the online ramblings of a generally confused game designer

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Well, here it is.. the handout from my pitch for my next game.. Reunion. No pictures yet... as I've lost the usb cable for my scanner :)


I will be developing a Flash 8 game for PC and Mac

Over-riding goal to expand upon Visiting Day, while learning lessons from the development of that game. Of course Reunion is a new game, and nothing in my last game is considered sacred.

I will produce a small and well refined game, aiming at something like fifteen minutes of solid gameplay.


The boy's cat has climbed to the top of a tree. The boy wants to save her. He must ascend the tree in order to reach her.

The tree has been inhabited over the years by a number of children, for that reason it is full of eccentric and exciting inventions to interact with.

The exploration and climbing of the tree (using the directional pad) will be combined with the use of these inventions (via mouse gestures) will form the interaction model of the game.

The aesthetic of the game will use basic shapes and colour combinations. In order to extend the visual style of Visiting Day I have been exploring acrylic and print making techniques. Whether these experiments will simply inform the resulting vector based graphics, or form the basis of a painterly artistic style in the final game remains to be decided.

Lessons learnt from Visiting Day

The language barrier – Key elements of Visiting Day are displayed in the form of text, making the game less popular overseas. Thankfully I have run across blogs which translate some of the menu text and have alternative instructions.

The importance of focused pre-production – I want to know exactly how the game will work, and what will be possible before typing the first line of code. Muddled design goals and impositions led to a longer than necessary dev time for my last game.

Simplicity – The minigames which work best in Visiting Day are those which are immediately understood. Confusion and Difficulty are two very different things, and I will hopefully cut out the first all together.

Design goals of Reunion

A game without language – story, control tips and player stats will be represented pictographically.

The game will combine simple directional pad controls with a mouse gesture input system.

The game will be visually engaging and beautiful, a hero's tale told with emotion

The game will designed as a fun experience for casual players. I want everyone who starts the game to have the capacity to complete it.

Breakdown of the mouse gesture system
Helicopter example

The player walks up to the helicopter with the directional pad, and presses up. This causes the character to climb into the helicopter.

A graphic will be displayed showing that a circular mouse motion is required, The player will then learn that doing so causes the helicopter to lift off.

Another image would then show that the helicopter can be steered by moving the circles being made to the left or right.

Upon reaching goal the player disembarks, returning to conventional directional pad movement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds really interesting... especially the wordless story/interface thingy...

4:35 pm

Blogger mike said...

thank you

9:36 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome :)

11:27 am

Anonymous Catherine said...

I know it doesn't have to do with the post, but I noticed you put down a deposit for the Wii in the newport game ^_^ good on ya!

4:29 pm

Blogger mike said...

lol... someone's been rooting through my bins :) but yeah, couldn't resist, still have to go preorder my launch games though.. hmmm.. might go do that now :)

12:02 pm

Anonymous Catherine said...

O_o i work there not too many games on the list to pre-order that are anything great, but might as well pre-order anything really (what I did) double points wheeee ^_^

12:25 pm


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home