My dumb thoughts
Yes hello okay even though this just a silly toy I actually did put some thought into it and here it is.
So the first thing I mulled over was what mechanics actually benefit from a 10 second time limit. The first ideas I had were largely dexterity-based and required the player to master rapid inputs and reactions, like "clear a platformer level" , "sort colored blocks". or "avoid the asteroids."
These all seemed so banal and conventional to me that I tried thinking more abstractly about the effects of the time limit. The conclusion I reached is that the time limit forces players to make snap decisions and observing the effects of those decisions creates the fun. Once I figured that out, I started thinking about what decisions would be fun to make. Broadly, most of my ideas fell into two categories, "deductive", and "creationary."
Deductive games had the player make choices based on a limited/large amount of information. Some of these ideas were "solve a mystery for an impatient client based on paragraph-long testimonies", "fiddle with a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption to set it off", and "choose an item from a menu while keeping dietary restrictions in mind." I originally decided to the menu game, but I was too lazy to research food items with different combinations of the dietary restrictions.
Creationary games were about allowing the player to make something in their limited amount of time. Ideas that fell under this category were "make a disguise from household items", "plan a city skyline", and "write an answer to a question." While the results of the game could be graded based on some metrics, the fun of these mechanics is seeing the haphazard, sloppy results. I eventually went with the sentence, but you already know that if you're here.
I'll wrap this up by talking about some ideas I liked and why I didn't use them. First, I liked the idea of 10 second mystery because that premise just sounds funny to me. If the story is the same through each playthrough though, players would just continually replay the game until they've read all of the information, and the 10 second time limit would just be an annoyance rather than an important aspect. Another idea was a world that you only had 10 seconds to explore, but that meant creating interesting text or visuals, which I didn't feel like doing.
So yeah, after all that I decided to make a short toy where you pop bubbles. Was it the most creative or clever idea? Deeeeeeefinitely not. But it was simple and easy to code, and it makes me happy playing with it, which is just kinda what I needed.
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