(Note: These screenshots are from Reckless Getaway, not the game I’m trying to make.)
I just downloaded and played a bit of Reckless Getaway on my iPad. From playing it just a little while I had one of those “yea, duh!” moments while thinking about the game that I’ve been trying to make.
I’m currently stuck thinking about AI and how the heck I’m going to make that. I believe it’s a pretty important part of the game - it can’t exist without it. Then I play this “simple” little game and I’m smiling and having fun within seconds.
There are some interesting design decisions in the game that end up making things less complex and more fun:
- The controls are simplified - you only have to worry about turning left and right and occasionally using a power up. You don’t have to worry about your speed or breaking.
- There are civilian cars which just try to stay on the road and seem to have limited maneuvering decisions to make. There are also enemy cop cars which seem to have basic “seek and destroy” goals. (There might be more enemies with more complex AI)
- The levels seemed to be custom made - not randomly generated “endless runner/driver” type levels. They are sprinkled with little challenges and side roads to try and navigate with rewards along them. Lots of little details make the levels fun to play and explore.
When I finished Galaxy on Fire 2 I wanted to make a game similar to it but with cars that have weapons, along the lines of The Road Warrior and Car Wars, Carmageddon, Interstate 76, etc. As I thought about the game I realized how the decision to do things in space for Galaxy on Fire (if they did decide that) made things easier than doing things on the ground. Getting a spaceship from point A to point B seems a lot easier than for a car that needs to follow a road.
The end result is that I think I need to find some simpler games to try and create so that I can build up my skills. Right now the idea of creating AI for a game with cars, roads, weapons, missions and several connected areas just seems like an impossible challenge because I don’t have the skills yet.