I’m now at lens #12, the lense of resonance from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses written by Jesse Schell. It is about to elevate the game from craft to art. A quite an ambitious lens. Not sure if All Fucked Up has this resonance. I wanted it to be cute and simple and, well, doable. A resonating theme, but simple.
Let’s reach for the stars and tackle the four questions from the book.
- What is it about my game that feels powerful and special?
- When I describe my game to people, what ideas get them excited?
- If I had no constraints of any kind, what would this game be like?
- I have certain instincts about how this game should be. What is driving those instincts?
Firing weapons is one of the most powerful things in this game. It looks good, it feels good, it sounds good. I love the fact that I do not visualize the guns by applying it to the character but with how the shells get ejected. The shotgun makes a soft sound while ejecting the two shells after firing. Also, the sound when the shells fall on the ground gives a little extra. I watched quite some gun training videos on youtube and besides fast reload there is also gun switch from handgun to rifle and back. I was thinking of that and will make this part of the game that you can switch between a primary weapon (rifle) and a secondary weapon (handgun). Rifles are more precise on targets farther away than handguns. Handguns are better for close-range battles than rifles. But also if you run out of ammo a gun switch can save your ass.
M4 with a high fire rate, 30 rounds mags, fast reload
The very few feedback I got so far was mainly that firing the weapon looks good and to the point. My children and my girlfriend like the cuteness of the characters. The hero has a funny side which makes it fun to play but also to watch. Whenever we talk about that they have a bunch of ideas to make it more fun.
M249 with a fast fire rate, 100 rounds mags, slow reload
The imagination to be in a badass movie with the fun moments and cool quotes are something I want to craft. The gameplay has to be smooth and precise and the badass quotes to the point at the right time. The action should be loud and intense. But as well some silent and beautiful moments to add a strong contrast. Even with no constraints, I would like to have the levels simple with a focus on the cute characters. I would like to have a proper walk animation. Slapstick reactions like screaming, laughing, cursing, exciting, and more. But as well more details like falling leaves or flying paper when we rush through an office, grass which reacts, or fireflies.
M1 semi automatic, 8 rounds mags, slow reload
My instincts tell me that I’m on the right way I intensive the gun mechanics and the funny side of the hero. I simplified the tileset as I would like to add details differently and subtly. So my focus is entirely on
- Making the guns feel good, look good, sound good, and super precise
- Focus on cute animations, reactions, and design
- Add subtle small reacting things to add more love to the game
It is amazing how these lenses helped me to improve the game. I have a much better understanding now on how this game has to look and feel. It helps me to drop the things which do not help the game. The focus is so much sharper now than at the beginning of this experiment. I’m curious where I end up when I’m finished with this book.
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