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NG Jam 10 game: Remnants and some design discussion

2014-07-17 02:19:45 by MrRandomist

Over the past weekend (11th through 13th) Mintpaw and I worked on a game called Remnants, it was quite a tough weekend with both nights only getting a couple hours sleep, but that's how a proper jam is meant to go. The days that followed were recovery, back to normal development schedule working on the other game projects now.

On the discussion of Remants, Mintpaw and I are thinking about expanding the game into a bigger project. We feel like we have a a good thing going, especially for 52 hours.

However during the jam and there after we had some big discussions about how powerups and cool downs should work, in almost all cases it would just be: 'lets just sit in this empty room of a dungeon until the mana is full, kill all the enemies in the next room and rinse repeat...'

How do you fix this? At first we had an 'ultima' attack that would kill everything in the room...and obviously that didnt fly...for a few hours between doing the jam we knocked ideas back and forth until we came up with reasonable attacks (spells) that we felt were enough to keep pushing and not really worry about waiting for the spell down room waiting solution. The biggest end spell for the Wizard is a 'protection' spell however it only lasts for 20 seconds so you have to use it and not wait around with it, however to use it you'll probably need to wait around or find a mana potion. This was quite a quick cut and dry solution to fixing the waiting after you use a spell as you have to use it before it runs out, however it influences waiting around, so that you can use it...

2-Player was a quite addition, that we decided on early. I knew it would be tough to add in the 2-player element and other things got cut from the game because of it, such as additional enemies and and decoration for the ground, which in a review was complained about...we didnt get to side wall tiles both on a programming auto-tile (in a random dugeon generaor solution)...it was only 52-hours, we couldnt do everything, it happens but its frusterating we could have made it 10 times better if we just had more time.
Back to 2-player stuff, even though we didn't get time for everything, 2-player adds so much to the game, you live through the experience together, in our short playtesting sessions we were communicating with each other, mainly yelling and directing. As the wisp (player 2) you dont get control of the camera, unless you're the only one left...so you'd be telling off player 1 (the wizard) to move back off or head in a certain direction.

How the camera is in the game atm works fine, the last spell for the wisp is teleport so the wisp can run off a little and dictate the direction if they wanted to, however this costs mana (a fair amount too) so in the end it probably isnt worth it, however the other way to use it is for the wisp to hide a bit and if things get tough for the wizard you can save him, which is quite useful.

Back to the camera, how good would it be if it split off? or the camera zoomed out when each player went their sperate way, this could be used for good and bad as you'd be able to see rooms without going in them, if you were to split the camera you'd get less vision of each room you'd see. So there's some big negatives, but if one of the players needed to go back and grab some health both of the players need to go. However the wizard dictates the camera, so the wisp doesnt get a choice unless you verbaly communicated 'hey, lets go back i need health' this problem doesnt exist in 1-player (or only one player at a point being alive).

There are a few things other things that can be talked about, but thats enough to chew on for now I guess.

Hope you enjoy/ed the game!

Remnants Game


Comments

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TomFulpTomFulp

2014-07-18 10:15:58

Zoom out gets tricky if you have a massive dungeon and have to decide how far away you're comfortable getting... Also like you said, it reveals rooms you haven't seen BUT you could use a fog of war to darken any area you haven't passed through. If even dungeon had a limited size that could be zoomed out to show 100%, then this could work and even help show you where you need to go (without being able to see what is there if it is in darkness).

Split screen gives ultimate freedom but runs the risk of feeling like two people playing a solo game, vs having a clear picture of where they are in relation to each other... But it would work best if you have giant dungeons. You could maybe use a little pointer arrow to help show where the other player is in relation to where you are on your screen.

MrRandomist responds:

I like the idea of seeing of seeing a room when you enter it, although doing a fog of war would make the game even harder. Some of the rooms are quite big and you already have a hard enough of a time to know what to expect, which is half of the fun but you'd want just enough vision into a room to know what to expect and be slightly prepared.

Definitely agree with what you mentioned about feeling solo VS clear picture.


eatmeatleeteatmeatleet

2014-07-18 06:12:39

this is what happens, when you ask your clients for specific advice: zero replies. I don't think there is a perfect solution for two player camera if you don't want to split the screen :)

I guess just go with your gut, test shit and see what works

<:

MrRandomist responds:

I wouldn't say this is even asking my clients or fans, just people who are interested in game design. Could even say its just for myself to lay down my thoughts on a few issues/discussion points of the game and try to think about it a bit more.

Of course prototyping and seeing what works is the best way to do things, thats basically what jams are about :)