Thank You For Playing

Amateur game design for the technically impaired

Posts Tagged ‘original

Game Brainstorm: Serendipity

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Fairly regularly, we post some simple original ideas in the spirit of sharing and discussion. I just recently noticed that these posts are not immediately distinguishable from games that we simply showcase in the case that a reader is just skimming through the headlines. For that reason, I have decided to just tack on a column name from now on. Game Brainstorm… Lazy, I know…


Riven, one of the main inspirations of this game, featured a world packed with life, history, and significant details.

Serendipity: An exploration platform game with mystery-puzzle gameplay.

In Serendipity, players explore a 2D world which opens up as puzzles are solved and mysteries uncovered. In terms of interface and control, it will function much like Knytt Stories (does this game come up in every one of my posts?), with the exclusion of enemies and death. I choose to take inspiration from this particular game for a number of reasons:

– The focus of Serendipity will be the environment instead of the player character. I haven’t completely decided on whether or not to include other characters at all. I would really like to because I feel that having memorable characters is second only to music in determining the longevity of a game, but it may detract from the mysterious atmosphere I intend to create.

– Players should be able to traverse the world quickly and intuitively.

– A tiny, featureless player character may allow players to project themselves into the game in the same way that a first-person perspective does in other titles, without having to break into 3D.

So much for interface and control; on to the gameplay.

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Written by justindopiriak

March 26, 2008 at 7:37 am

Puzzle Scramble

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Puzzle Scrambler

Here’s a quick one…
I have always been a fan of procedurally generated content; Diablo, Nethack, Dwarf Fortress. This idea is simple: to construct a procedurally generated puzzle game which constantly evolves and challenges the player.The puzzles will be simple, generated by predetermined algorithms. Some of the puzzles could be as simple as figuring out the next number in a sequence, to analyzing patterns in shapes. The objective would be to navigate through the maze of puzzles as quickly as possible. Each sequential level will include more puzzles, timers, harder puzzles and more variety.

I am thinking that by having this game text only would add more of a hardcore puzzle feel to it. Graphics would perhaps detract from the game play. Navigating menus through text and typing answers manually would give it sort of a “hacker feel.” Perhaps the story could include something of that connotation.

Puzzle Scramble

If you haven’t noticed this game is semi-inspired by Professor Layton and would be playing in a similar way.

Here are some examples of sequence puzzles that I had in mind.

Written by brunokruse

March 8, 2008 at 2:14 am


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Alchemy Top RightMy original design concept for this week is more complicated than I expect most of ours to be and, as much as I hate to admit it, would probably be impossible to create without a knowledgeable team.

Alchemy: A single player puzzle/simulation.

The premise of this game is that a reclusive, aging alchemist has decided to take on an apprentice in order to pass on his archaic skills before he dies. At the top of his tower, he begins to train the player, his lucky recruit, when he suddenly passes away. The player is left trapped at the top of the tower with no way to bypass its many security systems. The only tools available are the alchemical supplies at hand and his basic introduction to the art.

The basic introduction given by the alchemist could serve as a tutorial.

Gameplay: Different elements must be combined and drawings created to synthesize new materials with brand new properties. The challenge is in discovering the effects that each element has on the synthesis, as well as the effects of the drawings (runes). The runes are by far the most complicated feature. Players are allowed to draw the runes freehand and different shapes will have different effects on the synthesis. For example, circles will have a certain function, which might be altered by bisecting it with a vertical or horizontal line. Concentric circles might interact in different ways than tangent circles. There will be a complex system beneath the gameplay and the entertainment is in uncovering that system.


Here are a few clarifying examples of what could be:

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Written by justindopiriak

March 4, 2008 at 6:10 am

Posted in Original Game Ideas

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Every week Justin and I each post an original game idea. Today I am going to tell you about Clearcross, a puzzle game that attempts to be as easy as possible to learn but still remain challenging. Clearcross is a puzzle game in its most basic format. Clearing lines of orbs until the game board is gone.



The rules are simple: Click on any of the orbs to remove the corresponding orbs vertically and horizontally (across the board) from the chosen orb. The objective is to clear the board in the fewest number of turns possible. Each board could have a par as suggested by the creator. Be careful and plan ahead, eliminating an incorrect orb may cause gaps in the board causing you to use more moves.


The art direction would be minimal to keep focus on the simplicity of the game. I know music is a vital part of games, but perhaps it would be better to skip the music and add subtle sound effects instead. This would not distract from the game play and still offer tactile responses to clearing orbs.

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Written by brunokruse

February 29, 2008 at 4:04 am

Ship Switch

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Ship Switch toprightTwice a week, once by me and once by my partner Bruno Kruse, an original design will be posted. These designs will not be complete design documents, but simple exercises in thought. Mine will come on Mondays and today will be the first.

Ship Switch: a single player, multi playing field variation on the side-scrolling shooter theme.

In Ship Switch, the player controls two (or perhaps more) ships in completely independent playing fields. The fields are identical except in the color and behavior of the ships within. Obstacles appear and scroll in typical side scrolling fashion, but the player must react differently to these obstacles based on the color of each ship. The goal is to simply scroll through the entirety of the level with both ships intact. The challenge is in properly reacting to the conflicting interpretations between the two fields.

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Written by justindopiriak

February 26, 2008 at 12:49 am