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Monthly Archives: February 2009

I’ve been inspired for at least three new iPhone game ideas:

A “Rogue-like” RPG with increased flexibility, decent input protocols, and some increased complexity and crazy stuff.

A board game-style card game.

A puzzle game using the iPhone’s unique input capabilities.

More on these when I decide to flesh them out.  I’ve started on design docs for the first two, which will take me a while for fleshing and mock-ups and whatnot.  I’ll be sure to post them when I’ve gotten far enough into the projects to not worry about someone stealing my ideas.  Until then, peace!


For this challenge we are to make a game that tells a narrative/story/moral through the rules or how the game is played.

Something similar to the messages in Monopoly, Life, or Jenga.

Monopoly shows that small businesses can be easily conquered by larger, more entrenched businesses

Life shows the winding path of life, peppered with strange and interesting events, but everyone ends up in the same place.

And Jenga shows that building on a weak infrastructure will eventually cause everything to fall apart.

So something like that: something that conveys deeper meaning through it’s gameplay and mechanics.  This one is probably going to be pretty tough, but we don’t have class on Wednesday, so I have a full week to work on this sucker.  I’ll be posting my themes and game ideas soon.

I’d like to thank my readers, mostly ’cause I can.  I’ve seen that there have been a handful of quite faithful readers, and that means a lot to me.  So, a salute to all you.

Personally, I think they went over pretty well.  A professional avatar, some color, and a little bit better of an explanation for the game I think they would be quite exemplary.  However, I handed them out to a few people and only one of them really said anything: “Huh, nice.  Where did you get the clipart?”  FYI, I built the image myself (I’m kinda proud of it to be honest).  Let me know what you think.

I think that 3D Tic-Tac-Toe will work quite well for this challenge.  I have completed the first run of the cards, the image of them is here:

First Business Card Attempt

First Business Card Attempt

Trying to figure out what I should add/change but I think it looks pretty damned good.  Any ideas or comments are surely welcome.

The next challenge is to create a game that can be played using or on a business card.  This seems like a monumental task, but we’ve already seen a few in class that were pretty ingenious.  My plan is pretty unimaginative, considering I came up with this idea before, but I want to use the 3D Tic-Tac-Toe idea.  This idea presents a few advantages and a few challenges:

3D Tic-Tac-Toe is very simple and could easily be played on the back of a business card.  Unfortunately, without knowing what they are supposed to do, explaining the concept and rules while still allowing for play space could be an issue.  It’s certainly something I will have to sit down and plan out, which is my next step.

More as it evolves.

The reason why I haven’t posted anything in the last few days is I’m stumped.  I’m bewildered.  I’m fresh out of ideas for this challenge.  I tried to make the business card game fun and interesting, but the goal is unclear, the mechanics are difficult, and I don’t think it would be much fun.  I’m officially raising the white flag on this one.

Even if I did decide to do something related to Dr. King, what?  Should I do a board game?  Should I do a card game?  How should the players progress and what would be an interesting and compelling goal for a game like that?

Ugh, I’m out of ideas.  I’m gonna have to show up to class today with pretty much nothing and ask for help.  A sad state for certain, but I suspect it has happened to more successful people than myself.  I’ll be sure to let you guys know what I come up with.

The fourth challenge for VA 306 is to make a game out of the title “I Have a Dream”.  This is a flexible requirement, the game only needs to reference the title loosely, but has no other restrictions.

Original brainstorms (remembering that I am trying to make a card game) have been:

  • Building a government
  • Building a business
  • Mad Libs style dream creation

Will have to flesh out some of these ideas, but I think it’s a good start.  More later.

It seems I can’t get away from complex war games. However, I feel the tendency towards over complication is better than the reverse, allowing me to pick and choose rules and concepts instead of having to create new ones on top of a concept. The point of this reflection is that the first shots at Boarding Action showed that the rules I outlined beforehand are VERY complex.

The playtest showed that pre-built units are probably the best way to go, with a Food pool of something like 30 instead of 150.

Players will also start with 1 Captain, 1 First Mate, 1 Buccaneer, and 1 Master-At-Arms. New crewman can be bought using the player’s Food points and equipped using their Booty as outlined before.

New access points to the opposing ship will be added to the board in addition to the plank boards. These “swing points” will take crew members over to the other ship onto pre-determined positions.

The statistics for each crewman as as follows:

Cook:  S:1  A:1  P:11  D:11  H:20  R:3  Special: Heal adjacent by 1d6.  F:3

First Mate:  S:3  A:3  P:12  D:12  H:15  R:4  Special: Double capture rate.  F:7

Master-at-Arms:  S:0  A:4  P:10  D:15  H:12  R:3  Special: +3 ranged damage.  F:5

Buccaneer:  S:4  A:0  P:15  D:10  H:12  R:3  Special: +2 melee damage.  F:5

Bo’ sun:  S:1  A:1  P:14  D:14  H:12  R:5  Special: +1 P & D for adjacent.  F:6

Captain:  S:4  A:4  P:13  D:13  H:22  R:4  Special: Only one at a time.

Special Attacks are the same as before and Booty can be recovered as before using the enemy’s hold.

I think these revised rules will make much faster setup and gameplay.  Will have to write these up into a readable rule set for the next playtest.

To be honest, I’m getting sick of war games.  I really want to make a kick-ass, simple card game.  I don’t have any good ideas for one yet, but I think it’s one of the areas I really don’t have much experience in and would really challenge me.  That’s what I’ll be shooting for if the next challenge allows for it.


Well, turns out that even if I could get this working with Apple’s NSOpenGLView, that I can’t superimpose a button on top of such a view.  So…I will be forced to do my own GUI setup.  I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s certainly something I wish I didn’t have to do.  Fortunately, I have parts of the Cocoa API to help me out.

First up, however, is to fix texture loading issues.  Who’d have thought that reading in texture data would be so complicated and convoluted?  Oi.  I digress.  Onto GUI programming!

Well, I’m officially at a loss for the particle engine.  I’m going to try finding some help through some forums and articles, but I’ll be changing focus away from it for now.

Instead, I need to tackle a glaring problem that I have been avoiding for quite some time: GUI.  My current implementation does not allow me to add any of Apple’s UI elements to the engine for input, so I need to one of two things: rebuild with Cocoa so that I can use xib files and/or all of Apple’s prebuilt GUI elements OR build my own GUI element implementation.  I bet you can guess which one I’m going to do.  However, you’re probably wrong on this one.  Though I generally tend to do everything the hard way by re-inventing the wheel, I am going to rebuild to allow for Apple’s GUI elements.

This should really help with the usability of the engine, but it’s going to be some hard work for sure.  Keep tuned for developments on this one…