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Does the way a game look matter more than its game mechanic?
Depends....You only got so long to capture a potential buyers attention and convince them on make the purchase. You don't have to compromise on your game mechanic, but you do need to present it in a way that also fun and easy to understand.
Fundamentally, this upcoming game is about color matching — there is no color matching in DropZap.
Alright, but if you make it look like the last 2 games, it will be associated with that game and not a new game.
How novel is the game mechanic? How easy is it to understand? Will many players find the visual information overwhelming? Will many players find the game addictive?
Novel...I would assume that there are some variations like it out there already....just not exactly. How easy to understand....depends on you you present it...maybe a training mode will help? Visual information overwhelming? Perhaps, there's a lot going on and if you don't know, it can appear confusing.
BTW, I'm not a fan of adding special pieces as that takes away from the purity of the game mechanic.
Thery're just "Bells and Whistles". You can always add them in during the prototyping stage and see how well they fare. Remove, discard, or change as needed.
Right now, I'm looking into how to help players make sense of what they see so that it does not become overwhelming. I'm also thinking about providing a way to "cheat" in a limited way (sort of like the way bullet time allows you to cheat in a limited way).
Maybe an optional training mode. Each step you have them do one simple thing and either build up to complete training before you start playing or teach them enough for the first few levels and then some more training, a few more levels and finally they know it all. You ever play the arcade game Tempest. It has beginner levels that start you out simply and later on add in stuff and by level 9 your ready to go.
Just some thoughts, hopefully other will chime in and offer more opinions that are also valuable to you.
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