This is what the game roughly used to look like. A top down, programmer picked art shooter. Now the shooting was semi-fun, it had its quirks, but it worked and just needed some tweaking. What didn't work was the visual representation of the game, enemies didn't really vary much even with my ripped art of colourful copypasta, and there wasn't much to the environments that couldn't be appreciated unless you twisted your head at dangerous neck levels. So I sat down, had a little think and decided to play a couple of games I picked up in some sales. None of them actually helped me of course because they weren't even the same genre, it was Christmas. But on a serious note I did decide to play a couple of games that did have the elements I was looking for, Diablo, Torchlight etc. The isometric, slightly above being watched from across the street with a camera works for these games, you can see details in the environment, but the enemies still remain the focus and can be seen easily in detail as well. So it goes without saying that my game is now following the footsteps of games before it.
So I present to you, another image;
OK it's a little high up and at a very odd angle compared to most, but that's the beauty of prototyping right? But you can very quickly distinguish what kind of game this is? You automatically (hopefully?) recognise the genre. You know the games it is inspired by and hopefully from that I may of caught peoples interest slightly. I am all for trying to be different, but I shouldn't be for the sake of it. Personally I believe my error was taking some of my favourite games and mashing them together into a format that's less than ideal, something that makes it feel wrong. It should be important to note I am talking about the way the game is presented still. Now there are obviously still potential problems, like what's in that room above, I don't know because there's a wall in the way, although arguably if it was first person then you can't see that room anyway, but I digress. It's something I don't think I can fully solve until I am collaborating with an Artist, but it's definitely there on a list of things that needs some attention.
Now, you can see that there is an item on the floor, it has an item label, is it good loot? Maybe, it's colour coded and sounds like it might be good!
Now you may be asking, (or not, let's assume you did ) what is that green and pink neon paint on the walls? That's actually blood, inspired by various media such as Danganronpa, Sin City etc. I wanted something that's quite striking contrast wise and is something I will put ahead to any artists that hops on board this crazy project.
Now, there's still very little going on in that image, it is literally 2 rooms, an item, 2 characters and 2 splats of blood. But you know (again, hopefully!) what type of game this is and I think that's something I missed originally and is really important. The itch that once was is now scratched and I can carry on concentrating on the the other features of the game that the player is probably going to be more judgemental on.
The core concept of the game still hasn't changed and the ideas I have that I think will make this different are still planned. Although admittedly when I recently learnt how Path of Exile worked I did become a little disheartened because it has a system that is very similar to the one I've designed unbeknownst to theirs (I honestly didn't know their game existed until recently). But should that stop me? No, South Park episode "Simpsons Already Did It" pretty much sums it up, someone before has bound to of done it so why worry? As long as my system works and is fun, then that is what matters to me. Yes it can be argued that it may be better to have something completely original, but then the games development would probably be extended by several months if not years until I get an original idea, which knowing my luck someone else will also come up with the same idea in that time frame...
So where am I going from here, well by the end of January I am aiming for a small but playable demo for the game that I can use as a recruitment tool and get more people on board and also just to get people interested in the game. I recently put everything I can think of feature wise that would need to be done by release and that currently stands at 400 or so items so my work is definitely cut out for me, but for this demo I think I am aiming for a mere fraction of that (I need to make that list...) This does exclude any artist work so that list will definitely increase but so be it.
Anyway that's it for now I think, thank you for reading if you made it this far and I hope you had a happy new year!