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Music-based 2D arcade-style territory domination game: Vibe


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#1 Leusid   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

I will try to make this as brief as possible, so please indulge me if you will. Also, I hope it won't turn too many of you off to reading that I don't have experience in coding or game design, but I felt I should mention it upfront. I have just had this idea rolling around in my head for quite a while and I feel like it has a lot of potential, so I hope at the very least to get some feedback about the promise or limitations you can imagine from my idea. Ok, so...

The idea of the game is to be based on music; any song of your choice can be imported and used. Ideally, the game will be able to analyze data from the song (like Audiosurf) and use that, but I imagine that could be incredibly complex so I have an idea of how to compensate for not being able to do that. If the game can't analyze the song, I want players to be able to set the tempo for their track via an in-game editor, able to move the beats onto the actual beats of the song, and cut off unwanted segments of the track to create better loops and such.

It will be a 2D scroller (for practical purposes, trying not to get TOO ambitious). At the center of the screen will be your "ship," and eminating from that will be what looks like a music visualizer. The visualizer will shoot particles outward to the beat of your song, and those particles will create territory. (Imagine: If you are the red player, red particles will be shooting out of your ship to the beat of your song, eventually settling and becoming red territory.) The goal of the game is to dominate the most territory on the map, either by the end of a time limit or by dominating a certain percentage of the map. (Ideally this will be a multiplayer game, but I also have ideas of how to make single player fun and workable.)

Your mouse will control a crosshair that moves independent of your ship. When you click, a blast of particles will be fired in that direction. The closer you click to on-tempo, the more powerful your blast can be (up to 10x more powerful) than if you just click all willy-nilly. Also, the longer you wait between shots, the greater your shot power will be. This will compensate for people with songs of faster/slower tempos. Once you fire a shot, your ship will begin to recharge at a set rate. The longer you let it charge, the more powerful your shot will be (barring a possible full charge). In this way, the shot power will be determined on a gradual slope that will make it fair for songs of any speed.

I also think it would be cool if the movement of your ship was based on opposite propulsion to your shots (kind of liks Osmos if you've ever played that.) So, if you shoot forward, your ship is propelled backward. If you've got momentum going from previous shots, a shot in the opposite direction might only slow you down. I think this would make for a really fun dynamic of both attacking and movement, considered as the same action.

All territory that you own must be connected to the part of the territory that your ship is in. This will make it harder to manage all your territory once it gets very large, giving other players a chance to make a comeback. You cannot pass into an enemy territory, but you can blast through it by shooting. If you cut off a section of an enemy's territory from the rest of it, it will dissipate. Theoretically, if you manage to cut off the enemy's ship from the majority of the rest of its territory, you can cause them to lose nearly all of their territory.

Around the border of your territory is a membrane. If you want to fire a shot into an enemy's territory, then you technically must first shoot out through YOUR territory (since you are always within your territory.) Because of this, firing shots through your own membrane will weaken the strength of the membrane at that point, and if you've been attacking from a certain point for a while, this point will be a weak spot vulnerable to a daring enemy counter attack.

To make up for this, right-clicking will send out a defensive-ripple. It goes in all directions, sending out some territory particles but also bolstering the strength of nearby membranes. You can use this to repair holes in your territory that your enemies are working on. It feeds off the same charge as your attack power, so you can only effectively use one or the other at a time. The defensive ripple is subject to the on-tempo multiplier as well.

This basically outlines the gameplay I've imagined so far. It's a relatively simple idea with very dynamic gameplay opportunities, I think. I have some ideas for more specialized stats/abilities, possibly based on different qualities of music (such as high/low frequencies, volume, etc) IF the game is able to analyze such data. If not, I still think the game could be quite fun and has a lot of further potential, and a lot of it is rough and subject to potential changes, but I don't want to take up any more of your time at the moment. Thank you for reading, and please let me know what you think.

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#2 Leusid   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:29 PM

I just realized that this might be even cooler in a sort of Red vs. Blue team mode with multiple ships each inside one territory. Maybe there could be team and free-for-all matches.

Another question I have, for any so kind to read, is if there are some relevant resources you think it might do me good to look at. I've heard good things about UDK. Do you think this could be accomplished there?

#3 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:13 AM

Sounds like a fantastic idea. May I suggest you rig up a rough singleplayer prototype using Flash Actionscript?

The reason why I suggested Actionscript is because it is very very easy to pick up (I developed a scrolling shooter in flash in < 3 starting with 0 programming experience), and there are lots of tutorials from which you can just cut and paste codes: http://www.gotoandpl...shooter_p02.php. And you can always go to thriving communities like Newgrounds to ask if you get stuck.

In particular, by cutting and pasting the code from the tutorial here: http://www.gotoandpl...shooter_p02.php, you will be able to set up the basic shooter pretty fast. After that, I can see how you easily prototype the other features:

1) For a start, fix a list of songs. Randomize the list at the start for variety.

2) Pre-program the tempo by hand for the songs on your list in advance for simplicity.

3) Off the top of my head, I might code the game by having a "tempo" variable. And make the variables that control firing speed, damage etc dependent on this "tempo" variable.

4) Again, off the top of my head, the toughest challenge might be the territory membrane. Not sure how you would implement it in Flash. But from past experience programming shooters in Flash, you should be able to create oddly shaped hitboxes VERY easily. If you get stuck, post on Newgrounds forum and get replies/help in literally minutes. Posted Image

Now if you polish the game really well (lots of artists and musicians to help you for free on Newgrounds), upload it and it gets really popular, there are funding for a sequel that you can apply for. Or you can use it as a springboard to make the full game.

Good luck! I would really love to a prototype of this in action. Message me if you need testers. Posted Image

#4 Leusid   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:37 AM

Thanks so much for your suggestions and confidence in my idea, it's very inspiring. :)

Just out of curiosity, were both of those links meant to be the same? You might have just been posting it twice for emphasis, but I also thought maybe you just didn't notice your clipboard was the same. It's happened to me plenty of times. Just thought I'd ask; didn't want to risk missing out on a valuable resource.

I think your idea of pre-programmed songs/tempos is exactly what I need to do to start out. One step at a time, right? I'm stoked to finally get started on this.

And I definitely will send you a message when I get a working prototype up and running. Again, thank you. :)

#5 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:10 AM

Just out of curiosity, were both of those links meant to be the same? You might have just been posting it twice for emphasis, but I also thought maybe you just didn't notice your clipboard was the same. It's happened to me plenty of times. Just thought I'd ask; didn't want to risk missing out on a valuable resource.


I was speed replying through a couple of forums, and was too lazy to find another link to flash tutorials, so I used the same link twice. :P

Seriously now: if you google for flash shooter tutorials or flash tutorials <insert specific topic>, there are literally a great multitude of them out there. But if you get stuck and can't find a solution, feel free to message me I will try to help out. Though I must warn you: it has been 5 years since I developed in Flash. During that time, they didn't even have Actionscript 2.0. Posted Image




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