II thought about this idea a while ago, about a multiple character platformer game where the player controls a few characters.
The (current) game idea is as follow :
1) The player starts with a character and he can save more character as he progress.
2) Each character get a timer, which will deplete when the player use that character.
3) When all the character finish their timer, the turn ends. Each turn will cost the player resource(Battery) and it is important to gather those battery.
4) The game is room based and to exit the room, The player must turn on certain switches and get all his/her characters to the end point.
5) Each room will provide the player with opportunity to get items/power-up/equipment but will cost the player extra time from their characters.
I toyed around with the multiple character ideas but it seems like something is missing from the game that makes it interesting and fun. I am too close to the game to see the bigger picture so maybe someone can point out the real problems, but first let me state some of the problems I had with the game.
1) The game is too slow paced. Having to switch character every 20 secs or so kind of break the momentum of platforming game. To counter this, I tried another mechanic. In the new mechanic, the battery will run down as the character deplete its timer. This means that each battery provide one character with one recharge instead of recharging the entire team. This makes the game more fast paced but reduce the need for having more than one character, which bring us to the next point.
2) There isn't a need for more than one character. I can't seems to make this part work without make it into a puzzle game.
3) Problem with having enemies. If the game have enemy, then it might attack the player's non-active characters. I am not really sure how to go about dealing with this or is this the "player's problem" like how RTS don't care if your units are being attack while you are building your base. Having no enemy makes the game too static.
4) Repeating task. If I put my end point away from my start point, then the player need to perform the same actions, walk the same paths for every character to reach the end point. I kind of find this frustrating. If I put the start point near the end point, then the challenges of having multiple character is totally removed. I could start all the characters at random positions but I am not quite sure if that should be the way to go.
I know that this post is too long so for those people with not much time
tl;dr : My platformer game with multiple controllable characters is having some fundamental design problems.
Maybe the idea can't be saved so just go on and flame me for that =P, but if you have any good idea or tried this before, please point out some of the major issue with this.
Edited by ZwodahS, 07 October 2012 - 08:31 PM.