Petunk Week 1: Finding a game idea

The first week of July has come and gone so I thought I would write about the progress I’ve made since I announced Petunk one week ago. Perhaps the right place to start is how I came up with the idea for Petunk. It turns out that this wasn’t the game I thought I would make. Initially I wanted to make a Nok Hockey game. If any of you played nok hockey as a child you know it’s a simple but fun game. A lot of the tension comes from trying to scramble to get the puck when it’s in the middle. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I could add networked multiplayer to the game in time, so I started off by brainstorming a number of ideas related to knocking things around. Check out the different thumbnail mock ups below:

Personally, I think there are a lot of fun ideas to choose from, but because of the time constraints on this project I ended up ruling out most of them because they required networking or an intelligent computer to play against. Once I selected the idea I wanted to work on I started coding up a proof of concept. In addition to proving out the gameplay, the prototype gave me some confidence that I could accomplish what I wanted technically.

Petunk Prototype: Click on a ball to fire it at the target. Press Space to reset.

This movie requires Flash Player 9

With an idea and prototype in hand I’ve started writing the actual game. Things are in a pretty good shape on a technical level, so I’m starting to think about the art direction for the game. Check back soon for more updates or subscribe to receive them automatically.


6 Responses to “Petunk Week 1: Finding a game idea”
  1. twood says:

    Physics is aways fun. For some reason I expected to drag in the opposite direction from where the ball would go–maybe from thinking about it as a pool game where I would pull back the cue? Your approach probably makes aiming easier compared to pulling backwards.

    good luck!

  2. treser says:

    are you using a 3rd party Physics engine? if so which?

  3. Yes, I’m using Box2D. Part of why I picked this idea was because I knew about this library and that it would speed up my development time. My only complaint about Box2D is that it is sometimes poorly documented and that the API is not very well designed. That said it gets the job done and I’m starting to see that I’m just scratching the surface for what it can do.

  4. Ty Taylor says:

    I like what you have right now, and I think it would be interesting to see different types of stages to play on. Have you thought about how the rules to the game would work? Would it be like putt-putt golf where you try to get all four on the target in as few moves as possible, or would you only have four shots, with a score being the best distance from the goal?

  5. Hi Ty, thanks for your kind words. I have thought some more about how a typical level would play. I think the game will focus on a player’s skill. The player will have four balls to fire each level. Each ball can only be fired once. The goal will be to get at least three of the four onto the target — anywhere is fine. If there’s time I would like to reward the player more for getting all four balls on the target or for getting the balls closer to the center of the target. Since the focus will be on skill each level should add new elements which make the player “better” at firing, aiming, etc and where the player feels like he accomplished something at the end. What do you think?


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  1. [...] you can see how this has evolved from my original prototype. I’d really appreciate your feedback on this. [...]

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