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idea for first platformer/other ideas

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Now that I'm looking to get back into game dev again after a long break (prob gonna learn C# and use XNA), I'm trying to figure out what my first major project should be once I've learned the tools enough that I can actually make something. This would most likely be a one man project, so I'll probably just either look around for some art to use, or make some of my own programmer art. 2 ideas - first one I just had a couple minutes ago, the other one was something I wanted to make a couple years back but didn't really have the skills to make. I think I'll be able to do ok with it now though, since it looks like XNA is much easier than what I was using before (C++ and SDL). 1. Squirrel platformer - you just run around a town, climbing around trees and buildings and probably collecting acorns or some other collectible item, while avoiding death from cars, people, other animals, etc. 2. Top down stealth game, where you sneak around in the shadows and take people out from behind, hide the bodies, etc. The main thing I picture is you would be able to see where each enemy's FOV is because it would show it as a transparent green cone-like area in front of them, kind of like an old online flash game called The Classroom. What do you think of the 2 ideas, especially their feasibility for me to actually complete them once I figure out what I'm doing? I used to struggle to make stuff, but I think it was because things were not the easiest to do using C++ and SDL. The most complicated thing I made was a tic tac toe game, which took a couple weeks to make and didn't even have a menu or anything, and I started working on a game engine type thing for Myst type games, where it would have a folder full of image files and a text file detailing how each one was connected to the others, and you would be able to navigate around using the arrow keys.

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I think the first idea would probably be the easier of the 2 to program and a great stepping stone. Then you could use the information you learned while programming that one to make idea 2. Idea 2 could get complex depending on how much you got into it, but the basics of both ideas are pretty equal though in idea 2 you are also adding in FOV. Idea 1 is basically dealing with the collision of the object that either kills you or gets your collection. Idea 2 you could enhance it from rather just attacking from the enemies back to doing a certain move to bring them down.

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I actually thought of some interesting ideas for the first game, and also the second one.

for the first one - I could make it kind of like a crackdown type game, where the more acorns you collect, the more you upgrade your abilities, like you could upgrade your jump or become a flying squirrel and gain a bit of a glide ability, things like that.

and the second one would have takedown moves if you manage to kill them without being seen, but would also have both melee and ranged combat available. pretty much splinter cell mixed with MGS from an isometric/top down (not sure which yet) view.

Unless you think 3d is a bad idea to start with, in which case I would have to rethink the design of the squirrel game a bit and make it more of a mario type game than a free roaming game.

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One thing i see becoming an issue at some point is art. like when i start out - let's say i do the squirrel game - i would just use like a cube or something to be the squirrel. but that wouldn't test or even use any kind of animation system, and i don't think i'd be able to make even a rudimentary animation. and i see that game requiring a lot of climbing, jumping, flying, etc. animations. unless i do it assassin's creed style, where it figures it out spots to climb on its own and animates based on that, but i feel like that would be way too difficult. so it would be kind of old school, where the feet won't necessarily be climbing any real ledges, but just heading in a general upwards direction. it's a squirrel anyway, they can climb pretty much anything.

but do you think artwork and other game assets like that will be an issue? or if i get a good enough, working demo, would i be able to find people on here to help out?

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Don't use a rectangle to start with; use three elongated pyramids (triangle "speedbumps"); one for the body (with the "tip" as the chest), one as the front legs (with the tip as the feet), and the other as the back legs (again with the tip as the feet).

Worry about flight later and just concentrate on getting it moving in basic function.

Later, seperate the leg pyramid speedbumps into an individual pyramid per leg/foot. At this point, you can attempt flight concepts and animation since the legs will be able to move independently.

Then just work up from there respectively molding a more detailed squirrel each time.

Luckily, you only have one squirrel to model and not many. ;)

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