Before I went to bed, I started working on getting a skeleton project up and running.
I know. I know. It’s supposed to be one of my pre-compo checklist items: “Is your build environment working? I’m using CMake, and I should probably prepare an LD24 project beforehand so I’m not wasting time trying to get the build scripts to work when I could have a buildable project with a blank window from the start.”
Well, I didn’t. So I spent the first few hours getting a window up. Basically, I took existing scaffolding code (a basic Game class, Command/Event interfaces, stuff like that) and slapped it together as minimally as possible until it could build successfully and leave me with a window that shows a title screen and can exit properly.
The title is…evolving.
But the actual game design? Still only ideas right now.
I figured that a lot of people might try to make a Spore clone. I’ve seen quite a few screenshots with little primordial oozes as playable characters, and presumably you gain abilities, appendages, and interact with other units that might be more or less evolved than you. While I’m excited to play some of these games, I’m not sure Yet-Another-Variation would be interesting to work on.
I like the idea of an evolving landscape. A tile-based world that starts out with only one kind of tile with certain attributes, but as you explore it, you come across evolved tiles which might have new attributes or changes to existing ones that might impact movement, health, sight, sound, etc. And if I do it right, no two play sessions will be the same.
In terms of engineering, experimenting with neural networks might be fun. Maybe let the player pick a trait, and then have the system go through a few iterations to find out how healthy it is compared to others. On the other hand, that sounds like a lot of uncertainty and an unfinished compo entry.
Anyway, I’ll think about it some more over breakfast.