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This post was made using my game idea generator. I’m going to be doing “runs” with the idea generator to give you an idea of it’s usage. Today I’ll be using Puzzle Games as my genre.

  1. Is the game 2d or 3d?
    Game is 2D or 3d – Why? – The mechanics don’t restrict the genre.
  2. What is the camera perspective?
    Camera is top down or first person – Why? – Games usually not 3rd person as it makes it harder to look at what’s in front of you when you’re trying to solve puzzles.
    Let’s try make this one work later on.
  3. If 2D, how many 2D plains does the game play on? (ie can you more between foreground/background)
    One 2D plain – Why? – As far as I know there’s no way of doing multiple plains easily in full 2D when the camera is above.
  4. What are the standard controls for that game the way they are?
    Usually few buttons – Why? – The controls need to be simple as it’s the puzzle they’re solving not the control scheme.
  5. Is the game randomly generated? 
    Can be, but sections will still have to be partly premade. – Why? – Allows for working puzzles, generation would have to follow a strict set of rules.
  6. Is there user created content? 
    Can be. – Why? – Gives the game longevity.
  7. What tone do these games usually portray?
    Mysterious, Ominous if there’s a tone at all – Why? – Makes you want to solve or discover what’s going on.
  8. What audience is this genre usually aimed at?
    All – Why? – Accessible.
  9. How do you usually lose/win the game?
    Clear the puzzle – Why? – Natural progression point.
  10. What are the limitations of movement and attacks?
    Full movement (3D), Full Cursor(2D)- Why? – We want the player to be able to find hidden parts of puzzles.
  11. Who/how many people do you control?
    Just your own character – Why? – Not sure could control multiple to solve puzzles, for example multiple switches.
  12. Is it multiplayer?
    Not usually – Why? – Puzzles tend to take time to complete and so it’s easier for players to do long sessions by themselves.
  13. How is the game taught to the player?
    Symbols, wall markings – Why? – adds more discovery.
  14. Does it have a heavy plot?
    Yes, if at all – Why? – Again discovery, give reason to solving puzzles.
  15. Is it open world?
    Not usually – Why? – Not sure, it can be as The Witness has shown.
  16. Can the character level up?
    No – Why? – May affect balance of the puzzles.
  17. What makes the genre fun?
    Beating puzzles you’ve been stuck on a long time – Why? – Let’s you finally move on from it.

Now Pick some mechanics from the existing genre and answers you generated from asking why.

Information  Gathered: Puzzle games have a very strict set of rules in there genre, interesting points flagged up around controlling multiple people and the lack of use of 3rd person following cameras. Let’s attempt to fix the issues with the 3rd person following camera.

The Issue: We need the player to be able to see clearly what’s directly in front of them, 3rd person games are also cumbersome when trying to interact with things like switches or look at hidden areas.

Potential Fixes:

Transparent character?  – No, makes having 3rd person pointless.

Having a smaller character? – Maybe, allows the player to see more.

To the side camera/shoulder cam? – Potentially

Position objects higher than the player – Maybe, but why would a lever be higher than a humans height?

Let’s try something

So we just had a link between height, we could have a small character and then the levers won’t seem ridiculously high. For example an ant in a house. Let’s try and come up with one that seems more likely, why would an ant go around solving puzzles?

What if we had a normal human at a giant’s place. He could work levers (which would be too big for him) by using some sort of grapple device to pull it down. He could trigger pressure plates/pads by moving large objects (imagine a puzzle where you had to set off a chain movement of objects like dominoes).

We’re going to have to angle our camera back a bit so we can see ahead of our player a bit more. So currently we have a guy with a grappling hook solving puzzles to get through a giants building. He’s got very difficult puzzles ahead trying to solve simple tasks such as pulling down a lever, which will prove difficult, he can use his grappling hook to scale onto objects such as beds.

Let’s give him an aim let’s say that the Giant has some of the nearby village captured and we need to break in to set them free. Now I did mention that I wanted to test controlling multiple people. So If we have a group of people that we could swap to potentially after we free them from different rooms, this could help block off certain areas of the house. We could do this by having pressure pads that need so many people on to activate. We could have timed events where a player has to activate something and then another player has to active something else straight after.

Game created – 3d, follow camera, angled closer to a top down camera, third person, puzzle game, grappling hooks, team based puzzle solving, gradual team build up from freeing them.

 

This game idea  was definitely a hard one to make and still isn’t great in my opinion. Sometimes ideas don’t just work out as you want, however I’m glad that we tried to come up with a way of trying to solve the issue as to why there aren’t many 3rd person follow camera games that aren’t mix genre.

-Tom

P.S – Mission Impossible 6: Giants – Calling it now!

 

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