Day 1: A New Game Dawns

Its hard to believe its been a year since we started Cave Saver! It is the first day of the summer holidays for Dan, and we’ve started our game project for 2013.


We’ve been talking through ideas for a while. Dan liked the idea of rolling a ball, which he enjoyed from levels of Super Mario Galaxy and the two Super Monkey Ball games he’s got. Also a big priority for him this year was to do a 3D game.


We had a big conversation about the amount of work it takes to make 3D graphics and the fact that we’d have to pick a simpler game idea to make it work in time. So no cute jumping frogs this year, I’m afraid. Expect more plain geometric shapes! It will be a good excuse to get him using 3D software though.

The idea is based on Super Monkey Ball: you have to roll a ball across platforms to an exit door. There are obstacles in your way such as buffers (pinball style), holes and locked doors. You collect coins for points, and gems to open doors (for some reason – I figure the game is pretty abstract, so let’s roll with it). Power-ups give you extra speed, and you can jump the ball up a little.

We also have a long b-list of features that would be nice to have, if we get time (which I suspect we won’t, but still!)

Dan devised a neat scoring system: you’ll start with some points, but lose a point every couple of seconds. You get extra points by collecting coins, but if you fall off and have to go back to the start, the coins don’t reappear. It is neat because it balances a kind of time limit and score attack in one go. We had a great conversation about whether it would be good to make the level harder if the player was too slow, and how punishing weaker players isn’t a good idea.

So here’s the game design wall. Simpler than last year, but still some neat ideas.


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