Rough Concept - Party Action Game

ceosol

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I've had an idea about making a party based action game for a few months now. I pitched the idea to a potential client while we were discussing making a game together. He didn't bite, but thinking about it for the pitch inspired me to start designing.

Art Style: I was practicing cartoon style art for a different client. It got me thinking a lot about lighting and shading effects on 3D models. I want to shoot for a stylized comic book art style. I'll need to make up the basic models and then refine them until I get the look.

Setting: Any time I thought about it, I always wanted it to be a fantasy setting - centaurs, knights, archers and dragons. After making some starting designs on the game, the "comic book" art style now has me thinking about a super hero setting. I don't want regular super heroes. Its going to me more realistic where the so called powers are incredibly random and unstable (more on that in a moment). The heroes will make their way through different settings - cities, lairs, caves, etc. I may come back to the fantasy setting once this one is completed.

Party Setup: The game will be based around four heroes. You will play the game as 1, 2, 3, or 4 of them at a time. Most of the game will be with all four. In some circumstances, one hero's power will fail and you will need to use the other three. Rarely, the party will split and you will control 2 at a time over different story arcs. The beginning will be just one at a time to introduce each of the heroes and their controls. Here are some thoughts on the heroes:

1. Name - (I want to just say "Tank")
Class - Tank
Description - Can transform cardboard boxes into a suit of armor
Strength - Corrugated materials
Weakness - Water (for obvious reasons)
Transform - Clothing with ruffles
Alternate - AOE

2. Name - Rock something (Rock-n-Roll, Rock Steady, Rock Solid?)
Class - Heavy
Description - Can transform rocks to be extension of her arms for bashing enemies
Strength - Earth
Weakness - Synthetic materials
Transform - (gravel???)
Alternate - AOE

3. Name - Blob?
Class - Controller
Description - Not sure, morphs into some blobby kind of material
Strength -
Weakness - Earth
Transform -
Alternate - Heavy

4. Name - (Something like "The Vapors" or "Passing Gas")
Class - AOE
Description - Can utilize the human body's capacity to hold water to transform into water vapor
Strength - Water
Weakness -
Transform - Cold
Alternate -Tank

Hero notes: I don't have everything with the heroes fleshed out. As you can see, they share each other's strengths and weaknesses. When one becomes incapacitated, another one will be strengthened. The transforms was an idea I had for when the party splits. You'll be able to alternate play by using transforms to fill in the gaps for missing party members. There is one strength/weakness I can't decide on, mostly because I can pin down the details of Blob. However, his backstory is the only one I've thought about - He is a geeky photography student, twin brother to the Rock girl. He enters into a lab on a field trip and a radioactive spider drops on to his hand and bites him (sound familiar?). He screams and falls backwards, knocking over all of the habitats. A thousand radioactive spiders proceed to bite him and he becomes a blob :)

Controls: I want to use gesture controls. I haven't quite figured out the best way to go about this. There are two huge considerations: 1. Will the player be able to just move their hands around haphazardly and beat the entire game vs. Will it be so precise that it is impossible to remember how to do the moves? I have played a few gesture games where the attacks had to spot on. I did not find it fun. 2. Since you will only be performing moves for one hero at a time (while the others perform basic attacks), how can I introduce combo moves without it falling back to consideration 1.

This will all take me quite a while to finish. I think it will be fun to work on whilst taking breaks from other projects. If anybody wants to chip in during their own free time, I welcome the help. Don't expect this project to take priority any time soon, though. In all honesty, it may never even be completed. So only agree to help if you think you would have fun working on it.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 03:30:20 am by ceosol »

dtrungle

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I read the title and thought it would be like Mario Party style game. Hah.

Anyways, the idea is definitely rough right now, I can't picture much of it. But the feature of multi-character at once intrigues me. Then I see some of the character traits and I'm like "Whaaa?".

Can you point me to some good gesture control games, I'm a little curious as to how it plays out.

ceosol

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Thanks for the interest! I was up at 5 am with a migraine writing that. The traits, powers and even the heroes are definitely not set in stone. As long as it is a party based system, I am fine with changing the setting. :)

One gesture game (not related to this) was Force Unleashed I for the Wii. I could not remember every hand motion for the game and it wound up just being spamming buttons and waiving my hands around. Yet, I did well playing the game. More relevant to this would be Black & White and (from what I remember) and artistic game called Okami. More recently, I played a game on mobile called Dragon Slayer. There were buttons for blocking, but the attacks were all gesture based. The basic attacks were upward swipes and special attacks you had to trace lines exactly. I wouldn't want the trace lines part. I would want the player to have more freedom of motion for drawing symbols.

I was playing around with a model of the water vapor one. He is created out of glass, but I made him a superhero suit highlight.

ceosol

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Basic gesturing was pretty simple to create. While doing so, I came up with how to control all four heroes - up, down, left and right. Whatever the initial stroke of the gesture is will determine which hero is perform the attack.

If you end at the initial stroke, it will count as a  basic attack. Right now, I've only built three strokes. It might be easier for players to leave it at that. I could separate the attacks for each hero into subcategories - based on the directions after the initial stroke.

Some things I have to consider with gesturing:
1. Do I want the player to be able to backstroke?
2. How do I lead into combination attacks?
3. How do the mechanics change when the party is less than 4?
4. Do I program in diagonals or non-linear lines?

In the first post, I mentioned my concerns with gestures, too complicated vs. spamming random motions. I think having linear direction strokes will make it easier on the player for remembering controls. Right now I have a 40 pixel width on the stroke range. This gives the player the leeway to have a solid stroke in a single direction. However, if they move too quickly, they will fall out of the box and either end the attack before it begins or enter into the next stroke. If it is kept this way, the stroke length and time to produce it could then have an inverse impact on the attack. As an example, Stroke 1 affects damage. Stroke 2 could affect the power of whatever subcategory ability is associated with that direction. Stoke 3 could then increase the time for landing a combo attack.

Using this model, a player could essentially use all four heroes in an attack if they master layering Stroke 3. If the player was to quickly attack (either from not caring about abilities/combos or from the enemy having low hp), they could spam Stroke 1 and forget about the others. A player that likes using abilities could make a quick Stroke 1 and focus on a long 2nd Stroke to power up the desired ability. With the third case, the player would probably forego with using Stroke 3 because they know a long 2nd Stroke time will prevent any combinations.

dtrungle

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Wow, the gesture is getting complicated. hah!

It sounds neat and could be fun to play but it's hard for me to tell atm. You'll need to definitely ease the players in.

ceosol

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Thanks again for the input. That is what I was thinking for the starting sequences. It would just be the single characters immediately after obtaining their powers. The player would be told to perform basic attacks (in the correct direction) and to keep themselves as steady as possible.

Actually, if I am skipping diagonals, I could have easy, normal and hard modes for increasing the size of the gesture boxes. That way even someone with shakey hands could still play. Just responding to your comments is giving me a lot of ideas. I really appreciate the feedback.

merrak

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What are you using to receive gesture control input? This looks very interesting!

ceosol

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I only started fiddling with it yesterday, but I simply had the initial press start tracking. It keeps tracking as long as the finger stays without the designated area - "the box". If the finger leaves the area, it hands off to a new tracker. Again, there is a box that hands off to a third tracker. Right now I don't have backtracking, so you can trace back and forth over the same area. I want to write in a clause where if the line starts to shrink (i.e. backtracking), to pass off to a new tracker.

If you want me to paste the snippets, I can.


ceosol

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Back-tracing wasn't too hard to figure out.

I'm getting excited about how this prototype is developing.

ceosol

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Concept art for the suit of the cardboard armor

merrak

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I only started fiddling with it yesterday, but I simply had the initial press start tracking. It keeps tracking as long as the finger stays without the designated area - "the box". If the finger leaves the area, it hands off to a new tracker. Again, there is a box that hands off to a third tracker. Right now I don't have backtracking, so you can trace back and forth over the same area. I want to write in a clause where if the line starts to shrink (i.e. backtracking), to pass off to a new tracker.

If you want me to paste the snippets, I can.

I'd definitely be interested in seeing a good way to do this.

ceosol

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Here's the first gesture "when dragged". The other two are the same, just with the next boolean/integers

There is a 20 pixel "box" on both sides of the first contact. The swipe has to be greater than 30 pixels to be registered.

merrak

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This is handy to know--thanks! I thought I had read somewhere that swipe detection was unreliable.

ceosol

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Yeah, when I'm ready to go for a prototype, I'll definitely be sending it to my iPad first :)

Still, it might be fun as a flash game.

ceosol

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Still having fun toying with this idea. :)

Made a gif of the cardboard creature walking.