Sharing my first game prototype!


  • Tiger Hat

    Hey all!

    Something from Lostcast #177 really resonated with me when McFunkyPants said something like “I realized I didn’t have the time to make big giant games so I started making small ones” (very VERY liberally paraphrased).

    Up till then, I had been caught in a death march working on a monster of a game that had a massive scope (yes, yes, I did the “my first game will be a MMO!” mistake). It felt like that quote sort of gave me permission to set it down–even temporarily–and start on something a lot smaller in scope.

    …and that’s what I’ve been working on. I put a rough prototype together and have recently got it into a somewhat-playable state. There are still a ton of bugs, but it’s in an at least somewhat shareable state I hope.

    Those interested can take a gander here: http://justinlei.com/PencilWars/index.html

    There is no AI so you’ll need to grab a buddy, but basically you take turns dropping ships (those boxes, hard coded 3 each for now), and then you take turns trying to eliminate each other’s ships.

    You move the ships by clicking and holding on the ship and dragging backwards. When you let go, the ship will “fling” forward.

    To fire your lasers, you must first toggle into “FIRE MODE” - this is accomplished by clicking “MOVE MODE” in the top left (keep clicking to toggle between the two modes). Shooting is done in much the same way as moving, except shooting is on a “hair trigger” - as soon as you pull back far enough, the shot will fire.

    Anyways, hope you guys can derive some fun from this little game, and I’d love to hear any comments/questions you might have!



  • Good job taking this advice, and good job getting something published! It’s important to start small with something that you can actually finish in a reasonable time. (especially if you’re a lone wolf)

    Probably not really my style of game, and I didn’t play extensively, but here were my initial thoughts, take them with a grain of salt:

    • The backward mechanic threw me on the first move, because I moved the mouse in the direction I wanted to go. (I chuckled), because I didn’t read all of your directions. (A good game is best “experienced” rather than “following the directions”). But a simple tutorial or something can solve that, and I realize you’re in prototype phase toying with ideas.
    • Regarding the mechanics: The game seems fundamentally to be a “strategy” type, requiring thought in how you want to move your units, however, given that there is no “grid” and you are relying on pixel perfect accuracy, I think it would be really hard to predict or strategize without feeling slighted that you were off by 1 pixel which resulted in your demise. I wonder if a more granular grid based system with visibility into ranges and things would make it more interesting from a “turn based” strategy perspective. (so you can predict how close you should move to the other player in case they decide to move on their next turn)? Or if you wanted to “block” one of your other ships, you can’t really predict how far your ship will travel. /shrug
    • Firing was not aligned correctly. Pulling straight down for example fired at an angle.
    • I like the fire effect on the movement. :)

    Neat. :)


  • LDG

    Good stuff @fallse7en, congrats for putting it out there, that can feel scary at times. What’s next, are you still working on it?


  • Tiger Hat

    @Ralkarin:

    First of all, thanks for taking the time to give it a playthrough!

    I’ve heard the backwards mechanic pulling thing being not the player’s first impulse, but I’m hoping you’re right - maybe a tutorial will fix that?

    As for the mechanics, I was trying to aim for a balance between strategy and skill - my hope was that being able to place the ship where they want it would come with experience. With a grid based system, it’s not too far from just clicking where you want the ship, right? I dunno, I’m obviously not some master game designer. :P

    Dang, I’ll get that checked out - thanks for pointing it out!

    @richtaur: Thanks! I think I’m going to spend a little time polishing this prototype a little - I was thinking the final product would actually be playing against some AI for a level or two actually. After that, I did have a few other ideas I wanted to explore - what I want to avoid is getting stuck grinding on one game for too long like I did last time!


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