Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to the drawing board.

Happy new year to all!  Good riddance to 2014.

So, over the past week I've been toying with some ideas for my next game and came to terms with I want to experiment on a type of genre that's foreign to me:  

Survival horror.

I had all these ideas for an action RPG, though to be frank I don't want to spend a year on a game since I may not have time for an epic scale story.  So I've been checking out some horror themed games, newer stuff as well as classics and remembered I had ideas about a game where you play cat and mouse with a stalker type character.  Hell, I have designs for the stalker himself actually.  I'm looking at incorporating my female protag as the main character still since it seems more fitting to have a male stalker vs a female character.

Any of you remember Maniac Mansion or Dragon's Lair?  The game will be 2D and the best way I can accomplish this is using that format

The setting of it would be either a high school reunion or a college that's demolished one fateful night in an explosion, following three months reports of strange lights and gunshots were heard from the now abandoned school while you as an investigator search the school for clues since the police is unable to act upon this deeming the murderer to of fled the scene but is at large, and without much evidence it would be hard to convict him.  Though a college would make more sense as it's bigger in scale.  Sure it sounds Law and Order cheesy, but I'm confident I can make it work.

As you enter the school ruins, you come to notice that it's possibly haunted, covered in blood and cobwebs you come to find proof that a dark ritual has taken place.  Symbols are etched all over the school grounds, and you will see images of ghosts and possessed crows trying to peck you.

Enemies you need to worry about:

1. Possessed ravens:  These black birds with red eyes swoop down and try to peck you.   Just use your melee to swat them back.

2. Acid spewing rats:  Rats that spray acid, sprinkle some crackers and they'll be distracted.

3. Traps:  Traps have been placed all over campus preventing you from finding the secret.  Tripwire explosives, alarms to alert the Stalker, bear traps, wires in water, etc.

4. Ghosts:  These are meant to be jump scares if they touch you.  Use the flashlight to make them disappear temporarily.

and the big one...

5:  Stalker:  A grown man obsessed with killing you, for reasons unknown he blames you for why his life turned out the way it is so he is demanding restitution. As a side quest you collect pages of his manifesto to get the reasons why he is still hanging around the haunted school.

The mechanic of this is, when you spend more than five minutes in one area, he enters the area and patrols looking for you.  You have to avoid him at all costs while you investigate where the ritual has taken place.  Stalker uses the security cams to track where you will be then patrols until he finds you.  I'll have music cues if he's close, and one when he finds you.

The main part of the game is to locate the ritual and contact the authorities with your evidence and the killer's confession, if you can survive it.  All you have is a smartphone equipped with a flashlight and camcorder but battery life is limited so you have to be very diligent with it.  You explore parts of the school and take pictures of rituals and other oddities taken place.

I want to make this a bit more interesting, since the school is in ruins, you have to navigate al a Tomb Raiderish by hanging on ledges and jumping across small gaps.

The smartphone allows you to also save your game at any point.

I'm still working on items you can collect, I'm really trying to avoid the old "get key to enter area" trope that's way too common in these games.  Maybe I can take a cue from the Arkham games and use alternate means like ventilation, open windows, or tricking Stalker into unlocking a door.  Maybe an electronic combination lock you can hack with your smartphone once you are able to get the right app.

Also, Stalker taunts you by sending creepy texts as you progress.  Keeping with true stalker fashion.

My goal is to make this game in less than two months, my challenge to myself.  Sort of a game jam to test and see where this game goes.

Who's with me!?



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