Classic Games - Case Study

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  • I would like to dedicate a thread discussing classic or legendary games (on any platform - c64 to PS4 if you will...) that defined and expanded on its own genre. We could debate which games should be in this category and why. We could also discuss about classic game recreations in C2 - as a learning/design case study and what can be learned from them, what caveats to avoid and so forth.

    you are welcome to share your perspective

    to start: I think learning classics are recreations of Pong to start, followed by Space invaders and one and only Tetris :), did you try these classics in C2?

    btw. please also discuss newer legendary games so we dont get stuck in 80s :)

  • so have any of you attempted a classic game recreation in C2?

  • ok ill try to break the ice... i hope...

    Very nice recreation of Breakout can be found on forum. The game was published by Atari in 70s. By my opinion, it is a design beauty, although it is a recreation itself - almost.

    Author: Stemkoski.

    Acompaning tutorial was also posted:

    Thx to Stemkoski! This is definitely a classic recreation where first challenges in game design are commonly encountered.

    bye bye

  • For a more recent representative I found a Super Meat Boy recreation made in C2.

    An indie classic by Team Meat, published in 2010. Representative of very tightly controlled platformer with novel actor-movement and actor-environment interaction.

    I think this recreation could be a good C2 benchmark.

    Author:lmchucho! Thx lmchucho (as he uploaded capx).

  • ok third ice-braking post :)

    Found a true gaming LEGEND recreation with accompanying tutorial.

    The game (or game series) is Bomberman by Hudson Soft. This pure game design gem does need no commentary :)

    Author: Kyatric. THX!

    bye bye

    p.s. in my country the most popular installment was Dyna Blaster on DOS or simply Dyna :)

  • I remember playing Dynablaster. A nice alternative to bomberman on PC and open source if I remember correctly.

    @stemkoski also made a tutorial about pacman, very interesting one, at that.

    One of my earlier tutorial was about Missile command a very old game which design turns around the third world war/nuclear assault theme and is a game where you can't win and have, in the end to make decision on what cities to save.

    I remember having read documents about this peculiar game design, I can't remember the links though, a google search may help though.

    I'm also curating some game design videos/documents on my website (link in my profile) for anyone who's interested and willing to take the time to check those out <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle">

  • O yes. Missile Command from the great golden age of gaming 80s. Published by Atari in 1980 and licenced to Sega.

    Game design of MC ultimately forces player to make "advanced" decisions. It is believed nowadays (especially in the retro-gaming community) that modern titles lead player by the hand too much. I do not necessary share this opinion, but nevertheless it is an art in itself constructing the right difficulty curve. Sometimes frustration and enjoyment are on a sharp edge :).

    Old but check it out:


  • I came into videogames during the so called "Golden Era".

    I started by borrowing my cousins Super Nintendo for the summer (18 years later and I still haven't given it back hahaha) and got hooked on Super Mario World. The console is broken now, but I recently got a SNES emulator on my phone and got hooked all over again to SMW. I absolutely love it; the world map, the idea that you can go back and replay levels to find secrets (no joke, I'm discovering hidden levels all these years later). It just defines classic platforming in a pure sense that a lot of games use as a base to this day. I've even found myself yearning to make a SMW-type platformer, but I've another game to focus on.

  • also started using a SNES system.

    Perhaps that�s why I love 2D-Games and Construct so much. It gives me the feeling of being young again :)

  • GREAT. SNES people! Where I come from, consoles were but a dream :). We were "stuck" on C64/speccy kombo going on PC that was the golden standard. OK,

    you could see an occasional Amiga but that is another story in itself (Amiga was hardware from the future from my standpoint and the whole computer history would be different

    if Amiga people played their cards right...)

    I later revisited consoles and "the Mario" of course is archetype of platformers. Nowadays these legendary systems can be revisited on many quality emulators:

    NES - Nestopia, FCEUX


    NINTENDO 64 - project 64

    GameBoy - gameboid, VisualBoy Advanced

    Playstation - ePSXe

    Plazstation2 - PCSX2

    Dreamcast - any good recommendations?

    If you have any good emulator recommendations please post.



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  • wrangler: what kind of game are you working on? Classic platformer inspired? What do you think are the key classic platformer game design decisions? Which games from the top of the head

    would you put on platformer archetype list?

    beaverlicious: Completely agree :) Im still learning C2 and doing some classic recreations and experiments. C2 is beautifully fast and you can focus on gaming ideas quickly and prototype them almost instantly. So far I love C2, if only performance was a bit better. It gets problematic quickly...

  • moxBorealis I'm working on an action adventure game at the moment, inspired by the Gameboy era Legend of Zelda games (Links Awakening, Oracle of Seasons).

    For me, classic platforming is all about the learning curve. Give your players a toolset that they are introduced to over time, but let them play and experiment with it and reward them for it. Case in point, Super Mario world introduces the feather powerup which gives Mario the ability to fly. This allows the player to go back to earlier levels and discover secret areas and hidden pathways, bringing a whole new level of depth to the game world and actively encouraging the player to explore even more.

    Also, it's very important for a platformer to use themes for different levels. These themes give the player a clue as to what enemies they will encounter, as well as other environmental hazards. Taking that a step back again, music is also key. As soon as I hear the cave theme from SMW I automatically know the list of enemies I'll have to deal with, and that there'll probably be lava, and most likely a cool secret room to find too.

    My archetype list would be:

        1. Super Mario World

        2. Sonic The Hedgehog 2

        3. Castlevania 2

        4. Megaman series

        5. Metroid series

    I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any right now.

  • You should check out how the Kirby series progressed.


    Kirby's Dreamland -> Kirby's Adventure - > Kirby Super Star

    Simple fun platformers, with feature improvement with each game. (I did not play KD2 so I cannot say anything on that)

    Kirby's Adventure is a fantastic NES game that pushes the system to it's limit (one of the later NES games as it was released in 1992)

  • Yes, completely agree.

    Im mad about themed approach - this concept is also quite close to

    human psychology� Imagine (for example) you are going to the silver-pass ring on a concert and there is also a golden ring nearby. When you get to that, you discover there is another "purple" super close almost under the stage space � When you played the golden rare in MtG (past tense intentional) or when you progress through yellow, green, blue and you work your ass of to get to red level. When you beat that there is the final orange theme�. :) funny but we like to assign simple descriptors to differnet states (that can be or are not similar�).

    ok enough philosophy :)

    "the Marios" and similar classic platformers possess "simplistic complexity" - difficult to describe. And that characteristic in game design is the most difficult to achieve (great job Markus Persson! :) ).

    Wrangler: you have one classic on the list that I would say goes on the limit of more involved platformers - Castlevania - with RPG or even adventure approaches. Castlevania series (ok not all of them) is definitely a masterpiece where core mechanics is made fun. (Symphony of the Night). Who doesnt like to destroy candles :)))

    Yes some more involved

    adventure or even RPG-platformers can be one of the most fun games of all time. OK this moment Flashback bumped in my head.



    p.s. I know why Flashback. Because I read about its remake recently � what did they do??? noooooo�.. :)

  • Interesting discussions you guys got running at the moment.

    I come from the SNES era, and maybe some NES thanks to a childhood neighbor. I used to spend countless hours in:

    1. SMW

    2. R-Type - GOSH! Such amazing music!

    3. Zelda: A Link to the Past

    4. Jurassic Park - Who doesn't like top-down dinosaur-killing action, only bested by FPS dinosaur-killing action when you entered a building?! So many scares, too!

    5. Earthworm Jim!

    6. Donkey Kong

    7. Breath of Fire - An RPG gem that I hope to replicate in the near future.

    8. And other stuff I don't remember right now!

    But that's not enough! Do any of you remember the Sega Game Gear? Portable gaming goodness in full color and backlight! It only ate like 6-8 AA batteries at once! It had games like Sonic, PacMan and Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya II, which were my obssession back then.

    After that I had a lime GameBoy Color (what a beautiful thang) with various Pokemon games. Then came the PS, Nintendo 64, PS2, Gamecube, PS3, Wii, Xbox360, and finally, a WiiU. There have been many wonderful games, but the most memorable (and for good reason) are the earlier ones.

    Before this post turns into personal nostalgia madness, I would like to further study how platformers have covered a huuuuuge and varied array of genres, all crammed into a seemingly simple side-scrolling world. Since the type of game I'm currently developing will be a platformer, I want to introduce RPG elements along with fighting, resource-gathering, collection and (maybe) building in the best possible way. Problem is, it may or may not have an actual story to follow as I'm aiming for it to be some sort of simulator.

    Now I ask you, the players, how would YOU play the game I am describing? What would make it fun for you? What can be better (regarding what I posted) in terms of previous implementations you've already experienced in other games? I may have reached a mental roadblock with this game, but it's the one I'm passionately aiming to release by the year-end or the beginning of 2014. Details will be revealed if interest sprouts!

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