Gaming concepts 2
At this point, I am thinking that there are two directions that could be followed to turn the Solar System apps into games:
(a) To create a character who needs to collect elements from different planets to complete his mission. These elements could be hidden and the user would need to solve quizzes and navigate through the planets. This sounds exciting but there are two problems. First of all, visually and programming-wise achieving this navigation will be tricky. Secondly, once the user has completed the mission he/she will lose interest in the application.
(b) Each planet could be a different game! For instance, on Mars, meteorites could be falling and the user would need to stop them using the ice cloud and would be collecting points for each meteorite stopped. The exact opposite would be happening on the Venus app/game: Venus has acid clouds in its atmosphere which destroy metal. The mission in this app would be to navigate man-made satellites through the moving acid-clouds of Venus until they land on the surface. The more satellites/equipment manages to land on the surface of the planet, the higher the score.
I am favouring idea (b). First of all, simple game concepts like the ones described are perfect for mobile phones – they are the perfect way to ‘kill time’ and are highly addictive. Secondly, the existence of a high-score system means that the user will keep playing to increase his/her high-score, compare it with friends, etc. Thirdly, it is a much more appropriate application for touch screens as the games I am examining have to do with moving things and to do this the user would be using his finger on the touch screen. Instructing a fictional character to move and do things doesn’t feel as much of a natural match.