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Jon Lambert

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22nd July, 2010 at 19:46:41 -


Originally Posted by Watermelon876
I'm working on a platform engine to simulate a four-legged animal moving. This game has nothing to do with your current ideas, but I'm not sure that you understood where I was going with the four legged animal idea. I was thinking that you could transform into multiple (made-up) animals to access their unique powers. I was thinking that the gameplay and story could be similar to a zelda platformer, but different.

I don't know that anyone discounted your idea. We're just working on these other gameplay elements. You could have discussed it a bit more, and explicitly asked what people thought of it. It sorta looked like an afterthought in that post. If you want, you can finish your engine and post it as a proof of concept. Maybe people will like it and want to use it for this project.

Also, don't forget to read this: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1G4NRF2FeQM1q3_RzTyjCQldfj1v5eo-iOH4L_eKEatI

 
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Watermelon876



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22nd July, 2010 at 20:25:17 -

your link didn't work for me.

 
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Jon Lambert

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22nd July, 2010 at 20:37:48 -

Alternative: http://gumman.desertstorms.net/index.html

I'll just have to remember to reupload it every time I edit it on Google.

EDIT: Updated with potential character actions and input ideas.

Edited by an Administrator

 
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Matthew Wiese

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23rd July, 2010 at 00:18:46 -

I'd go with Mode #3 for game progression, and having weapons and powerups be related to the thrird choice for game progression.

 
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Smirnoff



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23rd July, 2010 at 00:19:27 -

I am against a metroidvania type of progression. I'd much rather have a world map and levels chosen by either actions taken with a level or choice of exit. I think both would work well. I'd always like to see the world map between levels but not show the exact path the play is taking until after they beat the game once. 'Backtracking' would occur only in the sense that the player could revisit old areas with new abilities, but this would never be required.

"Stealth is limited to having to avoid certain types of enemies or areas" I agree.

I think a variety of weapons would be good and they could be found throughout the levels. Perhaps there could be shops in the world map as well. You keep them until you die. Perhaps the weapons you've beaten levels with could be stored for later use.

Powerups could partially be optional with some required to beat certain paths. You always keep the powerups you find unless we have two different kinds such as permanent and temporary.

I like collectables, but make them more fun and useful than to add to an arbitrary score.

 
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Matthew Wiese

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23rd July, 2010 at 02:49:58 -

Maybe a small amount of weapons (i.e. pistol, machine gun, rocket launcher, rifle) but you can find parts as you progress and attach them such as longer barrels or larger magazines, though these modifications don't have to be shown on the actual sprite.

Edited by Matthew Wiese

 
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aphant



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23rd July, 2010 at 10:09:59 -

Jon, those progression diagrams really helped. I'm more in favor of #1, but I think that's mostly because it looks more like a Metroidvania map than #3 does.

One of the single biggest obstacles we might have is level design. I like the concept of having levels branch out, but I think that without a lot of levels it won't be as rewarding as we hope. In the diagram for #1, there is a short, 7 block route, an 11 block route, two 14 block routes, and two 18 block routes, all coming to a total of 27 level blocks! It looks like it would work, but think about it again: 27 levels.

Meanwhile, if you were to look at a Metroidvania map, you'll see something like this:
Image

That's 124 grid tiles, but only 34 rooms. 34 rooms sounds like it's more than 27 (mathematically, it is!), but if we were to further break that map down into regions...
Image

We've got 5 different regions. What's special about regions in a Metroidvania gamesis that they share the same basic level design: The dark green area at the bottom for example, focuses primarily on basic running and jumping; The fuschia area to the right puts a heavier focus on jumping, attacking, and falling; The pink area is focused more on having a lot of room to jump upwards and larger enemies, having a focus on defense manuevering; The brown area focuses more on an onslaught of enemies and keeping up a solid offense; The violet area to the top combines everything that the player has come across for the home stretch. Basically, a Metroidvania game can get away with repeated level design within the same region, because it fits the overall theme; A region in a Metroidvania game is essentially a level with multiple rooms!

Let's look at a basic route that the player could take. Green lines indicate an easier path, yellow is slightly more difficult, and red is for the end game:
Image

Where there are dots and a number, the player has to do something. Maybe it's a boss fight, maybe it's just a cutscene. The idea is to guide the player around the entirety of the map, testing their skills as they go in an increasingly difficult manner. But the route doesn't have to be set in stone! Maybe the player is a bit crafty, they know where they're going, and they've got the means to do what should normally be impossible...

Image

They might just get to PoI #2 and then skip to #5, and because of the timing of it, they're able to fight the last boss before they would have had a chance to relocate or whatever.



So, yeah. Branching paths is a good idea. However, linear levels with branching paths isn't a good idea, as it may result in a lot of uninspired level design and seemingly meaningless choices. A Metroidvania-style game can addresses the level design by sticking to a basic theme per region, and the design can be reiterated on every few rooms, adding a new twist or re-arranging the basic elements. Furthermore, a Metroidvania game can support branching paths if the player is determined to do some sequence breaking, and if the event flow is designed with that in mind.

 

AndyUK

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23rd July, 2010 at 13:15:44 -

Where did the term metroidvania come from?
Was there ever a game where you whipped undead squids in a space castle?

 
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23rd July, 2010 at 13:41:56 -

It's a term that describes gameplay mechanics, not content per se. Whips, squids, space and castles have hardly anything to do with the term.

I would imagine it originated from a need to have a term that describes a game that is akin to both metroid and castlevania. Better than saying a metroid-castlevania-like game.

 
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Matthew Wiese

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23rd July, 2010 at 14:20:01 -

I really like that design write-up aphant, pretty much why I wanted a Metroidvania game in the first place, an open world is much easier to have rather interesting branching levels designed through.

 
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Jon Lambert

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23rd July, 2010 at 15:20:04 -

Thanks to AndyUK for asking that question, that way I didn't have to.

Image

Looking at the Wario Land 2 map again. each polygon divides all the separate levels on the map into the different chapters. The orange is "Save Wario Castle!" where you must storm Wario's castle to regain control. Light brown is "One noisy morning" where Wario must undo all the damage to his castle caused by the pirates. This goes on like this with a cellar chapter, pirate ship chapter, underwater chapter, haunted mansion chapter, forest chapter, city chapter, and enemy castle chapter. I like to think that, should all the levels have been put together (not based entirely on the map but the actual content of the levels) it would have worked similarly to your Metroidvania style. Also, I'm not sure why everyone loves the metroidvania style so much. I'd tell you to at least play Wario Land 2 through (since I like that game) but unless you already have it, you aren't likely to find it outside of illegal rom methods. With that having been said...

Originally Posted by aphant
However, linear levels with branching paths isn't a good idea, as it may result in a lot of uninspired level design and seemingly meaningless choices.

I feel like this is a horrible lie. Level design in Wario Land 2 (which would have been linear levels with branching paths) was excellent as it allowed you to explore as little or as much as you wanted to, and different parts of each level could play to different mechanics or styles without feeling awkward. Those who explored could find more coins to play the minigames necessary to get treasure and picture panel pieces (ultimately unlocking the time attack level and flagman game & watch game.) The choices didn't seem meaningless to me at least, since I was directing the story myself, getting a different playthrough experience based on the paths I, and I would eventually have to go on every path to meet every level and collect all the treasures and panel pieces. What inspires me to visit every room in a Metroidvania game?

The main reason I object to a Metroidvania-style game is because it always bothered me that I would have to spend so long in the same style of area with the same mechanics over and over without variation, and the fact that the areas are so large is almost an excuse to make less varieties of areas, and I'm not talking purely aesthetically. Then I would later have to come back to the same areas and do more, as opposed to being done with the area as soon as I get out. I've been playing Wario Land 2 levels over again lately simply because I want to, even though I've done everything already, because I think that they are that fun and nice to visit, for atmosphere and such. Spyro the Dragon makes me feel the same way in terms of playing a game with "nothing new to offer."

Of course, I suppose I'll have to yield to whatever the people choose.

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Matthew Wiese

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23rd July, 2010 at 16:13:58 -

I do believe you're quite set on your Wario Land 2 style of play Jon, and since you're referencing Wario Land 2 so much I do believe you're really trying to base the entire community project off that one game.

We should really choose what we all can agree upon, and if that means not having Metroidvania or Wario Land 2 level progression, then so be it.

 
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Otter

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23rd July, 2010 at 16:18:19 -

I'd like to nominate OMC for project leader, if he hasn't been already...

I think both OMC and Jon would be excellent leaders I definitely put my money on one of those two.

 
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Jon Lambert

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23rd July, 2010 at 16:25:47 -


Originally Posted by Matthew Wiese
I do believe you're quite set on your Wario Land 2 style of play Jon, and since you're referencing Wario Land 2 so much I do believe you're really trying to base the entire community project off that one game.

We should really choose what we all can agree upon, and if that means not having Metroidvania or Wario Land 2 level progression, then so be it.

Hence my comment at the end of each of my posts amounting to "We'll have to do whatever the people want." If you all get to defend your Metroidvania-style, then I should get to defend my Wario Land 2-style. If I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying, or if I feel like I need to clarify more, or if I feel like points are being made in defense of Metroidvania that are applicable to Wario Land 2 as well, then I will say so. So... Maybe more people could make a choice.

EDIT: Also, Wario Land 2 is really the only example of that style that I can think of.

Here is a thread to vote on which style you want: http://www.create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=275561

Edited by an Administrator

 
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Matthew Wiese

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23rd July, 2010 at 17:48:08 -


Originally Posted by Jon Lambert

Originally Posted by Matthew Wiese
I do believe you're quite set on your Wario Land 2 style of play Jon, and since you're referencing Wario Land 2 so much I do believe you're really trying to base the entire community project off that one game.

We should really choose what we all can agree upon, and if that means not having Metroidvania or Wario Land 2 level progression, then so be it.

Hence my comment at the end of each of my posts amounting to "We'll have to do whatever the people want." If you all get to defend your Metroidvania-style, then I should get to defend my Wario Land 2-style. If I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying, or if I feel like I need to clarify more, or if I feel like points are being made in defense of Metroidvania that are applicable to Wario Land 2 as well, then I will say so. So... Maybe more people could make a choice.

EDIT: Also, Wario Land 2 is really the only example of that style that I can think of.

Here is a thread to vote on which style you want: http://www.create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=275561


Yes I did see where you stated "We'll have to do whatever the people want." I also understand your point that things for the Metroidvania game are applicable to WL2. I just thought you should think about other possibilities (not just Metroidvania or WL2).

Edited by Matthew Wiese

 
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