Growing up I’ve always scouted out most games I come across, including Indie games. What usually appeals to me the most when playing one is trying out any new and fresh gameplay mechanics. I don’t mean that I am not concerned with a good story and immersive in-game world. As these things all build up to what I think makes a truly “good” game. However it should all start with a gameplay mechanic which keeps the player interested for the duration of the game. I’m always especially excited to find games that try some new gameplay mechanics.
Example: Papers Please
One game that really stood out to me which highlights my point is a game called “Papers, Please”. Developed I believe majoritively by Lucas Pope. (http://papersplea.se/) I’m sure the game can be considered quite simple mechanically. The role of the player is as a border officer. They must check passports and other documents for discrepancies and then decide if the character can pass the border into a USSR styled country.
I would say most of the different parts that make up this game, like the art and gameplay are not overly complex. This is evident in that it was developed by a single person. However I think all these different parts meet a good standard, and when combined result in a game that is really satisfying to play. Along with it’s fresh gameplay mechanics it keep the player interested for a good while.
So this leads me onto my idea of a simple game I will be looking to develop in my spare time. “Mad Head” will be a 2D, top down, car game. The player will navigate freely through a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland, following a story and taking part in missions. The theme and style for the game is heavily inspired by George Miller’s “Mad Max” films. I haven’t fully decided yet on the “fresh” gameplay idea I’d like to bring in. Though it’ll likely based around the customisation of vehicles. Then additionally, how the different customised parts can be controlled by the player. I’m not sure how ambitious I am being with the project I have in mind. However, after trying out SFML I am convinced I can manage this myself in my spare time.
My main motivation to develop a small game like this using SFML is to get a bit of an understanding of how all the game components come together to form a game. So there isn’t really a focus on much graphical content. However this isn’t the aim for this project. Instead it’ll be more a focus on the game logic, how the user is tracked and interacting with the world. There will be a lot of different components to incorporate. Designing how they all fit together is going to be the most challenging, but rewarding part I think.
I will be continuing to design the game concepts and testing any technical functionality in SFML in a hacked approach in order to test the realistic limits I can go to with SFML. Then when I am confident in all of it and have a solid design for the game, I will begin writing the game engine. I look forward to continuing work on this and what I can learn in the process.