I've been looking forward to this competition, but ended up not having much free time this November. So I'm going for a typing game. The basic gameplay will be to type phrases as they come down the screen towards you. I'm hoping I can squeeze in a whiff of things like Guitar Hero and Space Invaders.
My hazy idea of the plot is that you are a writer, who needs to churn out stories of the weird to earn money from a magazine. To generate enough weird ideas before the deadline, you decide to try the latest theories of those crazy guys from Vienna. Perhaps there is something interesting that you can recover from your memory, or your racial memory, through free association?
So the phrases that come to you will start off as commonplace thoughts, but as you progress through the game and some kind of meter increases, stranger ones will turn up, and should suggest some kind of lovecraftian plot.
I put a prototype in the first post. F4 switches between window and full screen, esc quits, type with the keys, use cursor keys, backspace, return and tab to navigate. Use tab a lot. Pressing both control keys at once will erase the letter under the cursor (although at the moment just overwriting letters works). The graphics and sounds are not final (I hope).
Let me know whether the typing feels too annoying. I don't know a lot about typewriters, but toyed around on one for a bit while thinking about the game. I've made it less forgiving than a keyboard, but you can type pretty fast if you're smooth about it.
Also I get terrible screen tearing; does anyone know how to fix this in gamemaker? I've ticked the checkbox that's supposed to fix it, but it doesn't seem to have any effect.
And I'd be happy to get some suggestions of gameplay ideas. At the moment I'm thinking about the following:
- some sort of "cents per word" meter that goes up when you are doing well, and results
in weirder phrases appearing
- I want the layout of where you type things on the page to be important for gameplay, so that you feel like you are constructing something more than one word at a time, but am not sure how to do this. One idea is that some phrases are dangerous and will erase the things beneath them as they float down; maybe you have to type a line of underscores _____ to block them?
- phrases score more if you wait till they are near the bottom of the screen to match them
- at the moment how phrases appear is random. I don't want to do design completely deterministic levels, but it would be good to have things appearing in interesting patterns
- there should be other different kinds of phrases with different effects. Maybe there are bad words that, if you let them get to the bottom of the screen, will drip into your keyboard and jam it?