Help me brainstorm the next Gravity Break web game
BotB Academy Bulletins
Level 23 Chipist
post #129474 :: 2020.10.29 7:44am :: edit 2020.10.30 10:12am
  sean and mirageofher liēkd this
Alright, so here's the basic idea I've got for the next game. I want something that won't explode in scope, so the whole game is just one boss fight. BUT it takes place in a Zelda-esque procgen dungeon. Now, these dungeons do NOT have puzzles or really any complex features. They are, in fact, kixels turned into dungeons, and they're mostly empty. Each group of contiguous same-colored pixels forms a room. If there's too many tiny rooms, the generator can combine some of them so that you don't have a 1024-room dungeon.

If you don't know what kixels are, this explanation isn't going to make sense :V

The dungeon is a kixel loaded straight from the website. The boss is also based on the kixel, with its properties (colors, form, attacks, number of limbs, method of locomotion, etc.) determined by the kixel's properties. That stuff is whatever, I'll deal with that after I figure out how the core gameplay works.

The game can be played through either daily or weekly challenges. The daily challenge is beating the dungeon/boss in one try. The weekly challenge is getting the speedrun record among all players.

Tennisers gave me the great idea that certain room colors correspond to hazards or mechanics. So maybe all rooms that are determined to be "blue" (via some programming trickery) have swimming physics, and yellow rooms have spikes, etc.

The gameplay loop I've devised is this: You have a fully detailed map at all times, including before you start. The boss spawns with a number of health bars. Every dungeon has a couple designated Fight rooms, with every other room being a Flee room. You start with the boss far away, and you have to make your way to whatever Fight room you want to do first. While you're on your way, the boss, in invincible ghost form, is running down the dungeon and chasing you down. When it catches up to you, it'll be able to attack you, but you won't be able to attack it. You can only attack the boss in Fight rooms. When you get there, you'll be there until you knock off one of its health bars.

When you beat the boss in a Fight room, it'll flee to another (pre-determined) part of the map (maybe the Final room?), giving you some breathing room to make your way to the next objective while it hunts you down again. Presumably, every time you beat a Fight room and clear a health bar, the boss will evolve and become stronger, being given access to a bigger portion of its pool of attack and movement options. There are (if possible) always more Fight rooms than you need to clear, so choosing a route involves selecting which of the rooms you want to fight in.

When all of the boss's health bars are gone, it'll open up the locked Final room, where you'll be able to beat it for good and win the run.

Higher difficulty (kixel level) dungeons will probably have keys and locks that you, either optionally or non-optionally, might deal with.

I think powerups will be placed around the map too, and you'll be able to see where and what they are at all times. I don't want anything to be obscured from the player, really. I think it'll more fun to be able to see where everything is and plan accordingly, instead of the player stumbling blindly into stuff. Keys and locks would work the same way. Like, you could theoretically plan your entire route by looking at the map before starting the run.

The biggest influence in terms of navigation and gameplay would probably be something like Enter the Gungeon or Monolith.

The problem is I have no idea what kind of core gameplay I want. Zelda-esque top-down? Sidescrolling platforming? Do you attack with shooting? Slashing? How can I make this work with like, one virtual thumbstick and button on mobile? Any other ideas? It's absolutely critical to make sure the core movement and attacking style is fun.

Some kind of constant auto-aim and auto-attack when you're in Fight rooms would simplify the combat enough to make it work on mobile, but the combat absolutely shouldn't be mindless or restrictive.

I've got the plot stuff totally figured out, so that's all good. It's just gameplay ideas I wanna have an open brainstorm on.
Level 15 XHBist
post #129476 :: 2020.10.29 8:16am
  Tilde and sean liēkd this
perhaps a button specifical for re-focusing on the boss.
however, to make it not mindless, maybe a limit to how often it can be used, such as once every few second or so?

or maybe, if it turn out to be shooting instead of slashing, there is a line of shot that you may control. however, all my ideas for controlling the line is very easy on mobile yet difficult on controller.

i may have to come back to this idea after sleep once more..
Level 23 Chipist
post #129479 :: 2020.10.29 8:35am :: edit 2020.10.30 6:21am
I should mention that I originally conceived of this as top-down, but I'm starting to think sidescrolling is better just because there are SO many more interesting movement and attack styles you can have when gravity gets involved. But maybe there's a THIRD point of view!?!?!?!?!

(that said, the simplicity of top-down may also make for much more approachable and mobile-friendly gameplay, so it's not a slam-dunk)
Level 15 XHBist
post #129560 :: 2020.10.30 10:11am
a third perspective? would that mean changing the pov as three dimensions, toggling it like a paper mario game maybe?
Level 23 Chipist
post #129562 :: 2020.10.30 10:18am :: edit 2020.10.30 10:18am
it's more just trying to figure out a web-friendly gameplay perspective that isn't either top-down or sidescrolling. like, trying to get first-person working in Phaser would be a nightmare and probably not worth it anyway. perspective-toggling stuff would also be overly hard and wouldn't fit with the simple dungeon structure. I can do one or the other, I just want to make sure I'm not missing some potential.
Level 20 Criticist
post #129571 :: 2020.10.30 11:20am
the 3rd perspective you're missing is: Isometric.
Level 23 Chipist
post #129574 :: 2020.10.30 11:38am
that's true, but the lack of visual precision and the fact that it won't resemble the kixel anymore might be a dealbreaker.

just had a conversation with vav that makes a top-down twin-stick shooter a viable prospect, although it's not incredibly original.
Level 27 Chipist
post #129600 :: 2020.10.30 2:06pm
  Tilde liēkd this
Unusually, I'm aware of the sidescroller... but maybe with a bit of depth with going towards and away the background (and subsequently zooming the background)? Designing elements towards the camera may be a tricky design challenge, though... and rotation isn't exactly on the table unless it's in 90 degree increments.
Level 23 Chipist
post #129603 :: 2020.10.30 2:32pm
  KungFuFurby liēkd this
Happy to report that Phaser rotates elements just fine, and through some of my own experimentation, it's totes possible to fake depth in a sidescroller and even create some polygonal shapes.
Level 27 Chipist
post #129615 :: 2020.10.30 5:16pm
  Tilde liēkd this
Admittedly I was thinking the entire room (3D-wise), rather than just the objects. Not quite first-person, since you're controlling the character, and not quite a 3D platformer, either, since it's way more fixed camera-wise.
Level 23 Chipist
post #129691 :: 2020.10.31 3:16pm :: edit 2020.10.31 3:58pm
That's a really interesting idea, and while it's hella ambitious, I'm pretty sure it's actually possible.

Something I just realized about sidescroller vs. top-down: Sidescroller makes navigation WAY more interesting, because there are big jumps that you can only fall down and not climb back up without renavigating somewhere else. Natural one-way paths feel way better this way than just arbitrarily placing one-way doors. AND a jump powerup can open up new possibilities!
Level 23 Chipist
post #129705 :: 2020.10.31 8:10pm
New idea: Ordinarily, there's not much point to exploring extra rooms in the dungeon, but if you have 100% map completion, Snapback (the main character) becomes Hardmode Snapback, gaining a huge boost to attack and mobility
Level 23 Chipist
post #129940 :: 2020.11.04 5:51pm :: edit 2020.11.04 5:52pm
I've set up a proof of concept for the map creation here:

It doesn't have the block-creating or room-compression algorithm yet. Or generated doors and platforms. That'll come later. There'll be a hard cap on the number of rooms a dungeon is allowed to have. Certain rooms will be combined, especially heavily dithered pixels.

I need a name for the dungeons and the bosses that inhabit them that you're tasked with clearing. I was thinking "Kixelith" for the dungeon, but I wanna get away from using the word "kixel" so much.
Level 20 Criticist
post #129957 :: 2020.11.05 12:55am
  Tilde liēkd this
Hold Z to rave

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