KISS

Discuss the development of other free/open-source games, as well as other games in general.

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Skizzaltix
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KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

So, we all know about KISS, and most of us (I hope) ascribe to it. But just how simple can you make a game, and still have it be "fun"? This is something I've been wondering for a while, and I started actively thinking about more a couple weeks ago when I had to come up with something to do as a Scratch project for a CS class.

Earlier this spring, I came into contact with this game--it only uses two input keys (three if you count the spacebar to retry), the "map" is randomly generated, and yet it still manages to be rather addictive, at least for a little while.
Anyone know of anything else like this, games that are extremely simple, but don't lose out in terms of playability for it? Obviously there are classics like Minesweeper and maybe Tetris, but have you folks come across anything new in this vein recently?
Exasperation
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Re: KISS

Post by Exasperation »

Canabalt and Silent Conversation both fall into this category, I think.
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Re: KISS

Post by The Great Rings »

I don't think an extreemly simple game is inherently superior. I personally like a degree of complexity in a game, tied to a preference for a certain degree of realism and a greater interest in setting and story as opposed to just winning. For example, I want war games that include needless and complicating features like diplomacy, terrain, tactics, troop moral, etc. :D

That said, I've played and enjoyed some pretty simple shooters that I found on-line. I'll see if I can look up some names later.
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Skizzaltix
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Re: KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

@Exasperation: Yeah, right on. I like Canabalt--the mechanics themselves are very simple but the little details the forwards roll after a long jump and the doves flying away add a lot of atmosphere...

@The Great Rings: Haha, I don't only like minimalist games. Admittedly, my tendency to play a game for just a little while probably pushes my tastes a little towards the simple end of things, but this is mostly just because, as someone who occasionally builds games, I'm interested in how simple you can make something without losing the ever-elusive fun factor ;)
Max
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Re: KISS

Post by Max »

Skizzaltix wrote:So, we all know about KISS, and most of us (I hope) ascribe to it. But just how simple can you make a game, and still have it be "fun"?
following the KISS "philosophy" doesn't mean you have to limit yourself to create only very simple games. it's more about e.g. the way you implement a new feature. i don't think Dave has left anything unanswered here: http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/WesnothPhilosophy
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Ken_Oh
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Re: KISS

Post by Ken_Oh »

Right, KISS, as Dave uses it, is more about coding and less about simpleness in gameplay. That said, KISS just means Keep It Simple, Stupid. Dave uses it for coding, but you can use it for whatever you want.

Since Canabalt is simple in gameplay, it was apparently relatively simple to make. I read his blog a couple weeks ago and it said the dev time for the game was "5 very long days." That kind of blows my mind, considering how little I manage to get done in a week's time.

On the other hand, I think a few more parts need to be added to Canabalt. For example, it can't be played as well without sound as with sound, as the firing sound of the bombs is sometimes essential. Even if you play with sound, the bomb firing can get drowned out by the music and other noise. Maybe the dev should have broken out of KISS for a moment more.
Skizzaltix
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Re: KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

Yeah, Wesnoth's application of KISS is rather different from how I'm using it here.

Ken_Oh: Mmm--I see what you mean about the bombs. Then again, I never found them to be completely drowned out by the music, and the tension of never knowing when one's gonna fall does add a little to the gameplay.
That said, a little "Incoming!" icon or somesuch in a corner that flashes briefly when one drops would be cool, if only because it would because it would be one more sudden and possibly somewhat startling thing that happens when they show up ;)
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cool evil
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Re: KISS

Post by cool evil »

Cursor 10 and its sequel would fit in the KISS gameplay category as well.
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wesfreak
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Re: KISS

Post by wesfreak »

onekey: this, i think, is taking KISS too far. you can't even control the character, just the environment. the one key you can use is space. Simple, but not very fun.
Skizzaltix
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Re: KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

...actually, if the framerate was sped up a little that one would be rather fun, in my opinion.
As it is, though, it does get rather tedious ;)

Thanks for the link!
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Aethaeryn
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Re: KISS

Post by Aethaeryn »

Skizzaltix wrote:...actually, if the framerate was sped up a little that one would be rather fun, in my opinion.
As it is, though, it does get rather tedious ;)

Thanks for the link!
Yes, too slow. It'll give someone an Ideas forum idea, though. I can easily imagine the following thread being made:

"Streamline Wesnoth For Spacebar-Only Use"
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Skizzaltix
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Re: KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

Aethaeryn wrote:"Streamline Wesnoth For Spacebar-Only Use"
As silly as this may sound...if someone actually made that, and it was still fun? I would love to see that ;)
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Re: KISS

Post by MCP »

I'd call Robotron aggressive KISS.

It's a simple game. Kill all enemies.

And yet it is by far one of the hardest games I've ever played against a computer opponent.

Why? They grabbed every ounce of aggression out of this little arcade machine that was possible. It wants to kill you.
How? The game is so simple that they can tweak it and refine it until it's as close to perfection as time allows. <-- That's the key point of KISS. The complexity does not hinder you from perfection.
What keeps us playing? It seems possible. We have unlimited ammo, we shoot fast, we move fast, it's flashy. But it's just lulling us into a sense of security until the most unlikely of things kills you.
Skizzaltix
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Re: KISS

Post by Skizzaltix »

Alas, I have never played Robotron.
From what I have heard (and read during a quick search just now ;)), it does sound like very much the sort of thing I was thinking of, though. Thanks!
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wesfreak
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Re: KISS

Post by wesfreak »

i completely forgot about pixel pop. i think it would apply: all you do is click your mouse. to do an action. the action (occaisonally) depends on the location of the click (part 2 of lvl 1, click up and godzilla punches, click down and godzilla kicks.) it's even simpler because of the old-fashioned graphics.
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