I’ve been dreading this because, honestly, the idea of creating a game is ridiculously daunting to me. Even thinking of an idea for an idea for a game is terrifying.
Initially, I conducted research by playing games: Board games, card games, games on my phone, games on my laptop, PS4 games. I wasted entirely too much time getting acquainted with just a fraction of what is out there. I’ve played games in some capacity my entire life but this subject has, so far, opened up entire new worlds to me. I had no idea BoardGameGeek even existed until a few weeks ago. With that in mind I decided to create a card game with role-play and resource management elements – inspired by games like Settlers of Catan and Munckin. I even had a friend of mine tentatively lined up to draw tarot inspired character cards.
I then started planning and realised I really, truly, know nothing about card games. I play them occasionally with friends but the idea of orchestrating the game mechanics, coming up with an advertising plan and writing decipherable instructions to follow was just insurmountable. So I started thinking about what would suit my skill-set while still being a challenge and decided that creating a simple, fun, app would be something different and relevant to my Digital Media/Digital Marketing degree. Hopefully trying to create a game on this sort of platform will fill out some practical experience I’m definitely lacking.
Keeping in mind the type of fun, easy, time-wastey games my friends and I play on our phones I’ve decided to create a game called “Save Your World”* available for iOS and Android. Following a basic arcade style (swipe and dodge) gameplay made popular by viral games like Flappy Bird and Crossy Road, you will play as a Superhero, dodging villains and saving civilians. The further through the ranks (levels) you rise, the more customisable your hero becomes – cape, hair and skin colour can change, as can gender (A non-binary option is available) and your hero’s name. This customisation, and the ability to earn superhero ‘kudos’ the further your progress, will give the player a sense of achievement as they waste time on the toilet or the train.
This sort of game is right up my alley; I love this sort of easy, mindless game play. I also think incorporating a ‘superhero’ vibe will be a winner too – the constant barrage of the genre in films, games and general entertainment over the past few years demonstrates that it’s very popular, and with all demographics (Dittmer 2011). It’s certainly popular with me, an avid comic book fan. I’m thinking the comics I read as a kid will directly inspire some game design and art. I’m currently experimenting on GameMaker, Stencyl and GameSalad to achieve this look and to, you know, learn how to build an actual game.
I’d love to hear any advice or thoughts you guys have on my fledgling idea as it really is in the earliest of stages- until last week I was convinced I was creating tarot cards.
*Title will almost definitely change.
Dittmer 2011, ‘American Exceptionalism, Visual Effects, and the Post-9/11 Cinematic Superhero Boom’, Environmental and Planning D: Society and Space, Volume 29, Issue 1, Pg114-130