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Old 11-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
cnutt
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Default Game Design Challenge: Sidekick

The latest challenge asks you to design a sidekick for an existing game hero.

But be careful -- this approach can backfire.

Edit: The results are live!

http://gamecareerguide.com/features/...me_design_.php
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
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With a flying side-kick like that, it's a mystery Sonic never starred in a fighting game!

Padum-pum, tissh!
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Interesting challenge, because the sidekick has the potential to expand upon gameplay concepts in a way that a single character simply cannot. Off the top of my head, Ico, Resident Evil Zero, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin all had "Sidekick Helper" mechanics. Probably a lot more I'm just not remembering.
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Last edited by Retro : 11-12-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro View Post
Interesting challenge, because the sidekick has the potential to expand upon gameplay concepts in a way that a single character simply cannot. Off the top of my head, Ico, Resident Evil Zero, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin all had "Sidekick Helper" mechanics. Probably a lot more I'm just not remembering.
Although not the traditional "Robin the Boy Wonder" image of a sidekick, canine companions have recently leaped into sidekick stardom and expanded the options of "helper" responsibilities. Your puppy from Fable 2, the obvious reference, allowed enormous emotional impact as well as tangible aid--from adding another source of damage in combat to giving access to some of the game's best loot. Another wonderful example are the pets from Fate and the fresh Torchlight, whom actually carried your excess loot back to town to sell!

All in all, this is a totally boss challenge. As a newbie to GCG, I'm definitely excited.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Protector one View Post
With a flying side-kick like that, it's a mystery Sonic never starred in a fighting game!

Padum-pum, tissh!
Ha! lol'ed at this.
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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I don't understand this caution against backfiring. Any game play mechanic "backfires" if it is bad. Is there something unique to sidekicks?
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:56 AM   #7
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Actually, with sidekick the backfire isn't so much the mechanic it may employ, but the character of the sidekick and their role to the plot and setting. So the sidekick challenge "backfire" isn't so much mechanic-related as it is plot-related.

Interesting challenge, though quite a lot of games come with sidekicks, though they aren't always playable. Inventing a sidekick basically means we need to find a game where the primary protagonist really stands out on his own and is rarely assisted by friends or allies.

I mean, last game I played was Mass Effect, has more sidekicks than you can throw a stick at. And then fallout 3, prince of persia, left4dead, kingdom hearts...what's the last game I even played without sidekicks?
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bittman View Post
Actually, with sidekick the backfire isn't so much the mechanic it may employ, but the character of the sidekick and their role to the plot and setting. So the sidekick challenge "backfire" isn't so much mechanic-related as it is plot-related.

Interesting challenge, though quite a lot of games come with sidekicks, though they aren't always playable. Inventing a sidekick basically means we need to find a game where the primary protagonist really stands out on his own and is rarely assisted by friends or allies.

I mean, last game I played was Mass Effect, has more sidekicks than you can throw a stick at. And then fallout 3, prince of persia, left4dead, kingdom hearts...what's the last game I even played with sidekicks?
I'm thinking the same- looking at my stack of PS3 games that I've played and enjoyed I can't think of a single 1 which doesn't have at least 1 sidekick.

GTA IV, MGS4, Killzone 2, COD:MW2, Uncharted 2, LittleBigPlanet...

Hmmm, I'm thinking maybe something like Hitman if I can think of a good enough angle... interesting challenge.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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The Metroid series definitely comes to mind as one which has avoided the sidekick for an almost unnatural amount of time.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #10
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The Metroid series definitely comes to mind as one which has avoided the sidekick for an almost unnatural amount of time.
Yeah, I was actually working on a Metroid submission during dinner tonight, a sequel to Fusion where Samus is able to control a Metroid sidekick via the right analog stick.

Here's my notes;

- controllable at all times w/ Analog stick.
- move shoot to shoulder for access?
- can absorb shots (shield)
- sucks energy, way to recharge samus?
- carry in morphball form?
- grab distant objects
- able to support weight? Limited time only.
- usable as a movable platform.
- Weak vs. ice.
- activated ability?
- AI controlled when not in use? Auto-attack?

If you want to work on a Metroid-based project, I'll find something else or we can collaborate. Kind of hoping to flesh out this idea, however.
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