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Author Topic: Simple Games Ideas & Scoping a Project  (Read 1112 times)

Urist McScoopbeard

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Simple Games Ideas & Scoping a Project
« on: February 01, 2019, 01:32:39 pm »

Hello all,
I am once again teaching myself programming. I started work on a tile-based real-time-with-pause strategy game, but even after I scoped down, I feel like I still bit off way more than I could chew, and while I enjoy attacking these overly-ambitious projects that result in me learning more each time, it would be nice to actually finish something for once. So instead of making a thread about that game in a futile attempt to work past problems which are above my skill level, I thought I would enlist some help in generating ideas for simple "good" games.

There are plenty of lists of game clone ideas to get beginning programmers started, but I have to admit it's a bit disheartening to know that you're toiling over a creation that people probably don't want to play--or even that YOU don't want to play.

On the other hand, games like Undertale or Papers, Please or even A Dark Room have proven that pretty basic games can be extremely fun and impactful. So I was hoping that Bay12 could help me brainstorm some ideas for small games that people today are still interested in!

Just kind off the top of my head I can think of:

-- metroidvania-esque sidescroller (these bad boys never go out of style)
-- tafl-like wave defense
-- some kind of 2d exploration game (either like Journey or more like one of those age of sail games that are focus on provisioning and founding colonies)
-- Undertale-esque story driven JRPG (for lack of a better descriptor)
-- battle simulator? I am hugely attracted to strategy games, but I fear that it will once again spiral out of control.

But I don't know, I'm asking for help because I can only think of things that I want to play and that probably innately appeal to my creative strengths--if anyone else is interested in contributing an idea, I would really love to tackle other ideas that are small and self-contained!

I don't know how much attention this will attract, but I figure it could be useful for more forumites than just myself, so thanks in advance to everyone who contributes an idea!
This conversation is getting disturbing fast, disturbingly erotic.


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Re: Simple Games Ideas & Scoping a Project
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 04:08:54 pm »

as hobbyist and on free time, my 2 cents: don't stress yourself, but finish and ship something. If you do it, even for a simple game, is a huge boost on motivations and confidence on your skill. I'm not a rockstar-game-developer-AAA BUT I have acquired skills to do my games, and this is something, at least for me. And when someone will say "hey, your game is crap" you can always say "hey, I've done something, what about you?", but in the end haters gonna hate, right ?
I program games for myself, then others

Anyway, some suggestions. I've started with pretty basic games:
- pacman
- tower defense
- top down shooter
- pong, yes that pong!
- a 2d platformer
- roguelikes 1,2,3
- puzzle game

and so on.. 26 games. Are they perfect? No! What I've done is take a concept and try to build on it.
After 10 years I can say: don't stay still, try and try again. Don't waste time on thinking too much. Do, you will learn a LOT!!



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Re: Simple Games Ideas & Scoping a Project
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 01:18:39 am »

I've got very few ideas myself. I can't say I'm inspired.

At the moment, I've been working on a discord bot that runs a game of Mastermind.

It's simple enough to connect through discord. AKA text input and emoji replies.

good old
Code: [Select]
a!mastermind start

I was considering moving on to a game about trade.

-Trade Game

The player has a ship, and carries goods between ports.
Buying low and selling high, like an investor.
The programming challenge is low, and such a game is data-heavy.



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Re: Simple Games Ideas & Scoping a Project
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 11:50:01 pm »

Having started a whole lotta poorly-scoped projects, I'd say that the most important thing is to have clear expectations of what a "complete" project is. For games, this is generally workable:

1. Players can open the game.
2. There is at least one level.
3. Players can either win or lose that level.
4. Once they've won or lost, they can restart the game from a menu.

If you have those key elements (even in the simplest of games), you have a working game.

Your real-time-with-pause strategy game is entirely workable, if you're willing to boil down winning and losing to the simplest possible mechanics (for example, "each side has one type of unit that can move and attack and kill the other player's base") and consider everything else to be a stretch goal. I think the biggest issue for new developers is not being willing to kill off features for the minimum viable product and then rebuild them when they have the bandwidth.