Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Got the Creativity Bug

I don't have the requisite programming knowledge to build a game from scratch, but I figure there are plenty of designer programs out there if you guys can help me look. The mood of the moment: I've got the urge to create a platform-RPG along the lines of the Paper Mario series. Minus the whole 3D thing. I can figure out a different gimmick for 2D.

Anyway, I'd like a little help in brainstorming. The general appearance is going to on the cartoony side, though I'll dip into some more serious stuff in the plot. For those who haven't visited the TV Tropes website that's been circulating my area of the blogosphere, stop by and make some suggestions of tropes you like and those you hate. I don't want to force you to play The Wesley. It's going to take place across multiple worlds, so there'll be some level of mash up.

1. Starting character: Popped into my head, nearly fully formed after a nap: Droopy-eared cartoon rabbit from a world of eternal night. Neither he nor his world are evil, goth, emo, or anything. Just dark with a limited color selection. Not going to stop people from non-dark worlds making it a running gag. ("Who's Mr. Misery-Bun over there?") Platforming specialty: Jumping and bombs. Little bit of stealth. As the game goes on, he'll get new jump techniques and different bomb types. Personality-wise, I was thinking of having him as a genre-savvy (making a good excuse for in-game hints if you're stuck) reluctant hero.

2. Call for more characters. For some reason, I was thinking of doing something where each is especially vulnerable to some kind of status effect and nearly immune to another. My bomb bunny, for example, would be vulnerable to being blinded, being unused to bright light. Anyway, in addition to that, they'd each have different platforming abilities, possibly forcing the player to think differently for different runs through the stages. What are you going to do for the guy who can't jump, but has some other redeeming feature?

3. Not going to have a save-the-world(s) plot. Any suggestions for stakes in a multiple world-spanning game? Anything involving multiple possible endings is welcome.

4. Consider this an open create-a-critter call for worlds and the more hostile inhabitants of those worlds. I'm thinking of something along the lines of six to eight worlds. I'd like to hear some concepts for bosses that involve creative strategy to defeat.

5. Any platforming/RPG conventions you absolutely love or hate? Paper Mario players: Anything you would have done differently? Should combat be like the first to Paper Mario games, with separate battles, or should platform jumping and combat be one, like in Super Paper Mario? Or a different system entirely?

6. Any thoughts on customization? I'd like to include a variety of equipment, though I'm not sure what to let it change. Don't want anything to be absolutely superior to another, just more or less suited to different play styles.

Anyway, for the sake of avoiding spoilers if I really like a plot idea, I might end up asking you to move your part to email. My address is:


Laser Potato said...

Hm...are you thinking of an overhead view with random monster encounters, like Dragon Quest? Or a side-scrolling action RPG?

Bronze Dog said...

Thought I was pretty clear: This is a 2D platformer, so that makes it side-scrolling action. Add in a little RPG stuff.

Laser Potato said...

Hmmm. Try looking at Cadash, which is decent but way too short and dosen't have nearly enough variety(but then, it WAS an arcade game...)
Legacy Of The Wizard (known as Dragon Slaver 4: Drasle Family in Japan) was a good, if incredibly complicated, side-scrolling action RPG for the NES. Faxanadu, also part of the Dragon Slayer series, is worth looking at as well.

Laser Potato said...

Ooops, I meant Dragon Slayer 4. Not that it makes a difference; there are about 78 entries in the Dragon Slayer series now, none of which are related to the original Dragon Slayer. NOT ONE!

Bronze Dog said...

I've seen Cadash, and briefly played Legacy of the Wizard on the NES. Not far enough into the latter.

Anyway, I know I'm going for something along the lines of Super Paper Mario. I'm just curious if any PM fans out there prefers the first to PM battle scenes, or if they're in favor of just doing everything in the platforming engine like Super Paper Mario. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Mostly, I'm looking for stuff like character and plot ideas, preferred platforming elements, tropes to avert, subvert, or lampshade. But most of all, I'm looking for something that'll let a non-programmer like me make the game.

In short, I've got the structure of the 'crunch' down. I just need the 'fluff' of the story and the actual tools to fill in for programming. (Or a particularly devoted programmer who can make one for me and other players)