Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creating Alternative Games

The current game I'm working on, Delta 9 is a game that is not alone in its genre. Its a FPS, which is in a market of millions of other FPS's.
So the way it plays is quite unoriginal. Having said that it is my first game so its more a learning project that anything. I really couldn't give a rats ass if it will be any good or not, as long as I complete it.
That's not saying I want to make crap games though, its will just probably be crap in the sense that it is the same as a million other games out there.

The games I want to make in the future are ones that are hopefully not unoriginal and not another Half Life clone.
I want to delve into genres that are rarely used or brand new.
One of these are the good 'ole text based adventure games. You may remember them from twenty years ago, these include the likes of Monkey Island or the Space Quest games. I may not have been playing them in their time, but I sure love retro games.
Of course I wouldn't make them with sprite graphics, but in 3D and from a 3rd or 1st point of view. You walk around a 3D room, trying to solve a puzzle. Click on things and interact with them, get a menu of stuff to do etc. It would work exactly like the games of yesterday did, except with current generation technology.
I am an indie developer after all, I should make games that aren't weighed down by stockholders and mainstream audiences (ie 12 years old's who love games with big explosions and no storyline, sadly they make up a big portion of the gaming population).

So its good when you see games that are mainstream but are completely different at the same time, that even make new genres.
One of the obvious games is of course Portal. The whole system is completely different to anything I've ever played and it works quite well, I'm really looking forward to the 2nd one.
Another whole genre was in fact built off a fad, which was free running. These spawned new and interesting games such as Mirrors Edge and the Assassin's Creed series.
While Mirrors Edge didn't get as much respect as I think its deserved, I still consider it one of my favourite games of 2008. People criticized it for its small length (which I can understand) and the fact that you're not equipped with a gun from the start. This I don't agree with. Games shouldn't have to have guns in them to make them good, there are plenty of other games out there which use guns. If you don't like the fact that you can get through the entire game without using a gun, piss off and play Black Ops.

Other games which get my attention are ones that don't exactly invent new genres, but introduce new tech.
A fine example of this is the Red Faction games, especially Guerrilla.
In these games you can destroy anything, and in Guerrilla I mean anything.

It works quite well when you're fighting the EDF. Whole lot of them in the top story of a two story building? Rather than going all Rambo up the stairs, just blow out the bottom story which would send them to their doom. Or alternatively jump up onto the room (you're equipped with a jetpack), knock out a portion of the roof and get the higher advantage.
The fact is there is a million other ways you could tackle this particular objective, the limit is your imagination.
It gives you the freedom that any other shooter could not. 

Unfortunately right now I don't have the programming skills to tackle anything that defines new genres. Hell, I don't even have the programming skills now to make any current genres. What I do have though, is infinite time to learn, and learn I will.
After Delta 9 I hope to have the skills to make something original. And in my mind, originality is the key to a great game.


  1. Let me know how your progress is coming breaking into the industry.

  2. Unfortunately TAFE is taking up a lot of my spare time at the moment, which is a shame when all I want to do is play around with Unity. But an education is an education. Hopefully some time will free up in the near future.


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