I am currently looking for a new game idea. The problem is that most of the ideas I have would require lots and lots of hand-crafted levels (for example for a stealth game) and I simply don’t have the time or the skill to create well-designed levels as a single person.
What kinds of games are there that are possible to make as a one person team without spending countless hours on creating levels and the like? The only thing I could come up with is a rogue-like dungeon crawler but I am looking for other ideas. Tower-defense might work too, but it is difficult to be create something unique in that genre.
Feel free to post any ideas of games that might work for me!
A lot of people here seem to go the “space game” way (including me).
At least for me the main reason was the fact that space games are relativly easy to make without an artist at hand: Procedurally creating space is rather easy and most of your objects don’t even need animation.
Thanks for all of the suggestions!
Idle games are just not my type of game; I would not want to make one. Space games on the other hand could be cool, but I guess that you will have to compose lots of maps once you do stuff like space stations, visitable planets etc. However, if you just focus on the space part, that would work of course.
I think that this is pretty hard to achieve. It’s difficult enough to build a community on its own, but building a large enough community that people want to contribute and that there are enough people that have the necessary skills is sadly not something I think I can achieve.
But it’s of course good to give the community means to create their own levels as this will naturally increase the content for the game.
Make an open world game, you only have to make one map
And now seriously:
I think it depends on the balance of your game. What kind of game do you want to make? To what category does it belong? What is the main focus on the game? Graphics? Gameplay? Game mechanics?
You could make a mad game with low graphics, and it can still be good. The same for maps. If you make amazing shooter, you don’t need a complicated map, you just need a good game.
Zelda: minish cap
Standoff (for android)
Minish cap is a highly enjoyable game for the GBA.
Standoff is a cs:go kind of game for android. Look closely at the maps, and you see they’re sh*t. They simply made something quickly, but it’s still nice to play because of the game: shooting random 12 year olds. Picture:
Not at all. I am creating an opened world space game and have zero maps. We have planets, stars, ships, stations, miners, etc … All you need is a good entity management system. The rest is created for you by the users as they research and build stuff then launch it. Of course there are other challenges that you will have to deal with that are unique to space games but at least you don’t need any maps.
[quote=“mathiasj, post:1, topic:36092”]
The problem is that most of the ideas I have would require lots and lots of hand-crafted levels (for example for a stealth game) and I simply don’t have the time or the skill to create well-designed levels as a single person.[/quote]
My solution to this problem is to work on map editors with the goal of eventually creating a tool that will allow me to hand-craft levels quickly and easily. Ultimately it may consume even more time, but being able to create maps without effort should be hugely satisfying and liberating.
In all the map editors that I’ve seen the user is responsible for positioning every vertex and choosing every texture, forcing the work you put into the map to be proportional to the number of polygons. Constructive solid geometry seems to be a popular way of doing this, but every vertex still comes from the user and there aren’t enough hours in the day to worry over every vertex.
Instead I want the map designer to work on an abstract level, more like being a cartographer and less like being a modeller. If a building needs four walls and a roof, then let those five polygons be the only polygons the map designer is responsible for. We can use those simple polygons for collision detection, but for rendering they are just the starting point. The map polygons can be like a skeleton that we use to guide the placement of the actual polygons. What was just 4 vertices and 4 edges in the map editor can become store fronts and balconies. A simple ramp in the editor can be turned into automatically generated stairs.
All these features require modelling but since they’re not built into the map design they can be effortlessly reused and even procedurally randomized. Suppose the map designer creates several identical cubes connected by hallways and sets all those cubes to be ancient temple rooms. To the map designer all these rooms are equally effortless, but when we render them we can give each one individual character by randomly choosing where the floors will be cracked and where there will be vines crawling up the walls. We just have to model a few cracked and uncracked floor tiles, and vine-covered walls, and then spread them around like a dealer distributing cards.
Hard to think of some examples. I’ve seen a few games that work with having just 1 small REALLY high quality area, then make you go through it repeatedly with changes, PT Demo for example, horror game. Seen it before with some sort of time rewind thing where you repeatedly play the same area multiple times and play them all together.
Cavespider is right I think you have to chose the game mechanics/gameplay first and make sure they don’t require loads of levels. Difficult one though.
One thing that comes to mind is making level building part of the game itself. For example see Dungeon Keeper, Theme hospital (bullfrog! :D) and I’m sure you can think of some others. They need basic assets like the walls furniture rooms and so on but once all that’s done there is very little level creating from a dev perspective, especially in Dungeon Keeper, since the player has to just cut rooms out of the rock.
I have to say, I regret it.
I made/am making some FPS and stuff and since it’s so kewl, I tried the open world + procedural generation.
Not only is the procedural generation not so easy (less degrees of freedom compared to minecraft clones), but you have to generate some models anyway. (Exception: Fruity Ninja, Hangman, such)
In the meantime when I see those Unity/Unreal Speed Modelling Vids like here, I could cry. It’s so much atmosphere and creativity you can put into a game.
It’s not that video I saw, he might have taken it down, but anway:
I am thinking about adding some static man made levels, just to have more awesome scenes and things.
This doesn’t help you with your problem, but now you know that less mapping might also be a bit stupid.
On the other hand I sometimes try to model even when I fail hard, so for me it’s some fun.
Skullstone, the game I’m developing, is a typical dungeon crawler. For such games you need only to have a set of tiles (walls, doors, traps etc) and all you need is to make some editor to create a level just by clicking on map.
Thank you guys! There really are lots of good recommendations here.
The tile idea actually reminds of what I thought originally, a rogue-like dungeon crawler. Rogue-like sort of implies that the map is randomly generated and it is much easier to generate a dungeon than a whole world map. That’s something I will surely try!
Space can be good too if you design it properly and another thing I thought about was using voxels. The problem is that your game then will often be seen as just another minecraft clone just because you use the same art style. Of course, voxels are also not at all easy to implement if you plan on implementing it yourself.
Adventures (2.5d) you baiscally mostly need images with layers.
Classic Boardgame conversions (make sure you dont vialote copyright here)
Top down racer (micro machines) (see images on http://www.snesgames.de/?spiel=199)
Side scroller games with randomly generated background (mostly terrain that is easily done in jme + a few buildings on them to destroy) E.g Revolution Ace Trailer - YouTube
[quote=“zissis, post:8, topic:36092, full:true”]
Space games on the other hand could be cool, but I guess that you will have to compose lots of maps once you do stuff like space stations, visitable planets etc.
Not at all. I am creating an opened world space game and have zero maps. We have planets, stars, ships, stations, miners, etc … All you need is a good entity management system. The rest is created for you by the users as they research and build stuff then launch it. Of course there are other challenges that you will have to deal with that are unique to space games but at least you don’t need any maps.[/quote]
May I know how your game is called and how to try it? It looks really good!