There exists many opportunities during application development where one’s self esteem takes a hit. One starts to question if they’re creating their app in the best possible way or even worse, why they are even bothering to create it at all. It’s made worse by having a day job that sometimes saps the life out of you to the point where you dare not look at a screen any more, although usually that can be remedied by some vigorous post-work exercise.
The internet is full of clever people
The internet is the Cave of Wonders holding fast amounts of valuable knowledge; there’s so much there that you can’t possibly absorb it all. Likewise there are huge amounts of amazing projects for us to admire but a lot of the time they serve to show us how much further away our own projects are from completion.
I’m continually trying to brush away those thoughts, continually telling myself my little mantra of “do a little bit every day, then it will be done” but alas, there will be something that I stumble across on the internet that gives me pause.
Here are some of the themes that stifle my enthusiasm.
Mapping tools, apps, visualisations and libraries
Mapbox GL, although not a game, has done an amazing job of making OpenStreetMaps data look amazing.
More closer to what I’m doing, there’s this guy’s awesome OSM/terrain data render inside Unity. Still not a game but it looks amazing.
Any game that has a map-like feature
Even today I stumbled across a gameplay video which had an awesome looking map feature. Homefront 2‘s main protagonist can use a mobile phone with a map feature that is used to coordinate attacks (and things). Then there is Watch Dogs‘ complementary iOS game that uses a fantastic map interface and also Battlefield 4’s Commander Mode. That Commander Mode really makes me jealous because it uses abstract map styling and incorporates game play like airstrikes and airdrops.
Other Strategy games
Did you know that Slitherine/Matrix are working on a new 3D Close Combat title? Games from the Close Combat series are some of my most favourite games of all time and yes, I’m trying to rip off some aspects of the game play. Seeing them make this new title makes me a little envious that they can take all the game logic of their very mature (2D) series and re-write it into a new piece of art.
Any Indie game with an amazing art style
It doesn’t have to be Indie but the downside of following the likes of TouchArcade and PocketTactics is that you see some fantastic looking titles. When I say looking I mean in art style rather than game play. I have a looong way to go before I should afford the luxury of messing with art because the gameplay really needs to come first. Eventually that day will come though and I’ll need to make something look amazing or else, seriously, who’s going to give a damn.
So what does motivate me? Dare I say it, I really want to create dramatised versions of current (or very recent) world conflicts. Putin is being cheeky in Ukraine and the Islamic Front are doing a Genghis Khan through the Middle East. Imagine being able to brings aspects of those conflicts in to a game. A bit morbid perhaps.