A vague game idea

 Posted by (Visited 32042 times)  Gamemaking
Jul 112006
 

I don’t know why, but it came to me as a picture, a bit over a week ago: a bird made of light, flapping on a screen with hand-drawn artwork. It trailed a few particles of light as it flapped, mostly white, but some of them pink or pale blue. What was interesting about it was the flapping, the way in which it had to twitch one wing in order to slide sideways against the wind currents and the gravity.

Say, rather, that YOU had to twitch one wing. It was a game about flying by flapping. What you did, I wasn’t sure — collected stuff from the world, avoided collisions — whatever made sense for a game about flapping. The key thing was the sensation of flapping and flying — perhaps because I have been playing a lot of Joust both on XBox Live and on my phone.

Nazcan pottery

The famous Raimondi Stela

Moche designs

In my head the world was hand drawn, as I mentioned. But specifically, it had a look that you just don’t see in games these days… something different. I received as a gift a book on Andean iconography right around the same time that the idea struck me: Nazcan pottery paintings, Moche sculpture and Chavin’s stela. The images in the book included numerous insanely cute portrayals of animals, done in a faux naif style that fit perfectly with some of the modern Japanese game aesthetic, yet had a look all their own. I thought I had a look.

“Blue squares” first, though! So one afternoon when I should have been working on my real work (the startup studio), I instead messed about with making a bird flap. Even though the initial impetus was that picture in my head of a bird made of light trailing sparks (lightblended particles, I figured), the mechanic came first.

Even though I have done object oriented programming, I am still much more of an old-school function-based guy. Because of that, I quickly ended up with a file that had in it the following:

  • main() which called
    • drawScreen() which called
      • drawBird()
      • drawFlapStats()
  • getInput()
  • updatebird()

Because I wanted a floaty feel, the sorts of flap stats we’re talking about were things like the bird’s position, the flex in each wing, the targeted flex in each wing, the targeted position of the bird, and so on. Basically, the bird would not be immediately responsive.

I ended up making every single one of those variables — the current flex, the targeted wingstroke strength, etc, be evidenced in the drawing of the actual bird, which I made a little wireframe. All the variables mattered — the amount of downstroke from holding down a key mattered, because the longer you held it down, the sooner the bird would tire, and then fall back down. Flapping one wing longer than the other would put more force in that direction, and so on.

andean bird in flight

The bird and its flap stats

What I ended up with, though, felt a little different than I had envisioned. When you held one wing, you slid sideways after releasing the wing, not while pushing. Basically, it felt as I was messing with it, like you were flying into a headwind. And that changed my conception of the game mechanic a little bit.

On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with.

So I tried putting the cool particle lightblend effect on. It looked horrible, nothing like what I had envisioned. Plus it was way slow to render. So much for the initial cool picture (which I can still summon at will, alas).

So now I had a basic control prototype that engaged my kids — always a good test of basic engagement. In “theory of fun” terms the challenge is exactly what I wanted it to be — learning to fly using this flapping mechanic. The next step is to give it a lick of polish so that it conjures up ideas for theme, setting, and obstacles. But that’s for another day and another post.

Be sure to choose “save to disk” rather than “run from location”… No warranties express or implied, if your machine explodes it’s not my fault.

Edit: latest version and post in this topic can be found here.

  83 Responses to “A vague game idea”

  1. A vague game idea on Raph Koster’s Website. Back to the Future – An Episodic Future on Moby Games. Thanks Ron. Next-gen console wars? Eh? on Hooked on Games. Who owns your virtual life? on bit-tech.net.

  2. other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with.Link (Thanks, Brent!) [IMG] Link

  3. other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with.Link (Thanks, Brent!) [IMG]

  4. and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with.Link (Thanks, Brent!) [IMG]

  5. other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with.Link (Thanks, Brent!) [IMG]

  6. Just because Raph Koster is a discredited has-been (who is apparently being used as the scapegoat for the Star Wars MMO sucking – and once again, you KNOW that a failure like that takes mad skillZ) won’t stop him from(half-)baking game “ideas” (the term is used about as loosely as a prostitute’s “morals”) Well, let’s give this guy credit; he defined it as “vague” all on his own. Next up, he might get to the point where he’ll define it “stupid”, “unsellable”, “idiotic”, and “Lord I should

  7. Raph Koster apparently does, and the game designer (and author of A Theory of Fun for Game Design) also shares his early experimentation with a freeform game involving learning how to fly like a bird. [Via Boing-Boing

  8. Raph Koster explains some of the ideas in making ‘a game’ come out of ‘an idea’. “I don’t know why, but it came to me as a picture, a bit over a week ago: a bird made of light, flapping on a screen with hand-drawn artwork. It trailed a few particles of light

  9. ack!! how about an exit button 🙂

  10. The ESC key does it. 🙂

  11. Engaged me, too … I couldn’t stop! It turned into an interesting rhythm exercise for me as I tapped out asyncopated patterns on my fingers (like triplet eighths against straight or swung eighths) and watched what the bird would do.

    FWIW, I hated the Winter Games on Sega (or whatever) way back when that required me to tap the A/B buttons in hyper-rapid succession in order to cross-country ski (among other events). You still see that in games today (I say “you” because I won’t touch those games anymore 🙂 )

  12. Good stuff. Similar effect on my kids (9 and 6), they booted me off the PC once I started playing it.

  13. Nifty.

    Check out Casey’s game from Indie game jam 1 a few years back (www.indiegamejam.com). You played an owl and had to fly in ways that impressed the female owl. May give you a goal for players to optimize their flight/flap technique:-)

  14. Fun. “Felt” like a realistic control of a bird, next I would recommend maybe environmentals, like gusts, heat pockets, downdrafts. Maybe tweak the turning, seemed like it might not turn as easily as I expected. Overall interesting, I would be interested in the length of time from concept to exe.

  15. […] Comments […]

  16. Kim, I can’t find Casey’s owl game… I did a quick run thru the IGJ site and didn’t see it. My daughter LOVES owls, so if it’s available for download, I want to grab it. 🙂 Edit: I found it, it was one of the camera games like Zach’s stuff… which means no downloads. 🙁

    Shuckles, the next step was in fact to add gusts of wind from the side. You will need to wait for the next installment, though. 🙂

    Total time for what I posted today was maybe 3-4 hours, mostly in tweaking how the bird looked. There are still weirdnesses (fly to the top of the screen and then stop doing anything — you’ll see the bird break apart as it sinks to the bottom).

  17. I just wanted to say that Joust is one of my favorite arcade games ever. 🙂

  18. Very nice, Raph.

    I didn’t get a chance to get my hands on the “Cloud” game that was part of this year’s GDC IGF kiosk, but I can see this as an ideal sort of interface.

    The “feel” of the controls are spot on and very intuitive.

    I also have to thank you once again for giving us the inspirations behind the idea. This might sound odd, but you help me keep my sanity when I want to merge “apples” with “pears” to make a game, and the rest of my class thinks that games can only be “oranges”.

  19. Stick with the original cool picture Raph. Even if ‘mere technical limitations’ stop it being made anyplace but in the imagination for now.

  20. I haven’t tried the download, but the game would be more fun if it came with a UI kit… a computer-controlled fan to simulate wind and thermals, and 4 Wii controllers to measure how well you flap your arms (one strapped to each upper arm bone, and two to the forearm bones).

    You could augment the game by providing targets below (such as people’s heads) and allowing for target practice.

  21. Almagill, the thing is that it made me want to change the idea a bit. Before, I pictured the bird flying vertically across a backdrop — e.g., a side view, like the bird in front of the stela I showed. Now, I see the bird in a top view, flying over the ground — perhaps still a ground that has been “flattened” somewhat, but not a side view anymore.

    Which leaves me at a bit of a loss, where does the stela fit in? 🙂 Instead, I see the bird flying over islands below, that sort of thing.

  22. I think I would do much better if it used keys that were next to each other instead of Z and M. But I think I understand the idea behind using both hands instead of 2 fingers. It feels like hard work for some reason – more like actually being a bird that is flying.

    It takes a lot of effort and patience just to fly, which I guess is more like a real bird. Even knowing that, my hands just want to press the buttons as fast as possible and have it go to the top, but that doesn’t happen :/

    I really hate watching him fall down! I want to keep him in the air but it’s just… so much effort! Arrgh!

    The “feel” of the controls are spot on and very intuitive.

    Are you a bird in real life? This is hard!

  23. Originally, it was on the left and right arrow keys, and it may move back there again if I add more controls. I tried it on the left hand WASD style, and it felt more natural on the right hand… so we’ll see.

    The addition of some simple background stuff made a HUGE difference in the psychological feel of frustration, btw. In this version, it feels like you are always sutrggling to stay aloft; in the current version, you are always flying forward, it’s a question of how fast — just because of the addition of some background stuff scrolling by.

  24. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  25. er, a .EXE for mac? What exactly am I supposed to do with that? I mean, this concept sounds really interesting, but giving me a .exe and expecting me to run this somehow is pure raving lunacy, so I’m confused here.

    How exactly is this supposed to work? I tried the only thing I could think of, which was to chmod a+x and run it from the commandline, but that didn’t work. I really don’t understand how you intended this to work.

  26. […] Giant Bat-Eating Centipede . leaves M$ with Scobleizer. and has a vague game idea together with Raph Koster. Frequently Awkward Questions for the Entertainment Industry. can’t be answered with Rake art or kite photography. Imagining the 10th dimension. is harder than switching from Apple to Ubuntu. and Zizou. can soon to be found more often than fresh air, seriously. Never forget him. and Search Inside the Music. How can the human race survive the next hundred years? We Old Dudes. […]

  27. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  28. Cute concept.

    When I flap harder on the right wing by pressing that key a little earlier, why does it slip to the right? Shouldn’t the extra stroke on the right force it to the left?

    It would be much more interesting with two analogue joysticks–I think pushing both of them from center to outside (or maybe down) would feel like flapping.

    I wonder if you could find some old flight simulator code around and modify it so that the controls were like this instead…

  29. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  30. I also don’t quite get the “.EXE for the Mac” bit? I’m on a Mac and would like to try this, but for some reason it won’t run in my Parallels virtual Windows XP machine …

  31. To turn this into a ‘full’ game, you could add a simple reward system to gain something in exchange for effort.

    The simplest one I could think of would be to highlight regions of the flight area as thermals or cold spots which move around. And give the player an ‘altitude’ score based on how long they kept the bird in that region. This is a slightly more complex control requirment than ‘keep the bird high in the region’. Plus, it gives more incentive to learn that nifty ‘swoop’ manouver that you can atain by pushing one wing down and flapping the other. (Is this a programming error since the stats go wild when you do this? It’s a nifty bit of unexpected behaviour if it was, keep it.)

  32. I think I’m missing something. I keep getting “oldandeanbird.exe is not a valid Win32 application”.

  33. y’know, this would work perfectly with those controllers for the Wii

  34. Instead of a twitch style, ala Joust, why not employ something that allows the player less key frobbing and a more natural feel?

    Look at human behavior. Say you’re walking. When you begin, there may be a slight bit of “one foot in front of the other” going on consciously, but after the initial start there is almost no mental effort involved in maintaining the status quo. You don’t move your feet individually any longer. The brain abstracts it away, relegating the conscious mind to tasks like “Veer left, puddle ahead” and “Speed up, going to miss the bus”. The brain knows how to accomplish those arbitrary tasks without your inner voice reading off “Right foot three inches farther! Left foot two back, increase rate by 5%! Slow the retraction rate of the calf muscle!”

    Birds must work largely in the same manner.

    Once the player has established something of a rhythm for the wings, allow him to hold it, gradually alter it by a slight amount, or go back at it totally manually.

    Think of the control as it could be implemented as on a 3×3 keypad; Gradual rate increase/decrease keys for each and both, manual for each (as it is currently), plus a center reset. Tap the increase or decrease to increase the change by a larger factor per stroke of the control key. Complete it with a simple internal mechanism to keep tabs of the Flaps Per Second in a float and hold steady in absence of interaction.

    Just my thought on the matter, as a hack who’s lifetime claim to anything approaching notoriety seems to be a scheme to raid CDROM media and a credit in some Chrysler vehicle firmware. You’re the brain here, whatcha think?

  35. Hmm. A lot of people seem to miss how controling the flapping works. Button mashing is *not* the optimum way to flap. Rapid flapping is only useful ‘getting of the ground’. (And even then sub-optimal)

    Maybe there’s some part of human behaviour that makes people Button Mash, even when there’s a better method.

    Maybe this is suited to a non-button control. The tilt sensative controlers in newer systems seems a good match. Tilting forward to flap both wings, tilting to the sides to flap one or the other.

  36. um… an .exe for mac? how do you run that? My PPC mac os 10.3 sees the file as a document.

  37. Hmm. A lot of people seem to miss how controling the flapping works. Button mashing is *not* the optimum way to flap. Rapid flapping is only useful ‘getting of the ground’. (And even then sub-optimal)

    Maybe there’s some part of human behaviour that makes people Button Mash, even when there’s a better method.

    Maybe this is suited to a non-button control. The tilt sensative controlers in newer systems seems a good match. Tilting forward to flap both wings, tilting to the sides to flap one or the other.

    I completely understood how the game works and why, but my brain simply got tired of trying to master the timing in a demo with no rewards or win conditions. It seems like you have to be insanely percise to achieve the exact same amount of lift from one flap to the next. Messing up my flaps makes me to want to just give up and spam the buttons as hard as possible, which I know will not work, but seems more… natural to me?

    Call it groking Balloon Fight and Joust patterns if you want~

  38. I have to second, er, something, the .exe for Mac. Uhh… WTF?

  39. Two things that bothered me as a birdwatcher and avid gamer while playing:

    Real birds can glide. Depending on the airframe, it may only be for a moment, but they can. In this game, you start falling as soon as you stop flapping, but gravity doesn’t really seem to accelerate the fall.

    The lateral movement doesn’t make any sense. A bird starts turning as soon as it alters its wing configuration, and doesn’t magically slide sideways after completing a 1-wing flap.

    I think both these problems could be addressed by turning the controls inside out – instead of the buttons making an extended wing flap, they could make a folded wing extend. Or perhaps 4 buttons (A/Z and K/M) to control the up/down of each wing, or a way to glide by holding thespacebar, which modifies the flap keys to be more of a rudder trim while gliding.

  40. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  41. You can glide by holding down Z and M together. It’s not a very realistic wing configuration for a glide, but it works.

    And 4 keys for control would probably make my hands explode.

  42. […] Yaotl Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Tribus: NYC, NY Registered: November 20, 2003 Posts: 590 Posted document.write(”+ myTimeZone(‘Wed, 12 Jul 2006 06:57:52 GMT-0700’, ‘July 12, 2006 09:57’)+”); July 12, 2006 09:57     PcTech, this sounds a bit similar to your idea: not quite, but similar […]

  43. Bring back gliding, beeyotch?

    Nice work.

  44. Lettin you know that the mac version has a ‘exe’ suffix, and won’t open even when renamed to zip or app. Don’t know if that’s a mistake, if I’m missing something, or by design 😉

  45. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  46. .exe for MAC? What are you, MAD?

    We don’t use no stinkin’ .exe files! OMGWTFBBQ!

  47. The Mac file appears to be the same as the PC file, though the name is different. It won’t work on the Mac, but it works just fine on the PC 🙂

  48. Well, I guess Mac users will have to subsist on that massive stable of games. I hear they’re coming out with Super Breakout 2: Ball and Paddle Boogaloo soon.

  49. […] Makings of an amazing game from a master designer […]

  50. Sweet!! Is there a Hologrind?

  51. @Darniaq

    If that’s the case, it’s even more baffling. Apparently changing the name on a Windows executable makes it a Mac app.

  52. A natural disaster has wiped out many of the trees of the this island dwelling birds habitat. Your mission is to fly from island to island, land and pick up some seeds and fly over the islands dropping the seeds to start new tree to grow. But beware storms and other predatory birds will attempt to knock you from the sky causing you to drop your seeds in the vast ocean.

  53. Ack, I guess I uploaded the wrong file for the Mac version. I do have a Mac version here. I’ll go find it.

    the EXE terminology was just because I copy-pasted the line! 🙂

    As far as all the comments on the controls — that’s why this is a way early prototype, “good enough to start with.” I think there’s still miles to go on the controls.

    I am unsure that reversing the left and the right makes good gameplay sense, though; it may be more realistic, but it may not be more intuitive. I’ll try it though.

    The delayed slide is definitely a weirdness, and it’s also what makes it feel like the bird is flying into a headwind.

    Next version will likely have a few different tweaks to control schemes to see what they feel like.

  54. Just doing some free flow thought experiments….

    Is the Bird of Light evolving? (perhaps it was meant to be rather crude at first, Is your mind imagery the optimized or rather perfected bird, the Phoenix?)

    Could there be a corelation between the players mastery of flight (in adverse and calm conditions) and the birds evolution?

    Is the land mass below getting more complex, more geogrpahically interesting (terra forming?) as the player masters flight resulting in the bird evolving?

    What about the creatures below? Is thier development tied into the evolution somehow? Do mistakes result in ghastly creations, and successes result in intelligent beings? Is there something at stake here? Does non mastery result in the ghastly beings controlling the land below? Resulting in ??

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatl
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzal
    http://www.travellog.com/guatemala/quetzal.html

  55. When I visualize my version of the glowing bird, I hear music coming off it that is controlled by the player actions.
    – The flapping of the wings would be a wonderful interface to control the tempo of the music
    – different altitudes and islands could have pitch and melody changes.
    – clouds or other sky objects to change voices.
    The aural component to this would add a beautiful dimension and fit in with the freedom of flight implied by the bird.

    I have been thinking for some time about a good interface for this kind of creative experience, this would be more interesting that the old Deluxe Music interface. 🙂

  56. Well, Allen, it’s Andean, not Central American. 🙂

  57. Wombat, that’s interesting — I had also thought about doing dynamic music based on the flapping of the bird’s wings. 🙂

  58. Locked up on my laptop…

  59. Ok, previous post was without playing the exe., just thinking about the idea.
    After playing the demo, I have to say I really like the dreamy state I got into with the rhythm of the wing beats. I would love to hook up my rowing machine as a controller for this experience.

    Another thought. Doing a fish simulation that uses off-set beats to drive the swim motion (as opposed the the match beat of flying).

  60. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  61. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  62. Pretty nice, weird how other people also first tried the “button mash” technique to begin – My first attempt was in track-and-field alternating button stylee, but then came the button mash.

    I cant help thinking it would be pretty cool with the mouse, buttons for wings and mouse movement controlling the tail shape. For instance, small incremental turns by moving the mouse, more dramatic swoops when stopping flapping a wing. Also it would allow a bit of swooping down to the ground action if pulling the mouse back gave you a tiny bit of lift or at least slowed your descent enough to let you start flapping again and miss the ground.

  63. Cute! The windows exe works in Linux under wine, by the way.

  64. Ahhh geography like spelling and grammer, never my stong suit 🙂

  65. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  66. Brill… works fine on Linux!!! Ubuntu Linux 6.06 using Wine… just double click on the .exe file and away we go…

  67. not sure if mentioned, but what if the object is to poo on targets….you’re the seagull that everyone hates!

  68. […] So I was browsing around as I always do, and I ran into this: https://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/11/a-vague-game-idea/ Its the personal website/blog of game designer Raph Koster. It’s a new ‘mini game’ (think Xbox Live Arcade or Popcap games) concept he’s working on. Download the little free exe on the page and give it a try. funky, huh?_________________ […]

  69. Raph,

    Seeing your talent in games and music, how would you integrate music (the stucture, flow, and patterns) into this idea. Also how would you integrate visual effects artistically? The basis of my thinking and questions is a multimedia game-art exhibit.

    Allen’s suggestion of modeling the bird on the Phoenix and the player-bird evolution sounds interesting and in-line with my thinking. What I would add is to create a myth of the “Light Bird”, a bird of pure light, with the following two features:
    1. embed an genetic-algorithmic envolving the dynamics of player-inputs (music for example) and player-control
    2. a gameplay recording function

    Thus, players-artists can then enjoy the fun of integrating music, the game software, and their keystrokes to create audio/video exhibits.

    Reference points are:
    1. Steve Roach’s Karios audio-visual art
    2. Steve Roach’s Light Fantastic album.
    3. The “Cloud” segment of Robot Carnival, an 80s “cybernetic spin on Fantasia”.

    Not to distract from this thread, but I would be interested to hear your views or read an essay on a critical comparative of gameplay and music patterns as applied to The Theory of Enjoyment. Also, interested to hear our views on the application of music patterns to design of MMORPG say modeling gameplay after some great popular or classical work.

    Frank

  70. Wow, hooking up to a rowing machine. Genius.

    Definitely would take your mind off the exercise part, make it interesting. Especially if the “game” develops a story and an objective, even if simple like the old “choplifter”.

    You’ll make a killing in the fitness business.

  71. […] On the other hand, my kids immediately shouted “birdie!” and spent a cheerful 45 minutes just flapping and learning the controls. As I messed with it, it felt like a different and fresh control dynamic. Still somewhat clunky, but good enough to start with. Link (Thanks, Brent!) […]

  72. how do you quit on a mac?

  73. The ESC key.

  74. This could be a cool way to explore Google Earth or other VW environment….. Guess it could also be used to give people a fly over of new virtual environments, kinda meshing the virtual tourism idea with the Gryphon Ride feel from WOW. Use that VW’s music, background, and use this interface as a fun way to explore. Would give people a fun way to get introduced to new places….would also be a great way to monetize this while keeping it simple, and take ideas like virtual tourism to the next level as well as create a very fun and casual activity for people.

    -bruce

  75. […] sonys latest game release this guy works for sony scroll down to the bottom to play his amazing new game https://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/11/a-vague-game-idea/ Because, its really not about you or me. Its about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything. […]

  76. I love Joust, primarily because of its simple interface: a two-direction joystick and a single button. Yet the simple timing of button presses to fly adds plenty of variation to game play. I think it is that same sort of minimalism that makes your prototype interesting. I actually like having the keys apart so that you use two hands to play.

    As for the feel of the game at this point, I really liked the ability to soar back and forth. But it seemed like I could only do this once I was already near the top of the screen. To get up that high, I needed to hold Z down for a while and then M for a while, alternating back and forth. The feel of key presses and the visual feedback made it feel more like I was walking up the screen instead of flying.

    Since the soaring feels more like flying and is more fun, I think I would try to make it the best method for success. So, you would slide sideways to pick up speed and then press and hold the other button to translate that speed into forward movement. It felt like this worked at the top of the screen, but since I had already reached about as far as I could go, I didn’t really see the forward movement that I felt I should have.

    I like the idea of particle effects trailing from the back of the bird. Particles are just so cool, and I think it would help give a feeling of movement. Not sure what you are doing for rendering, but if you are using Direct3D, there is a really good demo of a particle engine along with well-commented source code here. I think it is based on DirectX 8, so, again depending on what you are doing, you might have to change a few calls.

    In any case, I look forward to future installments of the game. Even more, I look forward to watching you work through the design process. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    –Phin

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  78. […] The better you target your news, the greater the number of interested people who will see it. Learn More (it’s free!) Logged in as demo. Login Feedback Discussion – Register (no email required) – CleverCS – Web 2.0 Del.icio.us Search All Submitted Links My Targeted Links My Targeting Links My Liked Links My Disliked Links My Submitted Links Link Targeting Raph’s Website » A vague game idea – https://www.raphkoster.com/... games, tocheck, read, interesting, game, flight, design, comment more like this / fewer like this – reply – targeting – surf 0 points, 0 liked, 0 disliked, del.icio.us import, 3 bookmarks, 15 days ago The link above is currently targeted to 0 people based on the targeting rules below.Resubmit the link above to improve its targeting rules. Link targeting determines who will receive the link as a targeted link. However, it is the link score that determines the ranking of that link among targeted links. Consequently, accurate link targeting is critical for a high link score. Spam too many people with poor targeting and most of them will just vote your link down, thus reducing its rank among targeted links. Learn more. resubmit link above (so you can improve its targeting) No targeting link rules found. Try recommending the link above to people who liked any of the links below (obtained using the del.icio.us search query “games tocheck”): Results 1 to 5 of 5 – Ranking: Popular / Recent – Reverse Ranking […]

  79. […] Note: to follow the development of this little project, read 1, 2, and 3. […]

  80. […] encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Heroes (mmorpg games) Bookmark  [Discover] Raph’s Website » A vague game idea https://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/11/a-vague-game-idea/ (games articles research) Bookmark […]

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