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light speed superpermute

i made a quick 2hr clone of geometry wars 3 pacifist mode. i just wanted to get back into the swing of programming relatively finished games after spending a while making tech demos

heres the first version:

it sucked really bad, it was not fun

but the insidious issue with this game is that it seriously does implement every "core" feature of the game. it has enemies that spawn and chase you, it has gates that you move through, and they explode when you go through them. it is exactly what id consider to be a stripped-down-but-topologically-equivalent version of Geometry Wars 3 Pacficist mode

if i were to make a prototype to show off my own game idea, id do the same thing - strip the game down to what i believe to be the "core", then implement those features, then see if its fun ive done this with multiple games, and discarded a huge amount of them because of this

"if the games not fun even when stripped to its most barebone state, it likely wont be fun in future." — Gaming Yoda

but, i knew that the final polished version of geometry wars 3 was fun, so i had an absolute concrete example that this topology can be made fun. so i kept working on it

i added things that seemed to me, completely worthless on paper. - slowed the player down - sped the enemies up - make enemies drop points you can collect - make the gates spin - make enemies spawn from corners

all of these things feel almost like "design bugfixes" to me. theyre tiny little things that make the game feel a little bit better, but ultimately are tweaks or minmaxing for a game that is already fun and has a solid core


i implemented them, lets take a look now

it still doesnt look like much, but suddenly the game was absolutely addictive. i wanted to add more polish but i couldnt stop playtesting, it really did become a game where you mashed replay as soon as you died

so what the hell happened?

i have no idea and i still dont

though this left me with a very valuable practice; when prototyping, you really have to believe in the idea and try your best to make it fun and give it multiple shots; add one thing, take away another, shuffle the parameters around, add a timer, add points, pickups

yknow? simple, game-y stuff that, and the best part is that these things are really really fast to code. if you add this feature and it becomes a little more fun, then you're heading in the right direction, and you can keep going

after all, the reason you started prototyping a game is because you came up with a game idea that you want to play, right? the fun will be buried in there somewhere. i dont know about anybody else but i need to give more respect to my ideas and dig a little deeper

"when looking for treasure, its no use just glancing over the shore and calling it a day, you gotta get your shovel and start digging bitch!!" — Gaming Yoda again

0 cools!!
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