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TIGSource ForumsJobsCollaborationsOpen Project: Four Swords-like Adventure (design time)
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Author Topic: Open Project: Four Swords-like Adventure (design time)  (Read 37336 times)
Poor Lazlo
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« Reply #80 on: January 06, 2010, 01:06:57 PM »

Hmmph. I see no problem with throwing ideas at the wall at this stage, and seeing what sticks. However, I do suggest that in the next few days we cut off new ideas for the moment, decide some very basic stuff that needs deciding, and then open up suggestions for higher level stuff?

As I see it, before moving on, you need to absolutely lock down the:
  • Scope of the game
  • Style (Arcade to, ehm, non-Arcade balance, etc)
  • Central theme
  • Central technology being used
These all seem pretty firm, actually, but there's no harm in considering alternatives before moving ahead.

Sorry if this seems presumptive, by the way. Feel free to ignore me. Smiley

EDIT: Also, I realise I'm not on the list on the front page, but I sure would like to get in on this planning Wave. If anything, it'd make an interesting read...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 01:11:06 PM by Poor Lazlo » Logged
unsilentwill
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« Reply #81 on: January 06, 2010, 01:32:54 PM »

I think I'll revise the front page with the "core" elements that we all basically agree on, give it maybe a day or more for people to suggest new things/criticize the old. Sorry about missing you on list.
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Ashkin
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« Reply #82 on: January 06, 2010, 02:45:18 PM »

Why am I listed as a programmer? Seriously, I'm amateur. I can hardly handle the game I'm making now. Also, you don't want this game to be in GM.

I'm fine with design, though.
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TheDustin
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« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2010, 05:22:05 PM »

Haha, as my previous posts have shown I'm mostly down for design. The "weird noise" is just if you guys need any dark ambient stuff; if we have an underworld section I'd probably be the guy to go to.  Cheesy

I was looking through my game collection and came across Shining Soul II for GBA. It was another Diablo-clone, but had a couple cool mechanics. For example, there were a couple suppourt classes that offered buffs, but in order for other players to benefit from them they would have to be adjacent to the caster.

L4D's 'special' zombies would be a good place to look for inspiration, but we shouldn't outright imitate them. The concept of requiring multiple characters to tackle an enemy is perfect for this. We could have Like-Like's that swallow players, and someone else would need to rescue them from their stomach. Or you could have an enemy with a shield that locks onto one player, and another player has to flank it. Or have an enemy that requires multiple items to defeat; for example a player would flip an enemy over with a shield and another would have to boomerang it to finish it off. Throw some item ideas my way and I'll see how I can make synergy between them.

On the other hand, you should have a weak enemy that occasionaly pops up, if you kill it you get fully healed or some other benefit. That way you'd have players scrambling to kill it, leaving their previous strategy for a brief bit of chaos.     
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Lord Tim
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« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2010, 06:25:46 PM »

A magic system would be a pretty cool thing to add to a zeldalike. It'd also help to differentiate the characters a little more, if that is the way we are going, as opposed to the Four Swords having all the same character deal.
Just a few mostly support spells, or possibly a support magic character/offensive magic character
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Ashkin
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2010, 08:02:04 PM »

How would we cast spells? The choices would be...
*Binding it to a hotkey
  Pros: Easy to use, able to have plenty at once.
  Cons: Annoying for other players to pause to change spells, or online it would render you helpless.

*Symbol casting
  Pros: Easy to use for the player.
  Cons: Hard to program, and tricky to remember different symbols.

*Any other suggestions?

Also, what would be optimal to use as a control scheme? Xbox controllers, Keyboard, or other?

What about the structure of the game? Instead of the level-based structure of four swords, we could go for a bigger overworld like in other Zelda titles.

As for technology, I've been reading a book where one nation uses mechanical beasts, and the other nation's vehicles are composed from weaving together "life strings" and creating new beasts fitted to their purposes.
Perhaps the technology could be entirely natural to protect the earth, but a few radicals use mechanical devices, and are considered outlaws. One of the characters could be a radical.
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Poor Lazlo
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« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2010, 12:21:30 AM »

It's a game for actual computers, not consoles, so I feel we kind of have to assume the use of a keyboard, and then maybe come up with a control scheme for controllers.
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Mipe
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« Reply #87 on: January 07, 2010, 12:26:36 AM »

I would suggest some kind of 'memory stack', where most frequently used spells and abilities would be at the top, while less frequent ones would be closer to the bottom. Of course there'd have to be another list for 'oh shit' abilities, which aren't used very used, but may be critical to be quickly accessible.
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unsilentwill
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« Reply #88 on: January 07, 2010, 12:09:58 PM »

Nice ideas Dustin, especially the enemies, we need more of that. I'm actually pixeling up some concepts for them  at the moment.

I think the idea of magic with be dealt with in the game, but in a unique way to again, avoid the high-fantasy über-generic ideas. But, the items found (as Zelda is really about items) will have different properties, that may be "indistinguishable" from magic if you catch my drift.

Inventory on the other hand is something we have to consider, basically depending on how big we want the game to get. Four Swords had what, a sword plus some random found item. I think at the moment, we should go for that and keep the controls within the bounds of a NES, and if need be we can implement a GB style item screen.

Ashkin, I think the dungeons should probably be the focus, just four (five, hee) gigantic, well designed, beautiful structures. But like I said, if we could have maybe two or three small towns be region around a descent sized over-world it could be great. Also, that plot is similar to the one I had in mind, but I think plot will come along during the process later on.

So I'm official putting this project into the Work Stage, I think we have a great foundation and a lot of room to be creative still, and I'll be sending out some PMs to get some more art going. Also, what do you think of my idea for the name (on the first page)?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 02:19:32 PM by unsilentwill » Logged

Poor Lazlo
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« Reply #89 on: January 07, 2010, 01:38:17 PM »

So I'm official putting this project into the Work Stage, I think we have a great foundation and a lot of room to be creative still, and I'll be sending out some PMs to get some more art going. Also, what do you think of my idea for the name?

Four Swords-like Adventure? It's functional. Bit of a mouthful, though.

Inventory on the other hand is something we have to consider, basically depending on how big we want the game to get. Four Swords had what, a sword plus some random found item. I think at the moment, we should go for that and keep the controls within the bounds of a NES, and if need be we can implement a GB style item screen.

I think we should definitely stick to a two-buttons-plus-directions control scheme, for immediate pick up and play-osity.

Also the gameboy zeldas are my favourite zeldas.
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Ashkin
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« Reply #90 on: January 07, 2010, 02:41:52 PM »

Let's see. Story. Three continents. And the moon is chained to the (flat) planet. On each side of the chain is a continent.
(name)-The nation of magic. They use magic as weaponry, and magic to summon beasts as a means of transport. They wish to keep things peaceful. One person comes from here.
(name)-The nation of machinery. It is a ruined area. No grass or nature. Only hulking mechanical castles. The food they eat is engineered using machinery. They seek to claim all the land for themselves, because they have no plants left. Little do they know that when they get there, the plants would wither because of the machines. One player comes from here.
(name)-The nation of beasts. They carefully construct new creatures by fusing DNA and fitting their behavior to their purposes. They only wish to live alone, free of disturbances. One player comes from here.
(name)-The moon. A clan of ancient people live here, and they see mankind as a disease, spreading over the planet, killing all the nature. They decide to exterminate them. These serve as the main enemy in the game, and use all three nation's technology. One character comes from here, and he is peaceful.

This person wishes to gather power from the three temples, and use that to sever the chain, closing the passage for the army.
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TheDustin
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« Reply #91 on: January 07, 2010, 03:20:33 PM »

Quote
Also the gameboy zeldas are my favourite zeldas.

This. That's why I made the control scheme suggestion, I love those games so.  Kiss

I'm not sure about spells either, that's more of a hack'n'slash kind of mechanic than a Zelda mechanic. The only way I could see it fitting the game is if the players have a combined mana/magic pool; one character's item slot grants them the ability to cast a spell, and the only way to regenerate magic is by killing enemies with a sword (so the magic caster has to rely on other players to attack).
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Lord Tim
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« Reply #92 on: January 07, 2010, 03:52:44 PM »

Also, what do you think of my idea for the name (on the first page)?
If you're referring to "It's Dangerous to go Alone", that is an awesome name, and totally describes what this game should be all about. Zelda + multiplayer.

Regarding the magic system, I was thinking more like a couple of spells to a one or two characters. These would be individual items that cast the spells, and wouldn't be a separate system from normal character items, kind of like the magic rod from the original Zelda, and some of the GB games.

I think it would be cool to have each of the characters play entirely different, and each have a unique way of approaching problems. You wouldn't need all four characters to get past every obstacle, and sometimes some characters overlap (For when you've got less than all four players controlled by humans). This doesn't mean that every character has to be able to get past every obstacle, but perhaps the levels could be designed in a way so that if you and a friend were controlling two of the characters, the next time you played (using the other two characters) you would play through the level in a mostly different way.
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TheDustin
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« Reply #93 on: January 07, 2010, 04:19:12 PM »

Tim:

Quote
I think it would be cool to have each of the characters play entirely different, and each have a unique way of approaching problems. You wouldn't need all four characters to get past every obstacle, and sometimes some characters overlap (For when you've got less than all four players controlled by humans). This doesn't mean that every character has to be able to get past every obstacle, but perhaps the levels could be designed in a way so that if you and a friend were controlling two of the characters, the next time you played (using the other two characters) you would play through the level in a mostly different way.

Something I've been thinking about lately seems like it would fit your idea. Granted, I know it would be quite an undertaking, but it would add tons of replay value. What if the items could be used in tandem? Say somebody has the strength bracelet and another player had a sword. If the sword-carrying player is picked up, he'll be able to use a LoZ spin attack while carried. There aren't too many other combinations in the traditional LoZ setting that I can think of, but if we designed the items to be used in this way we'd really up the replay value. Part of my inspiration for this was Konjak's Legend of Princess**, but the other came from Link's Awakening and its hidden bomb/arrow combo. It encourages teamwork as well -- it requires two players, after all -- and would fundamentally change the way you approach dungeons each time through. I'll restate that balancing all of this would require a lot of effort, but I'm just throwing it out there.


**I'd love to get some of his sexy pixel art in this, if possible  Well, hello there!
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« Reply #94 on: January 08, 2010, 01:05:02 PM »

If this takes off I can contribute some artwork. I can also program but I'm a little inexperienced. Anyway, dumping ideas is great and all but there should be a little more organization. The only cohesive idea so far was shot down (the miners one). So far it looks like it's going to have a fantasy settings, or at least a low-tech one. The four main characters are going to have different abilities rather than exact clones of each other like in 4-swords.
One thing I want to try to discourage is a complicated or deep story. They simply don't belong in a multiplayer game. I think having a simple, quirky, nintendo-esque world would have a lot more impact than a deep story with serious characters. You're going to be playing with other people and that's going to constantly take you back to reality.
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #95 on: January 08, 2010, 02:04:46 PM »

Another thought: How are we going to structure the game with a "lobby" style system? I've been thinking about only being able to play one dungeon on each game (e.g. what L4D does with its campaigns), but if we wanted to keep story consistency, we'd have to make sure players play the dungeons "in order", i.e. forcing each of them to play through one dungeon before unlocking the next.

I hope that makes sense  Tongue
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Poor Lazlo
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« Reply #96 on: January 08, 2010, 02:06:52 PM »

Hmm. I dunno. We could just present the levels in an chronological order on the menu, so users are inclined to play through it in that order the first time they play? Then they are also able to pick and choose their favourite levels afterwards, when story-continuity is less important.
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unsilentwill
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« Reply #97 on: January 08, 2010, 02:21:48 PM »

Good to hear you're with us. I think the front page does a good job of presenting a cohesive idea.

As for having a story, if nothing else I just want to avoid clich├ęs, justify this project's time and effort for more than a fangame. Ashkin, I like your story ideas, and it's actually not that complex. Having a big bad enemy is something I want to avoid, and I think I can. Again, none of these ideas affect gameplay too much, so we should really put off story design until we can get some other assets going.

The cool thing is, for the lobby system, Zelda has that in place where all dungeons are open (at least in the first one), but the items you have restrict where you can go, and later on that was done in combination with plot events. Also, we could still combine that with a pervasive world, but with certain "checkpoints'?
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Jad
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« Reply #98 on: January 08, 2010, 09:02:25 PM »

I wonder how we're gonna tell the story of this game. Seriously, just having the gameplay occasionally stopping for like, I dunno, 5 seconds and having the characters emoting would do enough for me.

Or just having the levels present themselves in ways, presenting obstacles that force the different characters to show off their differences.

Like I dunno, you're in an ancient temple and there's a cracked wall you have to get through. You've got a swordsman+grappling hook (I'm just brainstorming here) guy, a druid-like girl person who works with manipulating nature (or why not boy), a strong guy (or girl, I'd love that) who mainly carries things, blocks things, and is awesome

and then you've got the techno-drill-girl (I've been drawing her a little, just trying to sell the idea to you) who can solve the puzzle by just drilling through the wall.

Whereupon druid girl makes SHOCKED!! emoticon and voila, a little story told without ever releasing the control of the characters from the players, but we now know a little more about the different characters' attitudes towards different things.

Hurrrhhh brainstorming.


Ok so ideas from TEH HEAD. And peeeeer feedback

et's see. Story. Three continents. And the moon is chained to the (flat) planet. On each side of the chain is a continent.
Quote
(name)-The nation of magic. They use magic as weaponry, and magic to summon beasts as a means of transport. They wish to keep things peaceful. One person comes from here.

I'm sorta down with this I suppose. Well actually I'd like one nation to be almost cliche-like GOOD GUY NATION from where HEROES and BOUNTY HUNTERS stem, cause I'd really like one of the heroes to be ... a guy with a sword and a grappling hook, haha

Quote
(name)-The nation of machinery. It is a ruined area. No grass or nature. Only hulking mechanical castles. The food they eat is engineered using machinery. They seek to claim all the land for themselves, because they have no plants left. Little do they know that when they get there, the plants would wither because of the machines. One player comes from here.

Mining world, is what I think of. I'm not down with the dystopian thing entirely, mainly cause I feel a sweet mix between lushness and world-ruiningness is more interesting and more realistic. Or maybe just more graphically pleasing? I dunno, I'll have to draw something to explain what I'm thinking of. Anyways girl with drill and head lamp would come from here. And yes I just invented her. I'm trying to pitch stuff here, haha

Quote
(name)-The nation of beasts. They carefully construct new creatures by fusing DNA and fitting their behavior to their purposes. They only wish to live alone, free of disturbances. One player comes from here.

Heavy guy/girl? I dunno really! Anyways that'd be sweet, to have a were-whatever that could transform into different half-animals - versatile character that just gets more and more fun the further you go. Well that'd go for all characters I suppose.

Quote
(name)-The moon. A clan of ancient people live here, and they see mankind as a disease, spreading over the planet, killing all the nature. They decide to exterminate them. These serve as the main enemy in the game, and use all three nation's technology. One character comes from here, and he is peaceful.

This sounds something like the druid persony thing. Yes I know I'm trying to mate my ideas with yours. Anyways would they really use the technology of the other nations? I think their own tech would be sufficient, and the other nations try to struggle with their own unbalanced means. Or something!


Yes IDEAS, way too many, straight from my head. I need to deliver some imagery I feel. = A=
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Kramlack
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« Reply #99 on: January 08, 2010, 09:26:53 PM »

I think we need to find a way to organize this better. Some people are talking about story, others art, it's really hard to keep up.

With that said, I'd like to start establishing an art style. It's supposed to be like Four Swords, so RPG'ish? Here's a sketch I did of some top down style. Looking at it again after I finished, I realized it resembles the Mother style a lot. I guess that's the fun though, this is just serving as a base, someone else can take it and spin it into a new style, and we can keep going until we get something we like.

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