Starting inspirations and game features for anyone.

  • Kylaila
  • 10/07/2015 05:05 PM
Looking at good first or flawed games! #1

With addit's latest article comes an interesting topic - what new creators see when they enter the field, with the many great beautiful games already available. The advanced mapping of seasoned developers as well as many custom assets and special polish. Gems. Games shining in all kinds of aspects.

Yet there are just as many raw gems out there - games made by still inexperienced developers, or even first projects ever published. And among these are games worth looking into, worth exploring, and above all - worth playing.

For me personally, from the many games I played, the greatest joy is to play a game where you can really see the lack of technical prowess, but which still manages to create a great experience!
Games that cover up their weaknesses and focus on their strong points. I may not be a creator, but setting such a focus can really up your game.

There were games like Pizza Panic that had a great dose of humour, a little bit of whacky dialogue and was just about getting a pizza - but was then drawn out over an hour with pointless and imbalanced battles and a needlessly long, but not difficult boss-battle. As well as a too large and hard to navigate map. Shortening that part and cutting the map size (or adding a path) would've made it an enjoyable game. Shorter, but a better game.

Instead of imitating the greatness in all aspects - try to use your abilities to the fullest. You will want to improve as a whole along the way, and you will, but if you know you are horrible at something, build on the other aspects.

For me, Hero Maker embodies this principle.

It has honestly some of the worst maps I have seen in a game, the puzzles are bland - and yet it is awesome.
It parodies the standard rpg tropes without ever traversing a single dungeon.

My pick of the day - HERO MAKER.

That is, it focuses on its humour. And the humour portrayed in its choose-your-action battle system which doesn't rely on stats at all, but rather gives you expected and unexpected results according to your course of action.

The smart thing about this approach is - you limit battles, you limit dungeons, you avoid any and all balancing, item or equipment planning without any setbacks.
The mapping is bland .. and really not pretty, so it is kept practical. Small and fast transitions between the next story and passages - and new enemy encounters.

All done to suit the game. It gives the image of the general conventions existing and plays the humour card well.
There are many RPG parodies that try too hard to emulate all aspects of an RPG when these parts are not what makes it fun. (I had a blast playing Legendary Legends, but boy it would have been so much better if not for these slow battles).

If you are shooting for a humorous game the first time around, give this a shot and see how corners were cut to cover up many possible pitfalls! Even the dialogue itself is not really "polished" or heavily nuanced, but it works splendidly with the concept.

Next up is Thin Walls.

It may or may not be a first game, but it is a simple one starring a sad story inside a house. You uncover the past of the protagonist, as well as a possible way of dealing with it in the future.
Throughout this, people or items appear, disappear as you move along the story.
Blending in past and present.

I think this being in just one house that is ever-changing is a great use of the mapping that is done - instead of creating multiple maps, polish one up and then have transitions inside it. (it does change maps later on .. but still)
There is a lot of room upwards, but it is a very viable approach for a story-driven game or possibly even a horror game.

For our custom artist lovers comes Stickdude goes to Hell

Granted, this isn't a particularily good game. It isn't a particularily bad game, either. But it definitely shows how stylish it plays even with rudimentary graphic design - and how effective it can be to convey an idea.

It portrays the contrast between whacky ironic dialogue and the actual death quite well.
If you want to shoot for custom graphics - instead of aiming at the top of pixeling, try to convey your ideas, put an emphasis on the color choices and make it stand out.

I think there are a lot of little tips and tricks to get from such games, showing that you can cover up weak areas and have a huge impact even with "easy" means.

Have any first time games you thought were great? Or games hiding flaws really well? Share them!
Or if you think your first game is great to share, send me a pm to check it out.


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Good article. I guess it just goes to show you that graphics don’t mean everything and being a first timer isn’t necessarily a disadvantage here. I guess as long as you try your damnest and make the type of game that you wanna make and enjoy making it good things will happen.
Thanks! And Aye.
Been meaning to do present games like that for a while. There are few great games with "worst mapping", mainly because as a creator's general game-building and design experience increases, so does their mapping.
But I would like to encourage people to make the best of their idea. It's cool if you want to make it a great game all-around, but if you simply can't do certain elements yet, then it's vital to know how to build around it.
If you give it your all .. good things will happen.
I would say all my favourite RM games basically do this lol. I mean ABL has one of the worst mapping and graphics combining that no post-GWer would catch themselves doing.

But there are lot of instances where people will try to convey an area even if it doesn't quite look it at all. But it means the author isnt looking to make maps, he's trying to build a world, and if the interior of a diagonal tram just looks like the inside of the default future tileset room then so be it.
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