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Re-design of an older concept, need some help as it is not finalized.

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I have taken to re-designing an old concept game of mine: SickMindz (the one mentioned on the "Destiny x Dark Souls: A good idea" forum, though comparisons with STALKER would actually be more apt as a description for SickMindz.) Thing is, I'm not really sure which direction I should go in and I have some difficulty coming up with new ideas for it, so I would like some help and constructive feedback. Are any of you willing to oblige?

 

Overview: SickMindz is an indie FPS/RPG that is best described as a combination between Dark Souls and STALKER, Using the latter's equipment system, first-person perspective, and tactical shooting elements combined with the former's world progression, story, and death/revive system. 

 

  • Technical: SickMindz is going to be developed using Unity 3D. It is also about the length of Demon's Souls.

 

  • Marketing: the game will be targeted at the 20-36 age group, in spite of almost all named characters being in the 12-15 age range for plot and thematic reasons.

 

  • Style: SickMindz uses two art styles that do not interchange (assets are only made for one art style): Human characters and most areas are rendered in a pseudo-realistic style, while monsters and corrupted areas are made to look like a hellish cartoon or scrapbook for the purposes of intentionally jarring the player. The music is mostly modern death-metal-based thrash, with heavily distorted lyrics that are actually quite melancholy. In terms of aesthetics, most of the realistic areas appear beaten-down, cobbled together, and generally post-apocalyptic with heavy 2x4 technology influences, while the cartoon areas appear to overload the player with a certain single emotional thematic.

 

Gameplay: SickMindz is a first-person tactical-shooter/RPG cross, which entails a high degree of resource management. This extends to every aspect of gameplay. The difficulty in SickMindz does not come from a physically weak character fighting against much stronger enemies as much as it does involve a high-maintenance character who must manually track their every resource in order to survive.

  • Movement: Given SickMindz' tactical shooter/survival horror inspirations, the movement system of the game is slow in normal movement, yet fast while sprinting or dodging. in addition, the player may jump freely.
  • Combat: SickMindz' combat system is heavily timing-based much like that of Dark Souls; the player must strategize and know when to attack and when to dodge. However, given that SickMindz focuses more heavily on ranged combat than Dark Souls, this adds a few wrinkles to the formula. All enemies in the game have weakpoints that can be targeted to deal extra damage to that enemy, and certain weapons have the ability to stun enemies by hitting a certain weakpoint (this game's particular parry/riposte system). Unlike most other shooters, the player is encouraged to take precision shots against enemies even with automatic weapons due to the ammunition conservation aspect that is stressed so heavily. In addition, melee attacks fall into one of two categories dependent on what type of melee weapon is equipped: blunt attacks deal little up-front damage, but can knock enemies away from the player, while sharp attacks deal heavy damage but do not create distance between the player and the target.
  • Weapons: ranged weapons are divided into three categories: Handguns (which are drawn by pressing a special key) automatics (used for dealing direct damage to enemies in-between searching for riposte locations) and precision (used for specific situations and to riposte opponents). Handguns are low-damage but can riposte an opponent regardless of the location of the shot, but the opponent will stay stunned for less time. they can also be used to follow up on stunned enemies for heavy damage. there are no handgun subclasses. Automatics (SMG/PDW and assault rifles) can only deal extra damage when they strike weakpoints (except for assault rifles set to semi-automatic), but have plentiful ammunition and are quite versatile. Precision weapons (Shotguns, Bolt-action rifles, semiautomatic rifles, machine-guns) are all difficult to use at a certain range, are heavy, and have uncommon ammunition, but are very powerful and can be used to riposte.
  • Armor: Costumes in the game are best described as a combination of the armors of dark souls (weight, upgrade capability) and the attire of Bloodborne (situational usefulness); While costume sets can be upgraded and do in fact have carry weights, they only contribute slightly to the player's overall weight. In addition, Costumes often heavily specialize in defending against one specific type of damage, often limiting versatility and encouraging the players to use different sets for situational advantages.
  • Resources: the player has three primary "meter" resources: health, focus, and stamina. Health and focus (which is used for weapon skills and special powers) do not regenerate on their own (despite having refill-able restorative items), whilst stamina (used for melee attacks and dodging/sprinting) does regenerate on it's own. aside from the meter resources, the player must also manage their carry weight (which takes into account their current amount of ammunition and quick-access items).
  • Enemies and bosses: most enemies and bosses are either humanoid or mechanical, with many vehicles operated by humanoid monsters. as mentioned, striking weakpoints is essential to victory, especially against stronger enemies and bosses (who often can only be damaged by striking weakpoints).

Setting: SickMindz is set in a modern (albeit ruined) city known as Wishton. Each district of the city plays host to it's own unique enemies and factions.

  • Plot: SickMindz begins with an opening cutscene that describes how Wishton was once the most thriving city in it's country, a heavily industrialized metropolis that played host to many advances in technology. However, the city had rapidly fallen into stagnation, and a communist youth organization known as the youth worker's party had gained power from the city's disenfranchised youth. Eventually, the ruling authorities were so afraid of the Youth workers that they sent the police to disrupt a rally, causing widespread rioting in the many poorer sections of Wishton. The riots lasted days, and after a night that lasted 24 hours, a mysterious red fog descended on the city. this fog appeared to have a mutagenic effect on the adult populace, transforming them into bizarre childish monsters, but the city's youth were safe. In due time, the youth formed several organizations in order to survive in their ruined city and maybe find a cause for the red fog. around then, a rabbit-like alien named Kuddelz appeared and began empowering some of the city's youth that have pledged allegiance to him and his cause of liberating the universe from the red fog. The player-created main character awakens in a detention center, meets Kuddelz, accepts his offer in order to live, and then is whisked away to a clubhouse in an alternate dimension, inhabited by it's caretaker: a mysterious, kind youth named Miroslav. Miro then says that the player, as an empowered hero, can end wishton's misery by killing several very powerful monsters known as Villains. as the main character continues on their quest to free wishton from the red fog, they find that not all is as it seems to be, and that Kuddelz and Miroslav may have ulterior motives with horrifying consequences for all of humanity.
  • Inspirations: just as Dark Souls was inspired by Berserk and Bloodborne by Dracula, SickMindz was inspired rather heavily by Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Similar themes of a dual human emotion that both empowers and destroys in a cycle (in SickMindz's case, love and hatred) exist within this game as well.

 

Major Questions:

 

  1. Do any of you think that this game could work?
  2. does it appear to be an AAA game from this standpoint? if so, why?
  3. Do any of you like where I am going with the story?
  4. What about the gameplay? does it sound exciting to any of you?

Minor questions:

  1. is there anything that appears to be poorly described? if so, point it out.
  2. does anybody seem to like the general concept now?

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  • Do any of you think that this game could work?
  • does it appear to be an AAA game from this standpoint? if so, why?
  • Do any of you like where I am going with the story?
  • What about the gameplay? does it sound exciting to any of you?

1. What do you mean by "work"? What kind of feedback are you seeking with this question?
3. You should fly story ideas in the Writing forum for the best story feedback.

BTW: there is no "Destiny x Dark Souls: A good idea" forum. It's a thread, but in which forum? Do you want
that thread to be closed now that you've started a new one? Edited by Tom Sloper

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Whether a game is AAA is determined completely by the company and budget that produce it; there's no such thing as an AAA game concept.  That said, I think the concept is interesting - I like the names, I like the surrealism.  It reminds me of the novel Dhalgren and the Southpark episode where all the adults get taken away due to the kids deciding to accuse all of them of child abuse.  However, I don't play FPSes, so I have to assume I'm not in your target audience.  You probably don't want my opinion about the suggested gameplay for that reason, lol.

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1. no reason why it couldn't. it combines proven elements from proven games. the question is: "is it a superior combination?".  also - what about uniqueness?

 

2. AAA is basically how much work a game is - measured in man-hours and dollars, or hundreds of man-years, and millions of dollars in the case of AAA games. so the answer is no. you haven't spent the time or money on it yet. AAA is not a game type, AAA is the scale of the project. indie development is landscaping your back yard. AAA development is terraforming large areas of land or building hoover dam or something like that.  AAA is not about what the project is, AAA is the SIZE of the project.

 

3. asking the wrong crowd here. the first rule of film is "show, don't tell". and the first rule of games is "play, don't show". books, plays, and video are for stories, games are for playing.  that being said, you are forcing a quest on the player, and expecting them to care with no logical gameplay reason to. what in it for them? i'm forced to join the war against the red fog? and what do i get for it? what's in it for me in the way of real enhanced gameplay? or do i just get a cutscene saying i saved the world? (yet again - in yet another game - for the umpteenth million time - yawn!). i don't want to save your world, i just want to play in it. cause hopefully it offers better play options than i have at my disposal elsewhere in the real world at that time - including playing other games - with cooler worlds to play in.

 

4. unknown, you make references to games, instead of describing mechanics.   that only works for folks who have played both dark souls AND stalker. some of us spend more time building games than playing them - and thus haven't played every last title in existence.

 

 

 

PS: please don't use lists in your posts, they don't cut and paste well at all into responses.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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