So, What Next?

After clearing my mind about donuts, I think it’s time to put some stuff up about the things I might wanna do next. Baby is coming… but there will be game development ahead.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I’m trying to climb to a higher level in game making. I like scripting and adding content – not all the technical stuff.

I checked Unity3D. I’ve been reading tutorials already, checked some things from the forum, ordered & read a book about it and toyed around a bit. (Okay, all this took like a few days in total, so I’ve really gone through Unity fast-forward mode digesting all the information about it). It seems a reasonable candidate for game development plans I have (more on these below)

Here’s list of things that are currently on top of my head right now:

  • Block stacking type of game. I’m very proud of my Highpiled game. It’s fun game. It has potential to be a really cool game. It’s also technically relatively easy game to create – it’s more about content. I have several ways how this could become a cool casual game. I’m not totally sure if portals would accept it, but it’s possible. I think it would also be good way to get familiar with Unity.
  • Another block game. I have some other ideas on how to approach the whole block stacking thing, and I suppose there are some ways to make a more portal friendly block game. But if we forget portals – would making this be fun? Quite possibly. Even if it would be just a prototype, it would be a nice way to test the waters with Unity.
  • Dead Wake 2 (or porting Dead Wake to Unity). At the moment this option is probably the lowest in my hierarchy (due the fact that I don’t have Unity experience so much), and that it would require something more in the game (besides of course the suicide-for-point feature). I can see ways how this could be fun.
  • Edoiki: Couple of years ago I ended Edoiki development (mainly for the reason that the project was too big for me). I now have some fresh ideas which resonate into something like “thief meets crimsonland” type of genre. I think adding stealth in the Arkanoid genre (since that’s what Crimsonland and other games are: if you sit down for a moment to think about you’ll agree with me). It would mean quite new design for Edoiki, but somehow it might be a cool thing to do. And now I’d have better tools and skills to pull the project successfully in the end. I have no doubt on that.
  • Hidden object game: I sort of hate all the current hidden object games. Yet, I’d wanna make a hidden object game that I like. Must be something in my water.
  • Guards: There has been this one game I’ve wanted to do earlier. It was about having several mini-games inside one bigger game. It would be easy way to prototype (since one mini-game is a really small thing) and continue development – or stop it – after doing 1 or 19 mini-games. It would be bit like doing “prototypes”, but using the same theme & graphics style in one game. The mini games could be about a “guard doing his training”.
  • Traitor game: This is something that’s practically not used in video games. There are social/party games (like Mafia / Werewolf) and board games (such as Battlestar Galactica) which have brought me the best gaming moments ever in my life and are – in my opinion – something that would work also in computer screen if produced well. In these games, there is one (or sometimes more) traitor in the group… yet nobody knows who it is and the accusations fly over the room. Since it requires multiplayer (at least 3 people, preferably more) it’s slightly more complex to do – if wanted to do properly. IRC/forum versions just don’t quite do the trick. A better approach would be needed.
  • Or something totally different: As you can see. Getting ideas is the easy part. The 0,01% part of the game production.

I’m leaning into “Unity + the simplest possible game to make” formula, but we’ll see. You are free to comment (bearing in mind my new ignore everybody attitude).

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I also like the idea of that Guards! game.
    What makes me interested is that you’re thinking of making several mini-games into one bigger game.
    We @ Kybernesis is actually dabbling with a similar idea for our 2D side-scroller ;)

  2. You could make an ASCII text version of Dead Wake, then it would run also on modern laptops, and not only 3 years old PCs with nvidia 8800 :)

    I’ve seen people playing Nethack on a 50 inch widescreen LCD, and it looks really cool!

    However, ASCII text games run faster in a window than in fullscreen (BIOS text) mode, so you have to make a big overscan window to get maximum performance out of the game.

  3. Yeh… possibly.

    But doing it differently could be tons of more fun (for me)? :)

  4. Re: HOG form a totally different angle. Sure that may succeed and be a hit but there’s a much greater chance of it flopping due to it being too different. Customers like more or the same but ideally with a little bit different angle, look at Fairway, look at Unwell Mel, same but with a twist.

  5. @Oliver: regarding guards, what do you like about it? Do you mean “prototyping” is the thing that you like?

    @Jake: I don’t like those “find Waldo”. But… I would like to approach the genre from totally different angle.

    Donuts is not a problem. I had healthy budget for Dead Wake (not putting it in public though), and think that creative use of donuts would allow me to get things in such level that I can donutize it. After all, you gotta spend donuts to make donuts. There is potential in Dead Wake 2 (having Dead Wake free brings extra traffic, thus those people who like it could be interested in Dead Wake 2 as well) – as for technology, I would need to downgrade from Leadwerks to 2D or 3D (Unity/Bmax/GameMaker or something similar) to ensure that the game works on peoples machine.

    As for Facebook. or iPhone (=everybody is into iPhone, right ;). It’s of course a possibility. If I’d want to go for the “traitor” direction then I might actually go for some sort of AJAX/PHP/JS/HTML/SQL “real time” solution.

    I don’t want to go too much into technology just yet.

  6. When I’m thinking about new projects I always like to create some options. So I’d also say to start out with the Guard collection and get prototyping and either finish that or jump into a bigger game when a killer idea hits you.

  7. If you want donuts your best bet from the above options would be Hidden Object BUT only if a) you played lots to become familiar with the genre b) you were prepared to have a big art budget c) you were passionate about it (sounds like you are not).

    Dead Wake 2 could do good if it was commercial quality and on Steam and XBLA etc, but again that will require budget and lots of time. Basically you have to spend money to make money, that’s something I’ve learned.

    Otherwise you need to something else (to make donuts) – maybe iPad, maybe Facebook, maybe something else. If donuts don’t matter, then just do what sounds the most fun and that you’ll learn from and that there is maybe a chance of donutizing later on.

    Good luck. Watching with interest.

  8. Thinking, thinking.

    UDK is not for me I believe, but I guess I could take a look at it (=that’s something I’ve learned: to not ignore everybody right away… ;)) if/when Dead Wake 2 sounds doable.

  9. Well, I’ve tried Unity3D few times but I don’t like it. Maybe you could try UDK, for DeadWake port it will be better and I think just easier :)


  10. The Guards mini-game collection sounds interesting:
    – scalable
    – different game plays
    – massive prototyping
    – many lessons to learn as designer

    I would choose this one. Promises production fun and flexibility.

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