New Project: Project Penguin
It is clear that I am in a winter slump, and as you all pointed out the best way out of this is to just slog my way through both at work and with my hobby game projects. My gamedev plan last week was to pick a project that is easy enough to get workable, flesh it out with extra features, and then polish it off until I am happy with it. However, since I had trouble deciding on what the game should be, I have decided to just go with a bunch of simple gameplay restrictions and see what arises.
My project is thus imaginatively codenamed "Project Penguin", with the goal of this project is to just throw things together and see what happens without getting too hung up on doing things the "right way" or getting bogged down in design. To get me started, I have the following restrictions on the game:
- The main character will be a penguin
- The game world will be a 2D SVG sprite based angled overhead view similar to that in console RPGs (question: what is the name of this form of projection, where x is on the horizontal and y and z are on the vertical?)
- Since I am aiming for an arcadey feel, the game must be playable with a 4 button gamepad (except for occasional commands like accessing menus, turning music on and off etc.)
- Since I am fed up with myself scrapping projects, this time unless stopped by a horde of angry peasant villages (or something similar) I am not allowed to quit this one until it is finished. Even if it sucks, I will have to put in the effort to finish it off (and try to make it suck as little as possible).
While there is little about the gameplay in there, that is definitely enough to get started with.
My task for this week is to get a basic terrain test up and running, which involves a fair amount of work "under the hood" to get my old Nova engine (used in Pierre and the Fish) pointed in the right dirrection. My longer goal is to have a basic gameplay demo in a month, where I will determine the future direction of the project. There is a chance I could adapt this to fit the elements of 4E5, although the resulting game might end up a bit similar to what Angels 22 is looking like (well, with a penguin instead of a plane. And less napalm and more lemmings. Alright, there really isn't that much similarity at all).
Brief note about the Mad Scientist management style game: I know it looks like I was heavily commited to that game, and in a way I am: I think that idea is really quite solid. However once I started to flesh out the design in more detail I figure there's about a three month development time before I can ensure the game is fun. I always held in my mind that the game was a 4E5 concept only, as I wanted something to use as a drawing subject while in Sweden. As a consequence, I will wait until next year before making a game of that type (which was my original plan anyway). It might be the Mad Scientist game, or it might be on another subject that I was already considering. But I can comment on that next year!
To finish, here's another piece of concept art of a character that may end up in the game (although this week I do need to spend more time coding and less time on the artsy stuff, despite how much I love it).