Friday, October 7, 2011

Spacehunter - An introduction

So after cancelling the remake of the ludum dare 21 entry for several reasons, i go back to my previous decision on making a space game for the same reasons i mentioned in that post.

Okay, so what will it be? There's a ton of shmups out there, really good shmups.
For one, a lot of shmups are console games. There's only a handful of well made games for the pc, one of them is the recently released Jamestown. So i think there's still a market there.
Other than the business side, i think it's a good way to gradually progress on a game. Making step by step iterations. It is possible to leave a lot of things out, without having the game feel incomplete (because no one know what the final version will include!)

So what i have in mind is creating this episode wise (Code naming them alpha, beta, gamma...).
Episodes could also be seen as different versions, but i think version numbers wouldn't fit to it, so i am alienating the use of development states for that purpose.
Each episode will radically enhance the gameplay or game features, so it might feel like a whole new or rather bigger and better game with each iteration (although existing features are unlikely to get removed or changed that much).
I have not planned on the actual number of episodes it will include. That is partly due to the concept not being entirely finished at this point, but i think it will be somewhere around 5 to 8. The iterations for each version will be increasing. So for instance i try to get alpha ready for end of october, while beta may be only due by the end of the year. An elaborate feature list of the upcoming episode will be published at some point, so you know what you'll be waiting for.

To be able to work on it on a full-time scale, i need to introduce a prepurchase option, and get all of you chaps to get a copy! Why should you buy an unfished game, that might not even get finished, you ask?
Your concern is valid. Therefore the prepurchase will start at 1€, and will increase by another 1with each episode. You won't have to rebuy, once you invested though, you'll get updated just like that! That means, you can buy a cheap (shitty) game now, funding its development, or buy a good game later, but paying a price for it.
Additionally, if you have too much money on your hands, or are a very kind person, you can pay any price you want to further increase the chance that this projects will flourish sooner.
I will set up paypal somewhat later this month so it can begin with the release of alpha!

Stop blabbering about this boring stuff! What is it about?!

Ok, so what you see in the above video is an early prototype of alpha gameplay. In fact this is 3 days into production. So you control your ship in a side scrolling manner, but stages are not just left to right, but you can rather move freely in them. This makes it different from most shmups already, since it results in a nonlinear level design. This will change gameplay from Start Level -> Fight enemies -> Fight Boss -> Next Level to a more purposeful line of actions. Something along the line of Destroy Forcefield generator in the south, and the Flood Gates on the far east, which will drive the enemy off his Underground Base, so you can take him down. This is just a small example what might be possible. There will be different kinds of mission, to not get bored with the same thing repeating over and over again.

Additionally to this play style you will be able browse through the solar system to travel to different locations, or land on stations to resupply or receive contracts. I will be more elaborate on that some time later as this will likely be Beta content.

Also, this is currently inspired to be made for the Ludumdare October Challange, so check out the other games that are getting prepared :D

Regarding the title: Spacehunter sounds kind of not very cool. If you have a suggestion for a better title, you can leave a comment, or say hi, or give me all your money and your first born child.