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i-kari
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« on: May 09, 2012, 10:08:26 am »





What is this?

You control our hero (a knight) in a room/area-based fantasy adventure game with some light RPG elements, killing enemies and proceeding to the next room/area. I have not yet decided on the ultimate goal of the game.

My three targets for the game:

1. Keep the game simple to play.
2. Have replayability.
3. Add features as long as they don't interfere with 1.

The game is currently in development for iOS using Cocos2D framework and I've been developing it on my spare time. Graphics are done by me and I plan to make sounds and music with my Korg Kaossilator.


Gameplay

Currently each "room" or area has a number of enemies and when all are killed a key pops up. Collect the key and go to the exit to complete the level. On some occasions a dungeon key may drop so you can enter the dungeons!

How do you kill enemies? That's where the power coins come into play. Power coins spawn on the level randomly and when collected, they charge your power meter (by spelling the word "POWER" on the HUD). Collect 5 coins and you are maxed out and you'll get a bonus or something. Or not. When you have power coins, you can bump into an enemy and the enemy is killed! A kill will cost you 1 coin. If you don't have any coins and collide with an enemy, you will lose a heart. Lose all hearts and it's game over.

The three brown buttons on the HUD have no function yet. They could contain bonus items or items that you could buy between levels that would help you on your journey: projectile weapons, health potions, etc. This would require some sort of currency and I have assets for gold coins but nothing has been decided yet. There could also be a town every five levels or so where there are no enemies but peaceful townsfolk and shops with different services.

Levels are randomized but pre-designed, and there will be lots of them. This should give the player a unique play through every time. Also seasons and probably day/night time will be implemented. No clear idea yet as to how these would affect gameplay (different monsters, different item drops?).

I'd like to have a mission system where you have different things to do/collect each time you play. Collect 10 power coins, kill 10 enemies, complete level with 1 health left, etc. This should give the player a sense of accomplishment and progress when completing these small quests.

Other things: loot, power-ups, bonus items. Loot.

Control method

As is with many touch screen games, controls can be an issue. I don't really like virtual d-pads so I've designed a simpler control method. The player walks continuously. Tapping on the left part of the screen makes the player turn anti-clockwise and tapping on the right side our hero turns clockwise. If he collides with an object (not an enemy), he will do a turn depending on whether there are objects to his left or right. Best example of a similar movement method is in a game called Chu Chu Rocket for Sega Dreamcast where the mice ran around the level.


Feedback

Here are features that need to be decided on. Please feel free to comment on them if you like.

Different enemies. If all enemies can be killed with 1 power coin, how to differentiate enemy types? Item drops? The reason for 1 touch kill is simplicity: if the player has 2 coins he knows "I can kill two enemies".

Different weapons. Again, if all enemies can be killed with 1 power coin, what's the point of more powerful weapons? Lose power coin only every second kill? The problem I see here again is the "readability" of the game and it's rules (the player has got used to the 1 coin = 1 kill rule).

Armor. Better armor = lose health only every second hit? Again the readability issue of the game. "What I didn't die? Why? Oh yeah that was because I had that better armor..."

XP. Does the game need XP? Should there be experience levels with unlockable perks/items per level?

Currency. Does the game need currency? Gold coins could be scattered around the levels and dropped by enemies. Coins could then be used to buy items, weapons, armor, etc.

Score. On the two screen shots there is a score shown. What I'd like to include in the game is a variety of items (loot), like in Bubble Bobble where the level can be filled with different kind of fruits and sweets for bonus score. But I haven't come up with any other purpose for these items than the score. Maybe this could be a high score based game?

Selectable classes. Currently you play as a knight. However, I was thinking if there should be different selectable classes with different abilities.

Roguelike. Should the game have a roguelike death mechanic? Lose everything?

As you can see there are still many key points to be decided on. Please keep in mind that the game is heavily in development and all features can change. What I would like to get is feedback on anything. Good or bad, let's hear it! Also ideas. If you have fresh ideas for added features I'd appreciate it (keeping in mind my three "design rules" Smiley).

Thank you for reading.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 05:41:44 am by i-kari » Logged

sabajt
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 10:29:12 am »

oo this should be popular around here.  I like the idea of a randomized adventure, but with hand designed rooms.  I'm confused about movement between rooms though - will you have to kill the enemies in each room before progressing to the next, or will you be able to move freely between rooms and have to kill all enemies to beat the quest?
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Quarry
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 10:29:34 am »

The controls sound annoying, it's not that I tried something like it but meaah

btw it's permadeath not roguelike death

Good luck!
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Ozoh
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 10:36:45 am »

The little knight is a bit hard to read in my opinion.
Otherwise, this looks promising. Hand Thumbs Up Left
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i-kari
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 10:43:29 am »

Hey, thanks for the comments!

@sabajt: Currently you have to kill all enemies in a room and the key shows up when you kill the last enemy. Then you'll go to the exit and proceed to the next room. There's no backtracking.

@Quarry: Yeah permadeath that's what I meant.

@Ozoh: Is it hard to read in both pictures? I don't know if it's easier to read when moving & animated.
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Quarry
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 10:48:10 am »

What kind of palette do you use
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mono
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 11:04:02 am »

This is great! Reminds me of the Zelda games for the Gameboy!  Grin
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Ozoh
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 11:13:16 am »

@Ozoh: Is it hard to read in both pictures? I don't know if it's easier to read when moving & animated.
I'd say it's easier to read from front.
And yeah, it might be easier with the sprite animated.
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i-kari
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 12:29:01 pm »

What kind of palette do you use

NES palette without restrictions.
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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 12:32:32 pm »

Show off a video soon!


Also these controls sound terrible.
I messed with something like that at one point and it worked for me but was nearly unusable for everyone else. The reason for this was that they(testers) did not have such a strong bearing on movement speeds, enemy patterns, placements of objects in the world, etc. Making the player constantly move gives them no time to deliberate and look around, which would end up putting most people on a frustration overload after not being able to maneuver how they desired or simply by being unable to overcome the obstacles. If you balance your game around these factors it should work well enough, however that might come at a compromise of gameplay challenge/depth.

Anywho, best regards!  Smiley
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HernanZh
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 12:40:35 pm »

Looks great! But I agree with everyone else, the controls sound awful Sad
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JackMenhorn
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 12:45:58 pm »

I disagree with everyone else.  The controls sound like they could be engaging if the game fits well around it.  Please try to make it work before you give up and put in a virtual D-pad just because people fear something different.


This looks a *lot* like the GB Zelda games, which is not a bad thing in the least.  Don't be afraid to add in your own flavor and aesthetic to help give it uniqueness.
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i-kari
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 12:50:12 pm »

Thanks for the comments. I'm aware of the compromises that the chosen control method may have. I've experienced that controls are one of the most crucial design points when developing for a touch screen device.

I forgot to mention in my original post that all the enemies follow the same movement/collision/turn rules as the player. Personally I haven't had problems with the controls but it indeed makes the game more hectic and I have to pay attention to this aspect during development. What I won't do is put a virtual d-pad on it as I believe that's not the way touch screen games should be handled.

Thanks again.
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JasonPickering
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 12:56:53 pm »

if all the rooms are centered around this gameplay mechanic, with the player having to make quick turns and specific movement then I think it could work great.

this game from nitrome might give you some level ideas.
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i-kari
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 01:09:11 pm »

One more thing: the player moves on a grid so it's easy to figure out collisions and so on. The movement from a grid cell to another however is smooth. A video would explain this better so I'll see if I can post one at some point.
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rek
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2012, 02:01:52 pm »

The two rooms shown are very bright and saturated, but the player is a flat light grey. It's strange. No likey.

I really don't get the power coin thing. Seems like every room will be exactly the same: go for a coin or coins, then go for the enemy, coin, enemy, etc, key, exit, repeat in next room.
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2012, 04:26:07 pm »

Sounds like my type of game and am actually working on a new game that began with the exact same controls. Have relented on mine though and have now stopped the constant moving forward idea.

How long are you expecting a play through to take?
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SolarLune
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2012, 04:47:08 pm »

Blargh, the game looks great, but I don't have an iOS device. Hope all goes well in developing it. Really would like to sink some time into it on a 'puter. Durr...?
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PompiPompi
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2012, 08:46:48 pm »

Android please :3
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i-kari
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2012, 10:34:20 pm »

I really don't get the power coin thing. Seems like every room will be exactly the same: go for a coin or coins, then go for the enemy, coin, enemy, etc, key, exit, repeat in next room.

Yes that pretty much sums up the game at its current state. It needs variety. Currently you pick up coins and kill enemies in chain combos. I have a test version of the game where the enemy count starts from 1 and increases by 1 after each completed level. After a while it's a mayhem.

How long are you expecting a play through to take?

I'm really not sure if it will have an end or is it going to be an adventure/rpg/endless runner type hybrid where you aim for a high score. One idea is to have a story mode and a survival mode.
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