Game Idea Giveaway - Freetrace

...continued from The Game Idea Giveaway Thread

Request by Geekman:
  • what sort of game idea you're looking for
    Puzzle, Adventure
  • what your goals are in making this game
    To make it simple yet unique and fun
  • what games you've made already
    No Popular games (yet)
  • your favorite Flash games
    Fancy Pants, Dino Run, Wone, Sling, Roller Coaster Rush
  • your abilities in game design, programming, art, and sound
    Game design-Ok, Programming-Intermediate, Art - Ok, Sound - Bad
  • your preferences in game design, programming, art, and sound

The weird idea: Databomb

The normal idea: Freetrace

In short, the idea is a puzzle game where you erase a drawing. It is inspired by the practice of walking a labyrinth - that is, following a winding, circular path for prayer or meditation. In this game, you trace the lines of an existing drawing with a virtual eraser by clicking and dragging, trying to do so as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Each line is actually made up of many pixels, and like a typical drawing application, you can erase these pixels in an area around the mouse cursor. But to keep things a little more interesting, your eraser strength is inversely proportional to the speed at which you move it. That is, moving the eraser quickly will hardly affect the pixels underneath, while moving very slowly will erase them completely. This makes wild scribbling ineffective.

What's the challenge? I've recently discovered the joys of swarming enemies, and I think they'd work out great in this game. These swarmers would fly around the screen, chasing after your eraser - your mouse cursor. If one of them hits you, your health or perhaps a score multiplier would be reduced. But the swarmers wouldn't be able to pass through the lines of the drawing.

As you erase, you end up dismantling your own protection bit by bit. If you want to succeed, you must be careful to maximize your protection throughout instead of erasing haphazardly.

Some lines may create living eraser crumbs when you erase them. These crumbs destroy the swarming enemies on contact. So you can use them for defense. Some protective crumbs might stay where they are, while other types might move in defensive swarms themselves or chase after the enemy swarmers.

For an extra challenge, the eraser could be a limited resource that runs out the more you erase. This would encourage you to keep your eraser strokes efficient. Or the scoring system could reward efficient erasing by giving out more points for each pixel you erase, and less if you are trying to erase pixels that are already blank.

The game would be divided into levels, each one a unique drawing made up of curved or angular lines. When you erase the whole thing, you get your score and the next level is unlocked. There might also be an opportunity for randomly generated levels or an endurance mode with drawings that continually regenerate in interesting patterns.

You'll want to collaborate with an artist on this one, though this may be difficult since each drawing must take both gameplay and aesthetic considerations into account. For this reason, I would suggest starting with abstract patterns that make for fun gameplay and interesting puzzles to solve, and then enlist the help of an artist after that.

Implementation would be fairly straightforward - no fancy physics involved. All you'd need are basic bitmap manipulations and collisions, and some simple swarming behavior. Let me know if you want any help! Good luck. :)

Want an idea? Make a request on The Game Idea Giveaway Thread!


Danik said...

Interesting! I like this game idea. Defenitely original!

axcho said...

Thanks for letting me know, I'm glad you liked it. :)