Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Game Design is Hard

I'm trying to build a little casual game in Unity, and it's not going to be just another match-3 or time-management or tower-defense game. As a result, it's proving difficult to find the magic something that transforms this from a programming exercise to a fun, addictive game.

I should probably try to read some books on the subject. In the established, often-used game paradigms, the action/reward cycle is pretty solid. For instance, for a first-person-shooter, there's clearly something inherently compelling about the combination of maze-exploring and bad-guy-shooting that is instantly appealing to a lot of folks.

Since I'm not making an FPS (or any other easily-classified game) it's not obvious what I need to do in order to make the game more entertaining. I can't just say "add more ninjas" (well ... I suppose you can always add more ninjas). I need to try to figure out what to add/remove/change so that clicking the mouse becomes fun, and I feel like I don't even have the language I need to discuss the issue.

So it's research time for me. At least Unity is giving me the chance to focus on the actual game, rather than forcing me to burn time trying to get libraries to link or some such silliness.