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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsNew Advent – a religiously-inspired 2D platformer
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partymetroid
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« on: May 01, 2009, 02:31:14 PM »

[edit] I also forgot to mention that this is a Metroidvania game, and thus will tightly incorporate exploring into the gameplay.
Something in my heart has compelled me to finally tell you all about my game: religiously-themed 2D platformer called New Advent.  I say it's religiously-themed because I'm trying to make it adhere to and express Roman Catholic social teaching.  It's called New Advent because many of the themes (e.g., capitalism vs communism) were influenced by Pope John Paul II.  He coined the phrase.  (I am aware that there is a Catholic website called New Advent.  I asked the site owner if I could use his the name for the title of my game.  He was happy to oblige.) Now for the plot abstraction:

[edit] I decided to junk the whole fringe-world idea, and just place the player within the heart of the possessed person at the beginning of the level.

Basically, the game takes place inside the minds of modern-day, demonically-possessed people, whose possessions are of special cases.  How does the player go inside their minds, you ask?  First, the player enters the area around the possessed person's “fringe”.  This fringe is a large barrier, shaped like a dome, that resides within the fringe-world” (the spiritual realm of Mother Earth outside people's fringes (I'll explain how the player enters it in a moment)).  Inside the fringe is the “inner world” (i.e., the mind of the possessed).  (The different inner worlds act as the dungeons in the game.)  The player then enters the inner world of the possessed in search of the “ego” of the possessed, locked away by the inhabiting demon(s?).  There will be… I don't know how many dungeons there will be, but there will be at least a few.  I'll now explain the inner worlds (dungeons) that I've come up with thus far in just a sec, but first I need to explain how the player can enter the fringe-world:

First, the player (in this part of the game composed of two characters: a priest named Paul, and a religious sister named Dymphna (named after the patron Saint of the demonically-possessed)) is sent to an orphanage to exorcise two ~16-year-olds.  The two of them, one a boy and the other a girl, are friends.  The boy's case is older and more severe, yet the player is suddenly told by the Holy Spirit to exorcise the girl first.  The player approaches the girl, and is suddenly take to a forest.   After exiting the forest, he enter a large, expansive prairie with flowers carpeting it.  The girl's fringe is inside the prairie, and the player has to go through a process to receive the key to enter her inner world.  After defeating the demon inside of her and freeing her ego, the girl becomes apart of the player's party of playable characters. She has “Mother Earth” powers (I'll elaborate more on the powers in just a moment) and is able to enter the fringe-world, and she can take people into it with her.  She gives the player the key to the boy's inner world, and the game continues from there into the boy's mind, and the boy becomes a playable character, too.  Now for the powers:

The powers in this game are based on the classical Greek elemental system: air, water, earth, fire.  Each has “alchemical” and “physical” properties.  The primary and secondary properties of the elements are thus: air is primarily wet and secondarily hot, water is primarily cold and secondarily wet, earth is primarily dry and secondarily cold, and fire is primarily hot and secondarily dry.  The physical properties are what you'd expect: water is wet and cold, air is cold, fire is hot, and earth is... earthy. Because two people will be playable at once (one controlled by a player, and the other controlled by the AI or another player), combos can be created by mixing one elemental power with another.  The combos can combine one or more alchemical and/or physical properties from each of the two playable characters (e.g., the wetness of air plus the wetness and the coldness of water create a large ice (ice berg) attack, and the wetness of air plus the coldness and earthiness of earth create a glacier (since glaciers exist on land).  The MP of the game is called Aether, and the more powerful the attack/the more properties of elements that are used, all the more Aether is used.  Either each character will have his/her own  Aether gauge, or there will be one big Aether gauge.  Eitehr way, every character's Aether will be filled with each upgrade.  Aether (and health) can be found left behind by enemies (enemies are to be discussed in the next paragraph), and Aether can be filled at special stations.  I don't know as to whether I'll allow health to be filled at save points like in Metroid or not.  Now about the enemies:

Most enemies are manifestations of the imagination of the possessed, and others are the visions of evil that the possessed is given by the inhabiting demon.  The first class of enemy is usually inside fairly calm parts of the mind of the possessed, while the second class of enemies are usually found inside disturbed parts of the mind.  The first class is often inside the disturbed part of the mind, but the second class is rarely inside calm parts of the mind.

The weapon system is fairly straightfoward: weapons are upgraded by finding upgrades among the the dungeons.  Weapons may have higher attack power, have better basic spells, or both.

For more religious references, the priest has “pillar of fire” power (reference to Exodus), the nun has “pillar of cloud” powres (also a reference to Exodus), the girl has Mother Earth powers, and the boy has Holy Water powers.  Air, fire, earth, water.

Most of the other gameplay mechanics are what you'd expect from a co-op 2D platformer: running, jumping, and shooting, and exploring (basic spells don't use Aether, while other, more complex spells do), and whacking (the weapons are blunt).  I'm trying to work out what types of weapons the characters will use, and I may get back to you on that.

That's about it for the basics.  There are further elements to the story that I don't want to spoil; and there are other, more experimental gameplay mechanics that I don't want to discuss just yet.  Just know that the story elements relate to Catholic social teaching, and that the gameplay mechanics aren't too conventional. Smiley

Input is strongly encouraged, and positive feedback is greatly appreciated.

If anyone would like to work on the project, PM or email me, and I'll try my best to reply.  Thank you for reading and for your responses!

[edit]: I decided to have the player enter the heart of the possessed, instead of the mind; as the mind is composed of both body and soul.  One cannot enter the soul of a person.

ONE MORE MORE EDIT: I decided to KEEP the fringe-world idea, except this time, the player starts inside the the middle of the heart of the possessed, and tries to make his way to the OUTSIDE, where he will face the residing demon, who is blocking the PATH to the fringeworld.  Woo.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 06:26:03 AM by partymetroid » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 02:33:16 PM »

Sounds real interesting, partmetroid. I'll keep my eye on it.  Blink
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partymetroid
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 12:33:52 AM »

Hmmmmmm... after a lot of brain-storming with Inanimate, I'm changing a lot of the game elements.

The levels will no longer be follow a given certain convention: one level might follow the structure of a shape, while another might not follow any real structure at all.  I'm also getting rid of the whole fringe-world thing (which is pretty much pointless and has no need in the story). I'm just going to place the character right into the mind HEART(or inner world; they're interchangeable, really) of the possessed at the beginning of the level.  The party is able to enter the mind of the possessed by receiving a key from a loved one of the possessed, approaching the possessed, and entering his/her inner world after being enveloped in dark mist around the body of the possessed.

<4 hours since the introduction>I remembed the original idea I had about the levels since a long time ago: to allow the soul of the possessed to view the entire exorcism.  This will be apparent to the player because there will be a fly-through intro to each level, with the soul of the possessed in the foreground, watching the events taking place.</4 hours since the introduction>

As for the levels, I have three concepts so far:

The first is the inner world of the girl.  She was contemplating the subject of love (because of the possession of the boy, whom she loves, which occurred before her own possession) before being possessed: the pain, comfort, sorrow, and joy of caring.  The inhabiting demon has set up obstacles to prevent the growth of her understand, knowledge, and love (e.g., temptations to believe that love bears no fruit, is jealous, deceitful, and isn't unconditional) The goals are to break down the obstacles to the growth of her knowledge and understanding of love.

The second level is the mind of the boy, who was contemplating the physique of Creation before being possessed (e.g.: astrological physics, chemistry, and biology) and how it relates to  its Creator.  The player's goals are to break the obstacles that the inhabiting demon has set up to try to prevent the boy's appreciation for Creation.

The third and final level I've come up with is the mind of a woman pregnant outside of wedlock.  Despite the wishes of her foster family and peers, she does not want to have an abortion.  She thus contemplates the spirit of Creation (i.e., life), and how it pertains to her and her unborn child.  The inhabiting demon has set up obstacles to try to prevent her from believing life is sacred, dignified, fruitful, and good.  The player's goal is similar to the other levels: to break down the obstacles that the inhabiting demon has set up to prevent her from believing that life is dignified, meaingful, and precious.

That's about it... I could go into more backstory about the characters, but it's getting WAY too late (3:33 AM as I type).  Responses are still appreciated!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 05:59:59 PM by partymetroid » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 07:29:50 PM »

Sounds really cool- sort of like a religious Psychonauts. Speaking of which, are you familiar with that particular game? If you haven't played it yet, I'd recommend it just to see how they used a level in a character's mind to illustrate their particular personality and issues.
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 08:02:43 PM »

Yeah, in discussions I mentioned it, and he seemed familiar.
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 02:01:41 AM »

NOTE: I decided to have the player enter the “heart” of the possessed, instead of the mind, as the mind is composed of both body and soul.  One cannot enter the soul of a person.

Sounds really cool- sort of like a religious Psychonauts. Speaking of which, are you familiar with that particular game? If you haven't played it yet, I'd recommend it just to see how they used a level in a character's mind to illustrate their particular personality and issues.
I played that game quite a while ago, but I remember a lot from it.  That game had some really great boss fights!  I'll probably follow its example and design levels around the character's personality; especially their thoughts, hopes, and dreams.  Onwards, comrades!

First, I'm going to discuss the aforementioned “experimental ideas” (I quote this because, as I write this, they are becoming more and more solidified):

The first idea is to have a Materia-like socket system for the equipment.  The “Materia” are called “Philosophers' Stones”, crystallized forms of Aether (the MP of the game), created when Aether is concentrated into one place.  There will be four different types of Stones: spell, summon (discussed two paragraphs below), status, and special.  Most Stones exist as unusable fragments, but they can be forged into complete Stones.  There will be different types of fragments, and Stones are forged by different mixtures of fragments.  Regular enemies can drop Stone fragments amidst the Aether they leave behind, which can be forged into complete Stones at forging stations.  Some bosses will drop complete Stones.  Complete Stones of all types can be both found and  forged; however, some can only be found, while others can only be forged.

The next idea is to have each possessed character grant a special “class” of abilities to the party.    The abilities are granted by Philosophers' Stones or available all the time.  Some may require Aether to use, while others may not.

The pregnant young woman will grant the party the power of “Life”.  This power grants the ability to use summons and forge summon Stones.  These Stones grant the party to summon different creatures of (usually) abstract design, many of which are designed by the woman herself.

The girl will grant the party the power of “Love”.  This power includes the powers of “knowledge and understanding” (as knowledge begets love, and love requires understanding) and “healing”.  The powers of knowledge and understanding include the power to gather and retain information: information about items, enemies, objects in the environment, etc.  Examples of these information-gathering powers include gathering combat information (e.g.: attack power and total HP, which would only be granted while the special Stone associated with it is equipped), and general information about items and enemies (which would be available all the time via a “scan” ability a la Metroid Prime).  (Neither of these abilities will require Aether to use.)  The powers of “healing” include increasing HP and healing status effects (assuming there are any).

The boy will grant the power of “Creation's Physique”.  This power includes the ability to manipulate space/time (and gravity?).  Space manipulation would be useful in puzzles and against enemies (e.g., decreasing/increasing the space between long/short-range enemies and the player, bending space to deflect projectiles (, and maybe other situations; suggestions are appreciated!)).  Time manipulation would be useful in –  again – puzzles, and with enemies in combat (e.g. speed up the player, slow down the enemies, and slow down gameplay for an increase in reaction time).  (If gravity is included, it will allow for increasing and decreasing weight.  The inclusion of gravity would be a good explanation for why space/time manipulation is allowed...)

Next are my ideas for the weapons!:

The weapons will be quirky for the purpose of comic relief (my favorite game of all time is Earthbound).  Paul (the priest) will wield a baseball bat made of volcanic rock, as his elemental affinity is fire.  Dymphna (the religious sister) will wield a tennis racket with the threads woven from clouds, as her elemental affinity is air.  Because the boy grants “Creation's Physique” powers, he'll wield a ruler with a pocket watch attached to it with a chain.  (If gravity is indeed included, something that represents “gravity” will have to be added... oh dear.)  The ruler and the watch can be upgraded separately, and each has a different socket amount.  (I don't really know as of yet what kind of weapon the girl will wield.  I would appreciate some suggestions.  Just keep in mind that her power is “Love”.  Thanks!)

I know I'm adding unnecessary complexity to relatively simple game mechanics, but I really want to incorporate philosophy into the game.  Anyway, thanks for reading!
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 03:35:15 AM »

An idea for a "love weapon"...

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partymetroid
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 11:41:59 AM »

That's hilarious, lol.  I was thinking about making the enemies "ravaged spirits"... and thus, with that power (I'll call it the power of "forgiveness"), they do this:

Tears of Joy Hand Point Right Kiss Hand Point Right *GLOMP*

And the enemies do this:

WTF

lol.  That would definitely add some more much-needed comic relief to this game.  Maybe I'll just give her gloves... giving her a "gentle fist" style of combat.  Thanks a heck of a lot for your suggestion!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 11:50:05 AM by partymetroid » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 11:57:08 AM »

That's hilarious, lol.  I was thinking about making the enemies "ravaged spirits"... and thus, with that power (I'll call it the power of "forgiveness"), they do this:

Tears of Joy Hand Point Right Kiss Hand Point Right *GLOMP*

And the enemies do this:

WTF

lol.  That would definitely add some more much-needed comic relief to this game.  Maybe I'll just give her gloves... giving her a "gentle fist" style of combat.  Thanks a heck of a lot for your suggestion!

No problem  Tongue

I'd like to add the logical conclusion of that "weapon":







...I kid, I kid.

This sounds like a pretty cool project, actually; I'd love to see how this turns out   Hand Thumbs Up LeftWink
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 12:19:07 PM »

No problem  Tongue

I'd like to add the logical conclusion of that "weapon":







...I kid, I kid.

This sounds like a pretty cool project, actually; I'd love to see how this turns out   Hand Thumbs Up LeftWink

Haha. Tongue  Thanks for the compliment! Smiley

Anywho, I bet "forgiveness" can be implemented in other powers.  I also bet that "Love" can have many other powers associated with it, too!

If any of you think of any, let me know!
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 03:21:31 PM »

Summary:
I need an artist for this 2D Metroidvania game called New Advent.  Right now it's in the conceptual stage, but I'm expecting concrete development to start during the summer.  I'm going to start working on the design document VERY soon (as soon as I solidify many of the concepts, the process of which is going faster than I expected), and it will be very extensive.  Despite this, however, the artist can expect the design document to change during development (I won't pull a full Shigeru Miyamoto, mind you), but that doesn't really relate to the character designs, so the artist doesn't really need to worry about that.  I will be writing the narrative and dialogue (, of which there will probably be very little).

Payment:
This may sound disappointing, but I don't know as to whether the job will pay well or not.  Either way, you'll definitely earn and receive a fair share of the proceeds.  (Each member will likely earn and receive a percentage equal to all the other team members.  That is to say, if there are 5 team members, each member will receive 20% of earnings.  The artist will receive more payment if he/she can realize his/her concept artwork in sprites/pixel art.)

Job description:
I want an imaginative 2D artist who is flexible in his/her style, as there will be different styles of enemies, bosses, and summons (cute and more serious/darkly-toned.), and who can communicate with me and sometimes pther team members.  The artist must be able to draw unique characters, enemies, summons, and possibly backgrounds.  The artist must all be able to draw cute-looking characters, enemies, bosses and summons (for relief from the serious tone of the storyline); and serious/dark-looking enemies, bosses, and summons (to match the serious tone of the storyline).   Background artistry is optional.  The ability to sprite/draw pixel art is a BONUS (and will get you more payment).  Many of the enemies will be manifestations of a given character's imagination, while others may be ravaged spirits.  Thus, the artist must be imaginative and flexible in style.  The artist MUST NOT MIND the incorporation of Catholic theology and philosophy in the game; however, most (if not all) of the artwork will not relate to these concepts.

How to apply:
You may post a reply in this thread, PM me, or e-mail me with an example of your work.  (Look at my contact information.)  I would also like to interview you a bit over an instant message protocol or by email, if you wouldn't mind. Smiley  The interview is optional.

NOTE: If you want to include one or more of the main characters I have conceived as an example of your work, I will give some background information about them:
The first character is a Catholic religious sister named Dymphna.  Her father is Ukrainian, and her mother is Irish.  Her mother gave her her name as she believed that she would follow in the footsteps of one of the patron Saints of Ireland.  (The female patron Saint of Ireland is named Dymphna, who just so happens to be the patron Saint of the demonically-possessed. Wink )  Her mother died when she was very young.
The second character is a Catholic priest named Paul.  Any other parts about his background is undecided, and may remain unknown.
The third character is an orphan named Thomas.  He was orphaned by his father when he was demonically-possessed.  The father later takes him (and McKenna) back into his care when he saw a vision of Thomas's deceased mother.
The fourth character I've conceived so far is another orphan named McKenna, who lived in the same orphanage as Thomas before being taken under the wing of Dymphna and Paul for the summer.  She was orphaned when her parents died in a tragic accident (don't know what kind of accident as of yet).  I envision her to have brown hair and wear glasses, but you can revise her.
The last character I've conceived so far is a young woman named Sarah who became pregnant outside of wedlock 3 months before she was demonically possessed, and who, despite the will of many of her family members and peers, does not want to get an abortion.

[edit2]I forgot to mention that this story takes place in modern USA.

I appreciate any and all submissions, and await replies!  Thank you!

[edit1]If the mods think that this would be more appropriate in another forum, please move it.
[edit3]I think I'm going to post this in the collaboration thread... sorry if I bother anyone by posting it twice!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 11:45:14 PM by partymetroid » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 06:19:12 PM »

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
I decided to KEEP the fringe-world idea.  The player will be placed the player in the MIDDLE of the heart of the possessed at the beginning of the level, and his goal is to lead the party members, WHICH INCLUDES THE SOUL OF THE POSSESSED, outside of the heart of the possessed and make the way into the "meadow" of the heart, where the demon has blocked the path to the rest of the fringe-world.  The boss fight is of course the demon.

I'm still trying to figure out the main plot... Sad.
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 06:04:49 PM »

Sketch of Dymphna lying on a tree.  I liked how she turned out... the tree is still unfinished, obviously.  I think she's cute. Smiley
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