Prototype – RGB

Whenever I come up with a new game idea I like to create a quick prototype of it in Game Maker to see how much potential it has.  In creating prototypes I typically come across a number of design problems that I didn’t see when I had the initial idea.  It is typically these design problems that will cause me to abandon or continue working on the game.

One prototype that I’ve been playing around with lately is for a game tentatively titled “RGB”.  The game is about a pixel in a computer display that has gained sentience and goes around restoring the dead/stuck pixels in the display to life.

The original idea was that it would be a puzzle platformer where you play as a flashing pixel that, upon colliding with other pixels, will cycle them from red to green to blue, and then back to red.  The goal of each level is to make all of the pixels the same color.

RGB Prototype 1

A screenshot of the first prototype.

Upon finishing this first prototype I found two big problems:
1. It is difficult to precisely hit one pixel when you can move freely.
2. All puzzles I could think of were easy to solve using brute force methods.

So, to solve these problems I decided to give up on making it a platformer, and allowed the player to move up, down, left, and right, snapped to the game’s grid.  (Like an old JRPG) This also helps reinforce the idea that the player is a pixel in a display because they cannot move on a sub-pixel level.

RGB Prototype 2

The first level of the new prototype – the player is the gold pixel.

The new prototype solves the control issues of the old one, and opens up a lot of new possibilities for puzzles.  While it is still difficult to create puzzles for the game that cannot be brute forced, I have created a few, and am confident that I will be able to create many more.

RGB Prototype 3

One of the easier puzzles in the new prototype – the player is the gold pixel.

Quick Update

I’ve added a link and some info for my Ludum Dare 23 game Planet ZOOB to the games page, check it out!  I’m gonna do a full writeup about the game once I get a working scanner.  I want to scan in my design sketches to go with the post.

Also, the site now has a (barely functional) store where you can buy a Pacifist Games logo tee if you for some strange reason want that.  I wanted a logo tee for myself, so I figured why not sell them?  They’re 100% organic cotton!

That’s it for now, back to work on the mobile version of Planet ZOOB.  :)

On Logo Design

Since I finally have the site up and running smoothly, I thought I’d take a moment to explain the Pacifist Games logo.  Back when I started thinking about creating Pacifist Games, in early January, I knew I’d need some kind of logo to represent it.  After a little bit of pondering I came up with a list of the three most important features such a logo would have:
1. It would be easily recognizable, at any scale.
2. It would be a simple and colorful vector drawing.
3. It would represent the name and mission of Pacifist Games in a unique way

The first two features are pretty trivial, but the third is where I started to have problems.  How can I represent the name and mission of Pacifist Games in a unique way?  I began by looking at common symbols for pacifism.  The symbol most commonly used to represent pacifism is the peace sign, but to me, the peace sign doesn’t mean much.  How do three lines and a circle represent peace?  I decided that I would begin to look for better representations of the pacifist ideal, and, if I did end up incorporating a peace sign into the logo, it would be in a subtle way.

After some more thought, I decided that a tree is a much more suitable symbol for pacifism.  A tree never consciously causes harm to other living things (as far as we know) and has only beneficial effects on the health of the Earth as a whole.  From this conclusion I decided that the Pacifist Games logo would have to prominently feature a tree of some kind.

Combining these two ideas, and keeping in mind the three main features that the logo had to incorporate, I designed a few prototype logos before settling on the current one shown at the top of this page.  Now, you may be wondering, how does it incorporate a peace sign?  Well, folding the logo in half, as shown below, reveals its true nature:

Introduction

Hi, and welcome to PacifistGames.com!
I’m Kyle, and this is my personal website!
Here’s a little dialog to introduce you to the site:

What can I expect from Pacifist Games?
If you have a look at the mission statement on the About page:
“Pacifist Games’ mission is to create interesting, thoughtfully designed, and primarily nonviolent video games that treat players ethically.”

What does that even mean?
The Pacifist Games mission statement can be broken into 4 main ideals:
• Interesting – Games that are interesting arouse the players’ curiosity and hold their attention, one might also call them “captivating”.
• Thoughtfully designed – Game design in which all parts of the design have been thoroughly considered.
• Primarily nonviolent – Don’t expect to find the next big war-themed first person shooter on this site.  All games released by Pacifist Games will be suitable for general audiences.  In-game violence will be used sparingly, and only where it is absolutely necessary to achieve a certain effect.
• Ethical treatment of players – All games under the Pacifist Games label will respect the
players’ time, money, and mental health.  Games should be enjoyable, with no adverse
effects on their players’ lives.  Basically, I won’t be making Farmville or World of
Warcraft.

So what can I expect from this blog?
The Pacifist Games blog is where I’ll be posting information about the current progress of my games and game ideas as well as talking/ranting about game design and development.  Follow Pacifist Games on facebook or twitter to be notified of new blog posts.

Cool, where can I play some games?
All games will be posted on the blog and added to the Games page as they’re completed.  At the moment the selection is pretty sparse, but I hope to change that soon.  I participated in the Ludum Dare 48 hour game making competition last weekend.  If you want to try the game I created for that, go here.  Expect a blog post about its design soon

Thanks for checking out my site!
If you have any additional questions, ask them in the comments!