I really like the idea of permanent consequences, but this will be hell to design and test.
I agree with everyone here that the level design will have to be really thought out.
For your own sanity, I would start with only 2-4 characters!
Players will need to be familiarised with the enemies and bad things in the game so they don't feel cheated when encoutering such a thing. When a player encounters another "type" of character he can play (say a wizard that can shoot magic) he will need a safe space to play around with him so he doesn't get killed right away. The creator of PvZ has a really good video up about immersive tutorials which I think you will need in this game a lot! http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015327/How-I-Got-My-Mom
We're talking a lot about negative consequences - what about positive ones? For example a player eats something and that turns him blue for the rest of the game.
I would love to see more about this game. Pace, view point? Sounds exciting. Good luck!
Thanks so much for your interest. I'll definitely have a look at that video today, but I can't right now as I'm at work where I can't have noise for obvious reasons.
I'm generally thinking of having the first chunk of gamneplay being rather low risk and offer a variety of puzzles where you can experiment with and learn about your characters.
Maybe I'll even make sure you will have used every single character to overcome an obstacle for sure before you even encounter something lethal. I was also thinking that teh characters would cue you in about how they could help you overcome obstacles.
You could for example encounter a very deep drop and one character would get frightened at it claiming you can't survive falling that deep. Then another character would respond by saying that he could easily survive that without a scratch. As he looks like he can take a hit (design reflects abilities), that should be enough to convince the player.
As for positive consequences, I'm hoping the unraveling of the backstory and encountering new puzzles will be enough to drive the player forward, but it could indeed be fun to encounter things that change the characters in some way, I'll certainly think about a way of implementing it, because it sounds like fun and very rewarding.
I'm not sure what you mean by pace and as for viewpoint, I see it as a 2.5D sidescroller for now.
When I have öore things decided or ready, I'll definitely revisit this thread and share it with you guys.
no you wouldn't, but you wouldn't be punishing them neither(gameplay-wise at least)
though you could make the main-personality slower in performing those actions, for example.(or jump just a little less far then the jump-personality)
to realy see what works and what doesn't you should start making the game(leveldesign) though, so you can tinker around with the ideas and see how they work out.
(aka i suspect you re gonna have to implement most ideas to a certain degree, just not sure to which degree)
I'm assuming that having the characters merging would feel like a success to the player. But you are right, from a gameplay perspective it is neutral and having the powers reduced would indeed be a punishment. However, when you get many powers in one character, it becomes a reward again. Since a character that can run faster and fight better is more useful than the two seperately. I'm currently not sure if I want the main character to be present before you lose all of your characters, I'm leaning to no.
I see that thsi is a bit of an issue with the design and only play testing can really serve as a final verdict here I think. Again thank you for your input, highlighting what some possible pitfalls can be and even providing me with appealing alternatives, this forum has been incredibly helpful so far.
If possible I'd like to ask anyone with an opinion on this particular issue to share it with me, to see what the concensus on it is...