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I am making an iOS game for a project at school. It is going to be a tiny bit like Fruit Ninja, as in it will have different things on the screen, and when you hit them, they die, and you get points. The trouble is that unlike Fruit Ninja, my game will have different types of sprites, all doing different things (moving different places, doing different things, etc). The one thing that is bad about having all of these sprites that do different things is that it is hard for them to look neat on the screen all together. I was planning on having a couple of different gamemodes:

Time Trial
You have 120 seconds to kill as many sprites as possible.

Survival
You have three lives, every time you try to hit a sprite and miss, you lose a life.

????
Whatever I think of.

I am a rookie to game design in general, and I don't know the best way to make my game look good, and play well. I could have all of these sprites on the screen at the same time, or I could have them come in waves, for example 10 of sprite_a come on, and once they are killed, 10 of sprite_b come on, etc...

Please give me your opinion about which one I should code. If you have any other suggestions for either a third gamemode, or a completely different way to make the levels, feel free to tell me.

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Just try it out, give it to friends and ask them whether they liked your game. Then try out more. –  Imi Feb 18 '12 at 15:33
    
The one thing that is bad about having all of these sprites that do different things is that it is hard for them to look neat on the screen all together. Are you saying this based on having actually tried it, or are you just assuming? –  jhocking Apr 7 '12 at 19:49

1 Answer 1

Tricky mode: you make a little file format to describe, on a timeline, what sprite(s) appear and where. Your main game code reads this file at the beginning and merely plays it back over time while your main loop runs.

And by file format I mean really simple, like repeated lines of "time spriteType location." Once you have this setup, follow Imi's advice and test iteratively until it feels good.

If you make it so you can stop your main loop, reload the data file and then play some more you can quickly turn around sprite changes without having to code or recompile anything.

Most games of this type work in patterns and combinations. For an extreme example of sprites and patterns google "Bullet Hell." For example, the yellow sprite always flies straight no matter what and the red sprite wobbles up and down. Keep the patterns for each kind of sprite the same so the player can Learn how to play and mix up the experience by adding new sprite types and combining them on screen simultaneously.

You'll notice in older sprite games like this where avoidance and hitting them is important any particular screen never has a lot of different sprites but instead changes them as you progress. You've noticed the opposite, shove them all on the screen and it's ugly and chaotic.

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