Weird Narrative Game about a Spikeball

hello, I'm Anton. (von Triphop is a pseudonym, just in case that wasn't super obvious)

I've always mostly been interested in weird arty games that tell stories, and have always felt that they are kind of the way for games to become more important in our soceity, but someone suggested I should look into keith burgun's game philosophy to get a different perspective. judging from the thread keith made about his philosophy it sounds interesting and definitely not the kind of games I usually like, but my whole thing in life is trying to be super openminded so I think maybe i want to learn more about it and one day try to make a game along the lines of chess or stratego or something like that.

in the meantime though, I've finally decided to start making weird arty games of my own. so my first idea is a game where you play as a spike ball whose dad gets him a job in a villain's dungeon, but he decides he wants more than such a provincial life and when a hero comes along instead of just waiting for the hero to impale himself on his spikes he tags along with the hero and goes on an adventure and gets into all sorts of zany situations. so then at each step of the spike balls adventure the game takes on different gameplay modes. so like in one part it's like a marble madness clone or something and then in another its like a dialogue heavy rpg and then sometimes its like the old cannon games (where you pick a direction and a power level), etc.

so i dunno maybe at some point int he game i can try to come up with some kind of strategy game scenario so i can apply keith's philosophy to it. maybe some kind of final fantasy tactics/ogre battle sort of thing with an army of spike balls


Maker of BrainGoodGames
Staff member
Good for you for reaching out for new perspectives! I think it's less intuitively obvious why decision making/strategy type things have value, but once you churn your brain on one for a while you get a satisfaction that's hard to get elsewhere!

I would caution against mixing a clockwork strategy game with an artsy thing (look up sid meier's "Covert Action Rule", but that depends on the extent to which each is an important part of the experience. If it's a cute little side thing then it has little overall harm I think :)
thanks for the tip on the covert action rule. i've played pirates but never covert action, so i don't know how much of a problem it is. reading on Wikipedia it sounds like that would mainly be a problem if you bounced back and forth between game modes a lot. i was thinking in my game it would be more like a set of levels but each level plays differently from the last. there are games like this i think. there was an old commodore 64 game i played as a kid called sigma seven, i think, that had three levels and you just play them in sequence one after the other, and then you looped thru the three levels and it kept increasing in difficulty. kinda like the three levels in donkey kong but each level had different gameplay. it was never like, oh no i don't want to play this ten minute minigame again.

i was also thinking that at the main menu you could just choose to play any of the game modes if one of them is your favorite, so you wouldn't be forced to play a game mode you don't like if you just want to play a few of them.


Staff member
Hi! Welcome to the forums. :)

maybe some kind of final fantasy tactics/ogre battle sort of thing with an army of spike balls
Sounds good to me.

Also I agree with Brickroad that you want to avoid probably mixing two dramatically different things like that. But I'd also say it's good to remember that in a certain sense, all games are art games. People really like arty, social-y, people-y stuff. So even if you did make Spike Ball Tactics, it could still be pretty important in society, even if it didn't tell a conventional "story" per se.

Finally: you also CAN mix two dramatically different things, and just put that mix into its own mode, like a "Story Mode" or something, and that's fine. Just make sure there's also an evergreen mode that I can just play with spike balls to my heart's content without letting the story stuff get in the way.

Seriously I love the "spike ball world" theme. You should post your game in community games.
yeah that was my plan to have a main story mode where the game modes are basically like chapters, but then also you can just select any of the game modes from the main menu and play them whenever you want, kinda like how you could just flip to a specific chapter in a book if you want to. not sure if the game modes should be locked at first until you reach them in the story mode or not. I'm worried that it would spoil the plot twists

by arty i kinda was just being redundant. i really just mean weird tbh

I'm just starting development right now but i do intend to post updates on how it's going in this thread once it actually gets going for real