Case Study of the Game Development Process

When I asked myself, "Lee, what is the best way one might combine both bread and ancient structures and incorporate them into an ingenious and amusing video game?" I found myself at a loss. For quite some time I stewed over this question, and I was unable to come up with an answer. A chart should serve to illustrate more precisely this dilemma:

Figure 1.0

This was quite the challenge, and I knew I had no choice but to get started immediately1. I knew that Incredible Space Dracula was possibly my only hope. In some ways it was a relief, but in others it only added to my confusion.

It seemed likely that the game would be a puzzle game. A platform, 3D, RPG, or simulation style game would be completely out of the question. This was kindly pointed out to me by Incredible Space Dracula himself. I would never take it upon myself to question his words, and plus, that was what I'd imagined in the first place, so it seemed like destiny to me, you might say.

I think it's the devil.

Immediately I got to thinking about puzzle games and their components. "What's the one thing that just about all of them have in common?" I asked myself. The answer is falling. This did not come to me in a dream. But think of how many puzzle games involve objects falling from the sky, or impending destruction from above? The most obvious examples would be Tetris, Bust-a-Move, and Dr. Mario. There are freak games like Pipe Dream or Qix, but Incredible Space Dracula assured me I should pay no mind to them. This was an exciting development in the process. I had finally begun, and I could see my dream taking shape. The next question is, what is falling? I would imagine I have four choices for the answer:

ancient structures
something that will eventually land on bread and/or ancient structures.

A fifth answer could be that some ancient structures fall, while others remain on the ground for the entirety of the game, but this seemed wholly ludicrous at the time. A decision as to the exact nature of these plummetting items could possibly be best made if we were to imagine ourselves actually playing the game.

Let's imagine the setup for this game. We, as the puzzle player, are involved in a world in which bread and ancient structures coexist, however the tranquility of this coexistence has yet to be determined. We are also aware of falling, which is to be a common occurrence in the world. We have to try and think about what would be most fun. For the first idea, we can have bread which falls on ancient structures. Incredible Space Dracula suggested a scenario for this situation. His suggestion is as follows:

"We must put ourselves in the role of a grounds keeper in charge of a field of ancient structures. When we realize that bread has begun to fall from the sky, we will want to defend the ancient structures from the hazards of the bread. Although I am currently at a loss as for how bread could damage them, we can invent a reason later, such as that it is explosive bread or possibly they are breadlike aliens. This section is meaningless. I find it likely that such a grounds keeper would have a gravity gun which could move one loaf at a time. When loaves are positioned in such a way, they would vanish. To take it a step further, we can imagine that certain types of loaves target certain types of ancient structure. For example, rye loaves might be baked in such a way as to be as destructive as possible to the Parthenon, which means that we have to direct this rye loaf to the Parthenon's natural enemy, Machu Picchu. This would destroy the loaf, in my opinion."

Incredible Space Dracula makes a good point. The current problem is the fact that I have to sleep. I will sleep and continue this later. The cool thing is, from your perspective no time will elapse at all. Enjoy! Okay I'm back, and I have forgotten everything. I think I might have mentioned something about Egypt, but the memories are clouded. A man standing next to me introduced himself as Incredible Space Dracula and forced me to read this page, at which point everything came back to me. Incidentally I removed my hat at about the same time, which is strange because I never wear hats.

Suddenly I remembered that I said Incredible Space Dracula made a good point and at this time I am inclined to elaborate. His scenario is so believable that I felt the need to check several sources in order to find out whether or not that game had already been created. It had not, which is the reason I breathed a sigh of relief at that moment. We must, however, explore all four options of the list.

an unpleasant combination

Option two sets the scene by providing us with ancient structures which fall, presumably on bread. For this I had my own idea. Once again we shall take the role of the game player himself. We will imagine ourselves as a baker, creating various types of bread. At the moment we notice ancient structures have begun falling from the sky, we will realize our only option is to cushion the fall of these ancient structures with piles of fresh bread we had baked only moments earlier. Following Incredible Space Dracula's lead, I will take this to the next level and incorporate ancient structure-specific properties into the bread. For example, the shape of the pyramid would make a bagel completely useless in forming a cushion were it to fall upside-down, but for something like eggbread, a cushion could be built with only a few loaves. A game about a panicked baker running around dispensing loaves of bread to save the treasures of the world which have begun falling from the sky is something I believe almost everyone would enjoy playing.

The third option is quite possibly the most absurd of the four. One can hold little hope for the sanity of the poor soul left in charge of dealing with the menace of both falling bread and ancient structures. My darkest nightmares2 do not measure up to this. My confusion reached a new high when I attempted to tackle this mountain of a problem. Its treacherous crags included such perilous features as the Arun Valley and the Suligad River. I was dumbfounded, and to the casual observer it might appear as if Incredible Space Dracula felt the same way, but of course I knew better. His mind far exceeds that of the most modern computers and genius type people, so I knew eventually I would receive a solution from him. My thoughts were justified when he spoke to me after 6 days of silence. He spoke in Romanian but I had a translator. The cryptic answer I received may have been the result of a poor translation, or perhaps his genius was just too great for me to comprehend. This is what he told me:

"I could not begin to explain this without pointing out the incredible size difference which exists between bread and ancient structures. For the sake of simplicity, we will say the average loaf of bread is approximately 55 barleycorns in length. Some ancient structures can be up to 52 roods in base area, which, as you can justly see, is a terrible discrepancy. Thusly shall the exaggerated size of the falling loaves be explained: an obvious solution is for the bread to be of a supernatural origin. Moving on, we take note that falling pyramids and great walls of China will cause massive amounts of damage to the countryside, while the damage caused by the fall of a roll or bun or what have you ought to be minimal. Now the game itself will involve us trying to dig away the earth beneath us, which is being piled up by several families of moles who constantly dig beneath us. We will use the gravity gun I mentioned earlier to position the bread in such a way as to direct the ancient structures to remove any dirt which interferes with the natural shape of the countryside. This is the game as I see it."


To be continued..!