Alright, so here's the basic idea I've got for the next gravitybreak.media 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.