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About PolarEnigma

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  1. Design by comittee

    Whoo boy. That's a lot of questions. Well, here goes: [quote][b]It seems that the players grey cube has many movement type abilities that are focused moving past the enemies( sliding, momentum jumping and juking) thus making enemies part of the platforming experience? Does this make platforming a major part of the game? If so why? If not why? Why is that fun? What does it add to the game by having these abilities are they necessary? why?[/b] [/quote] The game could technically be called a platformer, however the emphasis is not on jumping over many pits and chasms (though it happens in some levels, I'll get into that shortly). The movement options are mostly to traverse the enemies and to skillfully reach certain areas. For example, let's say the player enters from the left side of a room. On the right side of the same room, there is an item, in this case an optional reward, but the item is behind a sturdy door that can only be taken out with a blast of some kind. The player lacks any explosive items or weapons, however in the middle of the room there is an enemy that fires an explosive attack. The enemy is too tall to jump over, but with correct timing the player could juke around it and end up on the right-hand side, allowing them to bait it into blowing the door open. Another scenario would be a room with segments of the floor missing. Should the player fall in these fair-sized holes, they instantly die. On the flooring between certain missing segments is a slow but thick-skinned enemy that paces dumbly back and forth. The player could expend their resources trying to kill the enemy up-close or at range, or they could wait for the enemy to get near the edge, get a running start, jump onto the enemy and leap off of it onto the next piece of flooring. This would be an efficient way of traversing the room. Again, however, the player can kill the enemy and just sprint-jump over the pit. The answer, then, to the question of whether enemies would be part of the platforming experience, is [i]If the player has the desire and/or the ability to use them in a resourceful manner[/i]. You can kill every enemy that is in your power to kill, and sometimes this can be the best way, or you can use your enemies to your advantage and bypass them using movement options. It is all up to the player. I would find this to be fun because I would have a choice in how I approached a situation. I wouldn't [i]have[/i] to do any one thing, I wouldn't be restricted to one solution. I could use my ingenuity, my skill, and my imagination to overcome the game's obstacles. I would like to add that I did not include ways in which movement-oriented grey cubes could change the gameplay, such as (purely hypothetical) a grappling hook to swing on the ceiling, a zip-line to quickly travel [b]/[/b] or [b]\[/b], a jetpack or wings that allow the player to travel upward, or even having a means to perform a basic rocket-jump ala [i]Quake[/i]. One or two of these elements could add continual variety to the game, whether in pre-determined areas or upon obtaining permanent power-ups. I feel that once a general system is in place, the ways to enrich the gameplay will naturally evolve. Your next set of questions requires that I add some pretense into the equation, which I will try to keep as vague and general as possible. [quote][b]Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level. Why are these fun? Are all of them necessary? (if we remove one of them does the overall game suffer) Are some more important then others? If so why? Overall what do having these different area's or goals offer the player experience.[/b][/quote] This part, depending on your school of thought, either requires a setting, or decides upon the setting. Not all of these are essential, in fact it could be best that not all of them are implemented. If people believe the game is going to be a platformer in which they run through rooms and fight enemies, they most likely don't want too many interruptions of that specific style. However, sometimes it enhances the experience by granting them reprieve or increasing the tension. An occasional, slight gameplay shift can be refreshing. It can also be annoying; the key is knowing how far to go and for how long. [i]Swimming[/i] -- Can allow the player to see a new side of the environment, as well as present new controls and new obstacles. If done periodically, this also allows the net difficulty to increase without any alterations to the "main" game. I personally feel that this would have to be done sparingly. [i]Dark Rooms[/i] -- This is mostly going off the idea that horror would be a design choice. While most areas would be medium-to-fast paced, these areas would slow the action down. They would require careful planning, thorough observation, and a good amount of caution. Your vision would be limited to a cone in front of you, and possibly you'd be limited to one-handed weapons, assuming the light-emitting grey cube is carried. Enemies could startle, noises could instill paranoia. The player's imagination could work against them in these areas. They'd be brief, [i]never[/i] spanning whole levels (I personally cannot stand most gimmick levels), and could be a breath of fresh air to someone weary of the faster-paced gameplay. [i]Repairing Things (Item Hunts or Mini-Games)[/i] -- As stated, the action would likely be medium-to-fast-paced. The player would be maneuvering through rooms and past enemies to proceed along what I assume to be a line (Point A to Point B, few [b]required[/b] stops). Sometimes there will be rooms and floors you can explore, but it will seldom be necessary. These types of objectives periodically placed allows for small puzzles and gameplay shifts, such as the above-mentioned "explosive blast" puzzle, or having the player travel through a darkened room or flooded segment. It allows key-elements of the story, pieces of information that are crucial to understanding what's going on, to be placed somewhere the player is certain to travel through. It also allows for the player to find new weapons, movement grey cubes, enhancements to their avatar, or hints to how to deal with a problem yet to come, such as a new enemy type or a boss. Sending the player in a new direction, giving them new (and [i]simple[/i]) controls to learn can shake up the gameplay enough for it to remain fun throughout its entirety. Phew. (Sorry if I'm over-explaining or stating the obvious, but I'm genuinely having fun with these questions!) [quote][b]Is receiving storyline information by grey cubes important to the game play itself ? Does it change how the player plays the game itself? Why or why not?[/b][/quote] I would liken the game's method of exposition to that of [i]System Shock[/i]. The player would find pieces of information here and there. Some of it is on the path you must take, some of it is in the optional zones, and some of it is downright hidden. It's both a way to encourage exploration in gamers who like immersion and who care about story, and to give free reign to those who couldn't care less about the plot and just want to juke things and kill enemies. Pieces of information along the required path would explain what is necessary to understanding the player's own journey, but the setting, history, and fate of other characters would be in less obvious places. You wouldn't even have to obtain the information laid before you if you didn't want to. Sometimes you can get hints to puzzles, the location of a great grey cube, or learn about the upcoming enemies or bosses. [quote][b]It would appear that there is some sort of resource management in the form of Healing over time [grey cubes] and Full health [grey cubes] as well as Ammunition [grey cubes] and Plot [grey cubes]? ( correct me if i am wrong on the fact of resource management in the idea of different [grey cubes] that the player uses over time)[/b][/quote] You are correct. The general idea would be a Healing-Over-Time grey cube resource, an Instantaneous-Heal grey cube resource (less common than the other). In terms of weaponry the player would have types of Ammunition grey cubes to use in different Weapon grey cubes (normal/hollow-point handgun rounds, normal/flaming crossbow bolts, etc). Finally, Plot grey cubes would be more along the lines of Key Item grey cubes (keys, levers, wrenches, bags, batteries). The player would find small stocks of Health and Ammunition grey cubes, but would seldom have large reserves unless they conserved their resources well. The amount of each grey cube they could carry would be limited as well. [quote][b]Could you explain why each one is important to the game? Are some more important then others? Is it necessary to have all the different types [grey cubes] ? Why or why not? What aspect of the game suffers if we remove them?[/b][/quote] The reasons for HoT and Insta-Health as separate resources are to keep a degree of forgiveness and reward playing more conservatively. If the player is starting out and makes a small mistake, they can use a HoT grey cube to make back what they've lost, because it is somewhat common and best used to recover when [i]not[/i] under pressure. Players can experiment, try new things, attempt to master tactics and learn enemy patterns, without being hampered by low health. Later the game offers it less readily, but it is still there for when the player makes a small error yet comes out of it alright. If they succeeded, they likely learned something from the encounter, so ruthlessly killing them and throwing them at a checkpoint or beginning of a level would probably be annoying on some level. The HoT grey cube would works too slowly for frantic situations, so having a means to recover health instantly (not [i]full health[/i] though) is nice. The Insta-Health resource is far more limited, and should be saved for when the player is in heavy danger. It's best saved for bosses or used when on the verge of death, with no time to use the HoT resource. Ammunition grey cubes function on a tactical level. Certain enemies are more vulnerable to certain types of Weapons or Ammunition, and some enemies cannot be hurt at all by anything except one means of attack. Learning what enemies are weak to what resource makes combat more intense, as having insufficient resources to combat a difficult foe effectively results in the player having to think on their feet, use an alternative means. When conquering a challenging foe, the player should feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as pride in having outsmarted (or even overpowered) a tough opponent. I think the resources add both a security blanket for players early on that are prone to make mistakes, and incentive to outmaneuver insignificant enemies/obstacles. If the HoT resource was removed, I think the Insta-Health resource would be depended upon too much, and players would have to learn more through trial-and-error than by practice. Likewise, if the Insta-Health resource was removed, the player would have a hard time learning boss patterns or getting out of frantic situations. Ammunition resources being removed would result in what I feel would be gross oversimplification of combat. Players would have no incentive to be strategic, they could just kill every foe they came across without repercussion (save for lost health at first, but as their skill increases they will most likely avoid damage with more ease). The amount of Weapon-Ammunition resource variants, if within the right range, would spice combat up enough to make it feasible without making it [i]THE[/i] solution to everything. [quote][b]What do the different types of enemies do? What type of experience do they create for the player? Can the player kill the enemies or only just stun them? What do you mean by wisdom? ( I could take it to mean puzzle solving around enemies but i don't want to presume)[/b][/quote] Some enemy types are fast and small, taking few hits but coming in larger numbers (a weapon that attacks in a cone-shape or swings/fires rapidly would take them out best). Some enemies are medium-sized and fire projectiles (a simple ranged attack would be best to kill them). Some enemies are huge and slow, dealing and taking large damage (very powerful weaponry advisable, or the player can bypass them). Some enemies are huge and fast, requiring quick reflexes and fast thinking to overcome. Some enemies create other enemies, and some enemies heal each other. The player has to, as stated, use different Weapons grey cubes or Ammunition grey cubes on different enemy variants. The player can kill or stun the enemies, though the power to stun them is acquired. The player always has a weapon that requires no Ammunition grey cubes, such as an axe or a sword, that if used correctly can be very efficient. Many enemies, however, outrange that weapon or shrug off its hits, so it is prudent to dispatch them with the appropriate weapon. Enemies have different attack patterns too, which is important to avoiding them. The player could duck under or side-step ranged attacks, juke around large melee enemies, leap over groups of smaller enemies, etc. Some large enemies can be stunned, or if caught by surprise (turned around), used to as a platform to leap further. No enemy can be handled in only one way, there are always alternate ways to bypass them. In some [i]situations[/i] the player may have to fight. In some [i]situations[/i] the player may have to run. These instances are rare and would have to be intentionally designed that way. By wisdom, I mean both using enemies to access areas or bypass obstacles, and the fact that killing them means perhaps using a resource you'll need later. You may kill the enemy only to find that you cannot get to a place without using it in some fashion. Sometimes there will be alternatives, but in rare circumstances there will not be. Whether or not to make these errors unable to be fixed (enemies never respawning, for instance) is something that would require careful consideration, so as of right now, I admit I am unsure about it. [quote][b]You mention ammunition [grey cubes] for multiple weapon's what are these multiple weapons? What do they do? How does it change the game play experience?[/b][/quote] I feel I should refrain on saying what these weapons are in name, as that would add pretext; they can be guns, they can be magic, they can be medieval tools, they can be natural defenses from a living creature. I will try to be as vague as possible, and just say: [b][i]Weapon 1 = [/i][/b]Melee, kept the whole game, start out with it. Does minor damage, swings at decent speed. Has a stronger version that can be found. [i][b]Weapon 2[/b][/i][i][b] =[/b][/i] Weak ranged attack, fires at above average speed. Has two types of Ammunition resource, effective against different enemy types. Has a stronger version that can be found. [i][b]Weapon 3[/b][/i][i][b] =[/b][/i] Attacks in a small cone. Moderate power, slow firing speed. [i][b]Weapon 4 = [/b][/i]Rapid-firing, rather weak. Has a stronger version that can be found. [i][b] Weapon 5 = [/b][/i]Quick, straight-moving missile-like projectile, deals damage in a radius upon hitting a target. Ammunition resource for this is rare. [i][b]Weapon 6[/b][/i] [i][b]=[/b][/i] Melee, stuns whatever it hits for a small window of time. [i][b]Weapon 7[/b][/i] [b][i]=[/i][/b] Ranged, attacks in a streaming pattern. Deals very rapid damage to anything in its range. They all have different functions, situational uses, and intended targets. I've been at this over a collective 2.5 hours. Thank you for asking so many questions, you've given me plenty of things to think about. I would love to do the pillars thing, but this one post has waaaaay too much in it, and my brain is tired. I think I'll sleep on that particular bit. Also, Stormynature, I think your idea is pretty sweet. It's original, rather simple, and sounds like a blast. I really wanna see it develop more.
  2. Design by comittee

    This one's 2D, side-scrolling, with [i]minor[/i] platforming. The player assumes the role of a grey cube, with an assortment of different weapons. The player picks up key grey cubes and uses them to solve logical puzzles, and receives storyline information by grey cubes that they recover from around the levels. Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level. There are numerous types of enemies, some quick and weak, some strong and slow, some ranged, some melee, some a mix of everything. Balance between the ability and wisdom in fighting enemies (They are no longer in the room and thus it is safe to travel through) and the wisdom in avoiding them (conserve grey cubes, grey cubes, and grey cubes) is part of the scheme of the combat system. The player is capable of jumping over small enemies and, with proper timing, has the ability to perform a "juke" that will place them on the other side of larger enemies (the player can also vault over some foes if they stun it with their grey cube weapon). The player can jump higher and farther with momentum, and can slide with sufficient running speed, allowing them to bypass many types of enemies if they execute the maneuvers correctly. The player can recover their vitality slowly over time if they have [grey cubes] in stock, or can immediately heal with a [grey cube]. There are boss grey cubes that require tactics and logical thinking, as well as boss grey cubes that require reflexes and precision. There are many areas that the player is not required to go, but will be rewarded for doing so (though grey cubes, "ammunition" to use grey cubes, or plot grey cubes). It's up to the player if they want to experience the plot in its entirety or simply complete the levels.
  3. Design by comittee

    Needless complexity? Internal inconstistency? Logical flaws? Count me in! </sarcasm> I would actually be quite interested. I frequently get ideas for games that I have no chance of making with my lack of artistic talent and unfortunate ineptitude regarding mathematics. Throwing some ideas around sounds like a grand ol' time. As long as an entertaining game gets made, I'm up for it. I'm more the advisor type, y'know? An ideas man, not an executive.