1GAM #1: Match 3 with Rotation

As mentioned last time, I ripped the basic elements out of several reasonably simple game ideas to come up with obnoxiously basic game ideas -- essentially single game mechanics out of which I intend to create one game a month using Unity. My intention is to target Android with all of them, as that's the platform I'm mainly interested in working with.

Up first: Match 3.

The original had an accelerometer element, so that will be the next mechanic to get some love, but for now I'm stuck with just plain old Match 3. Well, at least nothing excessively complicated that deviates too far from that mechanic. Amusingly, I actually saw a girl on the train today playing pretty much what I'd come up with before, so at least I can be pretty sure I'm not sitting on the Next Big Thing.

Out of a few ideas, the one I figured would be at least a little novel was altering the direction new tiles 'fell' in from each time a match was made. I later realized this pretty much just means rotating the game board, which... shock and awe! Also been done. Oh well. I think I'm going to keep my original idea, as it's subtly different in that the player's view is fixed.

Meh, it's just practice anyway. :)

I sketched out the main gameplay, using my amazing Programmer Art Skills (you'd never know I actually used to be a decent artist... oh well) for kind of a concrete view. While the goal is really just to build and release simple games, I think this will be good for at least a few fun moments when several coincidental matches result in the usual waterfall effect with an added rotation gimmick.

I figured laying out the actual goals for this exercise would be appropriate, so here's a list. I love, love, love lists. So I put lists inside my lists, so I could list while I listed. It was good.

  • Learn dynamic scene sizing and fixed orientation (for Android) in Unity.
    • Consider trying to support centering the game board on wider aspects and shoving it off to the side for lower ones.
  • UI: Title screen with Start button and timer/turn count toggle; game screen; score summary screen.
    • Look into whether multiple scenes is best practice for Unity here.
  • Clear UI indicators for game mechanics
    • Including typical snap-back of partially-dragged tiles.
    • Game turn count/timer and score display.

So there it is. I don't think this is excessive; granted, there are only three weeks left in the month, but... there are three weeks left in the month. Graphics and sound will be co-opted from public domain or CC sources (and cited, of course), and Unity makes the things I spent most of my time on with previous attempts trivial in many cases, so I think the scope here is very reasonable.

Wish me luck!

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