Posts tagged: game development

New Game: Board Rogue

I’ve started on my next game. At the moment it’s called Board Rogue, though that’s subject to change. I said the same thing about Squishy Bugs. Squishy Bugs was supposed to be the code-name for the project, like Helicopter Ninja and Space Fight before it. But Squishy Bugs stuck, and who knows if Board Rogue is going to get another name by the time it ships. The name is really growing on me.

So I’m feeling a little inspired by this article on open board game design. It basically boils down to don’t be afraid to openly share your game’s development because other people are too busy working on their own killer game and ideas area cheap. At least that’s what I got out of it. So without further ado, here’s a little glimpse into what Board Rogue is going to be about.

First, a couple definitions.

Board game
 A board game is a game that involves counters
 or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked
 surface or "board", according to a set of rules.
 The roguelike is a sub-genre of role-playing
 video games, characterized by level
 randomization and permanent death.

So what is Board Rogue?

A board game, played on a single Android tablet, played by and passed between 1 to 6 players. Players take turns rolling dice to traverse the randomly generated dungeon in search of the big treasure at the end of the board.

There are currently only 4 types of “squares” that make up the board. Each square is a type of room. Either empty, monster, trap, or treasure.

Empty rooms are just that. Generally safe rooms that don’t help or hinder player progress.

Monster rooms are occupied by monsters. Landing in a monster room prompts you to fight with the monster. Killing the monster rewards the player with loot which may alter the player’s skills when used. It’s not in place yet but there will probably be an option to flee the fight if the battle is going poorly for you. Player death sends the player back to the board’s entrance. And they drop all of their loot on the floor of the monster’s room. The good news, the monster remains hurt so anyone else who comes across that monster square later will have an easier fight… unless the monster has regenerative abilities. Trolls typically regenerate when not in battle, so be aware!

Trap rooms mostly do bad things to players. They might cause the player to lose a turn, go back 2 squares, or take damage. If a trap kills you then you drop your loot and go back to the beginning of the board. Noticing a theme here?

Death is permanent. Your hero dies and you go back to the beginning of the board as a brand new hero with no special loot or skills.

Last, the treasure room. The game is points based, where the player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. Treasure counts toward your total points. A bar of gold might be worth 750 points. A small gem might be worth 100. But treasure rooms aren’t limited to jewellery and gems. Players might get lucky and find special armor or a weapon. Or an unset trap…

Unset traps are the game’s way of allowing a player to hinder other players. When a player is in an empty room, and they have an unset trap in their inventory, the player can trap that room. That room will remain a safe room for that player, for the duration of their hero’s life. The trap springs only for a hero that didn’t set the trap. In most cases this means all of the other players, but what if the trap’s hero dies? Then the trap is now hostile toward that player’s new hero as well.

So that’s the general outline of the game. Take your turn, pass the tablet to the next player, and so on. Collect as many points as you can before someone reaches the exit. Highest score wins the game.

Stay tuned for more Board Rogue tidbits as development continues. As usual you can follow along with the game’s development at the task tracker or discuss it at the WaggSoft Forums.

Find me as @kdnewton on Twitter and the WaggSoft Facebook page.

Rise of the Video Game Zinesters

I’ve been reading Anna Anthropy‘s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters
and I just came across what (to me) may be the most important message in the entire book.

Perfection isn't a useful goal; if anything, it keeps amateurs
from getting their feet wet and authors from finishing their works.
- Anna Anthropy. Rise of the Video Game Zinesters. Page 125. 2012 ed.

I cannot agree more. When I met my wife and she was getting to know me, I told her “I make games”. That wasn’t entirely true. What I should have said was “I try to make games” because my struggle for perfection constantly got in the way.

I thought there was one right way to make games, and because I didn’t know the way that I should not even try. I abandoned every game I tried to make.

It wasn’t until the last few years that I finally understood that there is no one right way to make games. That the best way to make games is just do it. Give up on perfection. Expect to make mistakes. Use bubblegum and duct tape to piece your game together and cover it up in attractive gift wrap.

People don’t see your engine (the source of my anxiety, the fear that my coding abilities would be criticised). They only see your game. Don’t try to be perfect, just make something to the best of your ability. You’ll surprise yourself.

Space Fight! Positioning and Targeting

This isn’t going to look like much.

This is a recent screenshot of SpaceFight! taken tonight. Pawns can now be assigned their new location (the gray line and box) as well as select their target (the yellow line). In the screenshot we see Bob (the bottom left pawn) is targeting Heckler (top left). Ignore the similarities between my pawns, Bob and Doug at the bottom, and the opponent pawns, Heckler and Koch at the top.

The logic is in place, too, so that a right click will step-back to the previous state from selection, destination, target, and review.

Space Fight (Working Title)

So I started something yesterday.

It’s quite early, but I find motivation in sharing my progress. The goal? A retro-style space war inspired by Blendo Games’ Flotilla.

Assemblee: A 2-part TIGSource competition

Derek Yu at TIGSource has just posted details to a two-part game competition. Part 1, graphics and audio. Part 2, design and programming. More details at TIGSource and this TIGSource forum thread.

Basically, in part 1, artists post their awesome work. Then in part 2, designers and programmers get to take all of the awesome work created in part 1 and use it to make awesome games.

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