Game Concepts #1

As promised here is my first post on my new series. For my first game I wanted to do something simple. I looked around online and found simple games and thought about what made them worth playing. I found a few things. One is that it’s more fun when there is a conflicting interest. A simple example is you need to get to the other side of a room, but there are enemies in between you and your goal. If the game was simply go to the other side of the room it would be too easy. If it was dodge all the enemies there would be no final goal. The combined goals and how they conflict with each other is what makes them interesting. I decided I wanted to make a simple game that distilled that concept. I also wanted to try and make this game for the Android so whatever game mechanics had to work with a touch screen.

What I came up with initially was little blobs that chase around a pink dot (I am very much not an artist). But something was missing. This game was just avoid the enemies. There needed to be another goal. Then I thought to add other colored blobs that you had to collect. By collecting these blobs you got points. Now I had a game with conflicting interests.

I tried coming up with a unique control scheme, but I’m not totally happy with it. You click the pink circle to toggle “grab” mode. When grab mode is on the circle follows the mouse. When off it stays stationary. You also need to click the green blobs to collect them. The idea with this was that I could eventually add different weapons or abilities that you could cycle through. For example: you could get the ability to kill some of the enemies or build walls which the enemies cannot pass.

This game was made using the Google Web Toolkit. It allows you to write web code in Java and it compiles it to javascript. It’s a bit slow in my opinion. I’m in the process of learning libgdx which I will be using for all future game projects unless I find something I like better.

You can try proof of concept here.


Ok. Ok. ISOY is free on Android now

I guess no one can spare a dollar for ISOY on their phone. My cat died yesterday (REALLY wish I was joking about that) so I don’t really need to make money to support her anymore. Have fun reaping the benefits of my misfortune!


Like ISOY on Facebook!

I set up a Facebook account for Ionmark games and a page for ISOY. Also added a like button to the site. Feel free to like or friend as you desire :)


ISOY now available on the Android market!

I actually posted it last night because I wasn’t sure how long the delay was going be.  I’m a little worried I might get some backlash because the game isn’t free.  At the same time this game has taken a lot of my time and although a lot of fun I can’t afford to keep doing it for free.  I would love nothing more than to keep making free games for everyone to play anywhere they want, but the reality is I get paid way more to program things I don’t like.  At the end of the day my cat and I need to eat.  That being said I’m still offering free versions of every game on the web and I’ve tried really hard to make sure they function on as many devices as possible.  They may not be as polished as their Android/IPhone counterparts, but they will still be playable and fun.  That is a promise.

Perfect transition to what is next.  I’ve got  a half finished YS which I put on the shelf until I finished ISOY for Android.  It’s time to get rolling on that again.  So far I’ve got the little pink dot moving with the keyboard and shooting with the “WASD” keys.  Also a randomly generated simple mazes.  Finishing might take a bit more time since it is more complicated than ISOY, but I think I have a good beginning.

Oh right get ISOY for android here.


ISOY for Droid coming soon!

I made a lot of progress over the weekend building ISOY for the Droid.  The basic functionality is there.  I need to finish up some graphics and fix minor bugs.  Should be out by next Wednesday.


Site maintenance

I’m  changing servers around a bit tonight.  May be down for a while depending on how long the process takes / how quickly I can resolve and issues that come up as a result.  Worse case scenario the site will be down between 6pm tonight (4/7/11) and 10am tomorrow (4/8/11) .  That is PST since I live in California.  Hopefully it will not be that bad, but can’t tell.  Probably should have set this up before I got traffic on the site.  Oh wells.  It is free.  If you have comments or complaints please send them to admin at ionmarkgames dot com (replace the at with the at symbol [@] and the dot with a period [.]).

I was hoping to have some time to work on the Droid version of ISOY yesterday, but instead I sat in a meeting for 3 hours.  It wasn’t actually as bad as it sounds since this meeting was with friends.  Still a three hour meeting is longer that any meeting ever should be.

I decided to write the Droid version first because Google doesn’t charge developers to develop Apps and doesn’t reject everything that gets submitted.  If it goes well (ie. people buy the game) I will make the iPhone/Pod/Pad version.

Actually, let’s see if anyone reads this… Vote which version you want more in the comment section.  If I get a lot of one or the other it may sway my decision.  Either way though.  Development wont start until this weekend.  Hopefully it doesn’t take longer than that.




Got a bunch of traffic today!  Looks like the funnel is on.  Now it’s time to step it up and get ISOY on the AppStore.

I made some decent progress on YS the other day.  Probably going to switch to getting ISOY on the AppStore first tho.  Since, you know, I need money to keep doing this.

I am also planing on adding a Hi-score feature so people can compare scores easily.