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idea needed - daniele.p - Aug 19, 2010 02:34 AM

Hello everybody,

My name is Daniele, from Italy ( please, forgive me for my bad english...).
I'm a freelance developer with some experience in game/multimedia programming.

After several months of OpenGL study, I've switched to OpenGL ES and started programming on iPhone.

My background knowledge about programming the "little monster" is not complete, but so far, I've covered all the major aspects of game developement (loading images and models, game loop, ui inputs, collisions, etc...).
I prefer working in C++ than Objective-C and I found a way to use my C++ code inside iphone apps.

But now I'm stuck, my brain is full of programming knowledge, but I've lost any inspirations to develop an idea for a simple casual game...

I think that game design is an hard matter, more than coding, and for my past project I worked with people with a little knowledge of programming but a lot of ideas for games.

I know, this is an abstract thought, but any help to find ideas is appreciated.


RE: idea needed - skyhawk - Aug 19, 2010 08:48 AM

well, let's narrow it to a genre!

Adventure? RPG? FPS? Puzzle? Timewaster? BoardGame? Platformer? Text Adventure?

RE: idea needed - daniele.p - Aug 20, 2010 12:31 AM

(Aug 19, 2010 08:48 AM)skyhawk Wrote:  well, let's narrow it to a genre!

Adventure? RPG? FPS? Puzzle? Timewaster? BoardGame? Platformer? Text Adventure?

Well, at the moment I think about two games.
The first is an adventure game, with action based only on acelerometer, with a funny little great white shark that have to eat fishes and avoid human traps (kinda ecological subject, as those sharks are about to extinguish).
The second is a networking game, a sort of Pokemon DS but with mechs (like heavy gears, mechwarrior, gundam, etc.) instead of pokemons, where you can exchange parts and fight with other network players.

Obviously the first one is the first I want to develope, as it is light years more easy than the second, but I'm not sure about the gameplay of both.

Taking the arcade style based game, I cannot see how much funny can be play only with accelerometer, instead of a gamepad or a regular keyboard.
But I think that I have to push in this direction, discoverng the possibility of multitouch and accelerometer.
The thing I want avoid is drawing buttons on the screen, as I saw in a lot of games.
I really dislike it.

Have you got experiences playing/developing games tha use acelerometer?
And what do you think about it? Could it be funny or not?
Do you know some titles that use this kind of user input?

Thanks a lot!

RE: idea needed - MattDiamond - Aug 20, 2010 04:03 AM

When I have questions about what will be fun or not, or how to make a particular interface work, I often get ideas from other iPhone games. Research in this market is incredibly cheap (lots of freebies; even paid apps are frequently discounted to $0 for a day or two) and it's faster than prototyping yourself. There are apps and websites that list what's on sale.

For example, playing Chocolate Frenzy gave me ideas on how to improve my tutorials, and playing Insanity gave me an idea on how to give players a nice way to preview levels while picking which one to play.

Find some top-rated accelerator-based games and play a few of them, see what's fun and what meshes with your vision for the shark game.

RE: idea needed - HMaudio - Aug 24, 2010 06:27 PM

You've got it right, MD. When I'm searching for an idea for a new song and simply nothing is coming out at the piano, the best thing I've found is to think of songs and video game tracks that were important to me. This part here with the timpani, that ascending melodic riff - they can be inspirational and set me on the right path.

I believe the same will work for you Daniele. Think of simple games you like, play them again and find out what you liked about them, then try to capture the best parts but with your own creative, original spin.

Good luck!

RE: idea needed - daniele.p - Aug 25, 2010 01:50 AM

Thanks for your replies!

I've found a modified Neo Geo cabinet and I'm playing sprite based arcade games from the '80 and '90.
I think this kind of gameplay doesn't fit well on mobile devices but I love the "mood", for example the funny characters and the weapons that cover the whole screen in games like Metal Slug.

I did't figure out how difficult can be making an "easy game" and my idea is growing out, adding things that can be funny.
For example, the key feature is that I want a game that with little actions the player can do a lot of mess, like destroy not only ai opponents but many other elements in the game field.

RE: idea needed - HMaudio - Aug 31, 2010 11:48 AM

Nice work on the cabinet, that must be a lot of fun to play around with.

Sounds like you found your inspiration!

RE: idea needed - daniele.p - Sep 2, 2010 04:57 AM

Yes, It's very funny and a good source for arcade games.
But I'm looking at this kind of gameplay and I didn't figure out how many bad games were developed in the '80!!!
So, with this machine I'm also better understanding what I don't like in arcade games, sometimes they're almost unplayable.
Sometimes the gameplay is too fast or too hard from the beginning, the "exploration" is just 2d side scrolling without alternative paths and so on...

RE: idea needed - MattDiamond - Sep 7, 2010 08:43 AM

Very true.

Many arcade-style games back then were developed for, or influenced by, coin-op arcades, where the point was to deliver an intense and fun experience for a short period of time before requiring another quarter. This changed as home gaming became mainstream.

RE: idea needed - HMaudio - Sep 7, 2010 09:45 AM

MD, I could get into a whole long rant of how disappointed I am with coin op-games, from the explosion of them in my youth to the steady decline in quality coupled with increased price (2$ for 45 seconds of gameplay???) leading to closure after closure of arcades, but I'll curb my enthusiasm!

On topic, we don't see too many of those styles of games anymore, do we? We enjoyed them before when we spit quarter after quarter into them. Fast, exciting, quick dramatic curve in gameplay, fun for mere minutes at a time... perfect for the iPhone, eh?

RE: idea needed - MattDiamond - Sep 7, 2010 06:53 PM

Yes. I've been working on a puzzle game for the iPhone but it's probably a mistake for the platform; my next game will be arcade (planning to port A Tack! if anyone remembers it.)

I do miss the feeling of defeating Prince of Persia 1 within the 60 minute time limit, or the thrill of finally finding the right verb-noun pair to solve some obscure Infocom puzzle. But I've tried going back to those games and it's difficult. And it's hard to explain to the kids why those games are great. (Although PoP is somewhat playable.)

RE: idea needed - ahnona84 - Oct 30, 2011 08:59 PM

It's great you have 2 ideas in mind. The next step is to prototype your ideas and see if it works. Try look for testers to get initial feedback on your game ideas.

Also, do go and play other games that make use of similar mechanics to your game and see if that's fun and the strengths and weaknesses of those games.

RE: idea needed - kevin619 - Nov 16, 2011 03:19 AM

hey daniele.p you seems so much energetic and i think no one think better for you so if you think and work solid in your idea before so go head you will definitely rock with your idea man...

RE: idea needed - fugufish - Nov 19, 2011 10:44 AM

hi Danielle

try this: remove yourself from all things programming and language oriented. Think back to your childhood days, of what games you loved to play the most. Then come back to reality, and try to make a similar version of that one game.

For me, i loved Prince of Persia and Contra (love them glorious NES days), decided to start making a 2d sidescrolling shooter called Private Joe.

once you've made that first version, release and tweak it like 1000x, and look back at how far you have gone. You'd be amazed!