Okay so, speaking from a purely design standpoint, I've made a few decisions regarding the gameplay that I ought to record here.The Boss
was originally going to be a simple project but like everything I touch, it seems to have grown totally out of control. One of the primary challenges of Action 52 is that the games suck so hard, you practically have to reinvent them for them to be any kind of fun, at least for ones such as this.
In the original game, you run around with a gun that shoots one bullet at a time and have to dodge bombs and enemy fire (awkwardly, by jumping over their bullets - typical for Action 52). I didn't want that, but I didn't want to go the other way and have a run-and-gun Metal Slug or Contra type game either. I love games like that but they just don't fit this kind of theme.
So keeping in mind the theme, I decided to have a bit of a read up on the entry from the Action 52 instruction manual:
The Toad is the Mafia boss who uses salamander hit men. They're all out
to get you, but you can beat them as long as your partnet, Spector keeps
a good eye out for those bad guys.
What the hell is that even supposed to mean?!
Is this like the Action Gamemaster, where you are literally the person being persued by the mafia, and Spector is the guy on screen "helping you out"? I found that pretty unlikely, which meant that the aptly named Spector is a character who never actually appears in the game.
I have, nonetheless, taken the liberty of converting my version of The Boss
into two games. One where you play Cold Blooded Frankie, the alligator from the previous post, and one where you play Spector, a chameleon. Frankie performs hit and run missions, more or less inspired by the fact that in the original Boss on Action 52, everything on the streets is trying to kill you. Hence Frankie has a target to take out or someone to save, and has to get out of there to a safehouse - it's still run-and-gun, but enemies are now obstacles rather than meatbag targets for your tommy gun.
Conversely, Spector functions as the detective, who moves the plot forward. You play as him in a more edxplorative environment where you need to find "clues", to clear Frankie's name (he's been framed by The Boss/Toad, obviously), and speak to NPCs to ascertain clues and perhaps procure side missions. And of course, being a chameleon, he can even infiltrate some pretty dicey areas, even The Boss' mansion itself. I'm humming and hahhing over whether I want to turn these into stealth missions (I'm adamant that Spector cannot fight, he's just a fact-finder), as I am not big on stealth in gaming personally. But if I can think of a way to implement stealth to enhance a Spector level's fun-factor, it is on the cards.
This is probably going to be quite a long-term project. I'm in the process of animating Frankie and it's slow-going; I imagine Spector's missions will be more simple, probably a far-view isometric view.