Current build/development stage: Milestone Two Build.
Balding's Quest: the Quest of Guy Balding Milestone Two Goals:(Added 03/13/2007 by BMcC)(Updated 12/20/2008 by BMcC) (WIP name)
or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Develop a Video Game
For an introduction to the project, along with the ground rules, click here
Let's make this happen! Here are some concrete goals for the 2nd Milestone.
- Dying (Game Over, man)
- Objects (Moveable crates, stones, debris, whatever)
- Enemies (Basic foes, enemy framework in place)
- Interactive Environment (Springs, water, ice, etc.)
- Hazards (Spikes, falling objects, traps, etc.)
- Doors (Triggered by switches, weights, keys, and so on)
- Moving Platforms (Carrying/Crushing Guy and objects)
- Treasure Collection (POINTS POINTS POINTS)
- Special Effects (Particle system -- dust, smoke, sparks, etc.)
- Animated Tiles (Water, torches, etc.)
- Music and Sounds (Full sound effects, songs)
- Screen Transitions (They look nice)
- Screens/Program Flow (Intro, Title, Map, Menu, Game)
- External Maps (Map loader, MAYBE basic editor)
- Code Improvements (Organization, OO design, modularity, blah blah)
Note: These goals are more foundational than anything.
Also! The areas we plan to flesh out for the 2nd public build are the yellow Warehouse
from the original mockup, with robots and machines and lasers and such, and an Indiana Jones-esque Temple
, full of traps and tricks and harrowing hazards.
It'd be good to focus discussion, graphics, and concepts on those for now. The plan is to show off some core gameplay with the second public build.
OK, folks. Let's get through... Milestone Two!Current Milestone:
I'm posting this a little prematurely, but since the basic platform engine is very well on its way to being finished, I thought we could get a headstart on Milestone 2! For this milestone we want to get some level design done. Looking at Arne's devmap (above), you can see there's a lot of area to cover!
Here are our tasks at hand:Community:
Brainstorm! We need ideas for each of the areas. Check out Arne's original design doc
for some info on what each area is about. We need to come up with enemies, traps, puzzles, etc. Not to mention all the topics that were brought up in M1 that haven't been discussed fully enough (see "Ideas" below).
Community did an awesome job with helping out with animations and music in M1, and it'd be great to see that kind of enthusiasm continue into M2. Seriously, you guys rocked the casbah.
Also, BMcC and I are discussing how to go about releasing public builds of the game-in-progress. Once he's completely finished with the platform engine we'll let you know.Arne:
Just keep doing what you're doing! More concepts, level art, ideas, etc.BMcC:
Our hero! Having gotten a chance to play a build of the game, I am even more excited by the project. Let's try and get some more back-end stuff done. Maybe implement some basic enemies and traps. Getting the in-game map screen working at a basic level would be nice, too!Me:
I'll continue to organize and pick up slack when there is any (and there was very little of it during M1). I may touch myself in naughty areas from time to time.
Progress with the game moved at a rapid rate through M1! Great work, guys! Seriously, this is amazing!Concept Art:
I was listening to these two songs while making the Mission Impossible Screen.RAtM One Man ArmyTTC Dans le clubEdit: (Edited)
It's silent aside from some ambient noise. The lasers in the shaft fire rythmically.
Where is our hero? Wosh! At a button press he comes falling down the shaft at great speed, dodging timing the lasers just right (or not).
The rope yanks! He hovers just above the electrical floor that is sparking threatingly. *Tap tap tap* on the keyboard. DWWOoooohh... Something turns off and the floor changes color.
He gets down, and the rope either just disappears up, or he magically rolls it up with a cute little animation.
He strikes a pose!
The "One Man Army" tune kicks in.
I think if the game is to be wide and varied, we'd need many suggestions for various contraptions, such as:
The beginning of Indiana Jones: Trap statue, spikes, pit, door, rolling hueg stone.
Entrapment: Crawling under/navigating around laser beams switching on and off.
A homage to Pitfall with Swing strings, crocodiles and scorpions.
etc. Various scenarios that are interesting. Feel free to suggest stuff.
I've some trap suggestions. Here are some taken from the oldschool game homage angle:
Bruce Lee (C64):
- Delayed explosion pads. You step on them, 0.5 seconds later, they emit an explosion.
- Zappy floor pips. A stretch of floor with little glowy zappy pips that travel along the floor. They can be in various patterns, and you have to run/jump over them.
Kung Fu Master (arcade):
- Falling snake pots. Pots fall from the ceiling and can either hit the player, or hit the ground and produce a snake.
Impossible Mission (C64):
- Zappy stuff, and lots of it! Preprogrammed robots with patterns are pretty neat. Also, the same concept could be applied to electric arcs that travel along surfaces and zap between floor/ceiling, walls, etc.
Some other general ideas:
- Fireballs. Good for temples and such, they fire horizontally from gargoyle heads (etc.) on the walls. Pretty standard fare. Can also use darts for the Aztec styleee. May be triggered by pressure plates, or just fire cyclically.
- Rising water. The level starts to fill up with water after a period, or if you flip the wrong switch. This is a timed puzzle room, obviously.
- Ninjas! I mean come on... there just HAS to be ninjas.
As for the other doors, I was thinking they could have some moving parts that unlock it, kind of like a vault door. KA-pssshh.Krrr.Wreeee. or something. I'm not that happy with how my 3 cargo bay doors turned out though. The white little things wre supposed to be hole-cards.
And yes, since the action takes place on a static screen, the guy can't jump all over the place. But he's still agile in the sense that he can do plausible stuff, like getting past a box that's in the way. He's a bit of an acrobat, but on a small scale (and he's old and overweight too I guess). On the more action oriented screens the player could have fun improvising maneouvers to dodge stuff (in the cases the solution can be random/improvised).
Hmmm. The ladders now are from the front. I haven't considered wall ladders (side view) (I think Metroid Fusion had some). Or wall jumps (Like Batman for NES)(Might require suction cups). The animation (and maybe mechanic) coming up from a side ladder could be somehow merged with the one climbing up a ledge? Would it be redundant with side ladders aswell as front ladders? Maybe such considerations is a bit of a feature creep at this point?
I suppose there has to be a pair of jump shoes somewhere too (and tons of other stuff like that), but I'm a bit worried that character boosting items will make it too blatantly obvious that he doesn't keep them for the next screen. Maybe the stuff he picks up shouldn't be too obviously listed in a visual inventory because then it will show when it disappears. If he did keep stuff, it would be a different game type with zillions of repercussions on design. It would be hell to design the puzzles (It'd essentially be a single big one), and I feel the "pick up game and solve a screen" aspect would be lost. I wanted the puzzles to be selfcontained little minigames kept on a single screen without scrolling to provide a cute overview (and make it obvious that they are independent). All the information you need to solve the puzzle is on the screen, nothing is hidden outside.
I've a thought about the gameplay in different areas... would it be too divergent to consider having a special character action available for these different areas?
For instance, in the Impossible Mission area, Mr. Balderson could do the IM flip from the game for jumping over robots, or have the search/hack ability for console. If there end up being a Bruce Lee level, then our hero could do the running sidekick that Bruce does in the game.
Will there be "good" or neutral NPCs that help the player? I think it'd be cool if in a few (one) scenes the player had to help an NPC go along a possibly predetermined course so it could hit a switch opening the way to the exit door. Like parallel but seperate paths.
Or maybe the player could collect treasures and return to a "shop" screen to buy things like 1ups and...stuff.
Or maybe wild animals that attack/destroy other enemies and damage baldy...?
Woo, new post.
Level Specific Actions
Yo, MadG! That would be cool! And have him swing like tarzan (or DK Jr.) in the forest levels, and...uh...pick up/throw rocks in the caves...?
How do you guys feel about Hitpoints?
A couple of options:
+ Very retro.
+ Easier map design, you can count on an obstacle being effective.
+ Analog punishment, like the more you touch en enemy, or the more you screw up, the more you pay for it. If you scrape an enemy jumping over it, you won't have to yell OH FUCK! I DIDN'T TOUCH HIM, WHAT THE SHIT FUCK!!! because you harshly died.
+ Stuff can have different danger levels.
+ Mechanics can be based on health depletion and replenishing.
+ You can mess up once but then it's serious and gets exciting.
If damaged, the character could have a different idle animation (strained).
Of course, the maps could just have different health levels (based on health pickups). It's less consistant but it'd allow us to formulate a wider range of challenges. Some dangers could still insta kill if their damage are set high enough. Best of both worlds, but a bit less consistant, meaning it'd be harder to predict what will happen upon contact with danger.
The plan for the death penalty in the design doc was to have the last completed screen become 'unplayed' if all lives are lost, maybe forcing the player to take another route. I don't know how that will work though.
The levels could vary in difficulty. Shorter routes (routes to the keys that unlock the boss) are harder. The perimeter levels are easier.
Re: Showing damage
I think having a ghost player life (like the effect in some castlevania games) could be a bit distracting and strange.
He could palette change the color of his blue overall suit. Or like I suggested (edited in my prev post) have a different idle animation.
Re Special abilities per map
Maybe it's an item he picks up, Karate Manual for the Bruce Lee level, or a Yie-Ar Kung Fu casette tape. But it is a bit out of character. Of course he could log into a console and get to control Cyber-Mecha-Bruce, but that's a ton of more animation work.
I made a Metroid map an included Morph Ball (special move), Bombs, Missiles (1 use), Etank (take one hit)... I don't think he can shoot though. Maybe the missiles are just key items? Or, he can toss them in front of him with a generic throw animation.
I don't think special abilities would be out of characters if they're more rare, maybe just occuring on secret maps. I'll have to paint up a few more example screens though, to see what kind of coherrance I'll end up with.
Next one will me Mission Impossible, featuring the Impossible Mission gfx, but with a roof shutter, long shaft, rope, stopping just over the ground, console, laser beams switching on and off in complex patterns.
BTW, how are you planning to do the room transitions? I had this vision of a 2-axis elevator scene violently carting you off to the next room through tunnels. ie. the car would lurch horizontally for a ways, then slam into a vertical descent, finally *BAM*, you hit the bottom and the doors open and you're ejected unceremoniously into the new room.
Maybe rather than collecting obscure crystals, he has lost his game collection (Rotating floppies)?
This way it'll be (somewhat) exciting to see which game it is in each room.
I don't like any of these, I was trying to do a NoName Floppy, but I realized the blue in my palette is kinda dark, it certainly would have problems showing on a handheld (they tend to show 32/255 as black).
I tried expanding the palette with intermediates, but it's probably not a good idea.
Maybe he's collecting Intellivision games instead... or Atari 2600...
I like the idea of the treasure being something more interesting than gems. Games would be real cool (that animation's dope, btw). And it would be neat to be able to view a list of the specific games you've found.
So now he's an overweight perverted game collector? Hehehe
Border / Scrolling Handheld Idea
We had an idea of the screen being able to scroll down to show that it's:
+ A handheld.
+ A little picture of Balding and the Boss, whatever it is. (A picture like on those old metallic Game&Watch games.)
+ Gimicky UI (setting controls, maybe saving?)
Dunno if this is possible, or if anyone mentioned it already, but is there a chance that all these little corpses can stay around. Memories of lives lost, scattering your own little adveture. They'd be background layer, not clippable etc. Just might be a nice little detail
Re: Staying corpses
Bezzy> Nice idea! I like persistance like that. Not sure how easy it is to do. The bodies need to settle nicely, not half on edges and stuff. It's something we can try out atleast, shouldn't be very hard to code, or is it? It sort of breaks the 'time reset' factor of the dying mechanic though. Edit: oh yes, these are environment bugs and moonpod stuff. I don't know if they animate cuz I just drew 'em guessing.