Where we're at so far

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Where we're at so far

Post  Blaque Spyral on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:46 pm

So far we've tossed around a couple of ideas.
The one we've developed the most is the graveyard monster game. The good things about this is the deign is simple and if done well it would be very fun. The bad is that it's not innovative, it doesn't do anything that other games don't do, it's a throwback to older 16 bit stype games. This is not all bad, people like what they're familiar with and if we made sure the design and the gameplay is tight this could be very successful.

Our other main idea is the puzzle based, dreamworld game. This game would focus on teamwork with three or four players to escape a comatose dreamworld. The good things about this idea is it's very flexible and imaginative. The bad side is that it's much less action oriented and unless done well could lead to boredom in the more twitch-gameplay, instant gratification gamers.

I've also had an idea involving shape shifting and controlling creatures that are the same as you, I need to solidify this one a little more...

Anyway I'll expand on each of these ideas on here in time.
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Re: Where we're at so far

Post  AGreen on Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:57 am

Vaughn brought up a cool idea dealing with a creature that changes it's shape into different primitives (sphere, cube, cylinder etc.) and these shapes are needed to move into new areas and solve puzzles. The idea is great but making it work in unreal could be an issue.
Also while the design is really cool, the simplicity of the player character and any other characters might not allow for the artists to really show their stuff.

I still think this idea is worth exploring.
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Re: Where we're at so far

Post  adamM on Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:49 pm

I think that idea (the shape-shifting one) is probably the strongest we've had as far as single player goes. It is my current favourite idea overall, but the graveyard one still has a special place in my heart for the crazy party game feel it would have.

Vaughn brought up changing shapes (which was loosely based on your idea for controlling creatures), but the entire process of nailing down some of the basic concepts was a collaborative effort between the three of us. It's a good way to work, I think what we came up with is really solid.
So for everyone else:

You control some sort of cartoony character with a really basic appearance (Rayman, Pacman, etc.). It probably has legs, maybe arms. As you travel through the game you see creatures that are somewhat hostile towards you using their strange body shapes to get to areas you can't get to. You then need to set traps to kill these enemies, which allows you to receive an item that will change you to their shape. The traps you set for enemies will serve to foreshadow the types of traps you need to avoid once you're in the same shape. Once you become that shape you can use it to make progress, but it will also hinder you. For example, if you assume a long rectangular shape you might be able to use yourself as a bridge, but there might be a sharp turn you need to make to get to the next area that is impossible to make in that form. This leads you to searching for the next enemy with an ability to steal.

We obviously can't make a long game out of this, but if we make maybe 6 environments (not huge) and 3 different shapes it could turn out well. We were thinking of having a somewhat dynamic on-rails camera that follows the player and naturally transitions to the best angle for the action without ever stopping (unless the player stops). For controls we talked about using the mouse cursor to guide the player character. Not so much in a Diablo style, but more like the DS games that use the stylus to direct characters (Zelda, Animal Crossing, FF3). This seems like it should be possible in Unreal, since when you use the AVRiL to lock onto vehicles you have to hold your cursor over the vehicle and the rocket will follow your cursor/the vehicle. Doing it analog might be an issue, but it really isn't necessary for this game to have analog movement.

Since the player character would be so basic in shape, artists need some cool stuff to work on. Enemies could be in a similar shape to the player (or what the player is going to be) but much more elaborate. Environments could also be heavily detailed. Cartoony in a way, but not simplistic (maybe in a Warcraft style?). We could maybe include unkillable monsters that kind of lurk around and kill you if you get too close to them? That could even tie into the shape-shifting... maybe in one shape they kill you, in another they pick you up and throw you where you need to go.
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Re: Where we're at so far

Post  AGreen on Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:47 am

For anyone who's interested my initial shape-changer idea was like this.

The player is a shapeless creature in a small environment populated by 2 or 3 different bizzare creature types. By interacting with special nodes in the environment the player could change their shape to match one of the creature types in the environment. Creatures of the same type as the player would follow them around and do their bidding via a right click, while creatures who are the natural enemy of the type the player is currently will attack them.

Each creature has an ability that can be used by right clicking in the appropriate scripted spot. stretchy critters could form a staircase to allow the player access to a different area, and strong ones could move objects or break barriers, that sort of thing. Using the creatures in the right places in the right order would be key to ompleting the puzzle(s) and finishing the game.

Each form the player takes would also have an attack that could be used against agressive creatures, something like a fireball that would be like a mini-rocket, or a lightning beam similar to the link-gun alternate fire mode, it would be cool if we could work these into the puzzle solving aspect as well.

This game would use an over-the-shoulder perspective, very close to Unreals default first person view.

I liked this idea because it's simple but interesting, I can think of some similar things that Unreal already does so it's not too far out in left field, and it's also very scaleable.
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