October 2, 2007

Macless for a week; early 4E6 brainstorming

I delivered my MacBook Pro to the shop for repair today, so I’ll be without my main development platform for this week. Actual Flash development will be hold, although I might spend some time designing ActionScript classes.

During the time I’m without my Mac, I’ll spend a bit of time resurrecting some old skills. Now my left hand has healed I need to get back into drawing again - the Flash games are eventually going to need it, and I’ll need to start learning Illustrator too; the interface just is not intutitive to me.

I also might spend a little bit of time planning for future Flash games, including the Four Elements contest. I’m fairly sure I can factor it into a small simple Flash game if I try hard enough. I’m currently debating a series of ideas in my head, but most of them depend a lot on what Flash skills I can develop and how fast I can implement with them. My current thinking is I should brainstorm a whole series of concepts quickly, and then test the skills I need - such as the ability to animate a horse. I might have to resort to a game idea that is based primarily on still images, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For those who are interested, there are two main game concepts I’m considering. The first would be some kind of fantasy management game, based on some colourful magic world filled with ponies. You have a team of accountants (vaguely supernatural ones) that help you manage crystals as a resource for managing the ponies somehow. I’m also thinking crystals can be used for fuelling explosions of restorative energy. It’s all extremely vague because I’ve only been thinking about this in dead time, such as when I’m walking from point A to B, and without the images in my head it’s a fairly useless description. I like the general concept because it’s a gameplay mechanic I’ve been wanting to implement, and it can be done with minimal animation. It needs a fair amount of 2D art to be appealing, and might take some work before I can tell if it’s fun or not.

The second idea is also a concept I’ve been meaning to try for a while - a fantasy sports game, one which is totally crazy where no-one really knows the rules. Think something like a cross between Calvinball and Blurnsball. This could work in turn-based, or maybe even with a board game/trading card like feel. I like this idea as it’s also a gameplay mechanic I’ve been meaning to try, plus it’s very scalable due to time pressures. Both a strength and a weakness is that it can pretty much work with any four elements - I could probably even throw ninjas, pirates, zombies and robots in there too.

Whatever I decide to do I probably won’t start development until December anyway; I’ve got an awful lot to do before hand, and I need to get more comfortable with Flash first. Until I can gauge how much I can do in the time I have I can’t commit to any concept.

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2 Comments on Macless for a week; early 4E6 brainstorming

October 3, 2007

John Hattan @ 1:26 am:

Ninjas, pirates, zombies, and robots are just SOOOO 2004.

Anyone who’s anyone is now filling their games with cowboys, clowns, aliens, and sharks with frickin’ lasers in their heads.

October 8, 2007

David "Trapper Zoid" @ 11:48 am:

… Some of those seem possible as well.

Except for the shark; Slashdot has killed that meme for good. I might give my sharks shivs instead and make them really dangerous.

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