Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

19 May, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Glue
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:08 PM

Let’s do something open-ended. This week, let’s think of games where the central theme is “glue” (or sticking things together).

My thoughts after the jump.

A game that typifies this idea well would be Katamari Damacy. The concept of sticking things to the rolling ball works within this theme.

Another, more obscure game, would be Tumiki Fighters. In this shooter, you can grab parts of destroyed enemies to bulk up your ship and give you more firing ability. This also makes your ship bigger, though, enemy bullets can destroy some of the parts stuck to you.

Many puzzle games also use a similar concept where same-colored objects will “stick” together and will often be removed from the play field at the same time.

So, what are your ideas for new types of games that use a concept of “glue” or sticking things together?

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  1. In some ways, you could say that most current MMOs have a “glue” concept to them, similar to Tumiki Fighters. Looted armor and weapons are glued to your character. The soul-binding concept in particular is particularly, um, “glue-y”. (glue-ish?)

    I’ve always wanted to do an implementation of Shamanism which was kind of glue-like. Shamans would go around collecting “spirits”, binding them to service in various ways. Requesting/requiring them to attach to the shaman or to another party member/creature to achieve an effect, which might then release them from service(or might not).

    It’s a slightly different take on the entire “casting” paradigm. Wish I could claim it as an original idea, but it was really just inspired by some RPG rulesets (RuneQuest and Deadlands, specifically). Anyway, might be a fun variant…

    Comment by Craig Huber — 20 May, 2007 @ 6:59 AM

  2. Lego Online!

    A perfect opportunity for a ‘sandbox’ game where the players are given a bucked o’ Lego’s and can build whatever they want with it. Given Lego’s many different themed sets you can even make bucket specific settings/worlds/shards to ensure that people fit in with each other. Each part has specific intrinsics and when combined with other parts they work. So if I’m in the Lego Space setting and I add another booster to my ship, I gain +10 thrust (Unless I put it on the front facing backwards).

    No idea what NetDevil is doing, but if they followed the simple rules of Lego it could be interesting.

    Housing? Each player is given a tile of ‘grass’ (the flat green lego pieces) and they can buy bricks/windows/doors and build the house of their choosing. After the basics of Lego + Lego = unit are done, it’s the specialty pieces that would be the real trick. Using ‘glue’ as the driving focus is natural to Lego. It’s what Lego does.

    Comment by Grimwell — 20 May, 2007 @ 10:30 AM

  3. 20 players are dropped into the center of an arena. To win, you must get out of the circle, but you are attached to everyone else. Only the top 3 even get recognized for their efforts. It is a semi-realistic physics simulation, so two people running directly against two is a stalemate. One running against 19 is impossible. Etc.

    The point: See how they work together (or don’t) and if people are willing to sacrifice a win for a common goal.

    Comment by Ryan Shwayder — 20 May, 2007 @ 1:03 PM

  4. 3rd-person control of a rolling ball through a maze, the camera slightly above and behind the player-character. Multiplayer game, with 4 to 6 balls racing through the maze’s wide lanes to reach the end. The walls are half-height, so the players can see across the maze to nearby opportunities and a flag highlighting the exit.

    Each maze-track is a giant chocolate bar (imagine the original Hershey’s bars, with their grooves and imprints along the top). The balls themselves might be Gobstoppers. As the balls race through the maze, the melting chocolate gradually sticks to them. The longer they linger in the maze, the more chocolate they accumulate and the slower they move (up to a point). By bumping other balls into walls, the player can cause others to accumulate more chocolate coating, thereby slowing them; but it also comes with the risk of acquiring coating on one’s own ball. The maze-track would eventually melt to the point that all players can break through walls (though really, I’m not sure about this part).

    Early in each race, the balls would move quickly, and the fun would be trying to find the right path while simultaneously bumping into other balls to slow them down. If nobody reaches the end quickly and players start breaking through walls, everyone would be moving so slow that it would feel like stretching for the finish line in slow-motion.

    There might be other types of candy sprinkled over the maze that can offer bonuses or penalties if the player bumps into them. Coconut or hard-candy might coat the player’s ball to negate some of the chocolate accumulation’s slowing effect. Something like Hot Tamales might add a flame effect to the player’s ball and give it a brief turbo effect.

    Some mazes might have more complex themes than others. For example, one might take place around and through a gingerbread house.

    Comment by Aaron — 20 May, 2007 @ 6:56 PM

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