Monday, February 13, 2017

Game Prototyping 5005 - Prototype 1 - Dancy Monster Things With Big Heads

After last week I have had a fair few issues trying to finish the puzzle like I wanted. My puzzle idea was to use the monster NPCs as platforms for the player to jump upon and cross gaps. In combination with the summoning mechanic, the player would be able to move the monsters to the location they want in order to cross over to new areas.

Core Mechanics

Below I have listed all the main mechanics with a little GIF of each to demonstrate how they work.

Input - Movement
Basic Third Person Character Movement with running, jumping and sprinting.

Input - Dance Interaction
Three of the gamepad face buttons (Left, Top, Right) mapped to different dance commands, represented in prototype using scaling and colour change.

Input - Call Monsters
Left Shoulder button will call any befriended monsters that have been selected in Sweep Mode

AI - Point to Point path following
NPCs are linked to a set of target points, which they move between. When one point is reached they move to the next one referenced in the overlapping target point, if linked correctly the NPC can walk following a circuit of target points that loop.

AI - Monster Spot
If an NPC spots another NPC they will walk towards each other and demonstrate the dance routine needed to befriend them in order to give a hint to the player. After they have performed the routine to each other they will return to their path.

(No GIF for this as I couldn't get it working again.)

AI - Player Spot
If the player is spotted then the monster will stop in it's tracks and become responsive to dance moves, once performed correctly the Monster will become 'Befriended' allowing them be selected in using sweep mode and them to be called.

Input - Sweep Mode
I managed to get a sweeping mechanic working that allows the player to highlight NPCs and select them for movement if they have been befriended using a dance. While in Sweep Mode (triggered by holding down up on the D-Pad) the player's camera freezes and the player can control a selection sphere that will select NPCs while the left shoulder button is held down.

Concepting some puzzles

Before I move on Mike suggested that I go through and detail some basic puzzles or at least some ways this concept could expand if it was a full game. This intention behind this is to see if the mechanic has creative possibilities beyond just a basic prototype. So below I have listed some random ideas of the potential ways the gameplay in this prototype can expand.

  • More specific abilities for the NPCs - some function as platforms, some can be lethal. Gameplay could be expanded where you have to deal with certain NPCs at certain times and get them into certain locations where they could then be usable as a way for the player to get over an environmental obstacle.
  • Zone separation, NPCs tied to certain areas that can only walk within those bounds, allows for complex puzzles that involve lining up NPCs within each different area correctly in order to gain access to a new area. Two stage puzzles could involve different NPCs separated by a fence, the player can get them to activate switches on each side, which then moves the fence, allowing both the NPCs to trigger a weight switch on one side.
  • More varied interactions, more naturalistic AI that react differently to each other. Giving the player more hints on how to interact with them properly.

Next week I will be starting a new prototype, focusing on creating a fun 'toy' to play about with, with less emphasis on creating a mechanic with a puzzle already in mind. This was advice gained from Mike, who also pointed out that this should help with being able to create a more interesting concept. Hopefully it should be fun!


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