Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've already begun brainstorming for the NHTV intake-assignment with the theme "Bubbles". I will explain the very short brainstorm-process I had, with colorful images and explanations of said process.

Step 1. Write stuff down!

Write down stuff about bubbles. Basically making a word-web, only more colorful and more messy. It works though.
As you can see (and if you can read it), I wrote down words involving Bubbles, but also some things relevant for games like "bubbleshields", "Bubble Shooter", and some less relevant stuff like "Facebook", of which is sometimes speculated it is (involved in) an economic bubble.

Step 2. Connect some dots!

Connecting dots. I now have a list of words involving "Bubbles". If I put some words together, I might be able to get a cool name for a game which I can then design. I wrote some titles down, some terrible, some quite catchy. I made two very small word-webs for two of those titles as seen below.
These are combinations of words I wrote down earlier. I like "Burstin' Bubbles" the most. It has that "Breaking Bad"-smoothness. "Absence of Substance" is more cryptical, but I think it can be interesting. The title sucks though.

Step 3.  Choose something!

Choices, choices. It's quite imminent that I'll pick "Burstin' Bubbles" as title for my game. I can make these fast choices, because my focus is the code, not the game design.
Now, for the next choice; what will be the actual subject? Bubbles can be a broad subject. You can think of an economic bubble, a liquid bubble, a soap bubble, an antibubble and even a term used in Poker (if someone gets "eliminated on the bubble" in a tournament, that person is the last person to drop out without payout).
I like economical and political topics, like the dot-com boom and events like Black Tuesday. Speculation about whether Facebook is or isn't (part of) a bubble interest me.
Then again, the physical working of a liquid bubble interests me as well. 
That I have interest in a particular subject doesn't mean that I have a good understanding of said subject.
Because I want to expand my knowledge in the subject of economic bubbles, I will use that as a subject for my game.

Step 4. Google some stuff!

So, what am I going to make? I haven't got a clue (yet)! From this step on, I am designing/making decisions while I write this post. First, let's google some stuff related to economic bubbles!

When I googled "Is Facebook a bubble?", I quickly stumbled upon a site called "Economic Times", part of the "Indian Times". The post is about whether Facebook IPO [First time a company sells stock to public] is a sign of a new tech bubble. That's not the biggest value of this post for me, the real value for me is the short list of great bubbles in the past (like the Tulipmania and the Dot-com Boom).
When I saw this list, I immediately thought of them as levels for the game or at least inspiration for levels. This is mostly my mind making hasty decisions, but I actually like the idea of a multi-level game with different crashes. This way, I can teach myself and the players some stuff about the economic bubbles of the past!

Step 5. Sleep

So, what do I have so far? I will make a game in C++ (with SFML) called "Burstin' Bubbles" involving levels based on historical economic bubbles. I still don't have any idea what the mechanics will be, how long the game should be playable, what the graphics will look like and how the game should feel. Defining and designing these aspects will be done in Part 2. But first, it's time to sleep for me, because I slept like shit last night and I have to get up early. 

Nighty-night, me readers. Think big now.


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