Vulpine's Game Design Blog #2

Published by Vulpine Script in the blog Blogsytail. Views: 128

It's that time of the week! A little early due to reasons. Things have theoretically come a long way. I've done a fair bit of research and thinking and have a fair few choices. But before I go into those, I'll talk about the game concept I have.

The concept title is 'Blazing Fur'. It's a 2D platformer/racer where cute animal critters race each other to prove they're the fastest. The winner of the race is the one who goes so fast they burst into flame! Partly inspired by the indie game 'Speedrunners' I thought this would be a fun concept and intriguing yet unique enough to stand out. The gameplay would revolve around momentum, building your own and trying to diminish others. Some early thoughts would be there would be characters that find different terrains faster to move in, some able to build momentum faster in the air or on the ground or maybe even underground in areas. I'd like there to be around 8 different characters, maybe give or take two depending on how difficult it would be to balance them. I'm still split whether the tracks are predetermined of if I should find a way to have them randomly generated, though they will loop on themselves regardless as the race doesn't finish until someone's in flames!

Now on the how to do this, I have various options from what I've researched. There's always the 'from scratch' method which, to me, is the last resort. I'm saying it first just to acknowledge it really. There are some various things I could use to make it. OpenFL is an open source multiplatform option, however it would require me to learn it. There's Box2D and JBox2D for a C++ and Java option that's quite well known. There's also the Gamemaker Studio program that Grey Knightmare linked to me before (thanks once again!). I'll really have to check them all out and see what's best as what I really need is a good manipulatable physics engine at the very least. The key to a good platformer is design and physics and really you should base your design on the physics you intend on using. I need to make sure that momentum can be built, maintained and sometimes lost fluidly so the game doesn't control really brokenly. I also need to make sure jumping physics as well as potentially gliding, sliding and other such things feel good to control. It'll be interesting to test them all out at the very least and see what works for me. I'm leaning towards JBox2D as it's in Java, a programming language I'm familiar with, but if the other options prove their benefits far outweigh the familiarity then it's time I buckle down and learn them.

While the core physics and programming of the game is important, I also like to keep a few thoughts on the design style and characters I intend to include to keep ideas flowing about what kind of game this will be. As I said in my last blog, I'd like it to be full of cute, happy things and brimming with dark humour, something I thought the concept itself would be a good platform for it. I can't help but think something like this is almost 'Happy Tree Friends'-esque (not for the faint of heart, that, I warn you now). That being said, I want the art style to be something... not unique, but not generic either. This is a strange thing to think about, thinking of super cute animal critters and wondering what's the cutest way of having them burst into flame.

That's all for this week. I like to think anything more I have to say will be in the comments below. Plus I'm not sure just how much or little I should say really...ah well.

If you want to get involved, join this group http://www.everypony.com/forums/group.php?groupid=201 and post what previous experience you have in design and coding and we'll talk where you might fit in!
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