Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Standing on the Lip of the Canyon

I just now had a very evil idea for Obake. However, this idea requires some context.

In Obake, you have three weapons that can be fired at any time. Firing a weapon slows your ship down somewhat. Firing two makes you go slower, and three slows you down to a crawl. Normally, this would be an incentive to not fire all your weapons at once. However, you need to be precise in order to dodge some of the more complex bullet patterns the bosses throw at you.

However, firing also heats your ship. Get it hot enough, and your weapons cease to function until the temperature goes back to reasonable levels.

Your ship also starts going faster again, smacking you directly into whatever bullet you were trying to dodge.*

Now, there is a way to cool your ship if you don't have enough time or leg room to let go of the trigger. You can graze. That is, you get very, very close to bullets. This is what the title of this post refers to. The more weapons you have firing, the more damage you deal to the boss, and the slower you go. Yet, you need to constantly graze lest you overheat.

Now for the evil bit. There is a score multiplier that changes, depending on how hot your ship is. If the meter reads 53% for example, your multiplier is x1.53. Thus, the player is encouraged to keep their heat gauge high, putting themselves in even greater peril because of the promise of a bigger reward. Granted, most players don't care about score. I am certain that a good portion of Obake's audience will, however.

*JackMackerel suggests; "If you overheat, have a trollface flash really really quickly on the screen." I'm tempted to put this in.


Edit: Shlapintogan mentioned something interesting that I overlooked. Keeping your heat high increases your multiplier, but discourages you from grazing. We managed to come up with a workable solution for this mutual exclusivity, though. Grazing has its own separate multiplier, which isn't as lucrative as the heat multiplier.

To prevent the player from having to look away from the play field to check their multipliers, sound cues are used. For example, there is a tick sound played every time you graze a bullet. As your graze multiplier increases, the pitch of the tick changes. Likewise, the heat meter has its own sound and pitch changes.

Thus, the player has three options.

1) Play it safe, and don't worry about score. Graze only when you need to, and keep your heat low.
2) Graze when you can, and get a small bonus.
3) Keep your heat up, and get a large bonus.
4) Attempt to juggle both, possibly net record scores, get bitches, and lose a bit of sanity.

The last option would be impossible for all but a small set of players, so Shlap suggested this. Have a region (45 to 55% or so) that if you stay in for both bars, nets you a bonus. Once both bars are in the sweet spot, the player is notified via a chirping sound. As the player sustains the bonus, the chirping gets more rapid, culminating in a ding that tells the player they have completed the bonus. Look to Beat Hazard for refinement and inspiration.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Like Snatch, but with cyberpunk (sort of)

The setting is inspired by Ghost in the Shell, but the game itself would be a lot closer to Shadowrun. Full-body cyborgs* exist, but are uncommon. The PC just so happens to be a full-body cyborg. Since he's an enforcer for a mobster, this comes in handy. One day he tries to screw over his boss, and gets put in a sexbot for his disloyalty. His first task is to shut up a mole for a rival mobster. It's possible to sell yourself to the other guy, but only if you do it right.

From here, you have a few options. Work for your boss and gradually regain his trust, or betray him and work for his rival. Each path has its own quests and storyline associated with it, as well as an ending.

Or, you could try to take down both bosses yourself. Might not want to do this right away, though. Keep doing jobs and making friends. Buy a safehouse. Once you're well-connected enough, you might just be able to pull off a mutiny. You can do it any time you want, but you might want to check if your friends have your back.

You upgrade by buying better bodies, armor, weapons, and firmware. You can also upgrade what you already have. Since your inventory is limited to what you could realistically carry, it's a good idea to invest in some built-in tools for your body. All the bodies you buy stay with you, and you pick which one you want to use for the mission. You can also arrange for a drop at a predetermined location, in case you need to swap during the mission.

*People with just a brain and some spine to call their own. Everything else is robotic.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cat and mouse TPS

As the "cat", the player chases somebody through a procedurally generated urban environment. The player is always locked on to the target, and can adjust their aim with the mouse/right analog stick. Of course, the player has to dodge obstacles as well as whatever the "mouse" is throwing at them.

As the "mouse", the player is running away from somebody through the same environment. The difference here is that the player needs to get to a designated location. In order to lose your purseuer, you can shoot at things to create obstacles, take tight turns, go in unexpected directions, etc.

No matter who the player plays as, the game is about speed and quick reflexes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Idea for an eroge

There are two kinds of eroge. Those that are plot with porn, and those that are porn with plot. This is the former, with the tropes of the latter.

A normal, average Japanese teenager wakes up to a normal day. At the breakfast table, his little sister seems a bit more reserved than usual. At school, he finds that his childhood friend is a bit shy about talking to him. The class president barks at him rather harshly- more so than usual. Everything seems a little bit off. It isn't for a few days that he realizes that he's in an eroge- a very smutty one at that. People he's known for his entire life have been reduced to stereotypes. Needless to say, he doesn't take this very well. After a slight internal breakdown, the game's first choice is presented.

This is where the game's save system comes into play. You see, this game doesn't have a normal save system. Instead, it tracks which choice points you've encountered, and which choices you've taken. As the game progresses this becomes a large map, filling itself with your choices. At any time you can exit to this map and go to any other point in the game you've already been to. This is essentially an automation of what eroge players already do- make a map of choices and save at every opportunity. The catch is that the PC remembers his choices, and new ones appear as he gathers more intel. Thus, the player might want to go down a bad end in order to learn something.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Obake -crazy bullets

Ponicalica showed me a tech demo he made recently for what i'm calling crazy bullets. Here's a short explanation from the man himself.

"Every frame, they set their horizontal velocity to one of -4 and 4 and their vertical velocity to one of -3.5 and 4.5.

Basically, it's one of these except tweaked a bit to get the bullets to drift down."

I'm not sure how to write these into the fluff just yet. I was thinking that what the player sees is an abstraction of what's actually out there, for the player's and the PC's convenience. This doesn't change the gameplay at all, but provides a good explanation for why the bullets are so visible. The crazy bullets appear a lot bigger than they actually are in gameplay, though. The circle that the player sees is just where the bullet is likely to be at that given moment. It's dangerous, but you can plow through a field of crazy bullets and not get hit.

This doesn't seem like something a lot of players would risk, though. Perhaps area denial is a better role for the crazy bullets? It'd tie in with the fluff, as well. UAVs can't be sure exactly where these bullets will be, so they steer clear entirely.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Transcendant State info

Note to self: fill out the section below, but don't forget to write about areas other than the poor cities. Talk about the capital as well.

Note to others: this isn't done yet. Feel free to read, but there's more coming.

Leprosy is common in certain areas. Those not inoculated are forced to adopt prosthetics, for obvious reasons. Official prosthetic surgeons are often weeks away and far too expensive for the common leper, so being a street doc is a profitable business. Street docs tend to be somewhat lax about safety, unless it directly concerns them. Street prosthetics tend to be rather haphazard and cheap, and aren't always accepted by the body. The process of installing the prosthetic is very painful and bloody, necessitating the application of painkillers. Unfortunately for would-be cyborgs, the only available painkiller is a homemade alcoholic drink that usually contains motor oil among other creative ingredients. This is also used as an antiseptic.

More notes.

Somehow, a Transcendant State spy has managed to infiltrate (MAGIC NATION). Your job is to take the place of his contact, and reroute any useful information to us.

(MAGIC NATION) technology is about advanced as Earth's, minus anything to do with computers. It's never stated outright, but (MAGIC NATION) are kind of like the Amish. It's not that they hate technology or advancement, but that certain things are outlawed- mostly computers and prosthetics.