Ideas n Stuff
One of the hardest things about homebrew games is to come up with something new exciting. Why would someone want to play pong on the NES, if they could play pong on a million other consoles? Most of the advice I see on the boards say to start with a puzzle game, then work your way up to something better and better. My problem is, I don't have a puzzle game that I want to make. I also don't have the creativity to make an awesome puzzle game that people would actually want to play.
So what do I do? Should I just dive right in with something totally original, or should I take the easy route and make a port of an existing game? Right now I have two games that I will eventually make. One is an original twist on a very basic game, and the other will be (hopefully) a pixel to pixel replica of a pc game.
One side of me wants to start with the pc game because:
- My drawing skills are limited
- The level design/story already exists
- It's a popular game and would get a good reception
- By not having to worry about the above points, I could concentrate mostly on the engine
- I could reuse the skills learned in my next game
However, the pc game port would involve 4-way scrolling which would be a very steep learning curve. I also run the risk of getting a letter from a lawyer wanting to sue my ass for using their IP. I probably wouldn't release my port at retrousb or anything. If I ever get it working I would release it for free, or maybe make a limited run by myself then release the rom. Basically, once the engine is in place, I can always change the characters, enemies, storyline and have a sweet 4-way scrolling platforming engine.
I guess the only thing that is really holding me back from tackling that project first is the learning curve. I have a bit of MIPS assembly under my belt from university, but not enough to do anything useful. Even seasoned veterans in the nesdev community don't have 4-way scrolling engines, so how is this newbie supposed to make this work.
My original idea will be MUCH simpler. It only involves 1-way scrolling, limited AI, and fairly simple collision detection (unless I decide to implement slopes. So far my design does not include slopes. It will be based on the highly addicting flash game canabalt, but with storylines, characters, powerups, lives, bosses.
When you think about it, having a character stand in one spot and jump across platforms that move towards them should be pretty simple. I guess I could always just rip some sprites from existing games until I get things working.
If anyone reads this, let me know your thoughts. I need some guidance