Thursday, 14 May 2009

Keep It Simple, Stupid

I think it's probably time to release a bit of information regarding my current project. It's a series of small games, all shooters, focused around simplifying the controls in order to maximise accessibility. Therefore they're all mouse controlled, no keyboard whatsoever.
This approach was largely inspired by playing games with my fiance Anna Banana. We play co-op on Fable 2 mainly, as it's streamlined controls, general sense of silliness, and fairly easygoing pace make it something she can get into. We tried playing Left 4 Dead the other night, and although we both got killed she did surprisingly well, but the controls were certainly an issue. She wasn't immediately able to start doing stuff like in Fable 2, and found it at times to be frustrating to operate. Hence the inspiration for some shooters which are massively simplied in terms of controls.

Anyway, here's the plan, I'm working on 3 games based around this concept, each a different type of shooter.
1 Arena Shooter- Mechanaut (think Robotron)
1 Horizontal Run'n'gun- Psychoblit (think Contra)
1 Scrolling shooter- Asteroid Storm (think R-Type)

The project title, and a way of clumping the 3 together as they're all based on the same idea, is Simplifire.

Originally I just wanted some tech demos to demonstrate the control types, but have been hit by so much inspiration for each of them that I want to make them into little games of their own, and then possibly take the concept further and apply it to a full length feature.
Asteroid Storm is approaching completion already, and most of the work on it was done in my space time at work, so it's been refreshing to get a game out so quickly. So expect that in the next week or so, I'll keep you posted on how the others are coming along.


  1. Whenever I try to make something simple, it always manages to turn in to some big complex project which I never finish. With my latest projects I keep having to tell myself to stop trying to add more levels and more abilities, and focus on getting most of the basic stuff down.

  2. Hah, yeah, with Part 1 and 2 things are starting to get a bit more complex, but I'm keeping it in line by reminding myself it's essentially just a demo.
    I think the greater depth of planning is helping in knowing what it is that I'm doing now though, and helping to avoid adding unnecessary features.