Late to the Starting Line

Posted by
April 30th, 2011 3:14 pm

I wasn’t feeling spectacular last night, and the theme was a complete curveball so I let it simmer and went to bed.  Today I had a bunch of stuff to do during the day, but I’ve kept my eye on the site to watch everyone else’s activity.  This morning I saw dock’s post with his concept art and something clicked, so I wanted to both call out his stuff and lay out my own plans (which I hope aren’t too similar to his).

Here’s a quick concept sketch to talk to:

A basic layout and flow for the action

The general idea is that you play a god and its your job to watch our for your adventurer follower by providing her with the necessary tools to survive.  The level is a linear series of platforms that the adventurer runs and jumps through in order to reach the end.  There are a couple of obstacles that she may face: goblin soldiers that need killed, goblin archers that fire for the background that she’ll need protection from, and jumps that are too far for her to make.  You can grab an item from the top bar (sword, shield, or rope) and drop it somewhere on the map and she’ll grab and use whatever is in her path.  Items fall from the top of the screen, so you have to time where and when to drop things.  I think I’ll also provide a healing potion to drop on her for restoring health (which will be displayed in a health bar which isn’t drawn here).

Things I’m unsure about:

  1. Is her pace constant and does she always move forward?  If she does, then the challenge comes from dropping the right items at the right places and times for her to survive.  If she doesn’t, and she can fight through goblins and retreat/slow down, it becomes more like a side-scrolling RTS with a single unit.  I’m not sure which I’ll end up trying out during the contest.
  2. What’s the point of the level?  I’m considering the final stretch being a treasure chamber in which she always opens a chest that contains a new or upgraded item (which she offers to you, her god, as thanks for your protection).  You can then collect and replace the items on the top bar with these new ones for later runs.  I love the idea of finale being loot-based (because I love games that are randomly generated stat-heavy item grinds :), but I don’t know how well this works here because the challenges in the level and the items’ functionality are very closely tied to each other.  If you replace the rope, how do you overcome long jumps?  Perhaps there are three general classes of  items (attack, defend, and jump) and you can replace those with items with different mechanics (maybe replace the rope with double-jump boots or teleport spells or something).
  3. There was something else on the tip of my tongue that I was a little worried about, but now its gone.  I’m sure it’ll show back up when its least convenient.

So, here’s a nod to docks’ drawing that got me going, and its time to get to work.

One Response to “Late to the Starting Line”

  1. lorddon says:

    Love love love this idea!

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