Monday, September 10, 2012


After a couple of "jam sessions," where we, as a group, discuss the game and come up with ideas for various elements, we have come up with a pretty solid concept and hook. The gameplay should be unique and the narrative should be interesting and fun.

Here are five titles from which I will be drawing inspiration:

Donkey Kong Country 1-3
These games are fantastic. They were created by Rare for the Super Nintendo. Based on the original arcade game Donkey Kong, these games take Kong's story to a whole new level. Fast paced gameplay with excellent graphics, story, sound and controls make for a very solid platformer. I will examine the clever puzzles and tight controls found in the Kong series in order to bring some of these elements into our own game.

Portal 1 and 2
Portal 1 and 2 are excellent examples of thinking outside the box. Throughout the entire first person experience, you never once wield a machine gun or rocket launcher. Yet, you are faced with enemies, challenges and puzzles that keep you on the edge of your seat. Using only your portal gun, you must navigate puzzles and outsmart the bad guys. The fantastic narrative seals the deal in this must-play series. I chose these games as a source of inspiration for gripping narrative, witty dialogue and clever non-combat gameplay.

Give Up, Robot
This is a simple browser flash game that I just can't get enough of. Essentially, you are given an mobile game-style puzzle-by-puzzle experience in which you must pass through puzzle-levels one at a time. You are a dinky robot blessed with the ability to jump and use a grappling hook. That's it. You will find yourself flying over games and swinging around lava chunks and before you know it, you've died 553 times and passed 42 levels. I will try to learn what makes a game addictive and captivating from Give Up, Robot.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Zelda games are typically amazing and this one is no exception. I could go on and on about everything that makes this game great. However, I will limit myself to one of the most-loved gameplay mechanics of all time. The Hookshot. Our game will feature a similar mechanic in that, you can pull yourself toward objects or pull objects toward you. On top of that you will be able to push yourself away from things. This mechanic will make up the core of our gameplay experience and our puzzles will be based almost entirely around the idea. For this reason, I am taking Ocarina of Time as an example of how to do the mechanic right.

Limbo is indie game development at its best. This 2D platformer does everything in its own way and holds surprises at every turn. The art is beautiful and the gameplay is simple and engaging. The puzzles are extremely well done and did I mention that this game is just plain creepy? The simplicity seems to enhance the weirdness of this game. Limbo uses a physics-based approach that we will be pursuing in our own game. I will use this game as a source of inspiration for technical and creative ideas.

I believe that if we take some great games as examples of how to do things right, we can save ourselves the time and headache of trial and error in various areas of development. Even though we only have 8 or 9 months and limited experience, I'm sure we can bring a great experience to the table by paying attention to what makes a game fun and keeps people coming back for more.

No comments:

Post a Comment