19
Nov
2012

Please, steal my ideas

I’ve got another game idea I am drafting at the moment, but meanwhile just a reminder that if you like my idea please by all means take it and run with it. Some credit would be nice, but it’s not required.

21
Aug
2012

Creating a balanced virtual economy

This is an interesting experiment I thought would be fun to try out as a game. Essentially it would be a virtual stock market with values of stock being controlled by supply and demand. I was thinking it would be best as a Smart Phone app.

You start with say $200 with which to spend on whatever you want. None of the items are real. They are all fake virtual items that you buy with fake virtual money. The value of the items would change daily depending on how many people owned them versus how many where available to purchase. So to start everything would be very cheap, like $1. As the popular items get bought, the value (and the price) of the item would go up. The owners of the items would be able to sell their items back to the “bank” at any time allowing them to make a profit if the value of the item has gone up.

The algorithm for calculating value would be something like:

For each item A
Let x be the total number of unique people that own at least one of A, but not less than $0.01
Let y be the total number of items in the bank (eg. not currently owned by anyone)
Let z be the total number of items (both owned and available)
If y is less than $0.01 then let y be equal to z
Let the value of the item be (y / z) * x

As you may notice the value of the item increases most dramatically the more people own it. If a single person buys all of a specific item the value drops back to $1.00. So no one person will want to own all of anything. Also if there are no more of an item available to buy the value basically becomes the amount of people who own said item.

Then what would really make this interesting is to allow users to add their own items for valuation. My first thought was art and music (maybe wallpaper and ring tones for phones). Very simple digital goods that people could share and see how people like them.

There is a serious question of who would actually play a game like this and the obvious chicken and egg issue of needing players to make the game interesting. I think a secondary motivator would need to be in place. Like rewards for being the richest after a week. Or other hidden surprises like certain items come with special bonuses, sales, or I don’t know spinning wheels.



09
Jan
2012

26 Games 26 weeks

I stumbled upon this totally randomly on Kickstarter. A guy wants to team up with 26 different people to design and implement 26 games in 26 weeks. I think it is an awesome idea so I signed up. Now I feel I need to get the word out so I’m posting a link here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/41165200/26-games-26-weeks

I think it is a great opportunity to give developers without much experience a chance to try their hand at it. I would love to see this happen.

01
Jan
2012

Late to the party

I just read up on the whole Ocean Marketing / Penny Arcade fiasco. Wow. Totally blew my mind, but it’s a story with a very happy ending. It makes me think of all the times I’ve gotten pissed off, started writing an angry email and then stopped myself half way through. I tried to put myself in Mr. Christoforo’s shoes for a second to think about what could have made him do something so irresponsible. Something so completely and utterly unprofessional. We all get angry and stressed out, but it is important to remember that people don’t always know where you are coming from. To you something might seem so clear to the point that you get angry at people for misunderstanding you. You think, “Why are these people so stupid?” But really they just aren’t seeing it the way you are. The key there is communication. This whole issue would have never have happened if Paul had simply given a clearer picture of what was going on. He did in the end, but it was waaaaaaay to late. Hopefully we can all learn from the mistakes of one hot headed Ocean Marketing PR dude.

15
Dec
2011

Minotaur in a China shop

I can across this game a while back and thought it was hilarious.

http://blurst.com/minotaur-china-shop/

The game is pretty short and the title is pretty self explanatory. You are a Minotaur in a China Shop, but the twist is that you are also the owner of the China shop. You have two choices in each round, either try not to break anything and actually run the China shop or smash everthing in sight as quickly as possible before the local law enforcement takes you down with flaming arrows. The story logic doesn’t quite make sense and it is VERY hard not to break anything while various other anthropomorphic farm animals patron your shop, but I found it quite entertaining.

01
Dec
2011

Game withdrawal

Have been on vacation for the past week so nowhere near being able to play Skyrim. I caught myself concidering picking some berries I saw growing on a bush. Then I thought of how combersome that would actaully be to physically do. I imagined a man with hundreds of tiny sacks tied to his waste. Wandering through the forest carefully picking all manner of berries and herbs. Mumbling to himself as he works.

“Mmmm, blue mountain flower, this will make a fine potion of healing. Yes, next time I find an alchemy bench.”



Over time, though, the winds changed and I found myself craving a different game. I was in Washington DC and the nostalgia of playing Fallout 3 really started hitting hard. It was especially harsh when saw a real life sign for a fallout shelter.

It was the back side of this church:

Since Monday I have actually been back from DC, but because of various obligations I still haven’t gotten to resume Skyrim… Ok, ok I promise to resume normal posting after this one.

In other news desert bus raise over $350,000 for charity! Freaking great job guys!

16
Oct
2011

Game Concpets #3 – Ennundrum

Ennundrum was a game idea I came up with a few years ago. It was based on the zebra puzzle. I had a lot of fun solving the puzzle and it got me thinking that you should be able to generate a puzzle of this complexity at random. After coming up with an algorithm I struggled for a long time with how to actually visualize the game. How do you present the clues in an easy to understand fashion? How would the user enter in their answer?

One day it hit me out of the blue. I’m not completely satisfied with the solution, but you can try it here.

The user had to be presented with all the possible answers, but not be overwhelmed by so much information. At first I had each of the different object types marked as letters or numbers. This made the game way to hard to keep track of. It was also very visually unappealing. I ended up making the pieces easily recognizable images by category. This also made it much easier when I had to describe the relationships between the different objects. I had been coming up with a whole system making relational statements like “the owner of the dog flies a helicopter”, but it was proving very difficult and the grammar was always a bit off. With images I got to let the user fill in the words with their minds.

I think there is a lot of potential for a game like this to be used to make interesting in game puzzles with unique random elements. With a proper algorithm you can even ensure the puzzle will always be solvable.

09
Sep
2011

Kickstart GSM

As GSM nears completion I am realising it could be so much better if I could get the help of some artists, engineers and musicians to make it even better. Unfortunately those things cost money so I started another kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873615828/gsm-a-space-invaders-prequel

Please help make this game happen!

28
Aug
2011

Short break

Ionmark games is going on vacation for a week and a half! Will be back and finishing up GSM in early September. Util then stay dusty!

)’(

06
May
2011

More FB integration

I’ve tweaked the gameply of ISoy a bit more and integrated it with Facebook so soon there will be highscores which are based off your Facebook name.  Next I want to replace the pink ball with your profile pic and then on to finally build TOTH.