27th August 2016
Coming up with an idea that both my brother and I agreed on was more difficult than I thought it would be. Part of the problem lies in our differing levels of ambition: as I am still relatively new to game development, I prefer to go with simple ideas, and am suitably happy if I’m able to do something new; my brother is more experienced, and likes to branch out with more complex, original ideas.
We pooled our ideas together this morning. My ideas revolved around a simple, one-screen puzzle game, involving either gears/pulleys, water/cisterns, or lights/mirrors. My brother, too, had ideas regarding gears, but was also considering delving in with logic gates, or creating a 2D-platform, Lara-Croft-style, tome raiding puzzle game.
Initially we settled on a game where there’s a running water source at the top of the screen and you need to use mechanisms to direct the flow of water down the screen to a particular container at the bottom of the screen. However, we weren’t sure how to implement the mechanisms, or indeed what mechanisms to include. My main concern was about whether the screen would be like a grid, with mechanisms appearing in fixed grid locations, or whether positioning would be more arbitrary. I was also concerned that there wouldn’t actually be much that I could contribute, as my brother was keen to hard-code a lot of it, as opposed to using features of Unity, my program of choice for game development.
After about an hour of messing around with the idea, we changed to essentially making a giant marble run. Inspired by the game Droplitz, which I last played well over six years ago, we are going to have a ball/boulder/marble drop from the top of the screen, which is then directed by rotating cells. In Droplitz the cells are circular, although are based on a hexagon, and for the sake of tessellation we chose to go with hexagons ourselves, despite the fact that tessellating hexagons can’t technically rotate. Still, we’ll find a solution to that problem, I’m sure.