GAMEOLOGY is an audio/video series where myself and Attila the game dev take a deep dive into an element of video games. One episode might discuss movement, the other Loot Boxes.
Make it or Break it is a fun side-series taking a hard look at Attila’s box of game ideas, scrutinizing a couple per episode, and ultimately deciding whether it’s worthy of being made or not.
The first episode looked at an idea for a blind maze based on memorization of arrow keys.
The first problem I had with the idea is that it practically guaranteed failure until the memorization was done. Difficulty is fine, but I’d like the illusion that I could have done it the first time. Blindly failing to learn the correct path sounded very frustrating. Attila noted that the game could be played by a blind person (or ‘with limited vision faculty’ as he puts) which got me thinking of a whole other market of games for those differently abled. Horror games, exploration, rhythm…and I just sent Attila a message for a future GAMEOLOGY topic 🙂
Attila was inspired to make arrow-key-maze by seeing what he considered ‘mobile junk’ that sold well and trying to copy the success. While I recommend imitating some aspects of successful games, it’s definitely best to pick something you are actually passionate about. Stardew Valley worked because its dev loved Harvest Moon. The amount of time and hard work it takes to make any size of game doesn’t mesh with an attitude of ‘making crap because a large group of people will buy crap’.
RGB was the second idea: A twin-stick reflex game where certain color can pass safely through, and others are a fail state. I liked this idea as it reminded me of Ikaruga, a wonderful shooter that had the player swapping their ship from light to dark to absorb or take damage from light/dark hazards. Adding a color element to the already existing mechanics is a fantastic way of elaborating on the gameplay without straying away from the core idea. Also, recognizing color incorporates a different part of the brain than the fine motor skills of controlling a video game. Similar to saying the color of the word BLUE, it’s a fun brain-teaser that I feel fits well into the medium, especially for short challenging experiences designed for mobile play.
I enjoyed the foray into Attila’s bag of ideas. I write songs and it’s always a unique experience sharing unfinished creations with others. I always immediately see many things I want to change once the idea is out in the open that I might not have noticed when enjoying it on my own. We tend to get desensitized and biased towards not only our own creations, but any art that we’ve been experiencing on our own for some time.
This format will return, but the next episode will be regular GAMEOLOGY as you know it.