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Practical Treasures

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Hello, I seem to have forgotten the password to my Glass2099 account, but I have risen again as Giauz. What I want forum posters to focus on when reading my in- progress design document is how my unique pseudo-3D perspective and treasures can be used in surprising ways to make a more fun game. Here is my design document (comments are greatly appreciated):

[color="#ffd320"][font="Harlow Solid Italic, fantasy"][size="7"]Practical Treasures[/font]

[size="5"]Concept: An isometric side/vertical scrolling game in which the player is able to switch between worm-eye and bird's-eye views and travel down intersecting hallways. The player moves through these dungeons by using the mechanics to figure out how to get from point A to point B like in a Metroid game. The goal of the player is to find and defeat all enemies in dungeons using the many treasures that s/he may find in the dungeons, such as gold coins, bejeweled ceremonial swords, vases, statues, jewels, and exquisite armors, usually by tossing them, standing on them, jumping off of them, feeding them to enemies, etc. Any unused treasure gets turned into money that the player can spend in one of the town dungeons on the Mega Man menu screen-like world map in order to get NPCs to give him/er more interesting dialogue like hints as to where events, secrets and puzzle solutions are or even to buy unique treasures one can't get anywhere else. As the player completes dungeons the world map expands like a web with hidden paths to new dungeons both within the dungeons and on the world map menu itself (think invisible paths that a stray directional button press might send you down). Completing all dungeons and defeating the final boss (a dungeon in itself) earns the player a stat sheet detailing their final score based on completion time, lives used, treasure converted to money throughout the game, and the final amount of money in the player's possession along with the credits and the “You have won!” screen.

[size="5"]Controls: All controls are customizable, and these descriptions are of a general control layout. Holding RIGHT makes the player move forward. Rapidly tapping right before holding down RIGHT will increase the speed of the PC for a short amount of time. Tapping UP causes the PC to move away from the screen. Tapping DOWN causes the PC to move toward the screen. Holding DOWN causes the PC to crouch. Tapping LEFT causes the player to turn in the direction opposite of which s/he is facing. There is JUMP/INTERACT button (z) that can be tapped to jump, interact with an NPC (progress dialogue) or mechanism, or pick up a treasure. Holding JUMP down longer increases the jump height. There is a USE/BACK button (x) to cancel actions, return to earlier parts in NPC dialogue, and activate treasures. The MENU button (c) takes the player to his/er treasures that can be selected using the DIRECTIONAL buttons and INTERACT button. MENU is also where the game can be saved and quit to the title screen and where a level can be exited. Finally, there is a SWITCH (a) button used to change the isometric view between bird's-eye and worm-eye views.

[size="5"]On-Screen: At the game's start players will see the title screen displaying prominently “Practical Treasures” near the top, “New Game” below that with an arrow cursor to the left of it, “Continue Game” below that, and the studio name (“Lava Floor Studios”) and copyright year at the bottom of the screen. New Game loads the game from the beginning, while load game will take one to the save files of existing in-progress games. The player will see on-screen the number of lives they have left in the upper right corner, represented by a light blue cat ghost with a X symbol and a number. The upper left-hand contain the characters current health, represented by a gold crown and pearl necklace with X symbol and the current number of treasures in the player's inventory. The bottom left-hand corner is where the PC will always be pictured, represented by a spiky, black-haired female youth in a red biker jacket, baggy beige cargo pants and black, red-stripped shoes.

[size="5"]Game-Play: Game-play consists of running and jumping through levels using various treasures to surmount obstacles and defeat enemies. Some examples of using treasures are: shimmying on ceiling pipes and cables with necklaces; sticking swords in the ground at an angle to be jumped on like trampolines to reach higher platforms; hiding in armor; putting vases over enemies heads or breaking them to attract enemies; pushing statues over on top of enemies; hitting targets at a distance with coins and jewels; etc.

If an enemy or trap harms the player some of their treasure will fly into the air and need to be caught before they crash on the ground, losing some of the PC's health. Losing all treasure costs a life and restarts the PC at the beginning of the current screen just like Zelda II. The player begins with five live and will be granted between 1 and 8 additional lives for patting a cat on the head by pressing INTERACT while the PC is near it, even if you have to run and jump after it to do so.

After defeating all enemies in a level a congratulatory sound of whistles and clapping plays as the PC takes a bow toward the screen. The only thing left to do is find one of the exits in the level. Different exits open different sections of the level menu world map. Sometimes pressing a directional button while the PC cursor is in transit between levels can lead her to hidden levels (identified with question marks) that expand the game but are not necessary to complete the game and are not necessarily of the super challenging variety.

Certain levels are designed like towns where you can trade money converted from treasures remaining at the end of a level for both special and generic treasures to be used in the dungeon parts of these town levels. Some of these special treasures can survive falling on the floor a certain number of times if an enemy or trap knocks them from the PC while others allow for special puzzle-solving (keys that unlock doors if you win a puzzle mini-game) and combat (ancient weapons like Smart Bombs that destroy all enemies on screen or cause large pits to close up) actions, and still others are useful for increasing your money by a significant amount if you hold onto them for a specified number of levels (they are not converted to money until then). You may also just want to have some starting health before moving on to the dungeon parts of the current town level or other levels.

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So, there's no question here, were you looking for a reaction? I'm not a mod, but I think It's not considered appropriate forum use to just post your 'design doc' and ask for comments. if you have a great idea like this, go make it and then come ask concise questions about design issues that crop up.

Anyway, here's my reaction:

I love the idea that you collect treasures and then expend them in order to move through the labyrinth.

Why on earth would you use an outdated trope like limited numbers of lives. Why not have successfully petting the cat give the player something more interesting? Remember Stones of Jordan in Diablo II? they were a quasi currency among players, because gold didn't really have much value. Consider having 'golden cat dander' or something like that drop from the petted cat.

It took me three sittings to read your post, so don't be surprised if you don't get any more replies. Generally long posts are a sign of bad questions.

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First off, Symphonic, I was one of the middle school kids who only knew Diablo 1&2 as just some boxes with hooded skeletons on the fronts, and I have never played or looked too deeply into them. I am looking at lives not only as another form of challenge but also as a safety-net for the player so that they are not stuck on a level unable to complete it (lives can be easily gained, and something I haven't explained well enough is that the player can save and load to the world-map menu while not being able to fully do the same in levels so s/he does not save scum his/herself into futility).

I am sorry if I broke any code of conduct, but since comming to the conclusion that I cannot be a creator of games (lack of programming ability, drive, and unsuccessful attempts at education) I might as well share my ideas in the -at worst misplaced- hope that I might see some features in future indy titles inspired atleast in part by my ideas that I would love to play and love others to enjoy.

This design document began with the feature idea of a sidescroller with pseudo 3D. The PC is always displayed in the lower left corner of the screen from the right shoulder side. Therefore, enemies can sneak up behind the PC and below the PC if in mid-jump. Should the player press LEFT, the PC turns around giving the player a view of what's on the '"screen-side" of the PC. This tapping UP and DOWN also allows for moving into intersecting areas on the PC's left and right, respectively. I also thought about isometric views and how they usually have the player looking diagonally down at the floor. With a button press in my idea the player can then look diagonally up from the floor toward the cieling (if there is one). The PC's "shadow" before them either on the floor or cieling tells which of the three row positions the PC is currently in (nearest screen, middle, farthest from screen). In this way things like enemies on the cieling can be dodged and holes in the floor can be avoided or even jumped into.

I am deeply sorry for any offense I have given anyone. Your feedback is still appreciated, thank you. Also, I would like to continue to post my ideas (if perhaps in more consise forms), for I am a dreamer.

As for a question, how might you develop a game given this pseudo-3D sidescroller requirement? Do you think you might use this feature or has it given you any inspiration for future games?

Again, all I am looking for anymore is to share my ideas and to play anything that might come from inspiration from these ideas or to play anything similar to these ideas (I found a neat game on Armor Games called Sky Island with a vaguely similar mechanic to the one I described).

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I played sky island, it uses the projective 2D/3D idea much like Fez (which I'm not sure was actually released). I understood you to mean a multi-layered 2d side-scroller like little big planet. No matter. This is a cool mechanic all to itself, and combining it with zip wires and other platformer tropes I think you could come up with some very cool puzzles.

Not sure what you mean by lives as a safety net, is it like LBP in that you have a certain number of tries IN the level but once you fail you can just try again from the start? If my game was about raiding cavernous labyrinths, maybe it suffices to have checkpoints where I bust a whole in the ceiling and someone throws down a rope. Then when I die, a 'new me' climbs down the rope and continues from there. Also, if I'm truly stuck, I could just open the options menu and quit back to the world-map/whathaveyou

Limited retries is a trope born of the old arcade game age when having your player fail meant an excuse to extract more money from him/her.

Programmatically this is a very fun thing problem to solve, but claim to be not much of a programmer, so maybe we can leave that all aside. Suffice to say, it's entirely doable, because it's already being done!

--- off topic ---

I am sorry if I broke any code of conduct, but since comming to the conclusion that I cannot be a creator of games (lack of programming ability, drive, and unsuccessful attempts at education) I might as well share my ideas in the -at worst misplaced- hope that I might see some features in future indy titles inspired atleast in part by my ideas that I would love to play and love others to enjoy.[/quote]
I can't speak for others, but I'm not offended by your OP, you're just a little green, and maybe I'm just rude enough to tell you to your face :) bearing in mind that I might get mod-smacked for being a little too mean. For what it's worth, you're in the right place; you have ideas that excite you and you don't know what to do with them beyond posting on a game design forum and getting feedback. Cool! Even if we're old codgers and we tell you not to post your whole damn design but whittle it down to the nuggets that are worth discussing, it will do us both good to have that interaction. Also, knowing how to ask good questions is helpful for everyone involved.

Really though, you need to go make games, it's very hard! and it's also very easy! Drive is literally the only thing you need, and I'm sorry you don't feel very driven, in my experience that's more a matter of what's in your head than the reality of what you are capable of doing. My advice is start small by setting goals you are SURE you can fulfill until you build up the confidence to meet harder challenges.

Go to the 'for beginners' forum and have a read around to see how people got started doing this stuff. You don't need to be an amazing programmer or artist to make a game, you just have to want it.

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