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Intro, Good Book, New Game Concept? – Sweng Wah

Sweng Wah

Junior Member

Posts: 2
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: 11-23-2004
Greetings,

I haven't read very many posts, but want to introduce myself, recommend a book or two, and introduce a Game Concept that may be somewhat new (at least, I haven't read of any discussions of it.)

My signature, below, tells more than enough about me, Wayne Haufler.

I have been finishing up the book "The Indie Game Development Survival Guide" by David Michael, and highly recommend it. (Indie = Independent) Its filled with lots of good sense only acquired by experience and wisdom, IMHO. (www.charlesriver.com) I especially like its chapter on "The Game Design Document".

Just acquired the "Blender 2.3 Guide" and "the official Blender Gamekit: interactive 3D for artists", and hope to be using that tool soon, as well as leveraging my Perl experience to learn Python scripting.

Another book soon to be available, I understand, is about how to design games to be FUN. Should be interesting.

God has blessed me with some 10 game visions of varying feasibility, but I recently realized they mostly share a certain common concept. This concept is rather technically expressed (hey, I'm an Engineer) in my signature as my Approach:

"To Illustrate Abstract Christian Principles with Dynamic Metaphorical Mechanized Models in 3D Puzzle/Arcade Games."

I don't suppose anybody is going to understand this overly-technical statement without an example. As complex as this sounds, the idea is to Keep It Simple, much like Big Idea kept their 3D animations simple by using limbless veggies. Think Joshua's Wall, but maybe more complex, with Puzzle and Arcade modes targeted for the RealArcade crowd.

This concept is to allow player to play with said model, to teach, to motivate, to illustrate consequences of decisions and behavior, to allow playing bad, but to reward playing good, to include models of relationships so player can practice at relating. Scoring could include an Earthly Score and a Heavenly Score, so one can see how well you played in the Eyes of Man and in the Eyes of God.

The environment would be 3-D, but the laws of physics could be loosely or creatively applied or modified to support the Model. Think of a Spiritual Realm metaphorically represented.

Also remember that the Bible is replete with Metaphors and Allegorical stories that Jesus used to illustrate Abstract Principles using Concrete Analogies.

I have been working on a 5800 word, 13 page Game Design Document, as described in the above mentioned book, for my premier game idea entitled "Heart Bounce" or "Heart Reflections". It needs more organization, but is rather well fleshed out. Unfortunately, I have little time for this work, but it is close to my heart. Lots of ideas, many borrowed, some quite unique, I think.

Perhaps this is enough written for now. I MAY be attempting to assemble a small team for this endeavor in the near future. Anybody potentially interested?

Has there been similar ideas discussed earlier? Can you point them to me?

Thank you,
(Sorry for such a long post)

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Sweng Wah = SoftWare Engineer, Wayne A Haufler wahaufler@yahoo.com

Avocation : Glorious Godly Graphics and Games
Approach : To Illustrate Abstract Christian Principles with
Dynamic Metaphorical Mechanized Models in 3D Puzzle/Arcade Games

Tools : Blender-3D, Python

Church : Gloria Dei Lutheran Church [url] www.gdlc.org[/url]
Home
: Houston, TX (Clear Lake area)
Personal : 45 yr old father of three: 9, 6, 5 yr old; wife Karen
Employer : NASA/JSC contractor Boeing:
Work Role : Space Shuttle Flight Software Requirements Engineer (Ho hum)
exCareer : C/C++/Perl/SQL/Unix/X-Windows Sr. Software Engineer

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
interesting. to be honest, I got more from your technical definition than your example. but, hey, I'm a computer science major. we can communicate better on that level, no? haha.
um.. still little fuzzy on what you want, but sounds original so far.


sry, can't help. already bogged down with classes, work and projects of my own.


P.S. Contractor at NASA? niiccee.. my dad used to do that, now a full NASA employee.

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Soterion Studios

Klumsy

Administrator

Posts: 1061
From: Port Angeles, WA, USA
Registered: 10-25-2001
cool what does your dad do at NASA?
a friend of mine wrote a really good image compression algorithm, that happened to get used by nasa in their robots to mars thingy, which i think is really cool.. imagine your code running all the way on mars .
i joke around that he included some really cool and persuasive terrian generating code into it

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Karl /GODCENTRIC
Visionary Media
the creative submitted to the divine.
Husband of my amazing wife Aleshia
Klumsy@xtra.co.nz

HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Welcome Wayne! So glad to have you join us here at CCN!

I think your ideas are fantastic! I'm interested in hearing more about your ideas, and seeing how feasable they would be to complete. I'm currently steeped in another project, but I'm interested in seeing if some of your projects are short-term (as the other project I'm working on is pretty heavy). Also, I like your goals and would be interested in seeing how many of your principles I could put into my own game. The link in my signature gives you some of the things that I think are possible to achieve with video games.

Btw, space shuttle code, and yet you don't have ADA on your list of language experience?

Again, welcome to the boards!

In Christ,
clint herron

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http://www.includingjudas.com/christiangame.html

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
quote:
cool what does your dad do at NASA?

he's computer scientist/ project manager in the field of space robotics.
worked on Deep Space 1 (was developing self-fixing software), PSA, and even the Sojourner a little bit. ( I met the guy who developed the wheel system for it when I was doing helping with this BotBall thing at NASA)

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Soterion Studios

Sweng Wah

Junior Member

Posts: 2
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: 11-23-2004
Sorry it has taken awhile to respond. When I write, I tend to get verbose. Here I go again. But its all good! :^)

> Btw, space shuttle code, and yet you don't have ADA on your list of language experience?

Good catch. Actually, I do have a few years experience with Ada, in two different experiences. I learned Ada while implementing the Operations Ground Management System (OMGA) prototype for the Space Station End-to-End Testbed, but which was not used at all for the ISS Space Station. I then maintained some Ada code for the ISS (International Space Station), the Failure Detection, Isolation, and Recovery (FDIR) part of the Attitude Control System (not my favorite work). But my skill summary was initially written to get me a job in the private sector, for which Ada is hardly an asset.

I have been keeping my design close, a bit afraid that someone might steal my design. However, though I have heard that has happened, that fear hardly seems in line with a Christian faith. After all, the purpose of this site, I think, is to help each other with our ideas and perhaps implementation.

So, I am trusting God, and TRUSTING YOU, dear Reader, to please NOT steal my idea. I suppose you may be inspired and adapt a portion of my idea for your game design in progress, but PLEASE, if you wish to work on this game idea, please work for me on it, and I will reward you.

Also, the book I recommended stated that "ideas are cheap... It seems that everyone has a great idea. ...Ideas aren't worth much without expending the effort to make something concrete out of them." and "there are always more ideas than resources to pursue them."

At the other extreme is Open Source. I have an internal struggle between the need to be financially rewarded for my effort, and the desire to provide a free ministry, as well as reap the open source benefits for the project (as opposed to for me, personally). Going Open Source would seem to be well-aligned with Christian values, whereas going Commercial, albeit Independent, might on the surface smack of greed. But not really.

Have I opened a can of worms? Think I'll address this topic in a separate message.


So, that all said, here is more of the idea that I implicitly promised.

And to be thoroughly obnoxious and protective,
Copyright 2004 WAHAUF --Wayne Haufler

The Bible speaks metaphorically of hearts in several descriptive ways
Good: pure, soft, open, transparent, broken (can be good)
Bad : hardened, corrupt, closed, opaque, broken
There are other commonly used metaphors involving hearts I'm sure you can think of.

I have a few different "skins" for this game, but the gameplay remains similar and the basic one is as follows.

The game centers around a heart shape, say a heart shaped inflated raft, depicting the emotional/spiritual heart of a person, floating on, say, a lake surface. The main camera angle is from directly above the heart. At each point (discretely divided segments or continuous) along the wall of this raft, called the "heart shell", the wall is either transparent or opaque or some level of opacity (out of say 10 levels). This represents the potentially complex spiritual state of a man.

On this heart rains BLESSINGS from Heaven (Northern shore, top screen edge), and CURSES from Hell (Southern shore, bottom screen edge).
In its simplest form and lowest levels, these projectiles are Bright and Dark, respectively, raindrop or comet shaped objects. These are NOT weapon-launched projectiles. I considered laser-like bright and dark rays on one extreme, to simple balls on the other extreme, but have settled on comet-like objects. We'll call them Bright and Dark Rays, anyway.

The player controls a double-sided paddle or mirror, moving it back and forth inside the heart to intercept these projectiles (as in other paddle-based games), but coming from above AND below (screen-wise), as well as rotating the paddle to aim the reflected ray or bounced projectile at certain portion of the heart shell (wall of the raft).

The key here is a behavior that does NOT follow the laws of physics (This may be too complex for most casual game players).

INBOUND rays are affected by the heart shell at the intersection. (InRay <= Shell)
OUTBOUND rays affect the heart shell at the intersection. (OutRay => Shell)
In more detail:
An INBOUND ray is ATTENUATED by the amount of opacity of the shell at the Incoming (pre-bounce) intersection point.
An OUTBOUND ray changes the opacity of the shell at the Outgoing (post-bounce) intersection point.

Key Concepts Taught: (I need to find supporting scripture.)

Man is rained with Blessings and Curses, but himself decides how to react to them, how they are going to affect him and others around him.

A Good Man finds it easier to accept God's blessings and is better shielded from evil.

A Bad Man finds it hard to accept God's blessings, and is more susceptible to evil's influence.

To keep from teaching a symmetrical Duality (God and Satan are equally powerful opposites), the above physics will be adjusted to make it easier to be Bad than Good.

That is, there will be a consequence for doing nothing (laziness), and one must take action, keep busy, to keep clean.

Summary:
User manipulates (rotates, movesX) Paddle(s) in Heart object to reflect God's bright rays of love from above and Satan's dark rays from below.
Inner surfaces of Heart shell get
dirtied by reflected dark rays.
cleaned by reflected bright rays.

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-- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Sweng Wah = SoftWare Engineer, Wayne A Haufler wahaufler@yahoo.com

Avocation : Glorious Godly Graphics and Games
Approach : To Illustrate Abstract Christian Principles with
Dynamic Metaphorical Mechanized Models in 3D Puzzle/Arcade Games

Tools : Blender-3D, Python

Church : Gloria Dei Lutheran Church [url] www.gdlc.org[/url]
Home
: Houston, TX (Clear Lake area)
Personal : 45 yr old father of three: 9, 6, 5 yr old; wife Karen
Employer : NASA/JSC contractor Boeing:
Work Role : Space Shuttle Flight Software Requirements Engineer (Ho hum)
exCareer : C/C++/Perl/SQL/Unix/X-Windows Sr. Software Engineer

HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Wayne:

Thanks for your great reply! I definately won't steal your ideas, and it sounds like a really cool way of illustrating spiritual concepts through the analogy of a computer game!

I juggle as a hobby, and one of the most redeeming things I've found with it is the ability to put together spiritual juggling illustrations that people can easily remember and meditate on later. It sounds like you're trying to achieve a similar thing through a video game -- I think that's fantastic!

You mentioned Blender -- it almost sounds like this could be pretty well accomplished using Blender only, yes? I have very little experience with Blender, but from what I've seen, it seems like one can do a fairly decent amount of programming in it. I take it you've already made a few prototype models and such for the game?

I'm very interested in this project -- I fear overcommitment so I can't say that I can be a lead programmer or anything, but I'm at least interested in closely following the project and seeing where it goes.

Is there anything I can help you with at the moment?

In Christ,
clint

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http://www.includingjudas.com/christiangame.html