Breakout: The Grand Master

Thread in 'Other games' started by taitovlx, 29 Sep 2023.

  1. [​IMG]

    Well, what do you think? Good idea or bad idea?

    I'm not working on this or anything, but if I was rich, I'd ask (and pay) Miharasan or another game developer to make a good game out of this concept.
  2. Muf


    I think an important question to ask yourself is what kind of gameplay refinements would you consider for this game, and are you strictly looking for things that enable high level play (like IRS in TGM) or are you also interested in gimmicks that deviate from the core formula. For the latter, Electranoid for DOS (1995) already implemented a lot of items like sticky paddle, paddle guns, etc.

    taitovlx likes this.
  3. I would say things that enable high level play. The gimmicks or things that deviate from the simple Breakout formula never appealed too much to me.

    The way I see it is this: TGM is about 50% puzzle solving and 50% reflexes/fast gameplay, while a hypothetical Breakout: The Grand Master (BGM) would be about 25% puzzle solving (hitting the ball at the right angle into the right place) and 75% reflexes/fast gameplay.

    That's my take on it. I brainstormed some ideas about what could set BGM apart from regular Breakout, and I think very fast gameplay would have to be the main factor, but there would obviously have to be a few other distinct differences as well, such as playfield size, graphics/appearance, and unique features like a near instant mode like 20G or something, how level progression works, etc.
  4. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    Give super breakout on the atari 2600 a try. it gets crazy fast. game 7 (progressive) gets insane, but never unfair.
    taitovlx likes this.
  5. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I tried Breakout on an Atari emulator with a paddle controller via an adapter and based off of that experience, I'll skip further early Breakout games since they are bit too basic gameplay wise. With a hypothetical Breakout: The Grand Master game there would be subtle, but deep gameplay complexity as there is with TGM. I won't try describing exactly what I imagine for BGM since the idea isn't fully formulated, and may never become a reality.

    One thing that I am sure about it is that the game would be played with spinners that have infinite spin to both sides instead of having limited spin each way, like the Atari paddle controllers, but that was probably a given.
  6. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    arkanoid does use infinite spinning paddles, but original breakout has always been rotary analog. even in the arcade. same as pong. this means that specific paddle positions correspond to specific spots on the screen, and ou can develop this into muscle memory.

    Did you actually try game seven? (progressive) that's the most interesting simple breakout.

    the possibility to jump darn near instantly to any spot to hit the ball back is actually insanely useful. I was decent at breakout back in the day on the 2600, but really struggled with arkanoid because I couldn't translate positions on the dial to positions on the screen.

    infinite spin can work, but it' vitally important that there be no speed cap, nor any dynamic resolution. a specific amount of arc MUST correspond to a specific amount of shift.
    taitovlx likes this.
  7. Thanks for the insight! This is the sort of info that would be useful for developers making a hypothetical BGM.

    Nope, and, like I said, I most likely won't be trying any other Breakout games because I like the the concept and gameplay of Breakout/Arkanoid, but it would be need to be taken to the next level via a Breakout The Grand Master game for me to be interested in playing long term. That is what happened to me with Tetris because I liked the concept and gameplay of Tetris, but I never really got serious about Tetris until I found out about the TGM series and the satisfying challenge it provided.
  8. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    I do think this hypothetical grandmaster game should definitely have the progressive mechanic (advancing walls). It has a lot of depth to it. do you try and clear bricks as fast as possible, and break through to the speed bricks and the top and deal with the shrunk paddle, or do you intentionally work bottom to top, and keep the ball slow and the paddle full sized, but then heave to deal with very low blocks when the speed really kicks in and it advances one row every time the ball hits the paddle? (people usually do the latter)

    Touch screen is a natural control method, especially with stylus. This makes it a natural mobile/tablet game. Snap to system mouse pointer is another control method that works well, as you get to leverage your muscle memory with OS navigation. naturally the latter translates directly to pc touch screen.

    Other good control mechanisms are analog slider, analog rotary, and digital rotary (arkanoid) but as i say, without dynamic scaling.

    Original breakout has some neat variations too. like invisible. The wall appears for a brief moment when the ball hits it and vanishes after. Hmmm. invisible breakout... invisible tetris... :)

    Another idea would be invisible ball the ball would become briefly visible and have a small trail, when striking the paddle or a block.

    .Another idea would be fog mode. only the area near the ball is visible, with the paddle also visible. the paddle itself becoming invisible is fair as well, but only with analog rotary control, because all other schemes trivialize it.
    sparsevector and taitovlx like this.
  9. I think a very high skill cap Breakout is a really cool concept. Although there's obviously a lot of Breakout-like games out there, I agree it could be pushed further with more mechanical depth like TGM did with Tetris.

    One way to make the gameplay feel faster would be to make the ball move nearly instantly but add some freeze frames or slow motion when the ball bounces (like fighting game hit stop). The hit stop could decrease with successive brick bounces to keep it from being too excessive, resetting when it hits the paddle. If the ball moves nearly instantly, the player would have to predict where the ball is going to move and premove the paddle during the hit stop timing window. These timings could speed up with the levels like in TGM. Having hit stop would change the feel of the game a lot, but I think it could let you push the gameplay speed further than would be possible without it, kind of like how lock delay is needed for 20G gameplay in Tetris.

    One thing to think about with regards to controls is whether the speed of the paddle changes the direction of the ball on impact. I don't know much about how ball control works in the classic games, but it seems like in most games the direction of the ball mostly depends on the position / angle of the impact more so than the speed of the paddle. If only the position of the paddle matters, touch would work great, but if the paddle speed matters too mouse or rotary would be ideal.
    taitovlx likes this.

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