Design help with my game please!

Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #1
I'm making a game pretty similar to the old game NS-Shaft. For those who never played it, it is a kind of platform game where you can only go left or right, and the randomly positioned platforms move upwards, so you have to hop from platform to platform. If you go too slowly, you go off the top of the screen and lose, if you go too fast, you fall off the bottom.

The problem is, I'm not exactly how to make it unique, yet keep the same addictive quality that NS-Shaft had. Sure, I'll change the graphics etc (I'm having nice parallax scrolling backgrounds and several "worlds" with their own graphics sets/difficulty etc) but I'm not sure how to change the core gameplay, and yet keep it as good, if not better than NS-Shaft. Also, I want to keep it feasible - I learned the lesson of not being overly ambitious long ago!

Anyone care to share their thoughts/imagination on this? :-)
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Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
Great game, can't wait to see a remake.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Collapsable platforms (think those donut looking platforms which fall in Super Mario 3). Limited amount of time to stand on it before it breaks/falls.
  • Wobbly platforms. Stand on the edge and it will slowly roll over and slide you off. Stay in the middle and you're safe.
  • Vines/Hanging ropes. Would be cool in a jungle/warehouse level. Player can grab onto rope, and climb up or slide down.

Possible Powerups:
  • Parachute. Very useful after a suicidal jump from the top of the screen with the hopes of landing on an appearing platform at the bottom. (If you've played the game, you know what I mean)
  • Bungie! Probably not all that useful, but it would be fun, and look COOL!
  • Long jump. Handy for when the nearest platform is way across the other side of the screen.
  • Drill. Not so sure about the usefulness of this one, but it enables the player to drill through the platform.
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Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #3
Quote:Originally posted by Cookie
[b]Great game, can't wait to see a remake.

Here are a few ideas:
Collapsable platforms (think those donut looking platforms which fall in Super Mario 3). Limited amount of time to stand on it before it breaks/falls.

Actually, I recently re-downloaded NS-Shaft, and it had this! In fact, they weren't fall away platforms, but revolving platforms, but they had the same effect. I'll be having collapsable ones though :-)

Quote:[*] Wobbly platforms. Stand on the edge and it will slowly roll over and slide you off. Stay in the middle and you're safe.

Yup, I thought of this too... at least, I thought of just having circular platforms so you'd have to constantly run left and right if you want to stay on. Good idea :-)

Quote:[*] Vines/Hanging ropes. Would be cool in a jungle/warehouse level. Player can grab onto rope, and climb up or slide down.

Good idea! It would be like the safe option after jumping around like a stresshead for a while ;-)

Possible Powerups:
Quote:Parachute. Very useful after a suicidal jump from the top of the screen with the hopes of landing on an appearing platform at the bottom. (If you've played the game, you know what I mean)

Ah yes, genius. I know exactly what you mean - I can imagine you're leaving it until the last minute to jump, and no platforms become available, so you jump anyway, and hope you land on something. Would be fantastic to have a parachute in this situation, so you fall just a little faster than the screen scrolls. If you were really good, you could use it to float for a really long time, if you were careful to not land on a platform.

Quote: Bungie! Probably not all that useful, but it would be fun, and look COOL!

hehehe ummmmm, yeeeah. How would this work? Rasp

Quote: Long jump. Handy for when the nearest platform is way across the other side of the screen.

Uh huh, this could work...

Quote: Drill. Not so sure about the usefulness of this one, but it enables the player to drill through the platform.

hmm, yeah, interesting idea. or perhaps the drill could simply get rid of the spikes from a spiked platform, so you could land on it safely?

Thanks, some great ideas!
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Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
A new version of NS-Shaft is out?! cool!

Back to the ideas:
Alternating spiked/normal platform. Like in Kiki with the spikes that poke out.

Swing the vines/ropes maybe? Press left or right to slowly swing the rope, gaining more height with each swing.

Hang onto platforms. If you fall just short of landing on a platform, the player can grab onto the edge.

Possible levels:

Waterfall. Rolling logs, alligators, rocks, barrels, etc.
Jungle. Climbing down tree branches being chased by hungry monkeys/ falling coconuts.
Cave. Roof of cave collapsing down, you get the idea.
Avalanche.
Giant Candy world. I have no idea why, it would just make an interesting and cutesy level. Perhaps a big sticky candy bar which makes your feet stick and walk slower.
Computer level. Inside a computer, jumping around on microchips and such.
Horror level. Falling daggers, coffins, skeletons... a foggy haze at the bottom.
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Oldtimer
Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #5
I wrote up a blurb on improving these kinds of ideas in my Galder II developer diary... It's the entry for May 18th, "Die Die My Darling", it might help you. Smile

Good luck, I'm looking forward to NS-Shaft! Grin

/Ivan
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EonBleu
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Post: #6
Obstacles:

falling bombs/rocks that don't hurt you, but they destroy platforms.

floating walls- this would make navigating harder, especially if you were caught behind one and had to wait for the platform to rise over it to jump. A drill could come in handy if you had walls too.

Drafts- would push you backwards/forwards so if you're at an edge, you might fall off the platform, or if you jump, would propell you forward, or slow you down, depending on the direction. Up drafts and down drafts would be interesting as well. You could possibly float midair in an updraft while it lasted; maybe in a volcano level.

I'm looking forward to seeing the game!
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Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #7
Hey guys,

I started work on the game, and have almost finished the game mechanics! At least, I have the main chunk of the game written now, and most of the platform behaviours. What is left to do is:

- A few more platform behaviours (currently it has the ones from NS-Shaft plus a horizontally bouncing block... time to add a few more unique ones!)
- Powerups
- Sound and Music
- Create the graphics for the actual worlds.

Each world can have different speed / gravity / frequency of each type of platform / completely different graphics. Here are some screenshots of the game so far, with my first complete graphics set for the first world "Jungle Jitters":

[Image: screenshot1.jpg]
[Image: screenshot2.jpg]
[Image: screenshot3.jpg]

The game's name is Primate Plunge, and my way of making it seem significantly different from NS-Shaft is that you are a monkey who hangs from the platforms, rather than running on top of them, so you can swing from branch to branch for example. The monkey animations are complete and looking pretty cool :-) Um, as you can see though, the platform graphics aren't so complete.

Thanks for the help guys, I'll be working to make sure as many of these features make it into the game as possible!
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Member
Posts: 304
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
Those are some lovely forest backgrounds. Cant wait to see the monkey animation!
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Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
I'm loving those graphics! How did you make the backgrounds, they look awesome.
How does the monkey grab onto the platforms? Do you have to grab the edge, or does he fall in front of the platform and grab on?
Looks great, keep up the good work.
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AREM
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Post: #10
where can you download ns-shaft?
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Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #11
Thanks :-)

The monkey kinda drops behind the platforms, so you can grab onto them at any point.

The backgrounds are in paralax layers (so they look much better when they're moving!) They're individually drawn by hand in Photoshop by yours truly. :-D

As for where to download NS-Shaft, just google search it. it's made by a company called Nagi-P Soft I think. Wasn't hard to find. Pity it's classic only, but then that's why I'm making Primate Plunge (although actually it's quite a lot different now).
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eekaydee
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Post: #12
Will your game have enemies? Or something you can interact with, like levers or something? Then you could use your super monkey tail!

Those conveyor belts look cool...especially since they're in the jungle. Grin
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Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #13
I'm submitting the game into uDevGame 2003.

Here is a thread with the current build for you to try:

- Primate Plunge Feedback
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