour of designing and building a giant steam-mech.
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MisterDee
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A new take on King of Dragon Pass - obviously you can't use the setting, but the idea of combining a management/simulation/wargame with cool, flavorful events would be pretty awesome (plus you could crowdsource event creation to the Den)
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Ravengm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you've ever heard of/played Sonny, I've been waiting for a sequel, or at least a similar game to come out for forever. Just something with a set number of skill points to be spent on a tree, so that there are some meaningful choices rather than just "grind until you max everything".
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Shrapnel
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nude Solitaire. It needs to happen.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Occult and Battery: You've been summoned into the mortal world by a cabal ritual gone wrong, run through and destroy things before you get sent back to the underworld.

A pixel art fighting game pitting famous scientists against each other.
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Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Steampunk SpaceChem: Actually, I could see a game about dueling steampunk mechs that is inspired heavily by SpaceChem's programmed loops mechanic. Instead of manipulating molecules on the path from input to output, you're moving steam from a generator to various devices using a pseudo-physics flow system that involves managing pressure so you don't blow yourself up. The mech hulls themselves could be built out of ablative blocks, which take damage and are destroyed over the course of the battle, and as such might cause your pressurized inner workings to burst forth to disastrous (read: hilarious) consequences. Actual battle is done using pre-programmed high level commands written during the wire-a-mech phase, and possibly by manually controlling some simple shut-off valves to handle the various unexpected emergencies that will develop as pieces of your mech are damaged. I have no idea if this is anything like what you meant.

@King of Dragon Pass: That sounds like the sort of thing that would live or die by the extent to which I can make it interesting and meaningful to interact with a bunch of management aspects. Also the writing and some decent-ish art doesn't hurt. I can definitely see the appeal, but before I considered something like that I'd really need to sit down and hammer out at least the basic mechanics and convince myself I could make something fun to interact with.

@Sonny: Isn't the Sonny series basically just a JRPG-lite style game? I vaguely remember the first one being funnish when I played it a long, long time ago, but I'm pretty sure it was just a bunch of cutscenes interspersed by early FF/JRPG battles. I would say that it is particularly ill-suited to the skillset I'm bringing to the table. I'd rather do something that stands on its novel and/or gimmicky gameplay.

@Nude Solitaire: There are very few ways to make a game about taking clothes off boring. That is definitely one of them.

@Occult and Battery: Are those the same idea? The line break confuses me. I.e. dead famous scientists are resurrected in a cabal ritual gone wrong and attempt to murder eachother while blowing up the environment around them? Because I could see a very pixel art version of that working. The basic combat moves are just a 2-3 frame punch/kick/grab and everything interesting is superpowers related to each scientist i.e. Tesla shoots lightning bolts.

Here, I'll drop an idea of my own while I'm commenting. Psychic Spy Battles!: Players take control of psychic spies at a party, and compete to complete the map's objectives or assassinate their rivals without giving away their identity. Psychic power usage is card-based(?), and you play cards to slap effects and commands on other party-goers in order to gain awareness, deceive other players, and complete objectives by proxy.


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Shrapnel
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
@Nude Solitaire: There are very few ways to make a game about taking clothes off boring. That is definitely one of them.

I rather like to think that it's a way of making solitaire interesting.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Those were meant as different ideas. I just didn't have a name for the second one. Both would be pixel art-y, but the latter is way cooler. A scientist fighting game would be popular too. I can see a HuffPost article on that.

I don't recommend trying to make a video game for more than 2 players unless you want to write an AI, because few people will play the game.
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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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K
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are a lot of engines these days that make small development a realistic goal. For example, Unity is one that I'm fiddling around with now.
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infected slut princess
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Make a Leisure Suit Larry sort of game, where you play a loser who can't get any sex despite desperate efforts to get some. I'm sure you'll be an expert on the subbject.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Another option is to just mod an existing game. If it's not for commercial purposes, that might be easier, though it'd be more restrictive.

You could even reuse assets from existing games if it's a free non commercial thing, and a lot of those are available online.

K wrote:
There are a lot of engines these days that make small development a realistic goal. For example, Unity is one that I'm fiddling around with now.
You could also try LWJGL (Java: Minecraft was made with this) or Monogame (C#: Bastion, Transistor, though it can do 3D as well), though these are APIs, not engines. Canvas/WebGL with Javascript looks pretty good atm too, and it'd probably be easier to get people to try out a browser game.

I'd like to see a spiritual successor to Majesty. Perhaps taking some cues from Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress and King of Dragon Pass


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Koumei
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Steam has heaps of software for producing games - from the "plug pieces together to make a Flash game" kind all the way up to proper 3D engines that can handle powerful stuff.

No proper suggestions here, but I'd just like to throw some ideas out:

1. Use vector-based graphics, even if it's a weird thing where it's all balls and curvy lines and not pictures of actual people. That way it can be zoomed to any level without looking like shit, and more importantly, unlike "retro indie sprite games", won't automatically look like shit to begin with. Mostly I'd like to see an indie game that doesn't just have shitty pixelblobs for the art.

2. Take a vague game style and invert it. It's been done before - a Mario clone where you take control of the baddies one by one while the hero stomps through you, a reverse "you are one space ship, blow up all the enemy ones" game where you insert the waves and patterns of baddies, and then Anomaly is a nice looking tower offence game, where you are the armed convoy and the AI is the towers.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Take a look at banished. that was made by one single dude.
On another board i frequent, one of the posters is making a Mech-Game all by himself basically.
Today, it's seemingly as easy as never before to do such stuff.
You don't even need to know much about coding, as long as you can think procedurally and logically and connect given dots with each other.

That said: i was a bit disappointed in the shadowrun game, i would like to see something like that. But make it more like Fallout:Tactics instead of . . whatever that was supposed to be <.<

Or maybe like syndicate.

Or hell, make a non 3D Fallout≥ that's closer to how Fallout≤ played.
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rapa-nui
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Take a good board game, change some names and variables, and port it to the PC. Voila. The nice thing about that is that it can be 100% animation free,

I eagerly await ArkMatticus Horror.
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Dean
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You should do the PC/Android version of Key to the Kingdom. Key to the Kingdom was an awesome boardgame from 1990 which would be simple to port because almost every mechanic is a random 1d8 roll. The only things required would be the making of the map, and the finding of lots of stock images for cards like "Sword" and "Werewolf" and "Cyclops" which I have already found by searching stock photo and art websites.

Here is a concise and fairly complete review.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlfAQ33YE1A
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

K is pointing in you in the correct direction. Look into Unity.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I was actually dicking around with Unity before I made the thread, and LWJGL a few months before that. I'm planning to go with Unity unless the specific project I end up settling on has an engine specifically tailored to it, and even then probably Unity anyway because I want to familiarize myself with it. Right now, I am still stuck in the "what the fuck should I actually do phase?" I'm not sure if this thread is making it easier or harder to choose something.

I think the current big contenders are (in no particular order):

Steampunk Engineering:
Courtesy of Fectin, some kind of game in which you build giant steampunk contraptions using SpaceChem-inspired programmable loop mechanics and those contraptions do... something. I'm leaning towards complete a set of map-specific objectives, and then build some sort of level editor and use it to churn out levels and let people build their own and blah blah blah. But mech duels still on the table.

Pros: It's a 2d game in which every object is built out of smaller repeating objects. That makes the art easy. It has some genuinely interesting technical aspects that I'll enjoy designing and implementing.

Cons: It sounds difficult to make fun. The transition from build-and-wire-a-mech to getting that mech to accomplish specific tasks sounds like it could just inherently be difficult, and where I'm trying to take the idea could easily end up being more frustrating than fun.



I Can't Believe It's Not Shadowrun:
Courtesy of Stahlseele, though the idea has occurred to me before - a 2.5d/isometric/whatever tactical stealth shooter set in a randomly-generated open world sandbox. You play a team of Shadowrunners in a cyberpunk world with magic and elves in an open city. Now, obviously I'd strip the Shadowrun IP out of it. With Frank's permission, I'd probably steal a bunch of his Asymmetric Threat fluff. Because that fluff is awesome.

Pros: I want this game to exist.

Cons: It's one of the more graphically demanding options, and gameplay-wise is an ambitious endeavor all on its own.



Deadly Space Hobos:
This idea is all about capturing what it's like to be a Warhammer 40k fleet cruising through space. Travel the stars, meet new people, and threaten to blow them up for totally arbitrary reasons. More seriously, you get to play a fleet, singular, and you travel through a randomly-generated sandbox interacting with an ongoing simulation/management game by founding colonies, supporting existing colonies, defending those colonies against alien invaders, and ultimately blowing up those colonies for refusing to pay insanely high tribute. Then moving on to another part of the galaxy and doing the exact same thing. Note you don't actually explicitly control anything but your fleet, and you interact with settlements and factions using threats of force and bribes.

Pros: This is another graphically simple option, because basically nothing in space is animated. You rotate things and slap on particle effects. Boom, done. Glorious.

Cons: This is another ambitious idea. It borrows a lot of different things from different genres and smashes them together.



TerrariaBoundCraft:
Terraria-esque games are surprisingly simple to make. The original release of Terraria was made by two dudes in half a year. Of course, Starbound has been in development by a team of, what, a dozen? For years. Plural. Anyway, Starbound really missed the mark with their "this game is set in sci-fi future but none of the tedious crap from Terraria is automated because we hate you." So I literally just want to make a fantasy Starbound with magic robots that follow you around and you can "draw" tasks for them on the screen with your mouse that they will automatically complete and then give Starbound the middle finger as hard as I possibly can.

Pros: I get to give Starbound devs the middle finger as hard as I possibly can. Also would be fun.

Cons: This is another ambitious idea that involves nontrivial animation (though, probably all in all still easier than the Shadowrun one).



So that's that. Those are the four ideas I am currently torn between. Things that were on this list but got cut:
  • rapa-nui and Dean's Boardgame on a PC: Simplicity appeals, but ultimately it would just be a warm-up exercise for one of the other projects.
  • MisterDee's Queen of Giant Flying Lizard's Way: Surprisingly tempting, but I ultimately just decided against it.
  • YouLostMe's Sciencefight: Love the idea, but ultimately the sort of game that seems like it would be improved more by refining the art than refining the gameplay and I need an idea where mediocre art is passable.



    In terms of difficulty I'm pretty sure the list is (easiest to hardest):
    Steampunk Engineering -> Deadly Space Hobos -> TerrariaBoundCraft -> I Can't Believe It's Not Shadowrun.

    In terms of how interested I am, I'm pretty sure the list is (most to least):
    I Can't Believe It's Not Shadowrun -> TerrariaBoundCraft -> Deadly Space Hobos -> Steampunk Engineering

    You will note that those lists are the reverse of eachother. Helpful, right? I'll definitely pick something by the end of Monday, even if I just have to roll a die (and ignore it), but for now I am stuck trying to pick something that will balance my personal satisfaction with the size of the project. Comments are, of course, welcome.
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    TarkisFlux
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    PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I suspect you're underestimating the difficulty of Deadly Space Hobos and making all of those disparate pieces work nicely together and not be either a total cluster fuck or a boring piece of shit. Granted, Banished was built by a single guy in not too long a time, but you want to do a few more pieces than just "animated spreadsheet management, the game" so I'd expect a lot more underlying design work and testing.

    If that flips difficulty with TerrariaBoundCraft, as I think it probably should, then TerrariaBoundCraft occupies a better easy/interested position than the other titles, and that should be the one you make. And you get to give Chucklefish the middle finger.
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    DSMatticus
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    For anyone wondering, I've started working on TerrariaBoundCraft (still needs a non-joke title). I've even got a friend (a better artist than I) who has tentatively volunteered to do some art for me. The premise is generic fantasy world scattered with the ruins of a "sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology"-tier civilization. Cliche, but it's an excuse to give the player sci-fi-esque tools for manipulating the environment without feeling like a sci-fi game.

    If anyone's interested in listening to me blogramble about the game as its developed (a little bit of gameplay, a little bit of technical problems I find interesting), I'll do so. But if give-a-shits are low I'll spare everyone.
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    Stahlseele
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    @I can't believe it's not shadowrun:
    That. Sounds. So. Nice ;_;
    i can't believe nobody actually bothered doing that when the big unity craze went live . . No, Wasteland2 does not count for me <.<
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    Dean
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I'm interested in hearing about the process. I've never made a video game.
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    radthemad4
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I'm interested. I like reading about game development.

    If you're interested in sci fi terraforming, take a look at Startopia's biodome manipulation tools. There, terrain had two axes (Dry-Wet, Hot-Cold) and you could combine those for different results. Perhaps you could add more axes if you can think of any. Take a look at From Dust as well for ideas. It's a god game, but you can probably put a sci fi twist on things.
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    K
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Interested.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Definitely interested in reading/listening to the progress and all.
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