One Line Pitch
Top down survival game where everything can be leveled up
Crimsonland released in 2003 for the PC is a top down shooter. Lots of guns, and power ups as you battle endless enemies coming from the sides of the screens. A standard survival game. What set this game apart from top down shooters is that it had a lot of good “game feels”.
Vlambeer the creator of Nuclear Throne has a great video on The art of screenshake that describes a good “game feels”. Screen shake, recoil, intensity, muzzle flash, low enemy hp, lots of enemies, bullet spread, impact effects, sound effects, enemy hit and death effects, enemy knock back, bodies left on the ground, permanence, Moving the camera where you are looking, screen shake, player knockback, just make it fun rather than realistic, etc…
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness on the other hand got a few things right… Numbers always go up. Why put a limit on numbers? We are using computers and computers are good at processing very large numbers. People like to min/max their character, leveling them up, boosting their stats, let them take that to infinity. But why stop with just your character, level up everything, weapons, areas, anything that has a number can go up.
Everything can level up, numbers always go up, no level cap.
Multiplayer games are fun, mass multiplayer games are funner. Organizing or talking to other people online is not fun.
I want to make an easy game that I can slowly improve on and the core game mechanic is easy to understand.
A top down survival shooter similar to Crimsonland, lots of unique guns, lots of unique power ups, lots of different types of enemies.
Every time you kill an enemy you get money, money can be used to increase your stats. No limit, numbers always go up.
Everytime you shoot a weapon you get experience with that weapon. Trade experience for upgrades on that weapon. No limits, numbers always go up.
Everytime you kill an enemy of a certain type they get slightly stronger. No limits, numbers always go up.
Every thing in the game should have a lot of arbitrary stats. Dozens for each thing. The stats affect things in subtle ways. No limits on the stats, and all numbers go up. For example a weapon could have the following stats. Shots per second, bullet spread, bullets fired per shot, speed of bullets, reloads per second, number of bounce per bullet, penetration of bullets, wobble of bullets, length, size, etc…
When describing any of the stats, ensure that stats improve as the numbers go up. For example instead of saying “reload rate”, use reloads per second, instead of firing rate cool down, use bullets per second.
Each enemy has a slightly different color blood. So as you kill them and splash their blood on the floor, it will look like a “blown ink” picture of blood.
All the enemies bodies stay on the ground, dead enemies bodies block bullets, and slow down new enemies from advancing. You can use enemies’ bodies as walls. Bodies never stop players or enemies movements only slows them down.
The maps should be algorithmically generated, simple top down bombed out cities, or malls. Basic walls and things that can be blown up. Use an area system where you have natural doors between sections. As you travel to new areas the map is generated around you. Use the distance from the center of the map (x/y) as the seed for the randomization of the maps. This means that if you ever go back to the old sections of the maps the floor plan will be the same.
Everyone is playing the same game. When you enter the game you are positioned two sections away from anyone else in the game. There are lots of monsters to fight between you and the next person. This means that you can level up and get more weapons before you meet someone else. If you are playing in a group this means that you have to find each other to join forces.
When new enemies are created their level is based on the average of the room at the time that they were created.
No PVP, instead the reason that you would join the online version is to join forces and kill bigger monsters. Maybe some monsters only spawn if there are multiple people in the room.
You only have one gun, To change the style of gun you need to collect other gun parts from around the map. Each gun part effects the gun performance, adds stats, adds path for the bullets to fly, adds more bullets per shot, spreads the bullets around you. Each trait added to the gun changes the name. The name becomes longer with each trait “magic rocket spread explosive delayed boosted gun”. The base gun shoots forward, all other gun parts changes that actions. Think munchkin for guns.
Maybe use the ant hell story line. Ants dug to deep into the ground and hit hell. Mutated and these are the monsters that we are attacking.
Each week we work on a new gun part, or monster, or perk that people can pick up around the map. Each week we add one more element to the game. We solicit feedback from the community to make them part of it. Make other people part of the game