how about ditch the private invesitgator thing.. maybe he's an ex-cop or something (or nothing to do with law enforcement) but he has been BLAMED for the robberies so he's got to track down the real theives and prove his innocence? or something like that.
Branching paths: Yup.
Weapons: Maybe have a small inventory (2 - 4 slots) that you can switch aquired weapons out of, but there beings more weapons that you can carry you can't have them all. Or a keep anyone one weapon till you die.
Powerups: For use clearing certain objectives, then be used in replays for secrets.
Progress: Branching paths that exist in a Castlevania style map.
World: Entire game is in one large world, with a graph style map to guide you around.
Leader: Jon most likely.
there could be more variety with some stealth kind of levels, like some levels could have cops who are after you but who you can't get seen by, but other levels could have baddies who you can kill so don't need to be as stealthy...
Stealth isn't a bad idea. Think outside of the box here: You don't need to have a stealth game to have stealth. It doesn't require a super complicated engine. Stealth could be as simple as being able to avoid confrontation with an enemy. If they can't hit you, then you don't take damage. Avoiding enemies like this could be as simple as a concept of stealth. Just requires good level design and good AI.
the worst thing about most click games is someone finally makes an 'engine' and then makes a whole bunch of levels with hardly any variety. why not even have just 1 level where you have to sneak your way past guards? gameplay variety is key! so i don't think you should right off the stealth idea entirely... every level should have a unique game mechanic.. theres no reason another level couldn't be on the back of truck where you have to shoot at enemies chasing you etc. (we don't have to make every level use the main platofrm engine) and then another level where a bomb is going to go off so you have to race the clock... variety!
I know it's only early days and too soon to be talking specific levels etc. i'd just hate this to be another generic click platformer where you collect crystals and jump on uninspired enemies through 4 themed worlds (forrest, desert, snow, factory) each with 3 levels!! or something yawn inspiring like that.... we have a lot of heads here.. that should mean lots of creative ideas.
We're not really focusing on story right now. Right now, people are commenting on the list of proposed game features, and if they want to, they can add to it as well. I'd suggest that you take the list and give your comments on each of the features, and if you have any more to suggest, add them to the list and give a brief explanation of how you imagine they'd work. The current list being discussed is:
In addition, you could vote for or nominate a project leader. If you wanted to, you could nominate yourself.
Also, gameplay variety is key, but having a game where every level is played differently than the last just sounds like a horrible mish-mash of concepts that detaches the player from the game. It'd be sorta jarring to suddenly change from one mechanic to the next, and you would never get the chance to become comfortable with a mechanic if you keep switching from one to the next. And having just one level that is different from all the rest would be a bit odd.
I think we can address branching paths and progression at the same time: Open-ended world like a Metroidvania game. Access to next areas are gated by physical restrictions like jump height, movement speed, or some situational ability (like a short-range teleport).
When I think of gameplay variety, I think of Donkey Kong Country. Every level (except for the underwater levels) share the same fundamental platforming engine. The arrangement of baddies and level features adds a new twist to the levels, like there might be a giant stone wheel chasing you down throughout the level, or you might be jumping onto floating barrels that periodically start on fire. The fundamental gameplay remains the same, but the player has to overcome these new or cleverly reused mechanics in order to finish the game.
Even Metroidvania games will do that, so that the player is tasked with having to use their newest ability in the newest area in order to get by, while also relying on the fundamental gameplay. Metroidvania games also tend to have enemies that cannot be defeated until the player has a new weapon or ability that penetrates their defenses, which means that the player cannot progress down that path unless they either have that weapon/ability or they're very ballsy.
So that's why I think that's a great way to address progression and branching paths. Better players will be able to get by with creative usage of what they have, while inexperienced players may want to get the "required" abilities to progress. There could also be pathways that are only open while some condition is true, like the player has cleared room #27 but they haven't entered room #28, so a shortcut is available in room #20 that leads to room #300, or something. Like the warp pipes in Super Mario Bros., or the warp whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3.
Branching paths: Yes
Stealth: Maybe your the robber, and the stealth aspect would be more along the lines of Metroid Fusion. The different areas could easily be seen as you trying to find phat loot.
Weapons: A weapon you always have equipped (gun, knife, etc) and maybe one sub-weapon type power you can obtain.
Powerups: So long as they aren't mainly passive get-this-so-you-can-go-more-places powers I'm fine with it.
Progress: No comment.
World: Super Mario World type world. But let them branch off by finding different points to end the level. Really random example. Your in a forest. Do you a) Climb that huge tree to go to skyworld or b) jump into a river taking you into a cavern and underground lake?