WHAT NEXT?

#1
HEY EVERYONE!

I wrote this huge post but realised I could say it all in 2 points:

Generally, my goal is to keep making tiny little games while I'm learning so much from each one. To make deeper, better, strategy games.

To make something that anyone can play anywhere. User and player friendly everything. A happy game that you can pour your strategy and thoughts into when you have a spare bus ride.


PROTOTYPES

New prototypes I've been making!

I have 3 main goals with these:
  1. Longer arcs, deeper gameplay
  2. Better goals
  3. Moving away from tactics and score based games
These first 3 are also REAL TIME!!! Because I have never made a real-time strategy game and wanted to try it out and learn some stuff

1.) FLOWER (none of these have real names :))

flower tower game.gif

2.) CACTUS GARDENER?

flower pollinating gmae thing.gif

3.) KNOCK KNOCK HELLO SNAIL

afternoon hike gif.gif

These were just the ones that made it into digital form (the snail one was one of the best strategy wise because it had this cool loop with numbers). There was a particularly fun paper one but I'll show it next week as it looks like it's growing into something bigger :D

The most developed prototype right now is this one (at least in the terms of having multiple different length arcs).

4.) WINDMILL AFTERNOON

paper-prototype.png


It's fun having the subforum to post my stuff so let me know what you like and what you would like to see more of :D
Thanks so much for the comments in the Long Arcs and Good Goals threads in Game Design because it has REALLY helped me get my snake head around this stuff.
-HAPPY SNAKE GAMES<3
 
#4
Cactus Gardener? is the best title probably. Though "Knock Knock Hello Snail" is also really good.

and Windmill Afternoon has me craving an OFFICIAL Happy Snake Board Game. When can we expect the kickstarter for that?

Also I agree with the getting the act together. Everyone has cool prototypes and I'm over here just like learning to program and playing monster hunter. I'm getting back in the game soon with a vengeance!
 
#5
Do knock Knock Hello Snail next! It looks like turn based Centipede, which is a game that just has to be made!

Edit...ah it's real time. Still looks great though - i love how you make the simple graphics really pop with just a few animations.
 
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#6
HEY THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE YOU ARE ALL SO KIND!
Brick you have like 3 finished prototypes with art and stuff I need to catch up with you!

Haha Keith this is my biggest grid yet for sure! I'm definitely feeling the correlation between not-small-grids and ease of having more info. I thought a bigger grid would be more overwhelming than it has been. The next prototype is a 6x6 grid split into 4 zones which is good so far. You might also like to know that the space round the outside of that one is like 'jungle' and to dash out to the side is a risk but you need stuff out there.

Birds! I think I agree with you, the next game is going to have to have a good name to beat LIZARD for sure!
I would LOVE to publish a board game! Maybe I'll send out some paper versions for people to print and play? Is there any other way to playtest board games? :D
What are you learning to programme in birds? I thought you were a pro-programmer!

Richy do you mean the retro Centipede game? Yeah I've found that prototypes with no 'game feel' aren't fun so I add little bits here and there.
Secret snake programming tip: have all objects aiming to be scale 1 by 0.1 each frame. When you want something to POP (like if you want the player to notice it) just say scale = 2 and then it pops and goes back to its scale in a couple of frames :D
 
#9
HEY EVERYONE!
Just wanted to share some of my progress from this week! A massive shout out to BrickRoad and Vivafringe for chatting everything through with me, this update is basically what we talked about last week then soon I'll show you some cool other stuff that's in the works :D

There's no audio but I waggle the mouse around to show stuff :D
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#10
Looks great. That EARLY ACCESS post you sent only to your patrons today was really awesome snake! Pumped to see how this game goes.

Today I tweeted: "If you make bigger grids, consider hiding a lot of the tiles from players, either via fog or making them off screen. It just feels oppressive because you feel like you CAN and SHOULD calculate seeing all those tiles in your face. Also it's hard to make pretty. "

In your game, even if there's hidden information and stuff, right now I am looking at 100 tiles, that seems like kinda a lot for my eyeballs. What do you think?
 
#12
Thanks so much Keith! I'll post the patron in here tomorrow when it goes public :D

I completely agree, the grid size is mind blowing. I tried to fight this problem by having no green on the map at the start, like you can see in the video you have to place on the few red tiles for the first 15 or so turns. This solves some of the "I can play anywhere therefor I have no idea where to play" stuff, but I didn't take into account how daunting it is to just look at. Also, when the match goes on this problem comes back (the late game stuff I'm trying to get my snake head around).

The bigger grid is really exciting me though, it's a lot of fun to be dealing with fog and these other techniques that I've never explored before! Catch up later with how this goes :D
 
#13

Okay so now the map opens up as you play but because of the zones it's kind of messy, I'm thinking about putting the zones into pieces inside the zones to make them more part of the game but not sure exactly how to do this.

In this video you can also see the cool new deers that spawn with a 10 turn timer. These can turn into shops (good) or hungry deer that instant lose the zone (bad). You can pay a green card to see what's inside :)

edit: also this hasn't solved the problem too much as by turn 25 almost the whole map is visible again (25 is really really early stages in the game). I want to make the map bigger but am already worried the current 10x10 will be hard to play on mobile.
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#14
Awesome! This is looking really cool. I've said before that Through the Desert was like a 20th century Go, and this is looking like it could be the 21st century Go!

Also a few things with fog: it could be white, or another color, or a pretty texture, don't think it has to be black or dark grey. Also I did a thing with one version of PTL that someone should use at some point: show the whole map, but put like a "line" or a circle at the info horizon, and just selectively hide the hidden-info-stuff beyond that point. So you can still see tiles everywhere but they're just blank. This changes nothing about the gameplay but just changes the aesthetic presentation. Sometimes these big bars of black or dark grey everywhere can feel more oppressive than necessary. Just a thought!
 
#15
THANKS SO MUCH KEITH! I hope I can carry this till its something half as cool as either of those games! I have found that I really like the way Go looks, or rather anything super minimalist, does anyone else like that stuff? At the moment all the art in the game is placeholder but these rounded corner squares are growing on me, might turn into something with minimalist coloured squares with characters for the tutorial and power ups. That's all exciting stuff for later. oh yeah and the background is totally pink now, that test grey was so dark and horrible!

I really like that about PTL and really wanted to do that with this. I also have this whole notepad page about 'warding' zones like in League BUT can't find a way to do either (partly because there is no character or focus point on the map) and partly because all the info that is on the map needs to be known by the player, the unknown info is "maybe it'll happen next turn".

I think it will end up being a bit like before where you can see everything, but everything is less in your face until there are tiles near it maybe.

About an hour ago I had a brainwave about how to put the zone UI into the game!
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#16
Definitely a lot of people like the minimalist stuff, but it's really hard to do that in a way that will come off as like "elegant" and not just like, "lazy" or "cheap". It's sort of the hardest thing to do. Also I wonder if some of our thinking that Go looks good is because we associate it with like, I dunno, chinese monks playing it in like some beautiful garden in like 1100 AD or something. Like if someone released Go today I'm not sure it'd get great marks for its visuals. Oh, also, when we talk about go looking good, we're talking about like serious MATERIALS, like some beautiful MAPLE WOOD and like these carved little stone obsidian orbs and stuff. It's sort of hard to compare that to digital art, you know? I dunno if flat color digital Go is actually all that beautiful? Or I dunno maybe it is, but I'm just saying it's not easy to get that "hyper elegant beauty" look, in my experience.

Rounded corner squares are cool. Feels less "ow gonna poke myself on that". Feels nicer!
 
#17
I'd never really thought about it like that, I think you are mainly right. People also like the way the stones feel in their hands and placing them with that THWACK and stuff right?

I'm back to my usual set up next week which means I can finally make some mock-ups for what the game could look like, I'll post some in here as I'm curious what people like :D

I also have some exciting developments on the game regarding win conditions to get together and post here :D
 
#19
This game is looking really good! I'm a big minimalism fan (er, should that be a small, elegant, minimalism fan!) 10x10 is an OK 'small grid' IMO.

Like if someone released Go today I'm not sure it'd get great marks for its visuals. Oh, also, when we talk about go looking good, we're talking about like serious MATERIALS, like some beautiful MAPLE WOOD and like these carved little stone obsidian orbs and stuff. It's sort of hard to compare that to digital art, you know?
When we were talking about modern takes on Go back on the Dinofarm forums I made a prototype (up to playable level, not releasable) and even without thinking about it I was putting wood effect all over the place as if that would make it elegant! There's something about minimalist games which seems to encourage all that tea-ceremony stuff.

Pic. Shame it's not animated. Happy Snake, how do you record your videos? I googled a bit and Flashback looks most promising to me.
marks1.jpg
Edit: probably should have put that in the 'improving board games thread' :geek:
 
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#20
Richy! This looks insane! How do you play?

I use OBS for recording videos (super good, simple and free) and GifCam for anything that will fit in a gif. Not sure if GifCam is still a thing you can download or not :p