Game Making – Research

Before I start, let me make something clear: I don’t play video games, at least not on my laptop. The games I play regularly are on my phone, so I won’t be able to give a personal insight into the PC games in this post, but I will do so for the phone games.

One of the games that I enjoy playing on a regular basis is Novenia. Novenia is a Chinese game that’s somewhat like an online RPG, but it doesn’t give you direct control over game characters like many MMORPG’s. Rather, you have character cards each with different stats (e.g. some cards have a high attack but a low health, while others might have a high recovery but a low defence), and you use turn-based and menu-based control to fight enemies. You can build your own team of 4 cards and go out on quests to earn money and resources that can be used to strengthen your character, and there are also multiplayer quests in which you play with other players in real time and earn Guild resources and weapons (which can also be upgraded and equipped to strengthen cards). If you join a Guild, you get access to more resources and friends in the game, who can help you in the Main Story quests.

The goal of Novenia is up to the player, and can range from increasing wealth to getting as far as possible in Main Story quests, but I personally enjoy strengthening my cards and going on multiplayer quests to see how strong other players are. The game also uses a mix of CG animation and 2D images, which I find aesthetically pleasing and impressive (for a phone game). It’s also free to download from iTunes (although I don’t know if it costs anything for other phone brands), so there isn’t the problem of price when deciding whether or not to download it. Overall, I think it’s a great game, with a bunch of different features to keep players interested

Another game that I’m familiar with, but sadly no longer have, is called Cytus. It’s a music-based game created by Rayark, in which you have access to multiple chapters each containing songs of different difficulties. Each song has an Easy and Hard mode, and the difficulties range from 1 to 9 (although I’ve heard that the producer has or will release a level 10 song). There are also “hidden” songs that can be accessed by tapping on the regular song in a certain pattern, but there are no indications of which songs have hidden songs or how to access them. Thankfully, there are a bunch of videos online detailing where they are and how you can get to them, so it’s much easier to locate hidden songs in any given chapter.

Aside from that, there are also Story songs that detail the plot of Cytus (which I won’t spoil, go look it up yourself). In the middle of playing that song, it shows some scenes of the story as well. All in all, there aren’t many graphics while you’re playing the game (it’s a music game, images are a distraction), but the cover art of all the songs are pretty incredible. Cytus also released the Million chapter, something they promised to do once they got a million downloads, as well as a bunch of different side story chapters (which I am not updated on beCAUSE I DONT’ HAVE IT ANYMORE). Overall, I find it a fun game that doesn’t have much of an end goal aside from mastering (getting full points on) all the songs, but the quality and range of music as well as the cover art makes up for it. It costs $1.99 USD, which is around $15.6 HKD, which I think is a reasonable price for the game quality.

Moving on to game making programs, I have chosen to research and eventually test Unity, GameSalad and Flowlab. Although I have yet to test these programs, so far, it seems like Unity is the most complex one. Considering the fact that it is a professional game making program, I will definitely not be using it to create the game as I won’t be able to complete it within the time constraint. However, I am very much interested in the functions and possibilities of creating a game with Unity, so I will definitely explore it in my free time (I’ve already downloaded the free version).

As for the other programs, I have downloaded GameSalad, and Flowlab doesn’t require a download (which is great because it saves time, but at the same time it means internet connection is required). I’m currently locked out of my home because I was stupid enough to forget my keys, so I’ll update this when I have a desk to work on and report how GameSalad and Flowlab works.

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