Ok, so I kind of lied. It won’t be an iPhone game (yet), it will be an iPad game. My reason for this is the large amount of visual real estate it gives and the lack of iPad games being made. The ipad gives you 1024 X 768 screen size, which is a nice size for what I have in mind.

The Idea

Every game starts with an Idea, and an integral part of developing a game is the expand on this original concept in such a way that the game is fun and replayable, but it doesn’t stray too far from the original idea. There are many games that attempt to do too much and lose sight of where they began, becoming a horrible mish-mash of conflicting purposes, and leaving people unlikely to play them much. Sadly, in the world of 1 dollar apps, you can make a shit game that people play once and they won’t even bother complaining, after all it was only $1 that they spent. In the interest of good programming, I’ll try to make this game good fun.

The main idea that Lolrus suggested involves pushing a button inside a time limit, the time gets progressively shorter making the game harder, and if you miss three times you’re out. This is a very sound concept, as it offers good scalability to increase the difficulty. You have numerous ways of making this harder/fun without even modifying the concept; you can make the time limit shorter on harder difficulties, award bonus score for fast pushes, have less strikes before you’re out etc etc etc. I am going to expand on the idea in the following way.

Concept 1.

The user is presented with a grid of buttons. The grid size is increased on harder difficulties, hence adding more buttons. The buttons in the grid start a flat grey colour indicating a depressed state and randomly move from grey -> green -> yellow -> red to some end state indicating failure. The longer the game progresses, the more buttons become active at a time and the faster they progress through the colour changes. Points are awarded per button push, with multiple pushes at the same time awarding multiple points. The iPad can track up to 11 touches at a time, so we can have up to an 11X multiplier (if you’re good enough, that is).

Rapid Prototyping.

For games of the size that generally appear on the iPhone/iPad, a single person or a small group are all that is required to go from nothing to finished product. I won’t go into all the development models you can use to make software, but the one I am most familiar with, and will use, is the agile model. Agile development focuses on the production of prototypes over a small development cycle. What this means is I attempt to produce a rough and ready working version of the game quickly, so I can find out what works and what doesn’t sooner rather that later. It is for this reason I have concept one, because I can guarantee that once I have that working numerous improvements will become obvious, leading to concept 2. Agile takes advantage of that fact, allowing you to quickly find out what works and what doesn’t and then engineer in new features to test them without starting from scratch. So, before leaping into the coding, lets have a think about what this game will need.

Part 3 – Game Elements