This is my first time working on game design for such a large project, and I have been constantly surprised at where I find inspiration and ideas coming from. If i had to try to fit Biogenesis into a genre that already exists, I’d say it most closely fits a tactics game, like Final Fantasy Tactics. For this reason I always assumed that any ideas I had for the game would probably come from tactics games or other similar games, and boy was I wrong. So far I have drawn ideas from many different sources, and I will go over some of those here.
For our turn taking mechanic, our original idea was to have each player move all of their creatures at once. We decided this would be a bad idea for various reasons, but we weren’t sure how to solve it. We started thinking and looking at how many other turn based games handle this – games like Heroes of Might and Magic, Pokemon, and even Dungeons and Dragons. None of those games are very close to ours, but they all shared the mechanic of passing turns between players and creatures, and were invaluable for us figuring out a system that will work in our game. In the end we have decided on a mixture of D&D and HoMM.
Another huge challenge we faced was our combat. At first we had a system where you simply stood next to an enemy, clicked on them, and you each took damage based off your respective Attack and Defense values. This seemed quite boring though, so we wanted a way to make the combat more interesting while still retaining the original feel of the game. We looked at how games like Pokemon, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Chrono Trigger had done their combat systems and took ideas from several of them to create our own system. Ultimately this led to us changing several stats, how they worked, and developing a completely new system of combat where each of the body parts of your creature has it’s own unique attack that changes when you apply more DNA to that area.
I have often thought that if you are working or planning on working on a given game, that you would want designers that have spent a lot of time playing games that are similar. If you wanted to build a RTS game, you should be familiar with Command and Conquer, Starcraft, Warcraft, etc. It is my dream to work on an MMO, but I love to play most any type of game. I am glad to have spent so much time playing many different games from many genres, because I can now see how games relate with each other better and will be able to bring my wide background of game playing into any future project I work on.