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Cover image for Removing my Game's Core Mechanic

Removing my Game's Core Mechanic

rcarlson profile image Robert Carlson ・3 min read

My Game Was Not Fun!

After spending several days trying to figure out how to make my game about gravity fun, I ultimately came to realization that I didn't want to play the game I set out to make.

What it really boiled down to was the gravity seemed to feel gimmicky. By that I mean it got in the way of the "fun" while also not really adding much value itself either.

I think the concept of flying a ship around a planet seemed fun at first, and even while building the prototype I enjoyed learning how to maneuver my ship.

However, the issue started appearing once I tried adding in a second component like asteroids, resource collection or exploring. After adding in these components I found myself not being able to enjoy them because I was constantly worried about losing control of my ship.

I wanted to make my game fun, but my core mechanic got in the way.... so I removed it!

Adding Asteroids

After abandoning the idea of gravity I immediately found myself settling on the idea of building an asteroids clone. Right now I have a single type of asteroid that I can spawn anywhere on the map. Each asteroid has a random velocity and spin that is determined when the level starts.

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Adding Unpredictability with Collisions

The original asteroids game did not have objects colliding with one another, however I like the idea of collisions because it makes the path of the objects harder to predict. When an asteroid collides with other objects it alters the asteroid's velocity and spin! I removed any form of friction or velocity decay to keep the objects in constant motion too.

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Lasers Make Everything Better

Lasers just makes everything better, so why should video games be any exception? Joking aside, this mechanic was fun to learn because I got to interact with particles and raycasts for the first time in Godot. After adding this in I immediately thought of making the asteroids explode after the laser focuses on a target for a few seconds.

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Discovering the Fun

After building in the asteroids, collision detections and laser I found myself finally being able to enjoy the game. I can almost hear the laser and explosions in my head while I play this demo :) As it stand right now, I feel like a finally have a good foundation for a game and a path forward to "fun"!

The Mechanics

So here is a list of the mechanics I have, plus some I plan on adding in the coming weeks:

1) The asteroids will collide with one another (done)
2) The ship will shoot a laser instead of bullets (done)
3) The laser will need to focus on a target for a sustained 3 seconds before the asteroid will explode
3) Contact with the asteroid or it's explosions will cause damage to the ship
4) The ship will have health and fuel that can be spent and replenished (partial)

Next Week

Next week I plan on adding explosions and health. Follow me on LetsBuild for updates as I post new content. Thank you for taking the time to read this devlog and I appreciate any comments you might have to make the game better!


Editor guide
rgails profile image
Ryan Gails

Sometimes you need to throw a concept away for the greater good! It sounds, and looks, like it was a good move and made the game better.

rcarlson profile image
Robert Carlson Author

Thanks, it was definitely a difficult decision. hard to not feel like a failure but I don't regret the move at all!

cpluta profile image
Chris Pluta

I'm a fan of the happy astroids πŸ˜„.

I'm glad you feel better about the direction and find what you're doing more enjoyable. Keep up the work! Looking great!