Friday, September 19, 2014

Project 13: Bubble Puzzle

One of my favourite genres of video games is the "bubble puzzle," with games like Snood, Puzzle Bobble, Supermagical or even Zuma.

Puzzle Bobble - Taito 1994 - Image from the Games Database


I like that these games can either be very contemplative or very active. It's also easy to scale these games to be easier or harder based on speed and the potential number of combinations of bubbles. It's also possible to create interesting combination situations based on the kind of rules you apply to the game field.

I've definitely been feeling like I want to put more of my time into making a game again and I would also like the chance to explore some environments and tool sets for making games. So I've decided that Project 13, will be a Bubble Puzzle game that gives me a reason to get organized and make something fun.

Supermagical is the same but sideways - Image From Supermagical Blog

The Game

Basically the game will follow the simplest bubble puzzle format (such as Snood), where rows of bubbles will be pushed down from the top. You will have a dial and will have to shoot bubbles at the defending lines to push them back and defend yourself.

Stylistically I've decided (and I'm no artist so we'll see how this *actually* goes) that you will play a team of squirrels fighting against a bunch of robots.

Basically at each turn robots will produce a number of bubbles which will be pushed onto a line above the play field, once that line is full it will push onto the field. Meanwhile squirrels will dig up bubbles for you to shoot at the descending rows. Bubbles will stick together and will explode when more than 3 of the same type touch. If a bubble isn't attached to the top anymore then it falls to the bottom.

When bubbles fall to the bottom their power will be collected and you will use that power to turn off the robots. Once the robots are turned off, they'll stop producing bubbles of specific colours. Once the robots aren't making any new bubbles you win the round.

Snood - Image from Snood World


The Plan

I'm interested in making this game either in Unity or using an HTML 5, so before making too many further plans my first goal is to investigate these platforms (particularly finding an HTML 5 engine I like). 

My goal is to have played around enough to know what platform I'll develop the bubble puzzle game in by mid October 2014 (which we'll call the 16th).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Project 12: Chrono Trigger Sprites: Update

The Chrono Trigger Sprites are another project I stalled on.



One of the big concerns I ran into was figuring out what colours of perler I wanted to use. I had a sampler set of beads (which I made the test patch in the picture above from), which was a good starting point. I was able to create the original SNES Coasters out of that set, and I might have been able to start on the sprites, but there was one particularly large problem ... I can't figure out what colour (by name) each of these colours is.

So that slowed me down some, along with all the other usual distractions that lead to me not finishing a project. However I have now solved this problem, I went out (to the Internet) and bought myself ALL of the beads:


On the EK Sucess Perler site, they sell 1000 bead bags of every colour. I started to try to figure out what matched what I had already through the website, but then ended up just picking up one bag of everything they sold. Fortunately perler beads are relatively affordable and the promise of free shipping on large enough orders convinced me to just go ahead and do it. Sadly it turns out that that offer wasn't available to Canadians, but still at the end of the day a big box of perler beads appeared at my door, for not that much out of pocket. And now I know name of every colour of bead I have.

As a side note, I wanted to find a nice way to sort the beads that I had. Conveniently I found a screw sorter that happens to perfectly hold 1000 beads in each drawer and probably 3000 in the bigger drawers, which seems like a really nice way to be organized for a project.


Anyway, now that I have all the beads and I'm super organized, I'm out of good excuses not to work on the Chrono Trigger Sprites. So I'll bring the project back up and try to finish a Chrono in 20cm scale by September 30, 2014.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Projects 8, 9, 10 and 11: The Future Pack: Updates

The set of future projects that I wanted to write down but not start yet, also gets updating although I'm still not actually going to put a deadline on any of them yet.

  • Project 8 - Space Station Simulation Game
    • This is still on the back burner, although I have given it some more thought. I'm also thankful that SpaceBase DF-9 while similar is not exactly what I was thinking (although it may prove to be that it is what it is since it's hard to make a space station simulator the way I've imagined it.
    • I'm not going to start on this project until I've taught myself Unity as an environment to work in and made a simpler game first.
  • Project 9 - An Action RPG
    • The Action RPG is still the game I would most like to make, but as with the Space Station Game I want to get a little more experience so that I can make something I'm happy with.
  • Project 10 - A Sci-Fi Novel
    • This is the future project that I'm least ready to start. Given that it's something I've been thinking about for years it's a difficult project to work on.
  • Project 11 - A Fantasy Novel
    • This is probably the project I'm closest to really attempting to start. At the moment I'm not sure how much time I have to dedicate to it, since there are some other things I'd like to do and there's still that pesky PhD to work on.

Project 7: A Hockey Card Game: Wrap-Up

I messed around with the mechanics for the hockey card game for a while but basically hit a point where I realized that designing a balanced and interesting card game is pretty hard. So until I get inspired to do the work to finish this, it's an abandoned project for the time being.