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"Modern" sidescroller

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After finishing (or at least mostly finishing, the game still needs a lot of polish) a 3D thrid person shooter with a large team, I''ve decided to work on my own little side projects for a while. Although I want to work on some 3D rendering stuff later on, I want to do a whole game from start to finish first. I''ve decided on a 2D (or semi-2D) sidescroller, mostly because of art requirements, not coding difficulty, and also because I''ve been playing a lot of old NES, Genesis and SNES games. I want this game to be a "modern" sidescroller, with a lot of gameplay and technology features that sidescrollers never really had, like network play for example. Other things I''ve been thinking about adding are a deathmatch mode, zoom and destructable levels. Right now I thinking about Contra-like gameplay. What kind of features\settings would you like to see in a sidescroller?

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When you say side scroller, do you mean like R-type or Mega Man, for example? That fundamentally changes some of the options (forced movement VS free movment, etc).

that''d help the idea wheel.

Also, I''m trying to do a Silouette Mirage type game, only multiplayer team based.

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Hum, I''m working on a similar project called "X-squared". I''ll tell you some features that we are using so you can generate some further ideas.
Since it''s a simple little project the features aren''t many , but we do have this unique feature where the main character can traverse through various vertical levels on the stage. For instance, take a stage with the simplicity of Super Mario but give it 4 levels vertically, meaning that you may start at the top but you can break downward and upward to through the various level sections at anytime to reach the goals. ( it''s a way to hide multiple story paths and secrets for us, but you can use the concept in many ways.)
And even better have a main player who can menuver those types of break throughs. Our game is a Samuria Showdown meets DBZ with the enemies being Escaflowne type mechs, so it sets the stage for why we would have all this action going on throughout the stages.
Hope that was helpful.

peace

-Sage13





www.planetmorningstar.com




 

~In "Sonic Adventure" (Dreamcast), select Knuckles. Jump on a wall and let him hang on it.
Watch in bewilderment as he proceeds to hump the wall.
-WGM


Find something you want to do in life, find out how to do it, and then do it.
~Sage13

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deathmatch? sounds like you want to mimic an overhead game like smash tv. though river city ransom style could work as well. destructable levels, zoom, deathmatch wont make the game a "modern" side scroller. you need to add gameplay elements. try playing metal slug in the aracde. thats a good shootem up modern contra style game.

consider the following:
1. zoom was added for no apparent reason. it was nice in smash brothers, spiffy in samurai shodown, but a contra style game would not gain too much from it.

2. deathmatch. plain and simple, deathmatch wont work well in a side scroller game unless you really spend lots of time on it. this could result in less time spent working on the single player aspects. you should do coop play instead, and make sure you allow muli player via a single pc.

the main reason side scrollers dont have the features you mentioned is because they complicated gameplay and di not add much to the gameplay. in fact many new side scrollers dont even have coop mode anymore. dont fall into the feature pit, instaed mimic a game you liked playing, also play some side scrollers that are like what you are trying to do. trust me, there is a game out there that combines most everythign you would want to do in a sidecroller, except for destructable levels (i assume you mean where you can destroy anything including the very ground you stand on which is purly stupid and detracts from the game).

just having certain tech in a game, does not make it a modern game. dont get caught up in what needs to be in a modern side scroller, because there are no requirements. just make a good game.

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When i think of games like contra, i have memories of me and my friends playing them from start to finish, when one person got bored they''de hand the controler off to somebody else. Maybe internet play where you have a lounge and games going on, and each game can have say a maximum of four slots. A game goes on, and a person can join at anytime there is a free slot. Think arcade game like tenage mutant ninja turtles.

If your going to go that far, then deathmath and capture the flag also sounds like fun.

Ide would really go more for the network stuff and keep the graphics around SNES level since the style of most games on the SNES was really cool.

Hope some of these ideas help.

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Whoops. Sorry about that.

Definately some form of differentiation between players. Maybe different classes, or inventory items that allow different abilities. But if you grant the capability to have different people, there''s a little more fun in teamwork that way. "I''ll grab a shield, and deflect the mega beam, you get the machine gun and hammer at him!"

Hmmmmm... If you really want to push the envelope, how about programmable event driven story that allows loading of levels and data made by the user?

Really cool graphical effects. Things like guns causing gravity wells, area distortion, lighting effects and particles when fired. And of course, you have to put in a lazer sword or two, right?

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quote:
Original post by a person
deathmatch? sounds like you want to mimic an overhead game like smash tv. though river city ransom style could work as well. destructable levels, zoom, deathmatch wont make the game a "modern" side scroller. you need to add gameplay elements. try playing metal slug in the aracde. thats a good shootem up modern contra style game.



I said sidescroller, not overhead (smash tv). Even though I have been playing some River City Ransom also, so taking elements from their would be pretty cool. I love metal slug also, so doing some metal slug style stuff would be cool.

quote:

consider the following:
1. zoom was added for no apparent reason. it was nice in smash brothers, spiffy in samurai shodown, but a contra style game would not gain too much from it.
[quote]

Zoom wouldn''t be pointless in my design. Part of it is because I am using a 3D API to render stuff, so zoom is easy, but another part is that I would like to have variable ranges of action (that is, zoom in close for some hand-to-hand stuff, then zoom out for sniping, for example.) This also works if a lot of enemies end up on the screen (I could do hundreds at a time ) and you want the player to be able to see all of them.

[quote]
2. deathmatch. plain and simple, deathmatch wont work well in a side scroller game unless you really spend lots of time on it. this could result in less time spent working on the single player aspects. you should do coop play instead, and make sure you allow muli player via a single pc.



Have you played the stick soldier game? That game is a lot, it''s a sidescroller, and it has deathmatch style gameplay (single player only, but...) I think it will work .

quote:

the main reason side scrollers dont have the features you mentioned is because they complicated gameplay and di not add much to the gameplay. in fact many new side scrollers dont even have coop mode anymore. dont fall into the feature pit, instaed mimic a game you liked playing, also play some side scrollers that are like what you are trying to do. trust me, there is a game out there that combines most everythign you would want to do in a sidecroller, except for destructable levels (i assume you mean where you can destroy anything including the very ground you stand on which is purly stupid and detracts from the game).

just having certain tech in a game, does not make it a modern game. dont get caught up in what needs to be in a modern side scroller, because there are no requirements. just make a good game.



I''m not in a feature pit, these are all things I can (and want to) implement. Destructable levels doesn''t mean blow up everything (it won''t be worms style), just a lot of things . I can do a lot more on a 3D accelerated PC than is possible on an NES, and I''d like to take advantage of that.

I don''t think I will be overcomplicating gameplay, just making it a little more interesting. Also, a big part of this project is not just to make a fun game, but to implement a lot of the non-graphical aspects of modern games (hence the "modern" sidescroller title.) That includes netplay.

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To go off on a quick tangent, the event driven story that supports user created content sounds pretty cool. I''ve toyed with the idea of a game where if the user did something weird (that is, off the path of the designer) they could define what should happen using mod tools. These minimods would be posted to the web, and when you encountered the same situation, you would be able to choose from a list of them (mods would probably be filtered by developers.) This would be useful for a game where players have an oppurtunity to choose wildly divergent paths (like an open-ended RPG.) Just an idea, I don''t plan to implement that for this project, but maybe someday...

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if you''re really serious about this, then take a look at a prime sidescroller - the Castlevania games on the PSX, or even Super Metroid on the SNES.

These games were the epitome of sidescrollers in their day and still stand as very solid games even today.

However, what your game ends up like largely depends on the style you want to give it - more exploration based or more action based.

If you''re thinking about contra, then you might want to give it more ''modern'' features like hitpoints, RPG like features (either semi complex stat fests, or a more Zelda like element - powerups occur in large steps and they''re few of them, rather then small incremental steps that overtime makes them effectively hundreds of times more powerful then when they began).

You might even want to look at the seminal classic that''s Wonderboy - which had memorable gameplay, largely due to its collect and advance system - you got more powerful as you played more, which was always a good incentive.

Zaptruder

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Or Castlevania X2 -Symphonie of the Night, is also a great example. Some parts added 3D just to emphasize things, but not take anything away. It was an incredibly huge game that also had RPG aspects.

This game is Best Hit game, so it is only $20, or just rent it.

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I''ve played both Symphony of the Night and Metroid, and I agreed that they are both really good games, but I''m looking a something a little less complex and more action oriented. Adding some minor RPG elements would be a cool thing though.

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If you want to get a bit of use out of that 3d accelerator, how about using a 3/4 (or so) perspective on some areas(for the ground only--sprites/other graphics like trees, etc. would be rendered upright). That would look cool, and you could easily do branching (but parallel) paths, which would be ideal for coop. For instance, if Joe, Bob, and Joe Bob all take the same path (they would be completely fixed with the exception of the branches) they end up crammed into the same small space when fighting the level boss. But if they split up, they end up in 3 different places and can exploit more of the boss'' weaknesses, not to mention only being hit 1/3 of the time by most boss attacks. Of course, you could do the same kind of thing in 2d, except I think it would look (and play) better in 2.5/3d.

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well, I''m thinking about using some 3D objects in the game. What about being able to move into and out of the screen (I think some 2D fighting games did this, I''m not sure.)? It may work...

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I feel a little lost with all these references to games I never played (R type, wonderboy) although i did play most of them. One thing I always thought would be cool would be to have "secret combo" moves like in your typical fighting game in a sidescroller (you know; back + B + A = super whoopass move ). BTW if this is an inherent feature in the games you guys are talking about then forgive my ignorance.

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For a really cool background using 3d, on one of your levels, try this:

Put down huge amounts of parallax scolling backgrounds. Let''s say it''s an industrial level, with just a whole bunch of pipes as the background layer. Render all these pipes really far away (very distant background). Then zoom the camera in, rotate, render again. Do again. And again. You can get a really cool "pipes going on forever" effect. Change the ambient or directional light level as you render each level, making the pipes farther away look darker.

I did this in a 2d R-Type type game. It made a very boring level look very detailed, with a bare minimum of work.

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quote:
Original post by Impossible
What about being able to move into and out of the screen (I think some 2D fighting games did this, I''m not sure.)? It may work...


I''d think carefully about doing this, unless it''s only at key points in levels (transitions from 1 part of level to the next). Doing it that way could be very cool. (seeing people fighting in the distance, then later you can run into the background to join them.)

With some careful planning you may be able to do this at the player''s whim. It would probably change your game a lot, but might work. In revenge of shinobi for the genesis, there was a level with a chainlink fence in the background. You could jump over this fence and fight the enemies behind it. (or, if the enemies in front of the fence were too tough, you could skip them completely)

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