Prototype 2 - To Endure

I made this game for a weekly prototype making class (the whole collection of games can be found here, my friends games for this week, here).

The theme for this game was To Endure, which felt somewhat similar to last weeks one (good luck). Continuing my thoughts on metagames, I first tried to think if there were any existing NES games I could hack again to make something endurance related.

My first immediate thought for an endurance game was a game where you had to put your hand near a candle and endure the heat, I had played with candles the week before and have been talking about candle games with some friends (including Ty, which made a candle game for last weeks prototype). The main consideration for a game about this is whether or not to have a sensor. With a sensor you can make a game with more immediate feedback related to the heat, my idea was playing megaman (or mario) but charging the shot required putting your hand near a candle. It sounded interesting, but the other approach, which interests me more, is the Asphyx approach, in which you ask the player to self evaluate if they did the task or not. I am fascinated by this and really want to explore this eventually. The obvious thought in this case was to straight up make an Asphyx mod, it would be doing 2 things that interests me at the same time, using other games as a base and emersive(?)/fuzzy magic circle stuff of letting the player check their state. Sadly the source code for asphyx is lost for the meantime and I didnt really want to do the sensor thing (and there were no free sensors at the university makerspace). So I’ll let this exploration for later.

I let the ideas simmer, also because this week was the final week for me to have a delivery version for another project of mine, which you should definitely ~~pay~~ check out. I knew I wouldn’t have much time, so also had to make an idea that would mostly be ready during the 3 hours of class on wednesday. There’s also a playtest event on thursdays, so I am aiming to have the weekly prototype in some playable state by every thursday.

On tuesday night, Sam (check his cool stuff out!) and I were talking about ttrpg stuff (thats all we do basically) and he showed me the physical version of Anti Sisyphus, a very interesting zine of mostly unplayable ttrpg games/commentary. Since we had dice nearby I had the opportunity to DM the great An Adventure, in the Anti Sisyphean style, which has the following table:

It struck with me, and wednesday morning on the subway going to class, I could only think of a giant desert, expanding in all directions, and the desire to endure to maybe roll a 1 in a 100 to find a goblin. This made me think of a possible third person minesweeper, which I shortly considered but realized I wouldn’t have time to do in such a short time. Then for some reason I thought about golf, a golf infinite minesweeper sounds incredible. I have the usual golf stroke mechanics. Ideal. As soon as I got to class I opened models resource, an amazing website that you should use for your games, looked for golf, thinking about getting Mario, or maybe a sadder character, like wario, and there I found Mii Wiggler, in all its glory.

I decided to go mostly for vibes in my first pass, just find a big desert, have a golf swing, and some sad sounds, didn’t even think of any goal, just pure desert golfing. Mixamo luckily had an amazing golf animation, which was a bit of a headache to add to wiggle, but once done, incredibly magical. I then thought about a way to make it extremely futile, and just added a drawing of a golf flag into the background skybox thing. By the end of the 3 hours (and a bit more time the next morning) I had the main loop of the game happening, some funky camera work and some sounds, ready to go for playtest.

I asked Darwin to help me with a name for the game, but instead they made me the amazing cover art for the game, and I decided to just name the game after the original paiting. They were also curating an event which had games with similar vibes of re-using assets from other games, particularly mario, some of which were deep inspirations for this project (this and this).

I tested the game, people seemed to be frustrated but liking it. I was also testing a couple other things, the most interesting being button ball, which I might post about later. Some people gave some deeper readings of the game, which was cool. Then I put it on hold until today (sunday) to live life and finish the other project.

Today I decided to implement a more interesting golfing mechaninc than the traditional bar. If you have not played the game yet, I’ll tell you to go mess around with it and try to figure out how it works, I’ll spoil it next. I wanted to make something where you “practice” the shot before actually making it, or that you predetermined your own goal beforehand (Ty was talking about trying something like this for tennis), I played around in mspaint to see how the drawings of moving the mouse back and forward would look like and ended up implementing something like that. I think its not perfect, but I like how it works, maybe theres a better version of it in case I want to make a long form golf game in the future.

I tested it with some friends, that surprisingly seem to get the golfing mechanics, so I decided to just do some small tuning and finish it up.

Excited to see people playing it tomorrow. Thanks for reading


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Version 2 Sep 27, 2021

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