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Is my idea simple enough for the first game?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by DanielDemidov, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Good evening everyone!

    I've heard many times that the first game should be very simple to make, its scope should be very limited etc.
    So, I've been thinking about making a game about Gandhi, as I've already mentioned in some other threads.

    Trying to create a balanced game concept. Though other people can judge it better then I can, so...

    The basic idea: the player controls the Indian independence movement
    Game goal: make India free in 50 turns using non-violence
    Game genre: resource management, 2D, turn-based

    Key game mechanic: "buying" provinces on the map (gaining their support for resources) [basically like in Civ5]

    The game has several variables: influence (used to "buy" tiles on the map), movement power (used to start protest campaigns), tensions (this controls the chance of negative events + if it reaches 100 - a war starts and the player loses), satyagraha readiness (controls the chance of protests' success)

    The player chooses his protest campaign theme. This sets provinces' cost. Then one can "buy" then by spending influence. This will increase "movement power" and "tensions". When the movement power is enough, one can start protests, the success chance depends on the "satyagraha readiness". Success gives influence.

    All the possible campaign themes make a list. Once the player launches the last campaign of the list ("Indian independence) and finishes it - he/she wins.

    Variables also change automatically in this way:
    1. Movement power: -5 each turn (if more then 0)
    2. Tensions: +1 each turn
    3. Satyagraha readiness: + 5% of movement power each turn

    So, in short - like this.

    Is this idea simple enough to try to make such a game? And, more importantly, does this sound interesting enough?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    The idea sounds nice.

    It might be a bit complex to create, but if you are planning to make this for your first game, and if you are willing to put the time and effort, to learn and make such a game, then as time passes, this game might be simple enough for you to create. It will take a good bit of hard work and effort to make though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  3. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    It's been said before so don't attribute this to me, but: often how difficult a game is to develop depends on your implementation. The same basic idea can be done very simply and very complex...ly.

    Interesting to you is all that matters for your first game.
     
  4. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Thanks. Should I simplify the concept then in order to make it easier to make?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  5. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    So, even with such a strict concept there's still space for some variations?
     
  6. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    There always is. Something like how negative events work - you could make it simple RNG with a 10% chance, or you could make it something that incorporates your current influence, and perhaps actual times in history when things happened...there are many ways you could handle it. You just want to make sure you don't get caught in the weeds.
     
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  7. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Thanks. And in order to avoid it, I have to set time limitations, have I? If so, how many weeks for such a concept?
     
  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    this sounds complicated to me. I can't understand the game from reading your description. Maybe you just aren't explaining it as well as possible though.

    I would recommend nothing more complicated than chess. In other words, you should be able to describe the game completely with a couple of sentences, and almost anybody can visualize how it plays out from this description.

    I think resource management isn't a genre that can be easily simplified. I'd recommend sticking to movement based games. The simplest version is tic-tac-toe. Basically you have units, and units have rulesets for how they move. You can create a lot of interesting strategy with very few pieces, and scaling up from that as you become more comfortable with the project is easy.

    I like the idea of playing as a historical figure and using strategy that doesn't involve killing things, however since it is your first game maybe it would make sense to keep the theme abstract and just focus on teh core design. Once you are comfortable there, then you will naturally start imagining ways to insert a theme onto the game.
     
  9. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I'm no expert, but it's not about time limitations, rather feature limitations. Making sure you're not coming up with complicated implementations of the game mechanics. Start simple.
     
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  10. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Maybe a scheme would illustrate better
    https://imgur.com/ZQNW3UG
     
  11. NicBischoff

    NicBischoff

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    I think you are getting way ahead of yourself. Rather try get smaller things to work and build little tests and experiments. Don’t try make a game until you are familiar with Unity.
     
  12. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Well, I think Im familiar with it - have experience of trying to make this very game using more then 5 different concepts since 2015 :)
    Plus, have experience of experimenting with different mechanics of other projects
     
  13. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    And what if I do this as a text-based game?
    Just wondering if this is the right genre
     
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    that graph is more confusing to me.

    Imagine you are explaining to a five year old. That might help.

    A suggestion for a simple movement based game with theme of non-violence could be something similar to pac man - enemy units chase you on a board. you cannot defeat them, only move strategically to get them to defeat themselves, somehow.

    you make it abstract and metaphorical in order to make use of your theme, but the programming and art can become 101 tutorial level simple that way.
     
  15. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    This is a pretty high-level description, ie: it's fairly abstract.

    How are things presented to the player?

    What actions is the player able to make at any given time?

    Personally, I think I get what you're going for, but your description is still wide open to different interpretations as to how it could be implemented. I am imagaining that I'm spending most of my time as a player looking at a map. From that map I can select a region and perform an action as my turn. When I confirm my action the turn completes, the game state is updated, and my resources are updated. When the game state reaches some win condition (all regions are mine?) or lose condition (I have no regions?) it is over.

    That could be implemented in quite a simple way, but it could also be made super complicated.

    The difficulty I actually see people have when making turn based games in systems like Unity is that there is no pre-existing framework to represent a turn, or the various parts of a turn a board game usually has. Once you've got that figured the rest could be pretty straightforward.

    All of this can be done with one or more "Finite State Machines" fairly elegantly.
     
  16. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Well, I can describe it in the way you presented above

    You have a window, where there are several buttons that allow you to choose your future protests' theme. The choice will change the variables on the later stages. You can select a region on the map. And there's a button "Influence" - which takes away some of your "influence" but makes the region yours + gives you some "movement power". You get some more regions like this and they all give you "satyagraha readiness" each time you press "next turn" button, but they also add "tensions" each time you do so. When you have enough "movement power" and enough "satyagraha readiness" you can press the button "start satyagraha", which opens a window where you can see a bar representing your movement strength and the colonial government strength. Your movenemt strength and the colonaial gov. strength decrease each turn and they generate some more tension. If their strength is 0 and yours is higher, your satyagraha is successful. If not - then its a fail. Each result changes your "influence".

    After each satyagraha you choose the next theme and when you complete "Indian independence" theme - you win.
    If "tensions" >= 100 - you lose (war)
    "Tensions" also allow negative events to happen (mostly RNG chance)
     
  17. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Let me see if I understand:

    Taking the role of Ghandi, you must strategically choose what manner of protest you will demonstrate, and where. Your actions will have long term consequences.

    When your following has grown strong enough and there is strategic opportunity, strike to create....

    the rest is unclear.

    what is tension, what is movement power, what is influence, how do i attain or lose these things. You got to write this for humans to understand. write it like a story so we can visualize what is happening. assuming you will sell the game at some point, that's going to be really important.
     
  18. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Tension, movement power and influence are basically main game variables (float, in C# terms). And the graph above shows how they change. In fact, the graph more or less represents the game core loop..
     
  19. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Still seems a bit on the complex side for a first game, but still achievable. Glad to not see "multiplayer" in the description :) Good luck!
     
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  20. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Thanks :)
    Well, maybe I can simplify it more
     
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  21. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    What if I make it text-based? Is unity suitable for this?...
     
  22. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Unity can certainly make text oriented games using TMP or regular UI.Text.
     
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  23. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    I think the game you describe is not too complex, but at the movement you still can't describe it clearly. I would suggest spending some time documenting the game flow, and post it here.

    Some things you can do:
    • Mock up what the screens look like (show the map with the regions, the buttons, etc).
    • Show what clicking a button does (for example does clicking the "Protest" button pop up a window where youc an select different 'themes')?
    • Describe in more detail how to win (and lose).
    • Define the central challenge/tension for the player.

    If you aren't able to make us understand the game then you probably wont be able to build it very well.
     
    angrypenguin and DanielDemidov like this.
  24. DanielDemidov

    DanielDemidov

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    Hope I've described all the most important things here
     

    Attached Files:

unityunity