Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New puzzle game

OK, some days ago I started a logic puzzle game, and today I decided to push it forward. It still doesn't have a name, so be welcome to recommend one. 

The (not-so-original) idea is to connect a set of computers in a network by rotating switches. The first thing I needed was a way of generating a random network of computers. I used something very like good old Kruskal for the connections, and got pretty nice results from the start :).

Adding computers to this useless network is a matter of just selecting some random nodes, and voilà:

Graphics are just for the prototype, I'll get proper ones before releasing the game, of course. The next and last step in generating the initial board is to randomly spin each tile so that the player has to figure out the original configuration by rearranging them. Here's the result: (I also increased board size in this one)

OK, so next was the tedious work of mapping the user's touch into a single tile, but after some hours of maths and testing I nailed it, alright. I also figured that no one would be able to select each individual tile with his huge finger (in relation to the tile's size, hehe), so I decided to increase the tiles and to test it on a real device. I also added a special computer, which I call "mother server", hehe. I think the idea of the game will be to rearrange connections so that the green virus infects all the computers of the network, or something like that... 

Anyway, that's all. I hope to finish this game before November, although I'm not very optimistic about it.  Oh, if you think of a name for this game, please tell me because I'm quite clueless on that...

Monday, October 25, 2010

short update

Last week I was sick and couldn't make any progress on games. I had to spend all my workable hours in boring web development for clients.

Anyway, now I'm OK, and work is progressing. I've been developing the accelerometer-based angle system for shooting in String Wars I talked about in the previous post, but couldn't really see if it's working because I don't have an iPhone or iPod to test it yet.

I'll be advancing on a puzzle game about connecting computers in a network, parallel to String Wars. It's a pretty simple idea, but I think It'll be fun. I'll keep you updated. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Game idea: String Wars

Hey! This is my first entry in English, so please bear with me. It will start a (hopefully long) series about game design and programming. Thanks to some tough decisions and support from friends and family, I'll be dedicating some weekly hours to this activity from now on, and I want to share my experience.

Today, I was returning home (I've got quite a distance to travel), and I was thinking about how to put some newly acquired knowledge into a game. We learned the basics of the Finite Difference Method used, among other things, for estimating solutions to the partial differential equation of waves. Basically, estimating functions that satisfy the following:

This can be used to describe the movement of a guitar string over time, or the propagation of a sound wave in the air. I thought it would be interesting to make an iPhone app where you can disturb a string, initially at rest, and watch how it bounces back and forth, following the above equation. Touchscreen would enable interaction to be with the finger, which is nice. But I rejected the idea almost immediately: boring! Then I thought that could be just an element of the whole idea: a sort of bow shooting game where you actually tense the bow's string and the way you do it influences the shot. I liked that, as a start.

I then thought about how to make the bow shooting game more realistic in interface terms. I imagined it could be possible to determine the angle for the arrow using the accelerometer in some clever way...  I still need to make some experiments to see if it is feasible, but it would be fun to aim a shot with your real arm. 

One last concept I'd want to add to this game is the possibility to create a two player online game where you have to kill the other player firing virtual arrows at him. Using the iPhone's GPS, both players' coordinates could be obtained to create their virtual selves and allow the in-game positions to resemble the players' actual physical ones. I'll leave this for the last stages of development because I think it will be the most technically demanding.

I'll keep you updated on any development!
Thanks for reading