Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Game Design Process: A Serious of Sonnets

The Inspiration

As any game designer worth his steam
Will jump at any chance he has to say,
A game without an underlying theme
Is doomed to be ungood, to our dismay.
A game without a purpose, void of drive,
Is loath to make a gamer shed a tear.
To make him crack a smile, to derive
A sentiment of happiness or fear.
As such, I tried to find some kind of hook,
Within a set of self-imposed constraints
(Because although it's hard to fill a book,
It's easy when one has but finger paints).
A game involving squares should be a breeze!
I can portray and program them with ease.

The Hook

When squares and code collide, they fashion Life.
In any simple game, I jump on blocks.
To bring the two together would be rife
In ways to speed our brains' internal clocks!
But why, if this idea has been thought
(For no idea truly is unique)
Is it that there's no version that's been brought
To the attention of my local clique?
The obvious conundrum with the game
Is cells' invasion of our hero's space.
Ideally, one wouldn't need to claim
A victor in this conflict, to erase.
Since cells are up, down, left and right confined,
Perhaps they should move in from the behind.

The Complications (blank verse so that i can say "blank verse")

To have the cells/blocks/cellblocks to approach
Instead of popping in within a snap
Allows the player plenty lot more time
To jump to safer spots within the grid.
But what if players don't get there on time?
The block will push them off off the structure, natch.
They'll not get stuck! They'll fall onto their death.
Not nice, perhaps, but not impossible.
"But sir, your game of two dimensions has
Been swapped with one with two point five or three!
Does not a sliding block require tricks
Of programming and user interface?"
As adding depth would complicate the game,
All sliding blocks are treated as fall-through.

To be continued. Happy 1000th!


Cavalcadeofcats said...

If I understand what you're saying correctly, a better approach might be to have the blocks fade in; that way, the player doesn't expect that they'll support him, while he might if he saw a block that was solid in hue, but small.

Also, excellent sonnetry! Very entertaining. (Is it possible for you to write in any form but poetry?)

And: Happy thousandth! And many morrrrrrre....

Kelsey said...

They effectively do fade in, in the current incarnation, since blocks are fall-through ones and I'm representing depth using the alpha channel at the moment. But that still leaves the possibility of blocks materializing around the player, which is the reason I'm having them slide in in the first place. (The current incarnation is not the final incarnation; I plan on using something fancier than an alpha channel.)