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mikeman

Idea for a game

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I recently had an idea for a game, which is quite feasible to do technically, and doesn't have any demands for animated characters, which always is my biggest headache. It's not a very innovative or new idea, mind you. This might sound a bit weird, but I would like some feedback about my idea. I usually doubt my own ideas all the time, so I would like some objective opinions if the particular game mechanic could work or not, and be fun. I told you, this is a bit weird thread, but indulge me :) Anyway, the gameplay is pretty simple: The game is first person, and you control a robot. The robot has 2 extendable arms with hooks attached. Pressing the left/right button, you 'launch' the arm. The speed of the launch is proportional to the amount of time you pressed the button. The arm will follow a curved path, based on its speed and velocity. Anyway, this is pretty much it. The hook can attach itself into objects, and by pressing the button again, you can retract the arm. Or it could attach into static world geometry, in which case you attract yourself towards that spot. That's all there is too it basically, and based on those abilities you have to solve all sorts of physics puzzles, and navigate yourself through hazardous environments. There will also be some items you can use, and carry(probably a small inventory of 4 items), for example the hook normally can't be attached to metal objects or plates, but if you find a piece of magnet, you can attach it to the hook and then attract metal objects too. Or you can attach a camera, and launch the arm on the other side of a tall wall, so you can take photos and see what's at that side. That kind of stuff. The idea is that most puzzles will be able to be solved without using any items, but it will be easier if you have them. If an item is absolutely needed in a room, then it will always be available for pickup right there. The environment of the game will be underground, basically a series of caves/rooms with puzzles. It will not be linear, which at times you can choose a different path. If you have completed a puzzle, you can any time replay it, and go a different path. Also, story-wise, the robot will have its memory erased, and it will be guided by 2 chips inside its head, one with female and one with male voice, which at times can be helpful or deceiptful, and their motives will be a mystery. There will be a twist in the end. Not a great story, I know, but I'm not worried about that :) Anyway, what I want to know if is the basic gameplay mechanic could work, or if there is some fundamental flaw I'm not seeing, which would make me waste my time on something that can never be fun or challenging. Thanks!

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This may work: I think the most important part for this would be a good control over the robot. And even small things can be very important in a game like this, a too slow or to fast running speed can destroy every fun in just a few minutes. In my eyes a game which needs very much finetuning.

At second, I think you should stay with your idea to keep it simple. Some self explaining items like a magnet for metal surfaces may be an enrichment, but check this after implementation.

best of luck :)

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Quote:
Original post by mikeman
I recently had an idea for a game, which is quite feasible to do technically, and doesn't have any demands for animated characters, which always is my biggest headache. It's not a very innovative or new idea, mind you.

This might sound a bit weird, but I would like some feedback about my idea. I usually doubt my own ideas all the time, so I would like some objective opinions if the particular game mechanic could work or not, and be fun. I told you, this is a bit weird thread, but indulge me :)

Anyway, the gameplay is pretty simple: The game is first person, and you control a robot. The robot has 2 extendable arms with hooks attached. Pressing the left/right button, you 'launch' the arm. The speed of the launch is proportional to the amount of time you pressed the button. The arm will follow a curved path, based on its speed and velocity. Anyway, this is pretty much it. The hook can attach itself into objects, and by pressing the button again, you can retract the arm. Or it could attach into static world geometry, in which case you attract yourself towards that spot. That's all there is too it basically, and based on those abilities you have to solve all sorts of physics puzzles, and navigate yourself through hazardous environments.

There will also be some items you can use, and carry(probably a small inventory of 4 items), for example the hook normally can't be attached to metal objects or plates, but if you find a piece of magnet, you can attach it to the hook and then attract metal objects too. Or you can attach a camera, and launch the arm on the other side of a tall wall, so you can take photos and see what's at that side. That kind of stuff. The idea is that most puzzles will be able to be solved without using any items, but it will be easier if you have them. If an item is absolutely needed in a room, then it will always be available for pickup right there.

The environment of the game will be underground, basically a series of caves/rooms with puzzles. It will not be linear, which at times you can choose a different path. If you have completed a puzzle, you can any time replay it, and go a different path. Also, story-wise, the robot will have its memory erased, and it will be guided by 2 chips inside its head, one with female and one with male voice, which at times can be helpful or deceiptful, and their motives will be a mystery. There will be a twist in the end. Not a great story, I know, but I'm not worried about that :)

Anyway, what I want to know if is the basic gameplay mechanic could work, or if there is some fundamental flaw I'm not seeing, which would make me waste my time on something that can never be fun or challenging. Thanks!
Sounds good to me - I'd play that game. Of course as with most game ideas, it would probably come down to the quality of the execution, but with the number of high-quality physics engines available now it seems it'd be quite feasible to make this work.

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Reminds me of old Q2CTF (quake 2 addon). There you got a grapple which sounds like your hook. It was real fun to play some tarzan ;-)

I could imagine an old factory or powerplant, which lot of plattforms, moving production lines, furnaces etc., this sounds really interesting. Thought you should invest some time in physics to make it more fun, but eventually I think that this could be really incredible.

Good luck :)

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I think it's a great idea with a lot of potential. Much will depend on level design though. I think you'll need to face the player with fresh and inventive puzzles that require inventive use/abuse of the robot's grapple arms, in order to keep the gameplay fresh.

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Ok guys, thanks a lot for the comments! I'm happy that the idea seemed good to you, that gives me motivation to continue. And of course I agree, it's all about the execution and level design. I just wanted to get advise from some people if the core mechanic can work in the fundamental level. Thanks a lot for the help! :)

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The general concept and the way you plan to tie in the story sounds quite charming.

The central mechanic is also promising - I can think of a few scenarios where it might be applied, but also a whole heap of edge cases you'd need to deal with (mostly to do with what happens when you attach to moving objects such that it wants to pull the robot apart, or to bend an arm around a corner - can the robot swing on the arms or are they rigid?).

The idea of sending a camera out, taking a picture and waiting for the image to be returned to you is also awesome.

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