Alien Escape concept for Indie startup


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edited in Projects
Update
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Hey everyone!

We added a new build to the site: http://www.dirtypixel.co.za/portfolio/alien-escape-concept/

New stuff:
- Indicator for how many aliens are incoming.
- Kills/Experience counter on each trap. (Leveling up does nothing yet).
- We THINK the collision problem is fixed now. If not, please tell us.
- The level reset when the player runs out of lives or when all aliens are dead. Still no ending screen ><

Next up:
- A proper game over screen.
- Level up indicators.
- More levels. More traps.
- Level selection map.
- Talent tree prototype with these basic functions:
* Split upgrade path for each trap.
* Leveling up a trap in a level will unlock a new tier. So the only way to upgrade is to use the trap a lot.
* Anvil: 1) heavier anvil for faster drop/ larger coverage?. 2) Stronger winch for faster reset.
* Spear: 1) Faster travel speed. 2) Larger coverage like a double barrel or an upgrade to a ninja star.
- Better sound.
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We uploaded a new concept demo here: http://www.dirtypixel.co.za/portfolio/alien-escape-concept/

We mainly added suggestions by @raxter in this version:
- Accelerating anvil drop.
- Faster spear shooting with a swoosh and clang.
- Camera shake (too much?)
- Hearts to indicate game over. For now the level just resets with zero feedback if the player dies.

Known issues:
- We've got the classic "projectile-is-too-fast-for-physics-system" problem with both the spear and the anvil. So we'll be sorting this out next.
- Sound is half-baked and not normalized. This is low priority atm.

Short term goals:
- A queue indicator of the upcoming enemies.
- A proper game over screen.
- Better sound.

Long term goals:
- Level selection.
- Score carry-over between levels.
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Hey everyone!

A colleague and I have been messing about with some games and recently decided to make more of a dedicated effort towards getting a good indie title going.

We would really appreciate some input from someone other than our GFs and parents. Believe it or not but they will lie to make you feel good.

So we have this reverse platformer concept in mind. Basically the player controls a booby-trapped environment and needs to stop the little aliens from making it to the end of the level.

A very alpha level is available here:
http://www.dirtypixel.co.za/portfolio/alien-escape-concept/

You will need Unity web player. Here is a screenie to look at while you install the web player.

image

We want to implement a wide variety of traps that use unique input gestures for controls. For example:
- The anvil in the demo level that uses swipe down for dropping and swipe up to reset.
- Saw blades that use circular gestures to speed up.
- Springs that uses swipe up to fling aliens to their deaths and uses rapid tapping to reset it again.

The story is basic. Something like aliens trying to escape from Jacob Zu.. I mean Area51.

Do you guys think it has potential?

Comments


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Do you guys think it has potential?
    Yes!

    The basic premise and feel of the game so far is good enough to flesh out some more. Explore more mechanics and have an end game state. Like are we going for a tower defense thing where you just got to survive as long as possible as the aliens come in faster?

    Keen to see where you go with this.

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    Hi SUGBOERIE

    Thanks for the feedback :). As for the end game state, we are considering and prototyping various options. For the moment we like the following idea:

    - Player has x amount of lives (say 10).
    - There are a set amount of alien waves.
    - If lives reach zero then it is game over.
    - If the player survives the level, the amount of lost lives carry over to the next level in the form of denser waves. So for example, if the player makes it through level 1 with only 1 life, it means that a lot of aliens got away. So level 2 will have extra waves and be a bit harder. This gives the player a good reason to revisit levels at a later stage (when he/she has more xp and perhaps upgrades?) And it also makes sense in the context of the game.

    Where do all the aliens go that got away? Oh here they are *bam. death.*

    We have tons of mechanics in mind with regards to traps and such. Also considering an "energy" mechanic where using a trap costs energy and energy is harvested off of certain aliens.

    So many options and so little time haha. Prototype ALL the ideas :D

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    @DirtyPixel That's really good for a prototype! Like @sugboerie, I think this game has some real potential. I just spent a good few minutes crushing aliens, and if a basic prototype like this can get someone to spend time playing it, the full game will do that even more.

    You clearly have a lot of ideas of your own here, so I won't suggest any new ones, except maybe a request? Have a huge pile of different squish sounds :)

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    Hey Wogan!

    Thanks for the input! That's a fair request. I'll try my best to give the squishing a very satisfactory sound and a nice squishy/splashy visual. Like they say - juice it or lose it :)

    I'll keep this page updated with new developments if you want to check in later :)

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    It resembles a horizontal variant of Pooyan (1982 Stern Electronics)
    http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9082

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    edited
    A risk vs. reward interplay is essential for a satisfying experience. Therefore you will need to add win/loose states as a priority before you start polishing anything else up.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    I like the idea! Particle effects for the little aliens dying are ace too!

    Are you planning on going mobile? I ask since you are using gesture controls. I immediately did the gamer things and ignored all instructions and tried to click/tap on things to make them work (probably when you get around to adding a tutorial or some control icons this won't be a problem). For more complicated levels are you planning on localizing the gesture input? So that you can fire two anvils depending on where you start the swipe, for instance?

    Other general noticings:
    • I'd like the spear to have been a bit faster so that it *Ka'THUNKs' into the wall and/or alien. And wanted the anvil to accelerate down as it dropped, rather than linearly moving down. Also the slightest bit of screenshake when the anvil and spear hits an alien would go a long way!

    • I'm interested to see if this goes in a Lemmings puzzle style direction (try kill all or most of the aliens) or a twitchy kill as many as possible before time/resources run out. Both would be super cool

    • Might be interesting to have combinations of things. Like a cannon that be fired and timed with a stick of explosives dropping to cause maximum explosion! (with screenshake!) Or have aliens with a shield and have the spear knock back those ones instead (into a pit of acid, perhaps, or another explosive device, or a cannon that you've set off in conjunction with the spear that will hit the shielded alien into the cannon ball you just fired). Basically more stuff and more stuff interacting with the more stuff!

    • On a related note, don't know where you are going with it but the gestures input would limit you to only 4 intractable things, no? Unless you make them dependent on where you start the swipe. BUT that said I'm imagining the idea of swiping down-left-up-down in a timed sequence in order to pull of a combo of things happening. Or just swiping all over the place for general mayhem, that'd also be pretty cool :p
    Obviously I'm putting my own design perspective on this all, it's your game so take my words with a pinch of salt I'm just getting excited with possibilities here :p I think the base is a great place to go from!

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Hey Raxter!

    Haha I see your mind is a flood just like my own. Thanks for the feedback. Here is what I can tell you now:

    1) With regards to the gestures limiting the amount of traps - we have a localized input design. In the prototype it is just localized to everywhere haha.

    2) The anvil acceleration is a great idea. I'll add this in the next version. The reason for the slow spear at this point is the "talent tree" we have in mind. Spending alien goo or whatever on making projectiles travel faster, making anvils heavier (for faster drop). Reducing trap reset time. Getting auto-reset on some traps and so on. But I will take into consideration that if it felt too slow for you at the start then it will probably feel too slow for a lot of other people.

    3) The shaking has been added along with some Super Meat Boy-ish blood on the surrounding tiles.

    4) You are spot on with how the traps interact with each other. The current mechanic that we are working on is a spring that shoots an alien up (swipe up). Then the player has to pinch to slam 2 massive crushers whilst the alien is in the air. So your line of thinking is much in line with what we are planning ;)

    5) The current target platforms are mobile so that is why the input is limited to gestures.

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