Daniel Drywa

Game 0 - Part 0: Preface

What kind of game am I making?

This is the first part of the development journal I have talked about in my previous post. It is titled "Game 0" because it is the first game that I am going to create as part of this journey, and I prefer to use zero-based numbering. Every post on this Blog that starts with "Game 0" will be part of the development journal.

The Goals

I have to set myself some goals of what I want to achieve with this game. For example, expecting a high-end 3D simulation would be way out of scope. These are the things I think the game should have:

This seemingly small list already contains a lot of complex topics that I need to touch upon, and coming up with a game idea from scratch that fits into these constraints is not a trivial task. So I will be drawing inspiration from an old arcade game, and try to replicate it as best as I can.

The Inspiration

I will be trying to clone a version of the arcade game Head On that has been released in 1979, developed by Sega Games Co., Ltd., and published by Gremlin Industries.

Sega Head On.png

By Sega/Gremlin, April 1979, (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Link

Here is Wikipedia's description of the game:

Cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The goal is to collect dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is also collecting dots.

Head on is considered to be the first maze game where the goal is to run over dots, and it had its own fair share of sequels and clones. One of those clones is called Dodge 'Em for the Atari 2600 which altered the original gameplay slightly.

Instead of collecting dots, the opponent's sole aim is to cause a head-on collision with the player's car. The player, in addition to collecting dots, has to avoid a collision with the opponent. I find this version a lot more exciting than the original, which is why I decided to make a clone of Dodge 'Em.

Dodge 'Em Screenshot.png

By Atari, Inc., Fair use, Link

I also really like the cover image of Dodge 'Em:

Dodge Em cover.jpg

By Atari, Inc., Fair use, Link

The Name

Since the main gameplay mechanic of the game is to avoid a head-on collision by dodging the opponents car, I decided to call my clone Ausweichen, which is German for dodging. I don't have to worry about the exact gameplay mechanics just yet because I need to get the project base done first.

The Plan

First, I need to get the basics of the project covered. That means I need to be able to draw the graphical user interface in which the game will be displayed; I need to be able to process keyboard input; and I need to be able to draw something in the graphical user interface. After all that is done, I can worry about the actual game design. So with the rough plan in mind, I will start creating the project in the next part of this journal.

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2 February 2019 (Updated: 22 February 2019)Talk to me