Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Starting a new game

Well, I'm finally starting a new game.

Actually, I've been working on it off and on for a couple months now, but I've been hesitant to talk about it, as I'm not sure I'm mentally committed to finishing it.  I'm still not sure I'm ever going to finish it, but I have trouble not talking about things. So despite the fact that I hate yapping about things that I'm not sure I'll ever finish, here goes.

Like Anguna, I'm attempting to make a game that I want to play. (See my discussion of where I failed to achieve that mark for Anguna)

So I'm working on a cheesy little game called "Robo-Ninja." The main character, is in fact, a robot ninja.

So what I really want to make, a large metroidvania-style adventure game, generally requires better input mechanisms than a phone provides. There's a reason there's 8 million tap-to-jump games (Like The Impossible Game, which did it the best, and Wind Up Knight, which got tons of attention but was ultimately incredibly boring). Like I've talked about on this blog before, I really love the exploration part of a simple but large 2d world. So I started thinking about ways to make a metroidvania game work on a phone.

I really also like incredibly frustrating games where you die. A Lot.  (See the Impossible Game, above). I was completely blown away by VVVVVV, which is both incredibly frustrating AND a metroidvania-style game.

I also have to limit the scope of the game. I don't want to spend 3 years working on this like I did Anguna.

So I set out to combine all of those, and decided on the gimmick: a metroidvania game where the only controls are the crazy tapping-to-jump mechanism.   (well, to jump or do an alternative action depending on what items you have -- I was picturing some sort of Ninja dude as I was brainstorming), You could also tap on a corner to cycle through your inventory of items. To make it harder, your dude never stops running forward. Except when he hits a wall, then he turns around and runs the other way. (thus the Robot part, because he's dumb and just runs) So you have to work your way through a frustrating world of pits and spikes and frustrating timing, exploring and choosing routes by forcing your guy to bounce off the right walls or jump through the right holes.

Here's an example of me falling in a pit, about to die. I do that a lot in my tests.

So far, it's been a lot of fun. I had to pick a framework/game engine (LibGDX, which I'll talk about some other time), find art resources (there's quite a bit of free art out there, the hard part was finding enough that matched up to get some sort of consistent style to the game), figure out what tools I wanted to use (Tiled for mapping, I think), and then start coding!

Now that I've finally broken down and admitted I'm working on this, I'll plan on posting more thoughts about the game as it progresses (or stalls out and dies if I get bored).

Although, for now, I will say that my 2 testing levels are hard enough to frustrate me as I test it. That's a good sign in my book. ;-)


Daniel Efosa Uyi said...
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Mark Sidarous said...

Excited to play it! FWIW, I thought Anguna was great.

Blaster MetroidVania

Well, I've been working on the next game, but not saying much.  Mostly because the majority of my free time involves working on fixing t...