Hi TIG Sourcers!
I've been following the site for several years and have always enjoyed keeping tabs on the project updates that you guys sling around here. I figured it's time I throw my hat in the ring.
A little background: I've made two games in the past called Wave 49 and Blastorama and sold them under the label Satellite Moon. For the last 7 years since then I've been in the industry, but I'm always looking back to my indie roots.
During the last couple of years I've been maintaining and slowly developing the engine from those previous two games. However, recently I decided that progress there was too slow, and I'm way too motivated by what I see on these forums to wait it out
As a result I'm starting a smaller tandem side-project called "TROLL Story!" Since I have a good understanding of the kind of commitment it takes to finish a project, I'm reluctant to do so. But I figure I'll push this thing down the hill and see how far it rolls.
I made a half-way detailed post about the project on my engine devlog site, so feel free to have a look, but in the spirit of the TIG Source community, my aim is to keep the Troll Story devlog on these forums. And speaking of forums, my use of the word "troll" in the name has some meaning to it.
The first swf build I have to show is really just a starting point. It will only give a very rough idea of the initial concept that is driving my thought process at the moment, and to show that it is (slightly) more than an idea and a forum post
HTML embedded TROLL Story! & info: http://isaacvanier.net/blog/troll-story/
The original idea was to have a very linear side scroller that would take place within two parallel hallways in a castle. There would be open doorways connecting the hallways to one another along their length. While wandering through the hallways, the player inadvertently wakes a giant troll who then aggressively pursues him to the death. My intent was to try to create a sense of panic by allowing the troll to run slightly faster than the player, and able to kill the player instantly. On the flip-side, the player’s attacks did an almost insignificant amount of damage to the troll, but enough to create a sense of hope. That was it, and "Very Pre Alpha 1" is what I ended up with.
Since then the idea has evolved quite a bit, mostly because I want to experiment with action adventure game design. My current direction is to make the game a bit of a Zelda \ FF6(JPN) hybrid with some side scrolling platform areas. I envision character development and camera similar to FF6, but with player movement that is more responsive \ agile.
I am thinking of random encounters where you are pulled into a 3/4 side-view but have full movement control over your party. You can halt time for strategic skill selection, or take control of secondary party members - a mechanic similar to that of FF12.
The premise however is that as you explore you are not slowly working your way toward the Ultimate Evil(!!!) - as is common - but rather, it has found you and recruited you unwillingly to run for your lives. Basically, you're being pursued by a troll.
This seemed to me like an interesting twist, and it will allow me to dial the agressiveness of the troll up or down to any extent that fits the emerging gameplay, or even vary it in different areas. If I decide I want to lean more toward adventuring, the troll can become not much more than a story element.
While the game could use random encounters on an overworld map, those monsters are either recruited by the troll, or in the trolls party. You never defeat the troll during the normal battles, but you weaken its massive HP, and maybe get more advanced drops from it as time goes on.
Eventually the story develops with the party realizing the only way they'll survive is to lead the troll to the only place in the world where it can be killed. Sort of a LOTR thing.
It might be fun if your party can always see the troll approaching, shaking the ground as it runs, and it gives you the opportunity to lay traps to assist in a fight, or run away to avoid an encounter for a level or two. We'll see.
I really want to leave everythign completely open because I love the idea of having a project where I can just jump in and add something seamingly random.
So, we'll see how it goes. What I want to experiment with next is taking the current build and adding 3 NPCs that are following the player's actions. Then perhaps do some basic encounter controls \ ability selection stuff. I'll probably hold off a bit to do an overhead view.
I'm considering approaching this with a vertical slice approach. Building a working game with a tiny environment that literally would take 5 minutes to beat. Then perhaps moving on with exploring world creation. I'm a fan of being able to "ship" at any time.
I'm definitely interested in feedback, so if the idea resonates with anyone, or doesn't, I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, etc.