Symbll days 7 & 8

17 December, 2009

Symbll Day 7:

I worked on the map structure of the game, and made a simple mall design. In essence there are three different types of shapes that can be used in creating the layout of the mall: straight, diagonal, and curved. Each of these shapes can be rotated 90 degrees, which will allow for almost unlimited customization of mall layouts. Each shape is set in a square, and each square can be placed on a grid, I’m still working on how big the grid should be, and how big each square of the grid should be as well. I don’t think there will be too many constraints will computing power. I’m thinking of making it just black and white for now, and as minimalistic as possible.

I worked out how the icons will fit into the map as well. Each square of the grid will have the potential of storing a shop. When a square is occupied by a shop an icon displaying the nature of the shop will appear. I’m still wondering how shops will be placed inside the mall though. I want players to be able to select where a shop will be placed, because this is an important aspect of the game. A player will have to arrange stores to play with shoppers psychology, as well as increasing a shop’s interest in staying at the mall. The two options I am considering would be: a shop requests to be placed in the mall, or a player requests a certain type of shop to be placed in a square in the mall. The second option would just have the player decide as soon as the square is built what type of shop will be placed there, such as a retail store or fast food. Shops will then automatically appear. The first option would be focusing on a shop requesting a space in the mall, and the player finding an appropriate spot on a shop by shop basis. I’m not sure on this one because it might be too demanding on the player if 10 store requests appear every minute. I think this will have to be decided once I actually write the game, when I can play a little bit with the timing of events.

I also came up with a monetary system that wouldn’t involve numbers. The system would have five rows with ten columns each. The first row would be coins, the second row dollar bills, the third row dollar signs, the fourth row vaults, and the fifth row banks. A coin would be the basic unit of money, 10 coins equals 1 dollar bill. 10 dollar bills would equal 1 dollar sign, and so on. 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 units would be shown, and a player will know exactly how many coins they have. So, if the player has 2 dollar signs, a dollar bill, and 9 coins then the player has 219 coins. The calculation wouldn’t have to be made in numbers though, because profits and losses will be described in these units. A wall could cost a dollar sign, so when a player has a lot of money, a dollar sign will just be taken out of their display.

Symbll Day 8:

I’ve been thinking a lot of how the game will look. I’m thinking minimalistic, but should it be in color? Black and White has always appealed to me, but I can see how players might be turned off by such a simplistic and “emotionless” atmosphere. I’m thinking the walls will be solid, the floors will be empty except for icons. I’ve been looking at mall directories, as many as I could find online. I want the game to look like a mall directory, and I want players to focus more on the game play than what the game looks like. I’m going to constantly work on removing distractions from the game play. Does this remove some of the fun from the game though? Will people want to play for a 3D experience where it feels like they are walking through a mall? Could this possibly be the future of online shopping, where you create an avatar and walk through a virtual mall to shop? I might explore that idea more. Marketing would be a lot more organic. I think for the game I will just keep it top-down, 2d and as minimal as possible. There will be the shoppers of course, which will add chaos to the floors. OOOoooooo. I just thought about describing the details of a store and how many people are currently in the store. If a player hovers over a shop icon with the cursor then information will pop-up, like how much they are paying for rent, how many people are in the shop currently, how many shoppers per day on average, and like/dislike of the mall environment. I’ll have to figure out how to display averages.


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