Search and Find: In Real Life
Search through my house looking for items that I misplaced. But hurry, time is running out!
The first semblance of a game I made after getting GameMaker was a series of photographs of rooms randomly downloaded from the internet and linked together in a slightly sensible way. Starting at the doorway, the goal is to find the bathroom.
But wait, there's more
To make it a game, there needs to be a challenge; impose a time limit. To keep with the bathroom theme, the time limit would naturally be the amount of turns you can hold it in, illustrated by the screen growing yellower each turn until you either found the proper place or lost everything.
Ok, that's kinda gross, and somewhat limited gameplay. The second iteration of design was to call it "Hide & Seek" and search the house for a person. This could be limited to places someone could actually hide, or be weird and any place could obscure the quarry. But, now there's the possibility of adding riddles to solve. You look around the house, and try to deduce which rooms are most likely to hold the riddle. Don't take too long, or you won't get a good score.
Making it real again
As it stands now, it is more of a general search and find game. This means that the silliness of a person hiding in the fridge is gone, the riddles can be a lot more straightforward ("Where are my keys? I know I unlocked the door before I took my shower this morning, but they're not hanging on the door!"), and score is less abstract. Like in the first iteration, time and reward are intrinsically linked; the longer it takes for you to find the item, the later you are to get where you're going, instead of just faster = more arbitrary points.
Getting pictures: my house is not 2D. So, I'll have to find a way to link pictures so that you can walk around the house. Technically, that might be as easy as a blurred transition into the next picture when you click the arrow, but that means a lot of pictures. Or, I can take less pictures and try to find a technical solution such as stitched together photos that you can pan in a 360° circle. I don't know if GM supports that easily, and it means more work on making the pictures align. Unfortunately, it might not even mean less pictures.
Hiding things. I could hide about six things that I need to grab before I go, and that would make sense. But if I reuse the same house with different things hidden or in different spots, that's all those pictures over again, for very little gain. However, a new level could just be a new location, like someone else's house. "Hey, can I take detailed pictures of every part of your house looking like you haven't cleaned in a month and then post it all on the internet?" However, this is supposed to be something that gets done, not a AAA level game. So, I should settle for one level with about 6 things.
I want to have this done this summer, and publish it on itch.io. Then, I can have at least one thing under my belt and feel great about moving on to a more intricate game of fishing and finances.
August 2018 update
The game was supposed to be done by now. I got all the pictures taken (blur from one perspective to the next) and have a list of items to find. There will not be a time limit or multiple levels (well, I have an idea for a second level but I haven't finished the first yet). Then I got lazy/ busy and did no more work on the game. As summer ends, my schedule changes again, and SaF is coming back to the priority list.