Preternatural (Story-driven platform shooter)

Miragician

  • Posts: 25
I've been playing Iji recently, and the game inspired me to do something similar.

I plan for the game to be a story-driven run-and-gun, with multiple endings able to be achieved based on the player's actions.

Plot Summary (subject to changes)

Axel is an ordinary teenage boy. There seems to be nothing strange about him. He goes about his daily life, with nothing interesting happens. An idle existence, one which he wishes to keep.

Until one day, when he is mysteriously kidnapped, and wakes up in an unusual facility with two girls who he does not know. It turns out they have had their genetics experimented and modified so as to serve as ideal subjects for enhanced soldiers that can resurrect themselves and exert heightened human abilities.

In short, they are now "Preternaturals".

Fortunately, they manage to escape from their captors, but Axel and his newfound companions discover that the facility is in a stage of chaos, with other "Preternaturals" breaking free and wreaking havoc in a fight for survival and escape.

Now Axel must make a decision. Use his enhanced skills and a gun to mow down the way to freedom, or utilize his abilities to escape instead and try to negotiate peace between the facility's operators and their captives? 

I would appreciate any help from the community on how to design run and guns.

If this project is successful, then it should bring a lot of attention to Stencyl.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 09:14:49 pm by Miragician »

Miragician

  • Posts: 25

This is a conceptual sprite I made for the main character, but I'm unsure of what art style the game should take. Any suggestions?
Also, what kind of gameplay concepts would you like to see in Preternatural?

Fiddlejam

  • Posts: 11
It seems a bit to colourful for that kind of game, but maybe you could compensate this with light and shadow.
Still, maybe darker clothes.

It would be helpful too if you could show a first concept for an enemy, so it would be possible to compare them.

Gameplay possible:
- bullet-time effects
 - telepathy/telekinesis (this sounds a bit over the top, think of the adept in Mass Effect)
- RPG-elements, like upgradable HP, speed, ammo, etc.

As you talked about "getting out with brute force" or "keeping peace", maybe lethal and stunning weapons?
I apologize for my bad English, I´m still learning it.

Miragician

  • Posts: 25
It seems a bit to colourful for that kind of game, but maybe you could compensate this with light and shadow.
Still, maybe darker clothes.

It would be helpful too if you could show a first concept for an enemy, so it would be possible to compare them.

Gameplay possible:
- bullet-time effects
 - telepathy/telekinesis (this sounds a bit over the top, think of the adept in Mass Effect)
- RPG-elements, like upgradable HP, speed, ammo, etc.

As you talked about "getting out with brute force" or "keeping peace", maybe lethal and stunning weapons?
Well, I'm still thinking up plot details and the setting out and the like.
The first enemy would probably be a member of the facility's security team, however.
The "colorful" aspect of the player character is semi-intentional; I want this game to be a bit deconstructive of the standards of the run and gun genre, and so maybe I'll defy some aspects of run and guns in ways like this. It also emphasizes how he isn't some super-soldier trained to kill, but rather a teenager thrown into this situation trying to survive.
Bullet-time effects? Like Max Payne? Hmm, the point of the game is that you're not a superpowerful being with extraordinary abilities, just a person with the regular capabilities of a human enhanced. Plus it'll be hard to program. But I'll think about it.
Same thing applies for telekinesis. I'm thinking of a boss that employs it, however.
RPG elements? Heck, I was planning that from the start, considering the Iji influence. So what kind of statistics doe you have in mind, and how should the player gain XP?
Lethal and stunning weapons...I'll think about that, but "keeping peace", I was kinda thinking about just avoiding killing enemies directly and dodging their attacks and the like. What ways can you think of in which the player can indirectly kill enemies to avoid getting kills?
Finally, I was thinking of incorporating some Metriodvania elements in the levels. Plus, I want there to be different "factions" of enemies that would prioritize fighting each other first over the player. Have any idea how to program enemy AI scripts to do that?

Fiddlejam

  • Posts: 11
About the colourful thing: a big risk would be either having a world which doesn`t fit the style (colourful, despite being grim) or a protagonist not fitting the world (like a pink disco dancer in a war game).

About bullet-time: I wasn`t thinking of it as "it`s magic!" but more as enhanced reflexes - but I think I misunderstood your idea of "enhanced human". What exactly did you mean?
Better constitution?
Increased intelligence?
Easy weapon-handling?

Concerning RPG, a bigger part:
First, I don`t know how you planned the world.
Open world, with unlocking areas?
Levels?
Missions and a hub there you can buy new weapons, etc.?

Also, what`s about different objectives - only one (beat the level by going from entrance to exit)?
Different ones (killing enemies, freeing hostages, etc., the level ends after you completed them)?
If open world: Quests?
Also: side objectives, like collecting hidden objects?

Generally, I would use Exp for killing enemies, completing levels/tasks and collecting hidden objects.
You would gain stat-points for level ups, which give health, damage, basic things.
Probably upgrades every 3 or 5 levels, like faster reloading.
Nothing too complicated.
I apologize for my bad English, I´m still learning it.

Sokky

  • Posts: 25
I can volunteer to do a concept art of Axel. :> I'm a pretty decent artist. I also like this game concept.

Miragician

  • Posts: 25
Sure, I'll love the help.
Axel has a height around 5 ft 4 in (the concept sprite I drew is too short, I believe), and he has a rather "normal" build for a 16 year old.
I'll appreciate it if you could work on the designs for the bulletproof vest and the gun itself as well, since I don't have a good idea on how to draw either.
Unsure of what the gun should look like, I want it to look like one of those big machine guns in typical FPSs, but with a design that can also modify itself to shoot different projectiles like missiles and pulses of energy (so as to draw only one gun design for each sprite).

cloa513

  • Posts: 245
I have a thought why not make the clothes drab or soldierish (afterall its his captors choice) but make his face have freckles, frizzy hair and have childish voice sound effects  so its a conflict between his nature and the environment. And his mind powers enhance the weapon so you don't need to change the weapon sprite. 

Sokky

  • Posts: 25
You could have the muzzle just
*TRANSFORM*
:3c

Miragician

  • Posts: 25
I have a thought why not make the clothes drab or soldierish (afterall its his captors choice) but make his face have freckles, frizzy hair and have childish voice sound effects  so its a conflict between his nature and the environment. And his mind powers enhance the weapon so you don't need to change the weapon sprite.
Since the captors are pretty much researchers, uh, I don't see why they would strip him while he's unconscious and then put on these clothes that are totally unnecessary, since they're genetically experimenting with him and a wide variety of other people.
Freckles? Frizzy hair? Childish voice sound effects? What?
And  unfortunately, no matter how awesome it would be, you can't develop mind powers from genetic experimentation.
You could have the muzzle just
*TRANSFORM*
:3c
Hey, good idea! XD
Too bad I don't have aliens in my setting, or I could just have an alien tech gun that's configured to shoot different projectiles, like the Nanogun from Iji.

Fiddlejam

  • Posts: 11
Again: What exactly do you mean by "enhanced human" and "genetic experimentation"?

Oh, and I would use different gun-sprites - it just seems more professional, little things like these are often rated harder than core-gameplay-features.
I apologize for my bad English, I´m still learning it.

ThyRaven

  • Posts: 46
I know it's a lot of work, and what kills projects like this is probably the over-ambitiousness of the makers, but what would be really cool is a change of the character sprite depending on, say, his corruption.

Since you said there would be different endings, it would be nice to have an ending for when he embraces his newly found powers fully, and one for when he rejects them and stay human.
As the game advances, if he accepts his powers, "monstruous" features start appearing on his body, like horns, glowing eyes, claws, that kind of stuff. I think that something like this would fit with the spirit of the game, and it wouldnt be too difficult to implement, you just need to change the sprite assigned to the player.



This gives me ideas to my own project (that appearently I will never finish, lol)