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So I have been going back and fourth recently on a video game concept that I have been wanting to do for a while, problem is, I keep changing the story around. not much else to it, while I know I don't want it to be complicated in therms of plot, I do want the game to have multiple endings. Not because I want to at least make a story, but because I want to increase replay value by adding multiple endings and levels (similar to that of Shadow The Hedgehog in 2004). Now some of you are probably thinking? "But Bonkers, why don't you just write a simple story that isn't that hard to understand?", well I would but the problem is. The story I keep rewriting ends up sounding like a clone to another story out there (mostly Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and Mega Man) or it ends up being really cliche. So that point I'm trying to get to is, should story in video games matter? And if anyone could give out advice as well on story telling would be much appreciated. P.S. The game I have in concept is a Sonic Rush/Unleashed Clone with a heavier emphasis of multiple pathways and speed, hence the multiple endings/levels.
The SAGE demo is out. Come get it. So, this is a thing I've been working on lately, as part of an effort to build up a mutiplayer platform engine in Construct 2, as well as experimenting with new methods of conveying narrative that don't rely on non-interactivity. I intend on releasing a demo for SAGE, with a single-player demo and a multiplayer mode capable of supporting up to four players. As a Construct 2 game, the demo will be playable in all HTML5/WebGL-capable browsers. But, thanks to the power of Node-Webkit, there are also Windows, Mac and Linux executables if you prefer that. Screenshots: Work in progress, obviously, just to note. Overiew Digimon: Heroic Battle Spirit, made in Construct 2, is a fan-made 'expansion' on the three Digimon: Battle Spirit fighting games for the Wonderswan/GBA made by Dimps, one of which, Battle Spirit 1.5, never left Japan. The idea is to include nearly every existing playable character from the first two games at least, hopefully add more fighters from more recent Digimon series (Digimon Savers/Data Squad and Digimon Xros Wars/Fusion) , enable four-player multiplayer, and include a special Metroidvania-like story mode with innovative narrative mechanics that attempt to do away with the need for cutscenes in most cases. The demo is an attempt to demonstrate a basic idea of the direction being taken for both single-player and multiplayer. It's not exactly 'polished', nor 'balanced', but very much playable. Playable Characters In the demo, there are three playable Digimon - Agumon, Gabumon, and Renamon, each with unique movesets. Okay, that's not quite true - there's a fourth character, but he's not a Digimon - a special guest fighter for the demo. I'll be unveiling him when SAGE opens. Story Mode Synopsis The first thing you remember is waking up in a cell in a dungeon. You manage to escape, but you find yourself in a castle filled with strange machines you've never seen before that are hostile to your presence. And to make it worse, there's no way out... Without treading a lot of water. And you sincerely doubt you can swim that far. An exploration of the castle finds you battling an old enemy, but even he is subservient to a greater power. Without your partner, you're left alone trying to figure out how to escape the castle, where he and your friends have gone, and who imprisoned you in the first place... Open-ended environments inspired by the likes of Metroid and its many imitators. Multiple characters with different abilities. Sub-weapons that augment your character's fighting abilites. A 'narrative button' that provides dialogue options ala Mass Effect, but in real-time, with an adjustable slow-down effect. A 'look' mechanic reminiscent of old-school adventure games. An adjustable, zoomable camera system that accommodates any number of screen resolutions. A 'fog of war' system that hides unexplored areas, and fogs explored but unoccupied areas. Beware, not all boss enemies will be content to sit around and let you walk up to their doorstep, and some may start hunting you on their own volition... Possible extra for later on: 4-player co-op. Multiplayer Fully-featured classic Battle Spirit gameplay, now with 4 players! (In the future, depending on what happens with Steam Controllers and online multiplayer support in Construct 2, up to 16 players might be supported.) Dynamic camera system that keeps every combatant on-screen. What about the future? Well, what happens in the future is going to be a bit interesting. Right now, with this demo, I'm pretty much limited entirely to existing game assets (and not just from Digimon games) and open-source assets, which are both neat, but they have their limitations. Long story short, if I want to really complete this game as I envision it, I'll need help. Aside from presenting a demo, I'm using SAGE as a platform to advertise for artists and other people who are interested in making this whole thing work. Primarily, I'm looking for an artist(s), an optional plural, because I intend to redo as many assets from scratch as possible, from level art to character animations. The existing assets are great, but I don't really want to be restricted to what there is right now, if I want to expand the gameplay, for example (the existing sprites were designed for a rather simple fighting game, let's be honest), not to mention I want a consistent art style across the board, which is important. And I'd like to be able to have higher-quality art assets, which would be neat. What I'm mainly looking at for animation work is the program Spriter, by Brashmonkey. It's tech that is similar to what is used in games like Rayman Origins/Legends, and anything Vannilaware's done (Odin Sphere, Muramasa, Dragon's Crown, etc), and when the tool is used properly, the results can look superb. As well, animations can be created and tweaked much more easily than traditional animation, scaled better, enables character customization, heavily reduces RAM usage, includes support for stuff like collision rectangles, and already has native Construct 2 support. I like traditional animation as much as anyone, but I'd like to save my time and my artist's time when it comes to creating assets, animations, and iterating on them. If nothing else, Spriter is great for easily prototyping animations. Still, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I've got a demo to finish!
A random little topic - what's your preferred placement of bosses in Sonic games? Classic Bosses are formulaically placed and can always be expected to appear after a certain number of levels in a row. The formula will rarely change outside of the final stages of the game which may contain boss rushes, multiple bosses in a row, or unauthordox placement to accompany an unauthordox final stage (e.g Scrap Brain/Hidden Palace onwards/Terminal Velocity). Used by: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Colours, etc Adventure Bosses appear as and when the storyline calls for them. This can sometimes mean no bosses for several levels' worth, or even more than one boss in a row. Used by: Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic 2006, etc Mixed Bosses do appear formulaically placed if one was to look at the level select menu - but the order and frequency you fight them in during the story may not match up with the levels they relate to. Used by: Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Unleashed, etc Other Formula You Came Up With? No that's a silly formula, sit back down right now. Used by: Nothing, ever. I dunno, there isn't a crazy amount of room for discussion here, I'm just wondering what people's preferences are. Generally speaking I think it should be done on a game-by-game basis as to what approach they take. If a game is story-based though I do prefer it when they take on the mixed or adventure style simply because it feels silly and predictable to shoehorn a boss into a set section of the story and results in the kind of awkward filler cut-scenes we got in Colours. However I would love the occasional game that uses the classic formula as a means to trick us later on by giving us a surprise out-of-place boss encounter as the story calls for it. Btw I was kidding, you can come up with formulas of your own or suggest ones from other games that you think would be neat in a Sonic game.