Yesterday I wrote about a way to think about designing something: by comparing opposites. I also think you can use the idea of opposites to generate a new thing from something else.
This is an exercise I did recently to design a game.
I call it Nebulous, because it’s meant to be a play on a “nebula”, which I am thinking of the opposite of an asteroid. Nebulous is the opposite of Asteroids.
Here are some essential elements of Asteroids
- It is about survival through evasion and destruction. You die if you touch an asteroid (or spaceship or get shot)
- The camera is stationary in space
- The game surface is the finite surface of a torus (it wraps on the sides)
- It is black and white
- All of the game elements are a stroked white shape
- You pilot a ship that can thrust, rotate, fire, and hyperspace
I used this to generate what could be the essential elements of Nebulous
- It is about survival though finding and nurturing. You die if you run out of energy, which you get by flying through a nebula.
- The camera follows the ship
- The game surface is infinite in all directions
- It uses color. Each nebula has a color and the color indicates its behavior. Mixing colors is part of game play
- (not sure yet of the design language)
- You pilot a ship that only has two thrusters. You turn by using just one of them. You can eject stored nebula gases.
I am still thinking about this. At this point, I don’t need to keep thinking about the opposite of Asteroids — this starting point will be the seed that goes in its own direction from here.