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Arcade game idea: Turtle.


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#1 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:42 AM

You are a turtle, you work a stable blue-collar job as a janitor for the king, and there seems to be an influx of plumbers going down your pipes. And you hate it when that happens.

Enter a single-screen, single-player, arcade-style game in which filthy human plumbers are trying to go down your pipes and steal the king's mushrooms. And you hate that. It makes your job that much more complicated. Plus the king hates paying you all that overtime, so you really wanna do this quick.

1. Description of the Screen
  • At the bottom of the screen is a 2D platform a few rows high that the turtle can walk on.
  • There are several 1D platforms above the turtle's platform on which the plumbers can run as they descend on the player.
2. Player Movement, Attack and Scoring
  • The turtle can move left, right, up, and down around a 2D platform at the bottom of the screen, and he can also shoot a net straight up at on-coming plumbers.
  • The turtle cannot jump. So if an enemy object is on his platform, he can only try and avoid that object by moving around his 2D platform.
  • When a plumber is caught with a net, he falls right down past your platform, presumably to be tortured by the king, who pays you 10 points for doing so. Posted Image In addition, the king also pays you a bonus of 100 points for every 10 plumbers you catch, and 1000 points (not 10 points) for each red-and-blue plumber you catch. You're paid 1 point for each barrel you catch. This is also your job, and so the king also pays you wages of 1 point per 5 minutes of play. (So hey, this blue-collar turtle makes a good 20 points per hour plus a hefty commission. Not bad.)
  • You have infinite nets, but you can only shoot one once the last net you launched has either disappeared past the top of the screen or it has landed (a la Centipede).
  • If you shoot a net into an open pipe, it plugs it. Then, any plumber or barrel that enters this pipe is caught and the net falls down as it normally would, at which point the pipe is open again. If you shoot a net at a plugged pipe, it doesn't do anything and you're just wasting time.

3. Enemy Plumbers and Rolling Barrels
  • Very short, yellow plumbers are most common and run down each platform until they can enter a pipe, at which point they exit out the other end of the pipe and keep going down the screen. They make no attempt to attack or evade the turtle.
  • Tall, skinny, green plumbers walk down each platform at a slower pace than the yellow plumbers, but randomly lay more pipe down from one platform to the one below it, thus making it easy for other plumbers and barrels to descend upon the player. They make no attempt to attack the player, but they do retreat and jump to avoid being caught in a net.
  • Stalky, red-and-blue plumbers are enemy heroes that run down each platform and try to jump over each plumber, inspiring that plumber to be more awesome and move quicker than usual. They spit fire at the turtle and jump to avoid being caught in a net, but they don't retreat.
  • There are also barrels which roll down each platform and down each pipe until they get to the turtle's platform, at which point the player has a good chance of being killed.


And that's what I have so far. Posted Image I don't really want to jump in and start programming a game like this, but it sounds like a good use of GameMaker (which seems to work okay under Wine+Mono for Windows on Linux). I think some things need to be adjusted and I also need a simple way for the game to progress, level by level. Maybe to reach each level, the player only has to survive and beat a certain score for the next level. So that means that the king just gets tired of paying all these bonuses to the blue-collar turtle, and he impatiently bombs the plumbers' platforms instead, which gives you a break from all the plumbers and barrels and also clears away all their pipes.

What do you think so far? Posted Image

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#2 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2763

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:19 AM

So far it looks like a straightforward Centipede variant, with permanent tubes instead of destructible single-tile obstacles.

I'd consider a free-roaming tiled 2D environment (e.g. Bomberman) instead of a constrained side-view one: the turtle can only walk on the lower floor, so enemy-only platforms are quite pointless.
An overhead perspective wouldn't affect tubes and plumbers much and it would allow the turtle to shoot in any direction for added tactical depth (turn while moving and shoot forward; maybe shoot something different backwards with another button).

The turtle should be moving at turtle speed: the marksmanship that makes constrained movement and fixed-direction shooting with a single bullet enjoyable in games like Space Invaders should be out of the question, so I expect the object of the game to be astutely combining movement and close-range shooting to kill plumbers and hold back tube growth; it should certainly be easier to accomplish with a greater choice of movement and attack moves and with more nuanced enemy behaviour than passing overhead, laying tubes and shooting down.

Obvious complications:
  • Pickup items (again, like Bomberman): bouncing shots (particularly if they can be fired obliquely) and ways to destroy tubes (maybe a limited-use helmet for head butts) would be particularly useful upgrades.
  • Fixed hazards, e.g. pits.
  • Flooding the map from the tubes, tile by tile.

Produci, consuma, crepa

#3 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3986

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:13 AM

Movement speed is the most problematic. Turtle is a slow creature, it should move slower than other beings. Moving slow is rarely fun for the player. Maybe divide the map into watered pipes and dry pipes. The turle moves fast in water and slow on land.

Another property of a turtle is being tough (shell), maybe add a lot of HP to the turtle? Or some option to drop the shell which increases speed but makes you vulnerable?

Nets are very unclimatic, it is not a spider but a turtle. Better add some power rays from the turle eyes (mutated via waste in the severs), it's more belivable than nets. Or change the theme to a spider.

Laying eggs - there was an old game on Amiga, forgot the name, you also had some slow moving thing but it was capable of laying eggs (you selected what kind of creature will hatch) and the combat was done via these creatures.

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PocketSpaceEmpire - turn based 4X with no micromanagement FB


#4 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5033

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:08 AM

I can see a lawsuit from Nintendo coming up on the horizon. Other than that, brilliant idea... laughing so hard it hurts. Posted Image

#5 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

I can see a lawsuit from Nintendo coming up on the horizon. Other than that, brilliant idea... laughing so hard it hurts. Posted Image

:P Well, wouldn't want to imitate the look of any Nintendo game whatsoever. Some specific things could be changed up to avoid hurt feelings and still have the same effect.

Nets are very unclimatic, it is not a spider but a turtle. Better add some power rays from the turle eyes (mutated via waste in the severs), it's more belivable than nets. Or change the theme to a spider.

Hmm... Actually changing the whole thing to a spider catching flies does make a little more sense, and has the bonus of more freedom of movement for the spider. It also plays well with what LorenzoGatti advised, and avoids a C&D. Sounds good enough to me! :)

#6 sirkibble2   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

Instead of nets, how about turtle shells? I agree that the nets idea isn't very fitting although a turtle capturing humans isn't very realistic in the first place. :)

I'm not visualizing the screen very well. The turtle is facing up, the pipes are facing down and there are small platforms a la Mario Bros. (not Super Mario Bros) style?

Also, I'm concerned about the net plugging up the pipe but not being able to fire another until someone gets caught. Does the rate of plumbers coming down ever increase because if not, that can make things annoying difficult, in my opinon.

The idea is pretty good so far though. :)

#7 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

Instead of nets, how about turtle shells? I agree that the nets idea isn't very fitting although a turtle capturing humans isn't very realistic in the first place. Posted Image

I'm not visualizing the screen very well. The turtle is facing up, the pipes are facing down and there are small platforms a la Mario Bros. (not Super Mario Bros) style?

Also, I'm concerned about the net plugging up the pipe but not being able to fire another until someone gets caught. Does the rate of plumbers coming down ever increase because if not, that can make things annoying difficult, in my opinon.

The idea is pretty good so far though. Posted Image

Haha I thought about turtle shells while writing it but then I thought, "Wait, how did he get these shells in the first place?" and cannibalism came to mind. Iunno man. :P

About plugging the pipes, yeah I see what you mean. I guess the net could just hold a bit longer, though not forever. But messiness like this might be a really good sign that nets and pipes and platforms are probably not the best way to go.

#8 sirkibble2   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:49 AM


Instead of nets, how about turtle shells? I agree that the nets idea isn't very fitting although a turtle capturing humans isn't very realistic in the first place. Posted Image

I'm not visualizing the screen very well. The turtle is facing up, the pipes are facing down and there are small platforms a la Mario Bros. (not Super Mario Bros) style?

Also, I'm concerned about the net plugging up the pipe but not being able to fire another until someone gets caught. Does the rate of plumbers coming down ever increase because if not, that can make things annoying difficult, in my opinon.

The idea is pretty good so far though. Posted Image

Haha I thought about turtle shells while writing it but then I thought, "Wait, how did he get these shells in the first place?" and cannibalism came to mind. Iunno man. Posted Image

About plugging the pipes, yeah I see what you mean. I guess the net could just hold a bit longer, though not forever. But messiness like this might be a really good sign that nets and pipes and platforms are probably not the best way to go.


I'd say it's a good idea. It definitely can lend itself to some pretty addictive gameplay, I think. I don't think the concept is bad just needs some tweaks. Most games do. :)

#9 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:03 PM

@sirkibble2, thanks man. :) Just needs to be prototyped.




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