Ok, full disclaimer: I actually wrote a completely different blog about the development of my game that's practically done, but I got this idea as I finished writing it (literally), and it deserved its own article... so I wrote an entire new one. Don't know if the other one will ever see the light of day, but for now, this is interesting:
And now, scrap almost everything you've read or know about how my game works from previously. This idea is really wildly different. Here goes.
It is still an arcade-y dual-joystick shooter, where you shoot particles. It still looks like this:
But the corners are gone! And the redirect and walls are gone as well! (I know they're in the image, but... shush).
This means that scoring and losing has been entirely revamped to only happen on collision.
The game is still about getting points. You get those by first hitting a
particle with the player ball (meaning you have the repeller
active---as seen in the image) and then having that particle hit one of
the walls. If it hits anything else in between, you don't score.
Particles that aren't hit by the player slowly change color (to red) until they have hit other object X amount of times (currently 8), then you lose a life. If the player manages to touch these before they count all the way, the particle will revert back to it's original color and restart.
The timer works represents speed now (an idea I got from a friend), so when the timer reaches 0, the player cannot move, and the higher the timer goes (still happens by shooting particles) the faster the player goes. (This is an idea that was in the newest version of the old build and it has nothing to do necessarily with the new idea. But I like it enough to keep it for a while longer.)
And that's it!
It's surprisingly simple, which was why I had to try it out when I got the idea yesterday evening. First of all, it solves some of the issues I had with the previous build. Before, there was almost no active participation in the act of scoring itself, which there definitely is now. This also forces the player to be much more around the arena at all times, making movement much more important. I need a little more feedback in there, but for now, I think this version is promising, at least.
Now, there are some issues with it too, though. Right now, it's just a
game of "zoom around as much as possible, hitting as many particles as
you can until you see something go red and hurry over to that", which is
ok, but not great. It's also
too simple right now, I fear, and doesn't have the same skill
ceiling that the other version had (which might have been too high, to
be fair). I need to experiment a bit with doing some more stuff with
this version, or add more features.
And this is actually the best thing about this: I can add(!) stuff again! I've been too stuck in trying to figure out how to make the old version work that I was afraid to add or remove anything. Now, that there's basically nothing in there, I can start experimenting again.
Should the corners be back, and maybe give double points? Should the two halves of the map do anything---like a zoning type thing? Should I bring back redirect and have it focus the center of the map instead? Should I use that stupid day-night cycle I've had in my code for forever for something now? Should walls do anything? Or what about something totally different?
Right now, I have no idea if this is even a finished shape
that this game will take. I don't know if I'll really scrap all the old
stuff and completely focus on this as my "new" game, and keep the other
as a separate one, or try to merge them somehow. But right, now, all
that matters is that I have possibilities. And ideas.
And that's awesome :D