This week was largely iteration and re-hashing of ideas. Dragon Song received the most drastic change, going from a world represented in 3 dimensions, to a full world represented in 2 dimensions. We are currently discussing either a perspective similar to this image–though horizontal rather than vertical–or placing the camera in the center of a ring, which would then rotate as the player moved around the outside. The main force behind this change is to reduce the impact on the artists, as well as offer a different type of perspective on a 3 dimensional world. The cacophony mechanic has also been implemented in the digital prototype, now tasking players with reducing excess to noise–via traditional puzzles, such as standing on a pressure plate, as well as point and click, scripted, puzzles–so that they can uncover the sounds necessary to create the level’s song. The driving force behind this decision was to add additional breadth to the base mechanics of the game. Whether the puzzle aspect is, in fact, more interesting than simply exploring the environment free-form will likely be answered during testing.
The MOBA idea is proceeding largely as it has been, though a quick paper prototype has been created to test the basic combat and ability customization mechanics. After two quick tests within the group to test for any outstanding mechanics issues, the prototype appears to be ready for testing. We also spent some time hashing out where we wanted to begin on the various systems going into the idea. For example, base stats will consist of Health, Total Ammunition, Movement Speed, Ballistic Resistance, and Energy Resistance. Players will then be able to further modify these stats via ‘Allocation Points’, which they will gain more of as their overall player account increases in level. We’ve also decided to begin testing by removing in-battle items, and instead giving players four upgrade slots, any of which can be filled with any of the three upgrade for a given ability. This was decided largely to place greater emphasis on abilities, and the players skill with these abilities, rather than simply increasing the stats of the mech, and allowing for an easy victory over mechs who are not yet as strong.
The turn based strategy idea has materialized as a combination of Risk and Advance Wars, with mobile devices as the target platform. Units and tiles all have specific stats, and units can be stacked to combine their stats, resulting in a middle ground between them all. For example, soldiers might be able to move into ‘mountain’ tiles, but when combined with tanks, they are unable to do so. However, their overall offensive and defensive powers are greatly increased.
Finally, a new idea has cropped up for a puzzle game–largely concerned with perspective and spatial reasoning. Though not fully thought out, some ideas could include traversing the inside of a sphere from a top down perspective, fitting a changeable shape through various shaped obstacles, and moving through a series of rooms which, when not occupied, alter their orientation, position, and entrances/exits.