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Last post Author Topic: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!  (Read 10457 times)

Deozaan

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Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« on: January 05, 2007, 12:26:45 AM »
Jay is Games is having another Flash Development Competition:
Quote
Here's the scoop: you, casual gamer / game designer / Flash whiz, design a simple puzzle game in Flash (version 8, AS 2.0).

Yes, the type of entry we're looking for is the same as what we called for during our first competition. And while the entries we received contained various interpretations of "simple puzzle game", all things considered, the simple puzzle idea proved to be an excellent choice. So we're doing it again!!

But there is a catch. This time your game design must incorporate this theme: "grow".

You are, of course, free to interpret that any way you choose; however, the extent to which your game addresses the theme is left up to the competition judges to decide. Entries not meeting this requirement will be disqualified.
For full details Click Here.

Recently I've been talking to mouser and Tinjaw about making games and one of the ideas we've been tossing around seems perfect. A Tower Defense type game could be considered both a puzzle game (where to place towers) and a growth game (upgrade towers). We've been throwing around ideas trying to come up with something a bit more improved on what we've seen so far in the Tower Defense genre, but I'd love to hear any ideas anyone here can come up with for this contest (not limited to Tower Defense ideas) and I'd certainly like help designing the game conceptually so that I can focus most of my time on programming it instead of trying to figure out all the details of a fun working game by myself.

Oh, and Nudone, you've officially been drafted to make the graphics for the game. Especially since some of the ideas we're liking best will be somewhat Cody themed. If you don't like it, take it up with mouser. I tried to fight for your freedom of choice but mouser wouldn't hear any of that.

Please submit your ideas quickly!

The deadline is February 9th!

« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 11:39:16 AM by mouser »

nudone

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2007, 01:56:58 AM »
sounds very good but i've never played one of these tower games so i'll need a few hints.

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 08:39:16 AM »
I am so excited that you are going to participate in the contest - i think it's great fun to have someone from dc entering.  And I'd love to see more people from here give it a try as well.  JayIsGames is one of the premiere flash game sites and last year's contest had some truly professional and elaborate entries so expect some very tough competition.

Let's all help out with ideas and testing - and if anyone else wants to take a try at entering by all means post and ask for help with ideas and art and stuff.

I'll pledge right now that for anyone who has been a DC member here as of yesterday, DC will match any prize you win in the contest (up to $500), and a mug for all who enter it at all.  Plus of course you'd gain hero status here :)

I'll post my ideas for the game here later.  Also I encourage people to drop by our irc channel (#donationcoder on efnet or hit the "chat" button at top of page to join via java applet in your browser), to talk about game ideas.

tinjaw

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 09:08:53 AM »
I don't know Jack Flash. Do you think it would be possible to go from Zero to Competition-grade Flash game in time? I did something similar with Torque Game Builder for the Accessibility Game Contest, but I don't know if that was a one-time fluke or if it is repeatable with Flash. Can any of our resident Flash experts chime in with some of their thoughts? Are there any freeware or open source tools available to make building Flash games easier or do I need to fork out hundreds of dollars to Adobe?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 10:52:36 AM by tinjaw »

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 09:51:58 AM »
i do not believe it would be possible to go from 0 to skilled enough to have a reasonable chance at this competition in one month.  They get some very high quality entries.

On the other hand:
1) it wouldn't hurt to try if you have the time - worst case is you learn a lot of flash in a month.
2) it might be time to learn enough to collaborate with someone who already knows flash.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 09:57:56 AM by mouser »

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 11:23:53 AM »
I don't know Jack Flash. Do you think it would be possible to go from Zero to Competition-grade Flash game in time? I did something similar with Torque Game Builder for the Accessibility Game Contest, but I don't know if that was a one-time fluke or if it is repeatable with Flash. Can any of our resident Flash experts chime in with some of their thoughts? Are there any freeware or open source tools available to make building Flash games easier or do I need to fork out hundreds of dollars to Adobe?

I was looking for a good ActionScript editor the other day and mouser pointed me to FlashDevelop, which appears to be freeware/donationware. It comes with (a possibly outdated version of) SWFMill, which, if I understand the description correctly, is an Open Source (GNU) program that can create asset libraries (graphics/fonts) into swf files for importing. It can do more than that but I haven't looked into it beyond the front page description.

As for going from 0 to hero in a month in Flash, I'd tend to agree with mouser. I'm not saying it's impossible. It depends on how much time you can devote to it. As for my own skill level, I can't say that I'm incredibly skilled with the programming side of Flash. You could probably reach my skill level fairly quickly, especially if you're already familiar with coding and even more so if you're already familiar with programming in ECMAScript.

Give it a try on your own or I would be very happy to have some help and collaborate on a game with you. I am just starting to get familiar with OOP so if you know how to write custom classes and things like that, your help would be very... uh, helpful.

sounds very good but i've never played one of these tower games so i'll need a few hints.

Well get playing some of them!

Mouser and I have been thinking about a macroscopic garden theme. With plants and cute little bugs and things. And Cody. The simpleness of your artwork on Cody makes me think you'd have no problem coming up with other little bugs in a similar art style. I'll talk with mouser more about it (or maybe he can just talk to you about it) to figure out more specific ideas for what the plants and bugs look like.

Ooh, I just had an idea! The object of the game could be to protect some kind of flower in the center of the screen while bugs attack at it from all angles. The flower in the middle needs time to bloom and when it blooms the petals open up to reveal a big coin. After which time Cody swoops down (he's really, really big compared to the bugs) and snatches the coin away. Level complete. Each level takes the flower longer to bloom and the bugs become stronger and/or come more frequently.

The creatures defending the flower could be something like ants, with army bugs, drone bugs, worker bugs, etc. The creatures attacking the flower will steal nectar from it (maybe the nectar hardens into the coin at the end?) and you have to attack the thief bugs. If the thief bugs start to take away the nectar they have to go back across the screen to get away from you. You can attack them and retrieve the nectar back all the way until they leave the screen, but you need special nectar bugs to retrieve the stolen nectar and return it to the flower. Defending these bugs will be a priority because the thief bugs will go for the closest source of nectar, even if that means attacking your nectar harvester bugs.

So how do some of these ideas sound?


mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2007, 11:38:07 AM »
Love the latest ideas!
I am a big fan of user-generated levels as puzzles, so i always try to think of ways to make a game level-based.

What if on each level you used a level map which specified where your plant grows, and where some water sources and enemy bases are.

Then your job is to build defenses to protect your flower until it blossoms.

And what if in order to make it blossom your workers had to go fetch watcher and bring it back.

So not only do you have to defend your flower against the hordes trying to attack it, but you have to have like a plan to help your workers bring it water.

tinjaw

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2007, 11:47:40 AM »
Give it a try on your own or I would be very happy to have some help and collaborate on a game with you. I am just starting to get familiar with OOP so if you know how to write custom classes and things like that, your help would be very... uh, helpful.

That sounds like a good plan. I can probably get up to speed quick enough to help out with some of the coding. Have you ever done a collaborative development project before? Are you skilled at version control, merging, etc.?

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2007, 12:05:26 PM »
That sounds like a good plan. I can probably get up to speed quick enough to help out with some of the coding. Have you ever done a collaborative development project before? Are you skilled at version control, merging, etc.?

Nope, not really. I was just imagining that we'd pick out some basic things that are common in all elements of the game and then work on separate classes. But collaboration and version control stuff sounds good if it doesn't take a month (or a week) to get set up and organized and going properly.


mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2007, 12:06:39 PM »
If you do a level based thing, then you can use help from all of us in designing levels.

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2007, 12:13:30 PM »
This is true. But then time would need to be devoted to designing a level editor anybody can use. Not that that's a bad thing, but considering time restraints, might not be plausible. Of course, if we do a level based game and want to include tons of levels we'd probably want to design a level editor that's easy to use anyway. It's something I'll be sure to keep in mind.


jgpaiva

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2007, 12:22:56 PM »
Deozaan: This is donationcoder, i don't think that a gui, help file, and all that paraphernalia would be needed, i guess that only some .ini file with places where to put bad guys would be enough for the people here to do some cool stuff ;)

tinjaw

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2007, 12:27:38 PM »
Maybe I could work on a level editor in parallel. If I could get it done in time, great, but if not, it would at least allow Deozaan to concentrate on the core game.

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2007, 12:38:02 PM »
I agree with jgpaiva.  Also I would suggest that you could use one of the existing free map/level editors to edit levels (TileStudio, Mappy, etc).

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2007, 12:48:29 PM »
Deozaan: This is donationcoder, i don't think that a gui, help file, and all that paraphernalia would be needed, i guess that only some .ini file with places where to put bad guys would be enough for the people here to do some cool stuff ;)

It is true that many members here can do some coding. I can, too, but doing it with just a text file sounds difficult for me to figure out. I did read about making a tile-based map in a game, so I know I could program it. But actually making the levels using only text? I need pictures!

I agree with jgpaiva.  Also I would suggest that you could use one of the existing free map/level editors to edit levels (TileStudio, Mappy, etc).

I don't know how those editors work. Do they just create a text file based on the graphics included in the setup? Got links to the sites so I can read more about them?

Maybe I could work on a level editor in parallel. If I could get it done in time, great, but if not, it would at least allow Deozaan to concentrate on the core game.

I think I might prefer more help with the core game for the duration of the contest. After the contest ends we could always add more features and expand it. That's how real game developers make games, isn't it? They make the version they need to before the deadline and then make a sequel and add all the things they wanted in the first place. :)

« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 12:51:48 PM by Deozaan »

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2007, 12:55:24 PM »
Quote
I don't know how those editors work. Do they just create a text file based on the graphics included in the setup? Got links to the sites so I can read more about them?

Yes, they create data files you can load from flash or any game engine.

Some tile/level editor websites:

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2007, 12:56:33 PM »
I just saw that Tiled supports isometric levels (!)

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2007, 01:40:12 PM »
Quote
I don't know how those editors work. Do they just create a text file based on the graphics included in the setup? Got links to the sites so I can read more about them?

Yes, they create data files you can load from flash or any game engine.

Some tile/level editor websites:

I just saw that Tiled supports isometric levels (!)

Both Tiled and Mappy support Isometric. Mappy also supports hexagonal.

Unfortunately Tiled exports in XML, a language I know nothing about and tried to figure out how to work with it in Flash a couple years ago but was deeply frustrated by how you had to reference objects (_root.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild etc.).

I can't figure out what Mappy exports to. Looks like a bunch of different ones, even plain text.

TileStudio can be programmed to output however you want it, and thus seems an ideal choice from the five-minute research I just did on the three programs.

Possibly worst of all, the graphics all have to be bitmap/raster instead of vector.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 01:47:17 PM by Deozaan »

mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2007, 01:47:53 PM »
Take this statement:
Quote
Unfortunately Tiled exports in XML, a language I know nothing about and tried to figure out how to work with it in Flash a couple years ago but was deeply frustrated by how you had to reference objects (_root.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild etc.).

and reverse it.

the time you spent figuring out how to get flash to load and work with the xml file will be paid back to you double.  it will in the long run be far easier for you to work with such a file in flash, plus youll gain skills working with xml files which will serve you well in the future.

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2007, 01:49:55 PM »
Take this statement:
Quote
Unfortunately Tiled exports in XML, a language I know nothing about and tried to figure out how to work with it in Flash a couple years ago but was deeply frustrated by how you had to reference objects (_root.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild.firstChild etc.).

and reverse it.

the time you spent figuring out how to get flash to load and work with the xml file will be paid back to you double.  it will in the long run be far easier for you to work with such a file in flash, plus youll gain skills working with xml files which will serve you well in the future.

Figuring out XML would indeed be beneficial. But I'd rather not have to figure it out and program a game in one month.


mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2007, 02:22:10 PM »
well this would be a good place for some collaboration - someone else could build the tile loader.

tinjaw

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2007, 02:33:31 PM »
Considering I am working on creating and parsing XML documents in Python as we discuss this, I think I could probably manage that.

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2007, 02:40:01 PM »
well this would be a good place for some collaboration - someone else could build the tile loader.

True again!

Also, I like TileStudio's drawing tutorial:

http://tilestudio.so...rge.net/drawing.html

It shows how to easily make cutesy old-school looking graphics.


mouser

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2007, 03:03:12 PM »
The idea of single plant in the center is nice and simple but what if the game was more like "Garden Defender", where on each level you have a big landscape, and one or more small "gardens" in preset places.

The landscape and position of gardens would be designed in the level editor and would greatly effect how you would have to defend them.  On one level you might have one big garden to defend in the center of the screen, on another level you might have 2 small gardens on opposite ends of the landscape, with mountains between them, etc.

Different gardens might attract different kinds of varmints.

The story of the game would be:
Cody The Bird fell on hard times, so to raise some money he applied for a job as a hypergalactic garden protector.  In order to earn his wages he must be on call 24 hours a day to defend any garden in the universe when it is under threat. Because he is a bit lazy and always considered himself an armchair general, he uses part of his pay to hire mercinaries to defend the gardens and directs them via a computer screen.  Your job is to help cody defend each garden by placing defenses and directing your mercenary army to defend the gardens, so that he may swoop in at the end and dance in the garden and take credit and receive his paycheck.

Deozaan

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Re: Jay is Games Flash Competition 2: Need Ideas!
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2007, 03:26:53 PM »
The idea of single plant in the center is nice and simple but what if the game was more like "Garden Defender", where on each level you have a big landscape, and one or more small "gardens" in preset places.

There could be multiple nectar plants. I was just thinking of a way to avoid killing things so the bugs would have to run off the screen with the nectar to get away. Thus the safest/easiest way so that you have the most time to prevent them from stealing the nectar would be if the plant was in the middle of the screen. When you attack the thief creatures, you just knock them out and they get dizzy Docos flying around their head and then wake up and leave without any nectar.

Your job is to help cody ... so that he may swoop in at the end and dance in the garden and take credit and receive his paycheck.

Ha ha I love the story. Cody is one greedy bird! The Peg People (the three people in the top banner saying "? 001110 !") could be the ones that hired Cody to the position!