Once we have some results we can sort out a plan. We hope that if we get some enthusiastic and skilled members, the game will be a serious contender for internet gamers' time. Comments and ideas are welcome by DC Mail or the last section of the survey!
At this time, we haven't even decided who the leaders of the project will be. It might be you! We'll keep you posted.
INFORMATION FOR NEWCOMERS
Don't want to read the whole thread? Here's a current summary.
Current Status as of Sep. 26:
-Prototype engine up and running.
-Sprite artists needed.
I just finished the survey. I'm quite the busy guy, but where I can't help I can easily give great advice on what works and doesn't. The best thing to do is come up with a simple idea that's fun. Then build upon that simple idea. Perhaps online is too ambitious other than presenting it in Flash. I will say this though. If you can make the game first and it's good. Then I think that's when you start to think about online features. Otherwise you can easily get too caught up with figuring out the online features and the game never be completed.
I think we should lean towards a mini-game collection, which is supported by an overworld that uses the winning genre. So, for example with the current votes for platformer, we'd have a platformer overworld, and as you move around and progress in the game, you play the mini-games.
What this allows is for many people to create games for the project, but still have a co-hesive full game. The MAIN reason for doing this is that if the project starts to fall apart because tis draggign on or something, we will still have a minigame collection that we can create a quick UI for and end up with a final DC game.
I'm liking that idea a lot, Sephirenn, and it gave me another idea.
I imagine it as a cohesive collection of mini-games (accessed from the overworld hub), with a backbone that ties them all together. I'm totally with the majority vote of platformer, so perhaps there is always this one movement engine that isn't complex, supports the basics like jumping and even moving platforms, and can be easily modified by a pretty wide skill range.
With that basic engine, rather than all collaborating on a single project, everyone can go mini-game style with their own abilities and whatnot added on to that basic movement engine, and their own levels to use those abilities in. For example, one person or team's level could be based on having a jetpack and navigating a more vertical space, another could give the player character the ability to pick up weapons and objects for a shooter or fighting action level. Levels could be as long as the maker desires, and even exist in a series of levels or entire campaigns.
This way, we get a big collection of levels that play wildly differently and each have their own personalities from whoever made them, but the game is also coherent, and forms together as a single game. Makers would not simply be playing around with a level editor, they get an opportunity to add on as little or as much as possible with coding and graphics and all that nice stuff - though I (personally) would encourage to keep it resembling the basic engine at least a little.
Besides the player character base engine, the framework would also have to include basics like a general health/lives system and simple HUD, with room for addition if a mini-game requires it. An overall objective would also be needed as a means to measure progress, like a big Star as the reward for completing each level or series of levels (whatever the mini-game entails). Things like score or tracking the time it takes to complete a mini-game would also be great, encourage a little competition.
Anyway, yeah, those are my thoughts
EDIT: Also, player character would be great if fully customizable. Head shapes, faces, masks, hair, hats, torsos, legs, tails, capes... I'm sure everyone would want to contribute at least one piece for that, we could get a potentially massive selection of stuff, from random bits to full character theme sets.
A mini-game collection doesn't sound much different from everyone working on their own project and bundling them all into a single download. I don't see where there would be any collaborative effort involved in that. When I think of a community project, regardless of media, I think of participants working together towards a single, unified vision.
I agree with Aphant, to an extent. While I do believe that we all should be able to add our own personal touches to the game in some way or another, I think the project would stand a greater chance of success if all of us worked together in a similar way that a professional development team would. We wouldn't need to be as restrictive as a real-life dev team, but we should certainly try to maintain a similar level of organization and communication between team members.
If one of us drops out due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to make sure that we can find a replacement so that the project doesn't fall flat on its face. On a similar note, all of the team members should have a universal method of communication - MSN Messenger or AIM, for example - to allow mass conversations about the project. The easier it is for all of us to communicate and share resources, the greater the chances of success.
Strife makes a good point about having the means of communication; we could use Skype, MSN or AIM, and make it easier for everyone to communicate. I would also think that with so many people working together we'd has to establish standards for the different contributions. That is to say that people need to know what format to make graphics in, what size to make tiles, such and such like that, as well as what style to use (if we have one style). On the Sonic Retro forums, where they work on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD, they have leads for programming, music, characters, levels, and more, who have to enforce the style of each medium and approve graphics or music or things.
On the platformer vs minigame debate, I think it could be that we make a standalone platformer with story and goals and such, with minigames strewn throughout that may or may not be required to progress. If the standalone part bombs, then we can change it to navigation between minigames or make it Mario Party style something. That is, if we want to do minigames. I don't like the idea of prepping in advance for failure.