Game Prototyping - Slot Quest

Slot Machines + Role-Playing GamesAnother reward system that can be used in games that we didn't mention in our previous post is slot machines. This type of system allows players to press their luck and spend coins in the hopes of lining up three of the same symbols. We wanted to see if, instead of just being a reward system, a slot machine could be used as the central mechanic in a game. This prototype combines a slot machine with a role-playing game in the form of "Slot Quest".

Slot QuestA typical slot machine consists of a number of reels containing several different symbols. These reels are spun when the player pushes a button or pulls a lever and randomly stop on a symbol. If three of the same symbols appear on each reel in a row, the player is rewarded with coins. In Slot Quest, the symbols represent actions that the hero can perform in the game such as moving, attacking and gaining coins.

Each spin costs a coin and if all of the player's coins are depleted, it&#…

Multiplayer Games using Google Sheets

Google Sheets For Multiplayer PrototypingThe most essential part of a multiplayer game is the ability for players to communicate with each other in some way. The simplest way to achieve this is for players to have shared access to a database that they both can read from and write to. When building multiplayer prototypes, it can be a hassle to setup a server and database and to then manage connections between players. What if there was a free database that existed somewhere and which players could perform operations on? Well, a database can simply be a table consisting of columns and rows; exactly the same as a spreadsheet. Google Sheets is a popular free online spreadsheet application which can be read from and written to via APIs.

The idea here is to use Google Sheets as our backend database for our multiplayer game prototypes. In order to do this, we need to be able to read and write to the sheets via Javascript. To read from the sheet, we can use a library called Sheetrock which all…

Game Prototyping - Tetricity

Combining Tetris and SimCityTetris and Simcity are two classic games of very different genres. Tetris is a puzzle game which we described in a previous post, while SimCity is a city-building and management game created by Will Wright. The idea for this prototype is essentially whether these two games could be combined to create something entirely new. This post is about a game prototype by GamePyong codenamed "Tetricity".

TetricityIn this game, similar to Tetris, you mainly interact with tetrominoes. Instead of manipulating the blocks as they fall from the sky, however, in Tetricity you are able to drag the blocks and place them anywhere on the grid. The blocks are of three types: (R)esidential, (C)ommercial and (I)ndustrial. These correspond to the different types of building zones that can be built in games like SimCity.

As can be seen from above, the blocks are arranged in the usual Tetris configurations and each block has its building type shown. Blocks can be rotated usin…

WizzaMan Post-Mortem

A Pac-Man Dungeon CrawlerPac-Man is one of the most well-known games in the world. Created in 1980, the game took the arcades of that era by storm. GamePyong wanted to try a new spin on the classic Pac-Man gameplay and in so doing, WizzaMan was born. WizzaMan retains a similar feel to the original game especially with the layout of the dungeons. However, it adds its own new twists to the game which will be described in this post.

Mixing GenresOne of the things we love to try at GamePyong is mixing different genres together to see what happens. That was the case with WizzaMan which is a mix of classic arcade gameplay and roguelike dungeon crawling. Just like in Pac-Man, the objective of the game is to collect all of the shards (or pellets in the original game) in the dungeon. Unlike the original, however, the dungeons are teeming with enemies which WizzaMan can kill by using his spells. Defeating all of the enemies in a level with automatically draw all of the shards in the level toward…

Reward Systems for Games

Keeping Players HookedMany modern mobile games include reward systems for unlocking content such as new cards, game characters or items. These systems usually involve spending some sort of in-game currency in exchange for a chance to win something. There are many different types of these systems and every game usually does it a little bit differently. In this post, we will present two different reward systems that can be used in a game. 

Spin the WheelOne way to implement a reward system is by using a wheel with prize wedges. Most people are familiar with the paradigm from game shows such as Wheel Of Fortune and The Price is Right. The player simply spins the wheel and the segment that it stops on represents the prize that is won. Some systems include a bad wedge which hurts the player instead of rewarding them (the bankrupt segment). 

This system is fairly simple to implement. The wheel is subjected to a random amount of force every time it is spun and this causes it to land on a rando…

Game Prototyping - WordScraper

The Power of PrototypesBuilding games is not easy. At GamePyong, we have a bunch of game ideas which we would like to make someday. The problem is how do you know if an idea is going to be fun or interesting or even playable? In order to figure it out, we usually build a prototype of the idea using barebones artwork to determine if its viable. This lets us see what the gameplay might be like and quickly tweak the prototype to make it more interesting. If the idea turns out to be a good one, we continue iterating on the prototype until either we find that it won't work or it should be made into a full game. The idea here is to fail fast if the prototype is a dud so that we can move on to the next idea. In this post, we'll be looking at an idea for a word puzzle game codenamed "WordScraper".

A rough outline of this game idea is shown above. At the start of the game, the player is given 7 letters and 1 letter is fixed to the ground. The player must use his let…

Artificial Intelligence In Games - All Fours

Games that ThinkThe field of Artificial Intelligence is one that has been growing in prominence in recent years. The introduction of smart assistants such as iPhone's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa has pushed artificial intelligence into the limelight. Artificial intelligence has been around for a long time though, especially in video games where it has provided a challenge against even world champion chess players such as Garry Kasparov. Many games feature artificially intelligent agents that vary from the simple enemies which follow players around in Super Mario Bros to the lifelike behavior of opponents in modern first-person shooters such as Call Of Duty. GamePyong has also used AI for some of its games in order to provide a compelling single-player experience. The post will feature one of the more interesting examples of video game AI written for the card game All Fours.

Single-player All FoursIn our previous post about the game of All Fours, we mentioned…