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Our First Game: Code Named “Darts”

// October 4th, 2010 // By LordBron // First Game, Game Design, Game Dev, iDevBlogADay

It’s time we unveil our first game! This is the first concept actually created by both me and Smiley. (Technically, there was Tiny the Blog but that was just me at the 360|iDev game jam sans Smiley) Our code name for the game is (drumroll please):


Yeah, I understand codenames are supposed to be…well, codes. However, we’re still new to game dev and so we’re saving all of our creativity for the game itself and perhaps the real game name. Remember, I’m also the one that said it was safe to discuss your ideas publicly, so that’s what we’re doing. Now, I know what your thinking, “Darts? Really? All this talk about story, originality, ground breaking interaction, etc and they come up with darts?”

Some key factors to the game design:

1. Multiple devices – Our darts are going to use iPods and iPhones as the dart device with the iPad being the dartboard. It’s something that seems to make sense for us and still unique. We actually had the idea around WWDC, but have been waiting for GameCenter to make it to the iPad which finally is happening with iOS 4.2. It’s not a new idea or even all that novel, but it’s still unique enough to be different.

2. Dart types – This is where we will differentiate ourselves. There’s a ton of serious dart games out there for both the iPad and iPod. Ours is NOT going to be joining their ranks. Ours is going to be completely different. While we are taking the basic game of darts as the basis for our mechanic, that’s about where it stops. See, it’s not that we think that darts as a game isn’t fun. However, let’s face the truth. Darts is not America’s most favorite past time. Therefore, we have an idea of how to introduce some more fun into the game. To give you an idea, here’s some concept art for the darts:

A couple of dart types

This is what you’ll see on the dart device whereas this is an idea of what you might see once the dart lands on the dart board:

Concept Landed Dart

We have some other creative ideas as well, but we haven’t fleshed them out yet. Therefore, you’ll have to tune in to our next week’s post to get a deeper view into the game.

The main artist for the game art is my dad. Smiley and I are way rusty on our art skills, so we needed someone who actually knew what they were doing. My dad has been an artist all his life, most of it professionally as a graphic artist. He’s retired now, so he needs something to keep him busy. According to him, the sketches above show how “rusty” he is. LOL It’s also neat to have him contribute to the design of the game in addition to being “just” the artist. How can you not look at that concept art and get inspired?

PoV’s Challenge Update:

The past week was getting a rough game engine in place to put up screens, load/play sounds and figure out simple sprites. We coulda used Cocos-2D, but I figured that we’re going to eventually be pushing the boundaries of iOS as far as interaction, etc in future games. Therefore, rolling our own will likley be an eventual thing, so we better get our learn on now. This week is going to be nailing down the throw mechanic. I have some ideas of how to do it technically in my head, but we’ll see if I can actually translate that into compilable Objective-C code!

All in all, it’s a pretty exciting time for us as a company. We’re in the throes of building our first game and we have a crazy deadline to hit. We’re starting to feel like real game developers for the very first time and we’ll be honest, the feeling is pretty intoxicating. :)

3 Responses to “Our First Game: Code Named “Darts””

  1. Hey, I just came up with an idea for a game…

    You remember Pocket Tanks (and all the others of those sort of games?)

    Well here’s my idea…

    Let’s bring that to the next generation. My iPhone has GPS, compass, satellite mapping via google, etc.

    So the idea would be that I would utilize these features. And you’d play with friends. Literally bombing your friend at their location.

    Add the ability to purchase some defenses, etc. You would have to point, estimate distance and see how close you came.

    Difficulty could be set by a requirement of how exact you need to be. Affects of wind and weather could also come into play. (Via pulling the current weather.)

    Things like lasers might not be affected by wind, but would do reduced damage in cloudy weather. Projectiles would be affected by wind.

    - The Saj

    • LordBron says:

      Hey Saj. Sounds like fun. However, why don’t *you* make it? Come join the Dark Swf, errr, I mean side. LOL

  2. [...] we came up with an idea, “Darts”, other things fell into place.  We realized we needed an art department. Luckily, my dad retired [...]

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