I had an idea for a game design. It turned out to be . . . shall we say . . . dubious.
I’ll just write up a postmortem here.
The theme for this month was Rejection. The idea I had was to take some basic swarming behavior, then make the creatures in the swarm gradually pay less attention to you. Your “livelihood” depended on influencing your friendly swarm creatures, and thus, as they ignored you, you’d die.
The problem with behaviors of this sort is that it’s tough to accomplish both “interesting behavior” and “sufficiently controllable with the user”. Even in the current version – the best balance I was able to get – some of the interesting swarm mechanics go away when the user gets close. I had some versions where the player was fundamentally unable to interact with the creatures in a predictable manner, I had some versions where the creatures essentially became mindless slaves of the user.
Fundamentally, I wasn’t able to come up with any really interesting mechanics. Nothing I did was fun, and I didn’t find myself enjoying playing my own game. That’s a bad sign.
I don’t think anything really went directly wrong with this – it was an experimental concept, and it didn’t pan out. These things happen. Hopefully next month will be a little more successful.