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Old 02-03-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
cnutt
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Default Game Design Challenge: A New Vision

It's time for our latest challenge, one inspired by the words of Mega Man developer Keiji Inafune...

EDIT: results are live!

http://gamecareerguide.com/features/...me_design_.php
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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Hmmm... The first game I think of is Simon's Quest. Despite Castlevania being a rather popular series, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who considers Simon's Quest their favorite. I think taking Simon's Quest's core elements (side-scrolling action/RPG in a large open world) and running with them would be fantastic.

Unless you count the Metroidvania games as 'open world', which I guess you could. How do people feel about that? Otherwise, I'll head back to the drawing board.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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I don't, personally, feel that the Metroidvania games are a deliberate evolution of Simon's Quest, though they do share some basic concepts, quite obviously. I don't see any reason to shy away from that.

I'd actually hoped that one of the IGA-vanias would explore the Simon's Quest structure more, with a world map and mini-Castles. I guess Portrait of Ruin has something of a similar structure, but I have yet to play it.

Anyway, that game was quite popular at the time, but maybe underappreciated in retrospect? Certainly its structure wasn't typical of 8 or 16-bit action games, so I'd say it's fair game.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnutt View Post
I'd actually hoped that one of the IGA-vanias would explore the Simon's Quest structure more, with a world map and mini-Castles. I guess Portrait of Ruin has something of a similar structure, but I have yet to play it.
Only very slightly; it feels more like a lot of disjointed maps connected to a central hub rather than a singular world with areas coming off it. The castle is the usual large Metroid-vania'esqe map, and hidden throughout are paintings you can enter, leading you to a variety of different levels.

It doesn't feel open so much as it feels like an attempt at making the game look different while still playing the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnutt View Post
Anyway, that game was quite popular at the time, but maybe underappreciated in retrospect? Certainly its structure wasn't typical of 8 or 16-bit action games, so I'd say it's fair game.
I only remember people talking about it because nobody had beaten it. Either way, if it gets your seal of approval I think I'll expand on that and see where it takes me. I may not make that my entry, but right now it's the one that jumped out at me first.

I dunno. It had day/night cycles, a more adventure-oriented gameplay (rather than platforming), RPG elements... I'm leaning towards adapting Simon's Quest to a modern audience. I'll likely retain the 2-D gameplay, but there's plenty of modern touches that can make an appearance.
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Last edited by Retro : 02-04-2010 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:40 AM   #5
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Sorry for the double post. Started spitballing ideas last night to see how a modern take on Simon's Quest would go. So far, I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of approaching it as a Survival Horror-type game, with the usual gameplay trimmings (health/ammo management, inventory space, puzzle-solving). I may not carry it quite so far, but I like the idea of retaining the 'oh god, it's night, I'm so dead' vibe that the original seemed to be going for.

Anyways, here's my notes...

Improved Time Cycles:
- No more annoying messages!
- Longer day and night cycle.
- Night is much darker, meant to feel claustrophobic and dangerous.
- Better On-screen clock.
- More time-sensitive events.
---- NPCs have scripted routines?

Improved RPG Elements:
- Separate currency; hearts are separate from coin and/or experience.
- Improved (but intentionally simple) equipment system.
- Additional Relic system for improved play experience.
- Survival horror-like approach?
---- Limited health and recovery options
---- Limited inventory space (Already in place for garlic and laurels)
---- Limited sub-weapon use?

World:
- Areas have distinctive visuals.
- More secrets.
- Logical / Mechanical puzzles.
- More routes, locations in general.
- Horse to aid in exploration?
- Hidden pits, traps, etc. Slower paced than a traditional CV for a reason
---- Continued "Survival Horror" feel; you never know where traps/fake floors are.
---- Maybe time of day changes traps / pits / etc?
- Use of 3-D in places (climbing up a spiraling mountain, along a narrow cliff, etc).

Enemies:
- Enemies become drastically different in appearance at night, growing and shrinking or changing in other ways based on the hour.
- Enemies are also smarter and have a greater variety of tricks.
- More than three bosses!

Gameplay:
- Dracula's Curse has some effect on gameplay?
---- Different health system, more survival horror-ish?
---- Ninja Gaiden 2 (Modern consoles) health system?
- Better combat control (8-direction whipping?)
---- Adapt most of the look and feel of Super Castlevania IV.
- Multiple items can be set to buttons.
- Some items are always active.

Storytelling:
- Story expanded upon by journals found in mansions (Clue books).
---- Ties to chronologically older games (CV:III, Adventure) and characters.
---- Narrated w/ images?
- Side story involving the Holy See (Simon resurrecting Dracula appears evil)?

This is kind of an odd challenge; we're not exactly remaking a game.. it's more like we're taking a game and making it as if it were being made today... I wonder if that means I HAVE to make Simon a bald-headed space marine, Transylvania in shades of brown, gray, brown, and gray (with light bloom on everything), or the entire game in nearly-unplayable crap-camera 3-D?

.... naaah.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:32 AM   #6
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I think someone could make a great parody entry by taking a good game and ruining it with all the focus group-inspired aesthetics.

Hmm...
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob View Post
I think someone could make a great parody entry by taking a good game and ruining it with all the focus group-inspired aesthetics.

Hmm...
As I was adding that last part at the end of my second post, I thought that might be great too. Somebody jump on this, we need A New (test market approved) Vision for an already amazing series!
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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I wanted to use GUN that I had for PlayStation 2 (It may have been out on PC as well). However, it only came out in 2005, is this too contemporary?

I thought this was a brilliant game, but for some reason it never gained much coverage in magazines etc and mostly received less than 80% review scores. I believe this game was overlooked as the control-scheme and gameplay are abundant in modern titles. The controls used to shoot are similar to that of Uncharted and its free roaming mission based gameplay have been lifted from GTA IV (with horses instead of cars). The story/characters/dialogue where brilliant, plus it was a Western (which I don't think we have enough of) and with other western titles such as Call of Juarez and Red Dead Redemption coming out, there's no reason why a sequel wouldn't be successful.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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Tenacious,

The game may not have been ahead of its time, it might just have lacked mass-market appeal. I didn't pick up any of those western games because the western theme didn't appeal to me. I'm sure I could have liked them, but it didn't make me want to pick them up off the shelves.

Still, I doubt you really need to make a case for your game. If you think it was ahead of its time and make a good revision of the game play, the judges probably won't challenge whether or not it was ahead of its time.

Even if it was ahead of its time though, 2005 might be too recent. The challenge is about making the game contemporary. Would we see a dramatic difference between the old game and its 2010 counterpart?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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Thanks Bob,

I figured the game might be too recent. The trouble I have is that, although I had old consoles, the games I had for them where all decent games. I have trouble thinking of a game that I know enough about, that I feel was ahead of its time and that wasn't too recent. I will give this some more thought.

TS
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