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Mephs

Space Kamikaze

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Hey all, I've had some thoughts on another potentially interesting and unique idea. I've been wondering about the idea of combining a Burnout crash mode style of gameplay with a top down space shooter. For those unfamiliar with the Burnout series, the basic premise is to cause a crash with your car that does as much damage to other vehicles as possible. It is surprisingly strategic as you must choose a vehicle with the best physical properties for the level, a light car will be able to jump further and may travel faster, but a heavier vehicle such as a juggernaut will have more weight behind it upon impact. You must find the optimal point within the level, avoiding accidental crashes while en route to the point you'd like to crash at in order to cause the biggest pileup possible. There is more to the idea, but that is the basics of it. Now my take on the idea would be to have the player in control of a kamikaze spaceship. The player should be tasked with flying into an opposing space fortress which will contain all manner of gun turrets, space stations and ships. The player will be able to scout out the area with a cloaking device to get a feel for the level before taking it on, but once the cloaking device is dropped, all hell will break loose as an entire space fortress will be after your head. The idea of course (given the thread title) is to die as spectacularly as possible, taking as much of the fortress out with you as possible in one go. The player will be vastly overpowered by the opposing forces, so stands little to no chance of survival. The player will always complete the level, even if they die and take nothing with them, but the player will be scored by how much devastation they cause in their wake and rewards will be granted based upon performance. The game would be a top down perspective 3D game played on a 2D playing field. Sort of like a space based Grand Theft Auto. The player will be given a choice of kamikaze craft and must choose the most suitable craft for the given level. It will be barely possible for the player to survive some levels which will grant the player a big survival reward for wiping out the entire base single handedly. Different craft and different enemy craft/structures will have varying stats such as shield strength, hull strength, varying weapons, different top speeds, different blast radii upon destruction, dishing out different levels of damage depending upon the type of explosion produced, different technology such as cloaking devices, scanners, repair drones, etc. All these factors will add up to present a unique challenge on each level, where the player must decide whether it is best to fight against a masive onslaught of enemies, or crash and burn into the nearest reactor in order to take out as much of the opposition as possible. If the player scores sufficiently high enough, or collects certain items during a mission, new technologies can be unlocked for use in future missions. Unlike Burnout however, this game design would allow the player to dish out some destruction before the inevitable crash, but the player must take care not to push their luck and take on more than they can chew in an area where their destruction will not cause much further damage. Ideally the player should destroy more lightly defended areas first and then plough into the nearest cluster of highly explosive structures. This will of course depend on the layout of the base and the type of craft being piloted. We could also poke fun at the war-like scenario by having the player control an endless line of kamikaze drones, each time they start a new level, a new drone is rolled off the production line and into the conflict. I think the game would make for a good halfway point between hardcore and casual. The space-based theme will appeal somewhat more to the hardcore gamer, but the fact that it is impossible to lose a level will help reduce negative feedback which I think will help interest the casual gamer. In a standard scrolling space shooter, the casual gamer may not want to invest a lot of time in a level to be killed for no reward. In this idea, if a player causes minimal damage on a level, they lose no progress and simply need try again, or try another level in order to obtain their reward, their positive feedback. This also means players will rarely get stuck with the game, and if they do poorly on a level, they can simply keep experimentig with other ships to try to find a better suited craft for the job. Also, I would like the game to stray away from becoming too heavily stat based. However, unlike Burnout, players have no intrinsic knowledge of the properties of different space structures and ships because unlike real-world vehicles, these entities do not actually exist and he player has nothing to base their knowledge on other than the visuals we present. So I wonder how could we avoid overburdening the player with statistical information, but still allow a player to intuitively understand the likely properties any given craft or structure possesses? Now I wonder what people think of the idea? Do you think it is somewhat insensitive of the recent political climate of terrorism? It isn't intended to be, I just consider it an interesting idea, but if I ever went ahead with such an idea, creating popularity of a game via negative publicity isn't really what I'm intending, and I certainly wouldn't want to persue the idea if it was viewed as insenstive :) Do you have any suggestions to improve the idea further, or to simply expand it? Perhaps ideas for weapons, technology, powerups or the general gameplay? Is the Burnout influence too blatent, or is it sufficiently different as to warrant its own game? I'd love some feedback on the idea and look forward to any response! Cheers, Steve [Edited by - Mephs on March 2, 2007 4:31:16 PM]

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