Game Idea Giveaway - Randori

...continued from The Game Idea Giveaway Thread

Request by IvyGames:
  • what sort of game idea you're looking for
    I guess, can any of your ideas incorporate a floating jellyfish?
    The jellyfish in itself isn't that important to me, what is important is the flowy feel one gets from sea-based games, and a jellyfish is for me the epitomy of that flow... very relaxing but intense at the same time, if you know what I mean.
  • what your goals are in making this game
    Making a game that really flows together and is simple but beautiful.
  • what games you've made already
    Vertical scrolling shooter and a Three Word Story game.
  • your favorite Flash games
    Dolphin Olympics & N The way of the Ninja.
  • your abilities in game design, programming, art, and sound
    The first three for me are just a matter of taking it painstalkingly slow; I could program anything given enough time in the helpdocs and online guides... sound I expect to mix and edit from sources on the Internet.
  • your preferences in game design, programming, art, and sound

The weird idea: Salmon Song

The normal idea: Randori

In short, the idea is a mouse avoider like Particles, where instead of dying on contact, you only die if you get hit too hard.

You asked for a game with a flowing feel, that is intense but relaxed. What that means is there's a lot going on, but you continuously make small motions that blend with those around you, whether those are enemies, obstacles, the wave of the sea, or your own breath cycle. It's about being harmonious with yourself and your surroundings.

The small, flowing motions are important. If you're smashing things out of the way, the experience may be intense but it's not relaxed. Instead of opposing the movement around you, you blend with it. You match its velocity. That means you see how fast an object is going, and then you match that speed exactly so that when you touch it, there is no impact. You are not moving relative to each other. This is concept from Aikido, the nonviolent martial art. If someone punches at you, you can use your body to match the speed of their fist and then redirect the force.

So how do you make a game about that?

The simplest way I can imagine doing that is to make a game based on the randori practice of Aikido. In this exercise, you are in the middle while a bunch of other people rush in and attack you, either with an actual strike or a simple push or a grab, depending on your skill level. You must remain calm and in control, redirecting their attacks and keeping on the edge of the crowd so you don't get trapped in the middle. The basic response to an attack in this situation is to turn your body to match the speed of the attacker and redirect it around you at the same time, then push them away once they are past you so you can move on to the next attacker.

As a computer game, this could be very minimal. Everyone is now a circle. You move your own circle with the mouse - it follows the cursor more or less instantaneously. The other circles, your attackers, all swarm in toward you. If you get hit too hard - if the relative velocity is too high in a collision - you lose a life. To avoid that, you match an attacking circle's speed to reduce the impact, then push them off to the side so you have time to move and engage the next attacker. It could be a simple survival game, like Particles, where you try to last as long as possible before running out of lives. More attackers might appear at regular time intervals, increasing the difficulty as time goes on. Some attackers might not even attack you - they could just bounce off the walls and each other like the balls in Particles. Some might just be inert obstacles that clutter up the field and force you to move more carefully. There's a lot of complexity you could add to this concept.

And of course there's no need to give this an Aikido theme. It could easily be abstract, just circles and shapes, or even underwater, with jellyfish, if that's what you want. Jellyfish could be cool, too, because you could make the objects more than circles - they could be webs and strings of circles connected together with ragdoll physics. And you could add waving currents or fluid physics too. Just don't put it in space! That's overdone. ;) I might end up making a game like this with an Aikido theme anyway, so that's another reason to theme it differently. :)

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

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