What Kind of Games?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I started programming when I was young, with the hopes of writing video games. I think a lot of kids start that way. When you like something, or someone, you try to emulate what you’re seeing. But how has that early dream turned out?

They tell writers to write what they know. It’s good advice. How can you write about life in the Serengeti without have someone to give you a first hand account or having been there yourself? You can always use your imagination, and that’s all you can really do when writing fantasy or science fiction. It works for writing video games. How can you expect to write a genre you don’t immerse yourself in?

These days I spend most of my gaming time playing casual games. I’m busy doing other things, and don’t want to spend long stretches just sitting at the console or computer. Recently I read an article about the kind of video games the most people tend to flock to. Typically they’re games that are relatively simple and involve sorting things in some way. It bears out in my own tastes.

In late 2008, I entered the uDevGames contest, and submitted a casual game for consideration. It didn’t do too well, but I hadn’t spent enough time on it. The graphics are primitive and my soundtrack stinks. However, I think I’m going to revamp it for an iPhone/iPod touch release. I’ve been working on better graphics, for one. The basic game play appealed to the people who played it, so that wont be changing. I’ll add a few more game elements, and a high score list, of course.

Another favourite genre of mine is the story-driven RPG or adventure game. This is by far one of the most involved type of game you can develop. I’ve started innumerable aborted attempts at designs, filling notebooks with my ideas.

As long as everything works out as I’d like, a new version of GnomeSpy will be in the works. It’ll satisfy my desire to write video games, while giving me a base to improve on. Maybe I’ll put in a bit more story, for a little extra flavour. Who knows, it might become popular.


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