Centipede in a circle concept

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Post: #1
I'm trying to rattle my brains on whether this would be interesting...

I use to REALLY love centipede. Today I was thinking, "What if the player was located in the middle of the screen? You would move around in a circle, facing the outside of the circle. Inside the circle was, say... something you needed to defend. Now, the centipedes move from the edge of the screen towards the middle. When they get close enough, they go in your circle and take something, and start moving back out towards the edge. At lower levels, things are not too crazy, but at higher levels, you could have 5 centipedes coming at you from different directions. Very hectic! Falling fleas would need to be re-worked, but spiders could be intergrated I think.

I think there was a space game like this, but not with mushrooms and centipedes of course. Mainly, aliens came to the center and took something from you.

Would this idea work, and would it be fun (blasting centipedes has to be fun, right!?!?!)

I would be very interested in providing sprites and music for such a game (or making it if iDevGames ever closes down, or if I am allowed in uDG 04 Wink )

Anyhow, I'll like to hear some ideas how to take the concept of Centipede and put a nice twist on it, like Airburst did over the classic game it is based on.

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
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Criollo
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Post: #2
How would you aim the weapon, or would it always be facing outside?

-Criollo
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Post: #3
I'd image you would rotate around the center and shoot that way.
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Post: #4
Quote:Originally posted by Camacho
I'm trying to rattle my brains on whether this would be interesting...

I use to REALLY love centipede. Today I was thinking, "What if the player was located in the middle of the screen?


I made a game sorta like that once. You could move and shoot n/s/e/w. There were "mushrooms" that were on the board that were slanted at 45-degree angles. And there were centipedes that would be deflected by the mushrooms. When you shot a centipede section the angle of the mushroom that would take its place would depend on where you were at the time.

What was cool was that you had to be able to look ahead and predict where the centipede would end up so you could set up your shot.

But it never really worked as a game - and I remember the beta testers uniformly unimpressed.

Quote:Originally posted by Camacho
You would move around in a circle, facing the outside of the circle. Inside the circle was, say... something you needed to defend. Now, the centipedes move from the edge of the screen towards the middle. When they get close enough, they go in your circle and take something, and start moving back out towards the edge. At lower levels, things are not too crazy, but at higher levels, you could have 5 centipedes coming at you from different directions. Very hectic! Falling fleas would need to be re-worked, but spiders could be intergrated I think.

I think there was a space game like this, but not with mushrooms and centipedes of course. Mainly, aliens came to the center and took something from you.

the original game was "Rip-Off" by Tim Skelly - which was the first arcade game with two-player cooperative game play. You are a tank in the middle of a circle and bad guys try and steal your oil drums. Cooler than it sounds. If a bad-guy grabbed one and started making off with it and you shot him - the drum stayed where it last was. so as you played the game the drums got more and more scattered around the field and harder to defend.

It was remade by stickman games as "Centinels of Ceth" which is a *great* space arcade game - which unfortunately doesnt work on OSX - its sold at <http://www.vendornation.com/>. There is also a free 3D version which also is OS9 only called "Barrel Patrol 3d" and also much fun and can be found at <http://www.fathomgames.com/>
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Post: #5
Right, to make the game easy, we would have the player always facing outward, so shooting would go in the direction you are facing. Moving the mouse left and right make you spin around the circle's diameter. I thought about allow allowing some small amount of turning as you whip around the circle, but that will make the player hard to control. So a kind of "Tempest" approach is best Smile

It would be cool to shoot out something, and that something moves through the mushroom field and seeks out your enemies. Kind of like a smart bomb. You get this as a power up.

In a way, the game would be like Warlords. Wink

Carlos A. Camacho,
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Post: #6
I could definitely see this working. Makes complete sense when you visualize it.

The hardest thing to work out would probably be how to place the mushrooms. As the closer to the center you get the fewer places there are to place mushrooms. You'd probably need to remove the game from a grid and arbitrarily place mushrooms, but that complicates centipede movement.

Player movement would be easy. Just move the mouse left to rotate counter-clockwise, and right to move clockwise. Up and down would move the player towards and away from the center.

OpenGL makes graphics a snap. Have there been any fully-3D Centipede clones?
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Post: #7
Quote:Originally posted by Bachus
OpenGL makes graphics a snap. Have there been any fully-3D Centipede clones?
yeah - a bad console version. Some games that work in 2d dont work in 3d.
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Ice Cream Joe
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Post: #8
Quote:Originally posted by Bachus

The hardest thing to work out would probably be how to place the mushrooms. As the closer to the center you get the fewer places there are to place mushrooms. You'd probably need to remove the game from a grid and arbitrarily place mushrooms, but that complicates centipede movement.


Perhaps only remove the grid on the radial axis, and allow mushrooms to be placed arbitrarily on each radius. Each concentric ring could be abstracted as a rectangle with a length equal to the circumference of the inner edge of the ring. Now just "fit" mushrooms into the ring, by looking for a space that's wide enough to fit one.

That way, you still have a visible set of rings that you could use to predict the movement of the centipede, and centipede/mushroom collision is still pretty simple.

Quote:Player movement would be easy. Just move the mouse left to rotate counter-clockwise, and right to move clockwise. Up and down would move the player towards and away from the center.


I can picture myself having trouble getting used to this- when the player is at the bottom of the circle, every input does the opposite movement from my frame of reference.

An alternative, would be to fix the camera on the player, and move the world around it. Up and down movement we wouldn't need to follow, but for left/right movement we would spin the field under the player.
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Post: #9
Quote:Originally posted by Ice Cream Joe
I can picture myself having trouble getting used to this- when the player is at the bottom of the circle, every input does the opposite movement from my frame of reference.

An alternative, would be to fix the camera on the player, and move the world around it. Up and down movement we wouldn't need to follow, but for left/right movement we would spin the field under the player.


I had that idea as well. It could be an option for the player to pick between the two.
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Ice Cream Joe
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Post: #10
Another thing I stumbled on:

In traditional centipede, the centipede turns down one level when it hits a mushroom or the edge of the screen. In this version we're effectively removing the edge of the screen, so it's possible that the player could clear one ring of mushrooms, resulting in the centipede being forever trapped on that ring. The player could then shoot the spiders and whatnot for big points as long as they like.

Some solutions:
1) If the centipede makes one full trip around the ring, just have it go down a level. Simple but crude.
2) If a ring is clear of mushrooms, spawn a few fleas to drop new ones on it. Similar to clearing out the bottom region in traditional centipede. It's a little trickier to implement and depends on how the fleas are designed. Assuming the path of the flea traces a diameter of the playing field it shouldn't be too tricky.

A similar problem- the fact that there are no longer any edges means there's no place for the scorpion to spawn from. Perhaps it could run along an arbitrary ray through the field?

Any more thoughts?
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Post: #11
Quote:Originally posted by Ice Cream Joe

1) If the centipede makes one full trip around the ring, just have it go down a level. Simple but crude.
2) If a ring is clear of mushrooms, spawn a few fleas to drop new ones on it. Similar to clearing out the bottom region in traditional centipede. It's a little trickier to implement and depends on how the fleas are designed. Assuming the path of the flea traces a diameter of the playing field it shouldn't be too tricky.

Both of those sound good, and a combo of the two would probably work best. Spawn the flea to add more mushrooms when it gets too cleared out, but also drop the centipede if it ever happens to make a full rotation without dropping.

Quote:A similar problem- the fact that there are no longer any edges means there's no place for the scorpion to spawn from. Perhaps it could run along an arbitrary ray through the field?


I suppose the two ways an enemy would enter would be from the outer edge of the playing field, or it could be dropped from above. Or depending on the type of insect it could burrow out from beneath the ground. Been a while since I've played Centipede so I don't remember every enemy type.
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Post: #12
In my mind, I envisioned that the centipedes would enter the screen from various degrees. They would then start moving 360 degrees, as if in a funnel. If they hit a mushroom, they move one "ring" closer to the middle. If they make a complete circle without hitting a mushroom, they will automatically move one ring towards the center. I think that is what you were saying? You get more points for hitting centipedes which are closer to the center of course. I like the mad idea of 7 little centipedes moving towards the middle. wa ha ha.. lots of sweet as you move around in a panic!

For spiders, I could see them moving more like a spider as they use some kind of A* to move towards the center. I think that spiders should be the ones who make their way towards the center to steal something. Your eggs or peons. I also like the idea of if you hit a spider that is carrying a peon before they get away, that peon stays in that position waiting for your help at the end of the level. So at tje end of the level, you can bring all your peons back to base. Like Missile Command, you get big points for how many peons you still have.

As for fleas, their dropping nature doesn't realy work for this center game. So, I think that some insect should simply move from one side of the 360 degree screen, to the other, infecting any mushrooms it may touch.

I hate ants too. So I am thinking of how to bring ants into the game.

BTW.. my idea is stickly for a 2D game. 3D pre-rendered sprites would be good though.

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
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Post: #13
Cool idea, I'd help with it. I can visualize it pretty well. I also think Kelvin's udg entry is similar in terms of controls. He might be a good one to get to help with this.
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Post: #14
Thanks GoodDoug. I'll let you finish your uDG entry than I will "bug" you on this.

Carlos A. Camacho,
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ChukB
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Post: #15
Just a thought - I remember an old game from High Risk, can't remember the name, but it had a spaceship inside 3 revolving concentric rings of shields you had to shoot holes in from the outside to shoot at the spaceship in the center. The player controlled a smaller ship with, if memory serves, simple turn/thrust/shoot controls. I don't think I ever got too into that one, but it leapt to mind when I read your posts here.
Might the field be easier to read if the player were on the outside, and the centipedes came from the center? Would probably make for a totally different game, but I usually find that turning layouts inside out encourages some good design insights.
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Charlie
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