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2D tile-based space shooter ideas


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#1 PhilObyte   Members   -  Reputation: 325

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

Hi Forum,

I am developing a 2D tile-based space shooter in XNA at the moment but I am running out of ideas.
I already did the Tile-Engine with some different types that I want to form "dungeons" or maze-like structures and a basic Light-System. I had something like heal or ammo refilling beams in mind. Also, you have two weapons, one with a lot of ammo and fast projectiles to defend yourself against flying enemies or auto-turrets, and another with very limited ammo and slow missiles but immense damage against structures (tiles).

My story idea was something like a planet's orbit is occupied with enemies and their space stations (the dungeons) and you are an elite pilot that has the task to defend his home against the occupying forces.

As I said, I'm running out of ideas:
-What is the goal of the game? Say "Kill X enemies in Y minutes" is boring.
-What structures do you have to destroy with your missiles?
-Are Items/Powerups a good idea?
Edit: -Do you have another cool idea I could add to my concept? I maybe want to extend my ideas with a home base/open world elements (procedural maps)/helping workers/resources, but I have no idea how they fit in my basic shooter. The absolute best thing at the end would be a game with no fixed levels.

I want the game to be fast and arcade-style when it's finished, but with a small story and long level duration, I pretty mixed up everything I guess, and I don't want to quit the project because I already did a lot as I said in the beginning.
I hope you are still free enough to give cool ideas, I'm still at a stage where I can change a lot of my concepts.

Phil

Edited by PhilObyte, 27 July 2012 - 08:33 AM.


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#2 Dir3kt   Members   -  Reputation: 166

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:27 AM

-What is the goal of the game? Say "Kill X enemies in Y minutes" is boring.

If you wander through the enemy station which is a maze-like structure why not say the player has to find and destroy the power source of the station? Best way to shut down the whole station and protect the earth Posted Image Thoses power sources can be protected by various enemies and mecanisms so they are like mini-bosses.

-What structures do you have to destroy with your missiles?

From my understanding you want to have weapon A for enemies/turrets and weapon B for structure. Imho this is a bad design because it doesn't give a real choice to the player. I would go with the classic A is the bread and butter, B is the limited nuke that can save your ass.

About destroying structures (tiles) I did worked on a similar concept, didn't wen't further that the prototype stage through. In this game there was no enemies but only small blocks (tiles) with different properties (breakable, unbreakable, turrets, etc..). The player had to destroy the blocks to find his way in a maze-like structure. Some turrets were surrounded by unbreakable blocks so the player don't have the choice to dodge the projectiles. On the opposite some were surrounded by breakable blocks so the player could destroy the blocks to finally destroy the shooter.

-Are Items/Powerups a good idea?

Yes they are Posted Image

I would start with powerups only. Items can be later implemented later if you want to add an 'RPG layer' to the game.

Edited by Dir3kt, 27 July 2012 - 01:31 AM.


#3 PhilObyte   Members   -  Reputation: 325

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for your quick answer!
I think you're right, giving the player the choice what weapon to use is much better. Maybe I even add more than two, but I'm really limited in time so I just concentrate on the important things.

#4 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2671

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:01 AM

The exploration & extermination genre can be approached in different ways. What are your choices? What elements are going to be fun and challenging in your game?
  • Objectives: speed vs thoroughness.
    In many games, the objective is something straightforward that guarantees a minimum amount of exploration and fighting, with most combat caused by simply having to approach enemies to progress: reaching the exit or killing a "boss" without dying like in Bangai-O or Doom (the latter exploiting the additional flexibility and excuses for back-and-forth travel afforded by keys and doors), exterminating everybody (after finding them), finding items and places (of which your demolition idea appears to be a variation), collecting multiple items like in Pacman.
    Do you plan to require or reward speed or thorough exploration and extermination? Are there going to be rewards for exploring and/or fighting more than strictly necessary? For example, given the health, ammo and other rewards dropped or guarded by killed monsters, is going out of one's way to kill more enemies profitable or harmful?
  • Slow and careful sneaking and sniping vs running and intense shooting.
    Games like Doom support both styles well, while others encourage one or the other with tools like single use, limited time weapons or powerups (requiring an all-out assault to be used efficiently), bad armour and hit points (making exposure to enemy fire unacceptable), high or low or unlimited amounts of ammo (allowing more or less waste).
  • Narrow spaces, emphasizing the use of corners and obstacles as cover, vs open spaces emphasizing aiming and dodging.
    Some weapons aren't suitable for both kinds of spaces: guided missiles crash into obstacles, wide firing patterns are wasted against side walls, short range attacks don't allow sniping, and so on.

Edited by LorenzoGatti, 29 July 2012 - 06:52 AM.

Produci, consuma, crepa

#5 PhilObyte   Members   -  Reputation: 325

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for your great ideas!

I started working on my map-generator and I want to make rooms in my maps that are wide and allow fast fighting without complex moving, but when you fly through the corridors you can't fight so much because when you hit the walls with a fast velocity you get punished by immense damage.
This combines two aspects in the game.

My game design idea is that you have to "clear" a dungeon by destroying all powersources and bosses in it. They vary in size in difficulty (width of corridors, obstacles, enemies).

These were good ideas, which are propably enough to make a small arcade-game. When I get back at my PC I'll instantly start working again! Good thing I have vacation soon Posted Image

But after that I want to do more: Dir3kt mentioned RPG-style mechanics.
What could I do to get away from level-based gameplay? I want to generate the world procedurally so size doesn't matter. I could do something like open-world. This would require a home base the player returns to. I don't want to sound like somebody who has millions of elusive ideas that will never be reality, but I also want to think about every possibilty.

Starting from the things I already have and Dir3kt and LorenzoGatti mentioned (powersources, roaming through dungeons etc.),
what mechanics do I have to add to archieve an open-world-feeling? Being independent from levels and so on?
These are the most important questions I have in mind:

-Is the whole world a dungeon? Or is there free space between them (dungeons = enemy's space station) so that you can visit more.
-Where is the player's home and what can you do there? What forces the player to return to your base after a "trip to the dungeons"?
-Is a base pre-defined or do you have to build it? This would need a Tile-Placing interface, but makes a journey possible: after clearing all dungeons in your surrounding, you travel to another area and build a new base there.
-What are other aspects that make an open-world-game more interesting? RPG like things like items are cool, but adding lots of items is very, very complex so I don't want to make items but powerups/upgrades.

Phil

Edited by PhilObyte, 28 July 2012 - 10:39 AM.





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