making my game fun

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by xDan, May 3, 2007.

  1. xDan

    xDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi!

    I'm working on my second (under my "indie" alias anyway) small game...

    But I can't see a way to make it into something that's fun to play. I suppose it's just my lack of experience. Maybe I haven't played enough games myself. Maybe I should have thought about gameplay from the start :eek: But it's really the graphics and the situation which appeals to me and drives me. Not some carefully thought out game mechanic :D

    At the moment you just hop across some floating platforms collecting nuts. It's possible I could just add a menu system and high score table, and call it finished. But...

    Any ideas for making it fun?

    Or any other comments and criticisms welcome!

    You can get a work in progress version of it here:
    http://games.xzist.org/files/temp/PurpleWIP-0.2.zip

    And a screenshot to tempt you ;)
    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. FreshlySqueezed

    FreshlySqueezed New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried to have a quick game but it crashed after the opening screen, I'm afraid.

    I have no idea how the game works, so this may be of no use to you, but what about (off the top of my head); the player has to create a path which the avatar follows by clicking the mushrooms in series. Perhaps mushrooms are coloured differently, with each kind of mushroom reacting differently to being jumped on. Some might fall away, some might grow, some might start to move, and so on. The player might then have to figure out a path for the avatar to take, and then send them on their way.

    Just trying to get the ball rolling for you. :)
     
  3. KG_Brad

    KG_Brad New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're not sure about your game being fun, then it's probably not a good idea to force yourself to make it. You'll most likely hate working on it and in the end, you won't be happy with the final game.

    If you have really cool ideas for the game, go for it! Remember that even if you try your hardest making the game fun and enjoyable, you at least acomplished more than giving up from the get-go.

    In conclusion, don't force yourself if you don't want to, but at least trying to make the game would make you more experienced.
     
  4. ZeHa

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I didn't try it, but from your description I'd say it sounds like Q*bert. And that was fun too, back then. Perhaps you should play that a little and find out what's the big "fun difference" between yours and Q*bert. Perhaps you'll even get some new ideas that way :)
     
  5. Firespirit

    Firespirit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same Situation

    Interesting - I've been sitting in the same situation for a couple of months.

    I think I had a good basic idea for the game, but when actually playing it, it just wasn't fun, and I couldn't figure out what to do about it. I think/hope I have finally overcome the barrier, and actually made it fun.

    As I see it, 'fun' is a combination of things:

    Skill - it has to take at least some kind of skill to perform the game. In your case it doesn't really take much, you just point at the next mushroom. Maybe make it a bit more tricky to jump (make it require some skill), and add the possibility of missing and falling down?

    Rewards vs. Punishment - when doing something good you have to be rewarded, and punished when something bad happens. This is the acorns and spiders you have. But maybe there could be some more variation in the rewards - like magic acorns that make you fly or what not..

    Advancement - you have to feel that there is a reason for playing the game, and for keeping playing it. Why am I picking up acorns - what's my reason for playing? Maybe add some simple gameplay like 'Winter is coming - you must collect 100 acorns or you'll starve'. Also having a goal of reaching 100 acorns to go to the next level gives you the reason to do it.

    X Factor - I guess every game has a special X-Factor that makes it funny. It can be a funky physics system, neat weapons, a special atmosphere or something else. I think the X-Factor is kind of missing, but maybe something with the mushrooms - like making them bouncy (which could also tie in to the Skill thing), with some fun physics?

    Thinking of these four things helped me at least (I hope :)).
     
  6. JoKa

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about a bar displaying the jump strength? It could fill while clicking on the target platform and once you release the mouse button the jump is performed. To make it less tricky, the bar could flash while in a range that's sufficient to reach the targetted platform and the jump could be cancelled once it reaches maximum length.

    Some enemies would fit nicely, for example some creatures burrowed in the platform, popping out at regular intervalls, so you need good timing to get onto a platform and leave it in time.
     
  7. xDan

    xDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a lot of great ideas! The jumping bar, certainly. And some different mushroom types, maybe some allow you a further jump distance.

    I like the idea of collecting 100 acorns and having levels. I suppose there would be a higher frequency of enemies and different enemy types in progressing levels. Hmm...

    Thanks! I feel inspired again :)

    (which might not be such a good thing as I'm coming up to some university exams... :rolleyes: )
     
  8. Ronkes

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    The most important part your game lacks, is a goal. At the moment you're just hopping around aimlessly because, well, there's nothing to aim for. Maybe if there was a certain place you had to go to, or a number of nuts you had to collect... Just experiment a bit with different goals and see which is best. Once you have a goal, make sure the player can see her progression towards that goal.

    Next, you need to introduce some rewards besides progressing towards the goal. I wrote quite a bit about rewards on my blog.

    I also found it hard to understand the exact mechanics of the game. It took me a while to figure out what happens if I jump on a spider. More importantly, I can't understand when mushrooms disappear; it seems random. There are two problems with this. First, sometimes you'll randomly die because the mushroom you chose to jump to just happens to be a disappearing one. Second, there's no sense of urgency coming from the fact that you know that in a couple of seconds the mushrooms you need to jump to are going to disappear.

    Hopefully, this is of some help to you. Start with finding a goal and then add some rewards. Let us know how you're progressing. (You can also PM me if you like me to check out the next version.) Good luck.
     
  9. xDan

    xDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice article, and blog :) Sadly I won't be able to work on this for a few weeks now, but I'll be sure to post here when I've implemented some of these ideas.

    The mushrooms will fall 3 seconds after you jump on them, and they start moving (with a creaking sound) at 2 seconds. So I'll have to make this more obvious somehow. I could have them fall as soon as you leave them, that'd stop you returning to a falling one.
     
  10. Kaos

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    q*bert, right on.

    but in qbert you are being pursued. I think persuit is necessary for 1 thing.

    A different color mushroom, that acts as a power is would be useful, like being able to jump across 2 mushrooms @ once. A power-up that allows you to fly?

    Speed up power ups, having a finite playing field also, as if you just keep clicking mouse, you can jump forever. And forever is boring!

    must have a more defined back ground, maybe show some different terrain in the underneath background?

    Maybe design some good background music that is pleasant?

    Your beta has potential, take a break from your brainstorming and play a few platform games, see what you like from them, and build on those concepts.

    Maybe add some mini-puzzle/games between levels, a nice space invaders. or centipede clone in between levels, based on your current theme, will give gamers who get bored with level play, a reason to continue; as it is now, the game is far to boring, but knowing I would get to blast some invaders in a bonus round, would more than likely keep my inerests past the alotted trial/demo time in the game, and maybe inspire me to buy it.

    Retro mini-games within games are awesome.

    Also, some power-downs, green mushrooms. things like that.

    Small things like allowing your player to choose between a male or a female character, is a neat thing. when the only difference is maybe a shift in sound effect pitch/tone and a lil pink bow on the character's head.

    I hope that is enough to make your game, "fun".
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer