This is a live document. This page is an attempt to iterate through various gameplay concepts and ideas.
I have decided that I will release a game specifically for Kongregate platform primary for feedback and ease of iterations reasons. In case you are wondering "man, why not Steam Early Access?", I'll try to address that into a separate post.
Here are some cons and prons of Kongregate:
+ fast iterations, upload/update is instant, just upload the game files and it's good to go
+ integration with the API requires just a server-side script that deals with auth
+ no additional costs of ownership
+ fast feedback and comments from members of the community via comments and forum
- the build has to be compatible with all browsers Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE, Edge, Safari - and that means transpilation of the code and possibly polyfills === additional complexity to the build / dev process.
- game it's delivered in browser and can be copied and easily pirated
Onto the gameplay:
Looking back at the blog post Roadmap for the first demo I reckon that there are very few elements there that I will keep in the first demo :)
The new gameplay will comprise of grabbing crystals without disturbing the dinosaurs which have a sense of vision and smell. Once they get your scent, they will follow you.
You need to get all the crystals in order to activate a portal (TBA) to escape the island and return home.
Snippet from mystery crate box GDD specs.
Apr 7, 2019
The gameplay is simple: collect all the crystals necessary to activate the portal that will get you back home. You need to avoid all the dinosaurs because one bite means one life less.
GDD for the unique map of the game
Apr 8, 2019
How can I add a key/door situation to my map given the fact that I have an organic environment with trees, bushes, grass, wood?
I looked to the way The Chaos Engine implemented this key/door situation and they did it pretty simple: grab the key and the bridge appears:
Get the key
The bridge appears
I have never played The Chaos Engine, but I think the key/door relationship makes sense in an arcade sense.
My aim for IOD is to keep it as realistically as possibly so that even a kid can understand this special relationship without further explaining, thus reducing the "magic" involved.
Apr 13, 2019
I was checking simple ideas of gameplay and I found this game to resemble a lot of my original ideas for IOD gameplay:
NPCs spawn from a structure
NPC bases can be destroyed so you can prevent them from spawning
Killing a NPC or eating translate into more life points
Currently I'm looking for ways of visually implementing a nice fog of war that can be uncovered permanent.
I really like these styles:
Chrono Trigger (1995)
Red Alert (1996)
Chrono Trigger - I like the pixels being spread out at the edges
Red Alert - I like the multi layered fog with different levels of transparency
Both fogs look organic, they don't have an obvious geometric shape. This is what I aim for!
One of the goals of the game is to trigger the "sense of wonder" and the need to "discover the map".
I thought about reducing the viewport (essentially the camera size) to 640 x 480 and eventually increasing the pixel size if you want your screen to be bigger (think of a Mac monitor that has a high density pixel ratio).
640 x 480 might sound like a game from another era :D
On top of this, there will be the "fog of war" which should enhance the overall experience. The fog of war will be permanent. When you discover an area, it will remain permanently discovered.
I found an interesting game by mistake. I was on Twitch one night and a streamer called sYn_stream was playing this retro game named StarTropics, which I previously never heard or played before.
I searched more info about the game and found this interesting "History of StarTropics" from Gaming Historian.
It's fascinating to see two features that I want to have in-game as well:
top down 2.5d perspective
In StarTropics you can jump on platforms.
This feature was accomplished by requiring the player to first change direction (one tap on input) and then jumping or walking (second tap on input).
The character changes direction, requiring a second input action from the player in order to actually move.
So this gameplay idea popped into my head: collect all diamonds before being caught and killed by the dinos.
This can easily work with the assets I currently have. Basically I just need a START and FINISH or only a TELEPORT asset from where the player starts and finish.