Austin recently lent me a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. The overall idea of the book is to help people become more creative in their lives. In the first chapter he talks about how artists get their ideas by stealing them. He talks about how everything in the world has already been done, and creative people can just take those ideas, re make them, and then release them back into the world with out anybody knowing where they stole it from in the first place. This idea is something you can see a lot of people doing, including Apple. When they released the iPod way back in 2001 they weren't the first company with a portable MP3 player. They stole the idea of a portable MP3 player and remade it into something that was elegant, not only on the outside, but also in the way people used it. This idea of "stealing" other ideas is not new to the world of apps, in fact, it's often abused.
There are tons of people making replicas of successful games and adding giant paywalls to try and make some quick money. I didn't play Candy Crush for the longest time because I thought it was one of those games. I had played Bejeweled for the and loved it, so when I saw Candy Crush I thought it was just a rip off of Bejeweled, putting up pay walls to try and make some quick money. However, after playing Candy Crush on a friends phone I realized that while the main idea of the games are the same, the overall gameplay of each game is very different. Candy Crush had added different goals and different challenges to a point where it didn't feel like I was playing the same game. This is what the author was talking about in the first chapter. Creativity comes from people stealing ideas as inspiration for their own work.
With that in mind I decided to look at some games that I would want to steal for some of our own future games. I came up with a couple games (five, as the title would suggest) in a couple different categories and over the course of a few posts I'm going to show you the five games I want to steal. For this post I decided to look at puzzle games I want to steal from. I love a good puzzle game and would love to make one, and the first game I would use as inspiration would be KAMI.
The premise behind this puzzle game is folding paper. You start with a game board that has a pattern made up of three of four different colored paper. You then can choose a different color to unfold an existing color into and each pice of paper above, below, or on the sides of that paper will also unfold, and so on. The end goal of each level is to have the entire board be one color, but this must be accomplished in a specific number of moves to pass the level.
There are a couple of things I love about this game and want to steal from it. The first is the uniqueness of the gameplay. Both this game and the other one I'm going to talk about in this post both have the same basic goal for each level: to fill the screen with one color. However the gameplay in each games gives it it's own specific feel and one thing I like about this gameplay are the cool patterns that each game board creates. Since this game is based on a grid the start of each game reminds me of intricate tile work. The second thing I love about this game and would want to steal is the art. The art in this game is mainly just the different textures each square is given. It's very simple, but it also adds a specific feel to the game, something I would love to steal from for our own puzzle game.
The second puzzle game I want to steal from is Color Zen. This game has a similar goal in that you are trying to fill the screen with the same color as around the boarder. You are given blocks of color that can be moved into other blocks and when two of the same color touch they expand to fill the background with that color. From this game I would want to steal the simple, but precise gameplay. While it would seem simple enough to just keep getting rid of the colors you don't need until you end up with two blocks of the color you do need, there are colors inclosed within other colors. Each move you make must be exact and thought out or else you'll be in trouble. I think having to think out not only your next move but the move after that and work the problem from the end to the begging to figure out your move order is what makes this a good puzzle game, and is what I would want to steal from this game.
I feel that I should end this post by saying that I'm obviously not going to just copy one of these games to try and make some money. When I say I'm "stealing" this or that from these games what I mean is I'm using that as inspiration, as a starting point for our own games.
Anyways. I hope you enjoyed this. I'll continue this post with an older game that I would love to steal. Also, there should hopefully be some exciting quadcopter stuff happening this weekend so keep checking back for that. We also have some exciting development news about our own games that you should keep an eye out for. So yeah.
Thanks for reading