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A new genre, taking time to fail

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People have been poking me a bit about doing something different than another platformer game. And first of all, yes I know why and understand you, but I’d also like to point out three things:

1) I love Platform games, and I love what I do.. so I love creating platform games and that won’t change.

2) I have created: shooters, one-button games, puzzle games, a rogue-like, action-shooters, survival/twitch platformers, snake-like games, gimmicky games for mobile, and much more in the last 10 years of game development.

3) if you want something else, try one of the millions of match-3 games that everybody else creates, or an end-less runner game that everybody else makes.. or.. don’t get me started, a flappy-bird clone!

So those points are very valid replies, but I also agree that it could be fun trying something completely different. The last time I tried that it spawned a pretty famous dungeon crawler called Heroes of Loot, and I yes it was the biggest game (sales wise) I have ever created.. so there’s that.

Where to start

So the “rogue-like” genre is something that I really love. I never actually play those type of games but I like the concepts within. I ventured into this area with Heroes of Loot and just gave it my own twist and take on things, so it ended up being a dungeon crawler but one full of action and shooting.

This time I’m going to try something slightly different and make the game a turn-based game…. the genre I normally have absolutely no interest in.

No idea what I’m doing

Now I actually never ever play a turn-based game. I tried testing Halfway for my friends at Robotality but didn’t get very far. The game is AWESOME and beautiful and you should absolutely try it but the genre isn’t my thing.

So I have no experience with this type of game, no idea what goes into a game like this, and no idea how it eventually should look or feel.  How could this possibly go bad?

I have worked on it part-time for a few days now, and the game mechanics of moving around the “board” are started to come together. I’ve been using graphics pulled form Heroes of Loot so that it at least looks like something, and I have been reading up on what turn-based rogue like games actually are and do.

I’m basically setting myself up for failure.. but I’m loving the challenge from a development and design perspective. Thanks to Gunslugs 2 release being a pretty good one, I have some time to put into this prototype and who knows.. it might be the Heroes of Loot 2 that everybody keeps asking me about.

So have you ever tried developing a genre you aren’t used to? or not familiar with? let me know in the comments!

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  • I’m currently embarking on this sort of thing myself at the moment. Not so much with genre, more with the size of the game.

    So far I’ve made a few smaller games for android, etc but this year I’m aiming to make something more substantial in terms of size, with a bit more polish than my previous games have had before. It’s quite a challenge for myself and I get the setting myself up for failure feeling now and then, like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

    But, for the main part of it, I’m enjoying the aspects of making something new, from 3d modelling, rigging and animation, through to coding it all up and getting something accomplished (almost) every day.

    I’m not a game designer by trade during the day and sadly can only moonlight as one until I’ve made something that can convince me to switch things around but there’s always the hope that the next game will be that game!

    Best of luck with the new project, Gunslugs 2 has been lots of fun over here with the family on the OUYA too :)

    • orangepascal

      At this point I would hate to only be able to do this in the small hours.. so many ideas and I wouldn’t nearly have enough time to try them all out.

      I feel slightly blessed, even tho it’s often a challenging thing doing indie game development as a day job ;)

  • Right now I’m evaluating some genres to start my next project. The game that I was working on is published in the Chrome Web Store and Firefox Marketplace (953 installs in 5 days).

    To choose what to do next is really a challenge, isn’t?

    I’m thinking in some “capture the flag” mixed with turns or other style… I still don’t know…

    Many ideas… how to choose the right one?

    • orangepascal

      I think doing very fast prototyping is the key. Don’t put too much valuable time into details, just try to get to the core gameplay and functionality as quickly as possible.. get it working, and see if it’s fun.

      Personally I have hundreds of “playable” game concepts on my harddrive, so I guess the key is don’t be afraid to just dump your work and move on to something that does feel better