2017-12-05 - Prototype
Earlier this year i started working on a prototype i had thought about for quite some time. I was trying to mix some parts of the classic sim city style building genre into a more puzzle like approach. The general idea was to have a set of cards/tokens/buildings with different properties that you would place down one by one into a hex grid. Based on the relative position to each other buildings would grow and create points or more valued space on the board it self. The first iteration of this prototype failed due to the lack of finding a good way to make the building part meaningful enough. I uploaded the first version of this prototype on Itch.io and called it a day.
In late September i gave the idea a second try and decided to make my process of working on a new thing a bit more transparent by posting a big thread on twitter. You can start at this tweet and go all the way to the “finished” prototype.
Ok, my sort of city building prototype. I promised some progress. I will start a Tweet chain and add everything here. This is the vision: pic.twitter.com/Wri4vpUBHA
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) September 27, 2017
I was playing around with the idea of unlocking instead of building a city. Final Fantasy 10 introduced me to the skill tree that was a huge board of connected nodes that you could unlock in order to level up your character stats. Path of Exile also uses this system to allow for really interesting skill builds in an action rpg. Unfortunately i could not find a good way to make this work as well. From there i stumbled into a more Match-3 like idea where you would move around the board/city in order to generate resources that you could then spend on something (which i couldn’t figure out as well).
Update: i don't know what i'm doing, but i might be onto something else here. Not sure right now 😂 pic.twitter.com/wXClYF0PBc
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) 6. Oktober 2017
Even though the rotation mechanic is quite interesting and the combination of different simple tiles makes up for a good toy like system i decided that this would not lead me somewhere. There’s a very good metaphor for creating an interesting game: It’s a thread sticking out of your shirt and you can pull it bit and then it get’s longer. Then you pull a bit more and the thread keeps on going and there is an almost infinite amount of thread that you can pull from your shirt. That’s the moment when you know you are onto something. Unfortunately my thread is super short and ran out very quickly. This is why i decided to call this a finished and failed prototype.
I’ve uploaded the latest version to Itch.io as well so you can take a look. Maybe someone will take the idea and make a game out of it some day. I think it was really cool to document the process itself and let people peak a bit behind the curtain of my thoughts.