Extra secret bonus stuff And stuff…
Posts Tagged ‘ New Game Plus ’
Extra secret bonus stuff And stuff…
Making a “Soulsian” game is very enjoyable to me. I was thinking about this a lot the other night at the pub with Terry Cavanagh and another rabid DARK SOULS fan, during a five hour discussion about the game. Having spent four years fighting to get a narrative-heavy game to work well with its mechanics, and replaying the same bits of narrative again and again until they worked, it’s refreshing to do something more design-focussed. Of course, the theme is still really important to me (perhaps one of the things I value the most), but as with Lone Survivor I’ve decided not to share any details of the story until the game is released. The games I make tend to come from the theme, rather than the mechanics, even with NG+, but this time its focus is more a blend of the two aspects.
So, the nice thing is every game is different when you have this many mechanics and styles of play… It means I have to devote a lot more time to balancing and playing the game, but that’s turning out to be a lot of fun with four players anyway, and giving me a lot to take home after each event I take the game to (I’ve been starting to ‘hit the road’ with it recently, now I have four quite different characters and the stats and weapon systems fleshed out, as well as the coop and VS game modes implemented. You can switch modes at any time during the game now via the ‘+ Altars’.)
I’ve begun to build more of the world (which I’m trying not to show too much of because *spoilers*) but I can say that there are now multi-level areas working, like Dungeon Master, one of my all-time favourite RPG’s, you can fall down pits and the enemies can even follow you down there, or be found lurking when you reach the lower level because you lunged at them and sent them flying off a ledge.) I want to make a lot of use of the grid-based nature of the game, and have Dungeon Master-like traps, pressure pads, all those things that require you to be a little observant when moving forward. You can throw whatever you’re carrying, in either hand, not only to land in monsters’ faces stunning them temporarily while you make your escape, risking a valuable weapon or shield, but perhaps also to set off these fiendish traps before they find you instead?
As it stands, I’m planning to have no inventory except for the armour and helmet you wear, the two things you carry in your hands, and one support item. Designs can be subject to change of course! But I want to try and reduce and RPG to the fewest elements I can while still being able to feel like an RPG. That’s a key thing in what I’m going for mechanically, I think? And with up to four players on screen the GUI has to be as simple as possible, so my intended solution is to practically show all of it on the player, one of the reasons the animation takes so long, because the player must be able to use every item, in both hands, with four facing directions, in every suit and helmet!
So the game is still a long way from being finished in terms of content, but the gameplay is definitely getting to where I hoped it would be, and people seem to be having a lot of fun with it when I play with them. I really look forward to sharing it with you all! Just don’t expect it this year (unfortunately.)One two a few more thing(s)…
I’m off today for a couple of weeks to work on a secret project. So if I’m fairly quiet on email or twitter, that’s why! I’m basically going to be internet-less for this time while I buckle down and get it done, but suffice to say it’s something exciting that I can hopefully announce soon!
- There’s no comments available at the moment just because I couldn’t hold back the spam any more. Planning a website overhaul soon, I promise!
- I’ve also been doing some exciting music projects too, at least two new games will feature some of my guest tunes. Hope to get into this more after NG+, if such a time ever exists.
- I’m finally going to my first IGF / GDC this year! I’ll be in San Francisco for the whole week and a few days either side. Hope to catch some of you there…
- Hope you’re all having a wicked 2013!
I am going to finish this, after all. It may just take a while.
Happy new year, everyone!
Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last wrote, mainly because I’ve had to be absolutely sure I was going to post what I’m about to post.
There are two things I’d like to share with you… Some good news and some not so good news. If you’d prefer the good news first, skip to the later section!
NEW GAME+, the dungeon crawler I’ve been working away on for the last six months (I realise I never officially announced the name), is no more.
I have decided to abandon the project. It’s been a very tough decision to make, quite heartbreaking really, but it IS the right thing to do. It was too big for a single person to make. This is the root of the problem. It wasn’t that I fell out of love with the idea, just that I can’t physically do it.
The good thing about being a self-funded, one-man team is that I can drop a project without hurting any co-workers, without feeling pressure to complete something that isn’t working, and without being somehow responsible to investors. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to remain a solo game creator, so that I feel less pressure to try and force something that doesn’t want to be forced, to remain agile so that I don’t need to flog an already dead horse.
I reached a point where it was getting very frustrating: the game demanded a lot of animation, very detailed level design, and a huge amount of gameplay code, all of which were taking so long that it felt excruciating.
I’d like to say sorry to any fans who were looking forward to it – it’s still a game I’d love to play, and should I ever have a team to work with in future, it’s definitely an idea I’d like to come back to. I had an incredibly detailed story worked out (it’s not what it appeared!), which I won’t share in case the idea ever resurfaces.
For now, let’s take a minute’s silence and look through the work in progress shots, leading up to the first build that I shared with a few friends a week ago…
First engine tests
First bits of level creation, writing the editor, figuring out the perspective etc…
Working out what sprites might look like…
Adding gameplay, weapons and AI…
So this is as far as I got with it. It still had a long way to go before it was going to be fully playable, and yet it had taken so many months to reach this point. I realised, not for the first time, that I’d been too ambitious. If you’ve followed Lone Survivor’s creation, you’ll see that there were quite a few failed versions of it in its wake.
So that is the story of NEW GAME+. When considering my decision, I received this excellent piece advice from Stephen ‘The Catamites’, something it really helped to hear…“there’s no such thing as a trashed project, it always just gets subsumed into something else where you least expect it, so i won’t mourn new game +, even though it looked really cool. i am eagerly anticipating when the idea / images behind it suddenly appear in an unrelated dating sim or something some months hence…”
… and I think he’s absolutely right.
That’s right, something wonderful has also happened in this time period. I have something I’m very excited to announce:
LONE SURVIVOR is coming to PS3 and PS Vita!
It’ll be re-coded from scratch by Curve Studios in London, creators of a number of great PS3 games like Fluidity, Hydroventure and Explodemon. It’ll be super-smooth running, and better yet (for my European cousins, at least) the plan is to include translations into French and German.
I’m greatly looking forward to this, as it’s been a dream of mine since childhood to release a game on console, and especially the Sony ones as I love what they do most of all. Anyone who follows my twitter will know that I don’t tend to play games on PC, I really am a couch gamer, most happy on my PS3! Lone Survivor was designed as a console game (in my head, anwyay.) In fact, all the games I work on I really imagine being on console, or fantasise about, anyway!
So there is is… With one door closing, another opens.
I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I figure out what my own next project will be. Who knows, it might end up being the dating sim The Catamites suggests…
… For now there’s just a glorious blank sheet of white paper in front of me.
I think I have a good idea of what it is I want to work on, finally. It’s very rough and sketchy and won’t look like this exactly… but…
Basically it’s a combination of all the ideas I’ve been shooting around since the later parts of making LONE SURVIVOR, from dungeon crawler to sci-fi head-messing to whimsical platformer… or another way of looking at it may be Zelda x Demon’s Souls? The story is a little weird, though. I have a prototype (using more basic top-down view a bit more like this):
It has two-handed combat, equipable weapons and rolling (I love rolling), but I’m now writing an engine to make this sort of Zelda-Phantom Hourglass type projection to try and make the environment more exciting, but unlike that game it will use sprites to convey the characters. I still have a good way to go before I can get this sort of look in-game, a lot of tools to write and art to draw.
It’s been through various prototypes and art styles, a bit like LS before it… Does that mean it bodes well? I guess we’ll see…
Various 2D & 3D prototypes for “New Game”
I’m looking forward to finally meeting a bunch of indies I only know from their online personas! Seems like fellow Poppenkast, Vlambeer & cactus will be there, as well as fellow Cambridgian and fine friend, Terry Cavanagh, and a bunch of others from the US and EU. Look forward to checking out the event, and I’ll be doing a ‘live director’s commentary’ on the Sunday afternoon, so I’ll catch you down there if you’re about.
First Aid Edition Art Card Update
I’ve had a bit of back pain in the last couple of days which was when I planned to finish off the art card pile (signing and numbering) and get at least the first half sent off, but unfortunately I am going to have to delay a little longer until I get back from Texas. The selling of a game and setting up of a business never fails to take longer than expected, I’m hoping to get back into full-time work on a new game towards the end of the year. Which leads me onto…