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Prototype Review 2021

Started by droqen, January 13, 2022, 05:06:15 PM

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January 13, 2022, 05:06:15 PM Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 02:06:43 PM by droqen
I'm going to be going over all the little things I made over the past year or two... they're prototypes, I guess? I don't want to call them prototypes rather than games or toys, but through the lens of the commercial games pitch, they're prototypes.


1. "Chaotic Playgrounds" (Sep 25) - Platformer with parameterized goals and resources

I like this because of how many different parameters there are that would be worth playing with. It's just a simple scene with simple interactions, but you can play it completely differently given different stats and goals. Collect 10 crystals and touch no demons. Kill all the demons, breaking no crystals along the way. Collect all crystals, with a minimal number of jumps and demons... At the time I made this prototype I was thinking about it as an infinite playspace, I wanted to present it as-is, for a person to make their own fun. But, since we're going for a pitch, I can certainly imagine designing a structure that would help you explore a beautifully curated play-space. (See: Starseed Pilgrim's 10 islands.) Maybe the 'sandbox mode' could still exist? (Level designing/sharing tool? Oath's legacy mechanics?)


2. chords

No prototype available, but I'd like to make one.



January 13, 2022, 07:17:23 PM #3 Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 12:39:40 PM by droqen
3. Dungeon Bounce

Click to play! More thoughts tomorrow

I love playing Dungeon Bounce for a bit. There is a very small decision space though. It's fun, but I'm not sure how to deepen my relationship to the game. It's based on a dynamic from Patrick's Arithmetic Bounce, and then torcado also did Ribbit Digits, and they're all based off an apparently very simple compelling core loop - doing small math under time pressure.


January 14, 2022, 11:58:24 AM #4 Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 12:00:54 PM by droqen
4. Overworld (0104-convo)

Time of day, green sprite moves on its own


5. Various guts prototypes (0106-LifePlayground)

Entities that pathfind simply, dumbly, and collide with one another. It's pretty cool simulation space and not so hard to work with.


6. Cut & Paste Spell Creation? (0215-idiom)


January 14, 2022, 12:37:30 PM #7 Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 11:34:26 AM by droqen
7. Medusa analyzer

I think like the above game this is like a digital paper prototype ... maybe I need to think about how to apply this kind of thing as a tool for ultimately designing a more real-time game? Combining limited things. Exchanging resources.

edit: And, dealing with randomness (e.g. how likely is it that "Speak to it" will be successful?)... let's pull that from Starseed Pilgrim too, it has visible, spatial randomness! That's pretty rare / exciting, actually.


8. DR. Prototypes

Just one example of this - a tile-based movement game where moving is potentially harmful?
In this case, think about these characters as patients who might be infectious/contagious, so moving one past another makes them both flash 'red' to indicate that a virus or something might have been passed from one to the other.

There was another prototype (not pictured) where moving around inside the patient's body caused them damage, but you needed to do so in order to 'scan' the grid which represented the interior of their body for worse damage, and of course you needed to do even more to actually resolve the damage safely (by block-push-puzzling the viruses and things out of their interior body grid).


January 14, 2022, 01:33:38 PM #9 Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 02:03:08 PM by droqen
9. Weird Platformer Mechanics

Cruel World, but also this gif:

There's something here... just, a jump button that does make you jump, but in different ways depending on context? I think CW is a lot more intuitive and good-feeling than this gif, but the fact that they both play in the same space... there's something worthwhile here.
better gif


There's also this one! Triple dash. There's sort of a light anti-gravity effect going on while you're doing a dash, and each dash is a bit longer than the one before it.

note to self: there are other non-platformers in 0813-SnackPrescription


10. Grid of Random Directions

There's so much you can do with a grid of random directions... This isn't a game yet, but with the proper player resource it could be. The field is too large/unbounded to be particularly enjoyable, but this is fun with just 2 grid-bound actions: jump 1 space in the direction indicated, jump 2 spaces in the direction indicated. You can get stuck, the tiles which are accessible is unclear... oof. It just feels cool and emergent.


11. MOSTLY JUICE/ATMOSPHERE, but still worth looking at :) Love the way these look/feel.


January 14, 2022, 01:54:44 PM #12 Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 02:01:12 PM by droqen
12. 'RUNTS' simulation (text-only)


A gene pool sim designed to explore the viability of a 'runt' gene -- is it possible for a selfless adaptation to thrive and flourish given fluctuating natural pressure to survive? CONCLUSION: a single mutation will die out some of the time! but if a single child carrying a runt gene can survive long enough to have children, there is a chance that they will pass on the gene to their children. These runt-gene-carrying children will sacrifice themselves for the sake of the non-runt children, which seems to only benefit non-runts, but if by chance the gene takes hold, runt families are significantly stronger and survive better. A few families taking a foothold is all it takes for the gene to spread across the entire population across many generations: a gene which an individual would never select for if natural selection were only driven by selfishness.

Not sure how I'd take a system like this and make it into a game, but it is certainly interesting...


WHEW! That's everything from 2021, except for released games.


TODO! Remember to use prefab chunks in proc gen, or at least remember to nest proc gen functions inside other proc gen functions. That will help you scale up.