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Author Topic: Balding's Quest: Milestone 2  (Read 172464 times)
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« on: February 27, 2007, 01:56:01 AM »

Current build/development stage: Milestone Two Build.

Balding's Quest: the Quest of Guy Balding (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.

Milestone Two Goals:
(Added 03/13/2007 by BMcC)
(Updated 12/20/2008 by BMcC)

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.  Grin  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. Grin

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 Army
TTC Dans le club

Edit: (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.

He's it.



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. Wink


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).

Sideways Ladders

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?

Special Items

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.

Level-specific actions

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. Smiley Etc.

Friendly NPCs

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.
+ Simple.
+ 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.

2 Hits
+ 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.

Re: Difficulty
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...

Re: Collecting

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  Tongue

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?)


Permanent Corpses

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 Smiley

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.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2008, 06:37:44 AM by BMcC » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 03:10:21 AM »

Hello everyone!

Although I haven't contributed anything or even commented on this project yet, if I wasn't so busy trying to get a demo together for GDC and also with all the stuff that keeps me busy all the time anyway, I would definitely be IN. As it is, I have just been quietly observing and marveling at the thrilling pace this project is advancing at.

Also, looking at those screenshots, and especially the map screen with its evocatively-titled areas, takes me right back to the very, very early days. The project is looking absolutely delicious; good luck and please don't allow the wheels to fall off once you get to those tricky, awkward later stages of development.   Go you guys!

Currently in development: Cletus Clay
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2007, 03:45:14 AM »

Thanks for compiling Derek!

The stuff on the metroid screen with the border is from my Metroid Project, but maybe it could make a cameo. The border was what's relevant on that pic.

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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2007, 03:49:11 AM »

OT: Anthony? Did you just say you are trying to get demo of CC together for GDC?? That should be the news of the week then.

Yes this is very lovely. I am allready drawing and reading those tutorials you linked me. They are very good but also show me that the subject is not that simple (uh who invented light).


« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007, 05:23:15 AM »

A thought: Is BMcC using allegro?  The sewers should cameo Alex the Allegator!

About health: I think I'd prefer insta-death or two-hits to a health bar; there's something very old-school-awesome about knowing exactly how many mistakes you have left before you die.  Something like a Zelda-esque 'you have this many hearts' would be cool.
Oh, and if we wanted to be gross, we could make the hearts flop out of the player when he takes damage ... like some bloody version of Sonic's rings.  Collect it fast enough to regain the life.  And maybe it runs away?

edit: just for fun:
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 06:26:30 AM by Zaphos » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2007, 06:25:21 AM »

A few ideas for traps and/or level elements. The locations are only suggestions, and many of them could be used in different areas.


A carnivorous-plant-like thing, or perhaps a goo of some sort, that eats the player and spits him in some other part of the stage. This could be used as a puzzle element, not only as a trap.

Fake walls. The player can go through them.


Cracked rocks. If the player steps on it, it breaks and he falls on the lava.

Falling rocks!


Dripping chemical substance. If a drop touches the player, different things may happen, as making him invincible, mutating him somehow or killing him. This could also be used for puzzles, mainly if each effect was caused by a different substance color.


Vine nets, why not? Tongue Perhaps just to keep the player from getting a time record.


Horse crap?

Just kidding. :D


Compressors, spinning cogs (the player have to be quick or will be crushed), flames (the player can turn them off, or perhaps they turn on/off over time)...


Stalagmites and falling stalactites!


Ancient cliché traps! Something magical, perhaps?

Falling columns. The player can a) get crushed by them; b) use them as slopes or c) get trapped by them. Like this (fear my drawing skills!) (full name = mrbaldingandthekillercolumn.png).


Quicksand-like mud. The player has to move quickly not to drown, but he can't jump nor run because of the mud. Mwhahahah! Perhaps he could hang himself to chains or whatever to get out. Or perhaps he just can't get out. Cool


Giant toaster! If the player is standing on it when the toast comes out, he's ejected. Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 06:28:26 AM »

Nice ideas. *squeezes more happy juice*

I like that design (Alex the alligator... Allegato... oooh now I get it.) He looks like what we call a NäbbGädda here (fish).

I'm not sure what to do to bring coherrence to the palette.  It just has to look good so I'm not going to restrict myself unecessarily. Needs to be consitent though, so at some point I need to gather everything up and see what colors can be merged.

Back to work *so frumple*
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 07:44:52 AM »

A couple quick things before I get to wrapping up Milestone One today (I'll be back to post proper later):

In the collecting idea quote, you left out the part about panties!  That's what makes him a pervert.  I was totally serious about that idea.  Lips Sealed

Also, there was discussion about how enemies and traps and stuff don't always kill the player, but sometimes put him in a bad situation or almost kill him, but give him a chance to escape/evade.

There are probably a few other ideas that were missed, I dunno.  The thread is gigantorous.

So!  I'll finish Milestone One today (with some niceties)!  I also think we should be making a lot of core design decisions with this Milestone, but I'll air my goofy ideas later.

Thanks so much!  Much love.  <3   Kiss

EDIT:  Including Alex would be sweet!  I mentioned this earlier, too -- I think it would be great to not only reference great games of the past, but to also include shout-outs to great indie games.

Re: Hearts -- I liked the Cho Tofu realistic heart idea.  That made me giggle. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 07:49:14 AM by BMcC » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2007, 08:30:36 AM »

I was thinking of making some obstacle course/gym gfx but I'm not sure if I'll have time today.

Random ideas for cameo characters (Just random stuff I like)

Somewhat obscure/other
Erika Eleniak / Cindy Crawford
Ripley in panties, Alien
Curly's panties
Marvin, HGttG
Mining Dwarf, Dwarf Fortress
Kaalium robot and robot eggs, MoonTrap (one of my fav movies) (found at a junkyard)

Pretty mainstream
Spathi, Star Control
Swordplay/shield knight, Zelda 2, comes alive from a statue maybe.
Green Splitting Robot (from Iceman's level), Megaman 1.
Diglett, Pokémon
Shambler, Quake 1 (I just want to hug Shamblers! (with my axe.))
Jason, Blaster Master
Crowbar Gordon, HL
R2D2 or Greedo or Mos Eisley Cantina Band or Blue organ elephant or Twi'lek, StarWars

Glenda, the Plan 9 Bunny
Tux, Linux
Devil, BSD

...okay, I can think of a million more things... I'll just pixel'up what I feel like and have time for later.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 08:37:06 AM by Arne » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2007, 08:45:06 AM »

I must say, this whole pervert/panties thing does throw a bit of cold water on my pure and simple affection. It's like, say, if Cave Story had a big gushing cock in it. And you'd be all like, oh Cave Story, why? The game just looks so innocent and sweet; why float a big turd in Mario's swimming pool?

Actually, going nuts with cultural references does feel like it would rob it of its own personality a bit, too. Those early shots seemed so self-sufficient; the beardy man seemed like a real character in a real situation rather than an in-joke.

But of course I'm just hollering from the sidelines here...

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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2007, 08:53:23 AM »

But you do find panties in Cave Story.  Tongue  (Look at Arne's avatar!)

I totally get your point, though.  The original concept screen was all the game ever needed to be, you know?  It just looked so wonderful.

I just thought the panties thing would be a fun way to acknowledge Arne's (great) work.  And it would give the character an interesting implied dimension to his character.  Though, it needn't be the crux of the game or anything.  I was just suggesting it as a sort of secret (maybe very secret?) collectible.

But that's definitely a good point.  Thanks for bringing that up!

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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2007, 08:58:31 AM »

Oops...  I split the topic the wrong way.

And now Remove Topic isn't working! Angry

You guys have discussed his maneuverability at length, but can Baldy jump to and from ladders? I know its a small thing but could be an important detail to consider.

Right now you can jump off ladders, but not with any upward velocity.  And no DK Jr. stuff yet, though that's an idea that I could see very easily winding up in the game.

I also like climbing the background "fence" in Super Mario World.  These are things that're easy enough to do, and could be a nice little extra touch for specifically-themed areas.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 09:00:20 AM by BMcC » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2007, 09:07:16 AM »

i guess i'm a lurker here, but this project is looking SICK!  how about a secret barbershop level where guy has to sacrifice what little hair he has left for the evil barber's sick toupee fetish?

if i'm out on a limb here, just put me in my place.

or how about some SMB2-related egg-throwing boss-action?
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2007, 09:07:42 AM »

I have to agree with Anthony. It seems like Games import a lot more culture than they export, and since you're sitting on something rather original here, it seems a shame to turn it into a conduit to the past.

I get the love and appreciation you want to show of other stuff, but it seems like you have a chance to make something lovely and new, with its own voice... although the fact that all the references are re-imagined in this awesome pixel art style does help.

Perhaps, subconsciously, this is what we believe we'll turn into: a balding video game obsessed pervert who has fallen into such a state of depression that he starts hallucinating pixel art interpretations of video game characters?

Oh: a thought about a level or two (if it's not too late). There's lots of typical game settings there, but how about juxtiposing those settings with a few rather mundane ones? The office Kitchenette, the guy's front room (complete with old consoles stacked up, and loads of wires around his telly) or the bus stop he travels from daily? Not so much tricky levels, but ones which construct the ambience and pace of his normal, non adventurous life - safe levels which are there just to help establish his "world". It'd give context to the adventure stuff - make it feel like a world away from his boring insectile life? I dunno. I'm just spouting off now.

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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2007, 09:31:49 AM »

regarding traps and game elements in levels....

FORESTS: how about some inadequately tethered vines that drop as soon as you grab on???


CAVE: Unstable buttresses, unexploded ordnance.

that's all i got for now....I think all the little details in this game is what's gonna make it really SHINE!
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2007, 09:36:43 AM »

I must say, this whole pervert/panties thing does throw a bit of cold water on my pure and simple affection.
HEY! Wasn't me this time! I just suggested Curly's panties.

Actually, going nuts with cultural references does feel like it would rob it of its own personality a bit, too.
I agree, and I think I've mentioned it earlier, most cameos would have to be secret/easter egg. I merely suggested things that I could add. Adding everything will make it a mish-mash without an identity of its own. But it does need to make some blatant, but quality, nods.

He will have to be able to turn to the BG to 'look' (at posters, or search).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 09:38:19 AM by Arne » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 10:03:20 AM »

I'm asking again because I didn't got an answer in the first topic (probably nobody saw the post, given the speed at which it was going): just out of curiosity, will the game have a story?
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 10:19:14 AM »

Re: Story
Well, one idea was that his game collection was lost, and now he needs to find all his games again (mostly very old nostalgia games), which makes it a bit exciting to see what game he finds. The games can be viewed in a trophy room of some sort.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2007, 10:36:53 AM »

Re: Panties, Etc.

You know, I think I was planning on getting a little sillier with the game when I didn't know if people were going to be on board or not.  But if everyone's with me on making this a truly great game, I totally agree with Anthony/Bezzy/Arne's points.  Let's make something new and lovely.

I'm not opposed to things like panties/game characters as easter eggs, but yeah, let's create a character and universe that can stand on its own.  I'm up for it if you guys are. Wink

Re: "Normal" Levels

That could be cool as an introductory/tutorial area.  Maybe something you can choose to play before you play the game.  It could take place before Guy gets sucked into whatever sinister plot we come up with.

They could also spice up the game world, too.  That could be cool.

I have a lot of stuff to add to the level/world layout discussion, actually.  But I've gotta get around to posting that later!

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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2007, 10:47:07 AM »

A Beehive with a swarm of bees gaurding the proximity. you have to knock it down to remove the bees or move really quick to get past them.
A Wild Kangaroo with a baby kangaroo the runs off forcing the mom to give chase.
An Umbrella raft floating on some water as a platform.

Variable gravity plates that either reduce orincrease the gravity above them.
Living walls that swallow you if you stay too closefortoo long.

Flying Saucers that hover around bussing coffee cups.
Mr.Clean a rival baldy with cleaning spray.
Rodents of Unusual size are reported not to exist but just might.
Rat Traps of excessive size. Death in the wrong spot, but a catapult in the right spot.
Bubbles acting as temporary platforms over the sink.

Just a few ideas.
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