“I should do the mech game next.”

“I should do the mech game next.”

No I shouldn’t.  That’s dumb.

The way I explained it to the SSG was “Tell me what our game concept is closer to:  I Made a Game With Zombies In It (A game James Silva made in a short while), or Halo3: ODST Firefight (Which took dozens of guys with a pre-existing engine more than a short while).”

Derp.

K.  Brainstorm time.

What I have:

  • Particle manager based on singletons.  Good foundation, particles need to have the ability to send and receive messages.
  • AI based on states that are averaged according to ratios based on moods.  Should be extracted from the tangle and organized (i.e. make moods a thing, instead of the mess they are now) for the next game, but that’s no hard thing.  Also, the AI currently passes messages through selectively chosen public fields, instead of a messenger service of some sort.  The fix should be part of the same message setup as the particle system.
  • My lack of graphical skill with XNA in 3D turned to advantage by saturating the colors and ripping a bloom filter off the internet.

Next game needs:

  • Preferably different genre/gameplay style, so as not to get me tagged as that retro shooter guy.  Now, that retro game guy is making a living, but I want to make lots of non-retro-shooter games, and I don’t want people to see my logo on the cover and drop-kick the game without trying it because I am that retro shooter guy and they don’t like retro shooters.  If I must be pigeonholed, I want to be pigeonholed as a maker of platform adventure games, or as the internet calls them, Metroidvania games.  But those take a lot of time to make, and can’t be part of the seed design.
  • They can, however, be a branch goal.
  • So if making a feature that brings me closer to both a mech game and a Metroidvania game is available, I should do that.  But MetroidVania only really works in 2D.
  • On the other hand, a pigeonhole is not something to hugely worry about on the indie market, unless I brand all of my games in the title, the way radiangames did.

Before I can get far in the world of 3D, I need two things:

  1. The ability to write shaders, so I can make things look not like plastic.
  2. The ability to do animations, so things are, well, animated.
  3. The ability to do billboards so that my particles don’t kill the GPU.

Okay, that was three things.

Options:

  • Another space shooter, this time with some kind of shader, and more and different enemies and weapons to justify its existence (Pros: adds: some shader ability, AI and particle communication, all for a low cost in increased complexity.  Cons:  I have to cross the shader bridge some day, but I don’t know how much complexity is needed to make it look good.  Starts to brand me.  Makes some progress towards doing the basic mech game, but does not move me much toward an MV game).
  • A puzzle game on the level of breakout. (Pros:  Even easier than a space-shooter, and if the graphics are sufficiently cartoony, I can do the first few shader tutorials in my book without worrying about needing to go hip-deep into the book to make it look good.  Cons:  not really many, just need a concept I can live with.)
  • Some sort of 2D platformy game.  Doesn’t give me shaders, but gives me levels, refines my particle/AI stuff…

Arcady games on the level of Breakout…

  • Breakout/Arkanoid(/Pong…)
  • Frogger
  • That one where you ski down a hill and don’t hit stuff…

Basically, it’s looking like the second space shooter is the only real option.  (Dude at work’s comment:  “Then don’t set it in space!”  Thanks, Dude at work.)

K.  Second Space Shooter.

  • You fly and shoot stuff, same as Starfighter X.
  • At least as many features as Space Invasion (which nobody buys because the screenshots hurt their eyes.  But which may actually be quite good.)
  • A twin-stick shooter might work as well.

Blargh.  Gotta go.

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