A few days ago I had a weird-ass dream about a game I had supposedly made. I intend to follow through with it.
It isn’t the first time I’ve had this kind of dream. But this one was closely related to some of the elements I had envisioned for my Twin-stick Shooter project that I was making quasi-tutorial video devlogs about a while back. Because I never got very far with that project before other things took up my time, I’ll go over a few of my ideas for it, and then I’ll write about the dream that I had.
For my twin-stick shooter, I had intended it to be just slightly more involved than it appears to have been in the form it was last scene on youtube. Instead of just an asteroids-esque shooter that could fill a couple minutes of fun as a mobile game (for which the GLES3 renderer I chose was going to possibly be overkill), I wanted to incorporate some of the elements of StarFox 2, such as landing on planets and taking to the ground in a walker, or perhaps going underwater. This would have also meant developing some kind of Spore-esque planetary navigational gameplay.
Those elements still exist, but in my dream I saw something a little bit more interesting: navigation across interplanetary space-highway systems in a slightly less open-world, more questline-driven way with dialog trees and investigative elements that would make finding worlds possible by getting information from other travelers across the systems and solving mysteries. This will require more creative writing on my part, but the dialog system itself ought to prove technologically less involved than trying to make a completely explorable galaxy like Spore had done.
Exploration of space will be a mix of dialog-unlockable overworld-map-esque highway systems, interspersed with bouts of 6-DOF combat or exploration sequences. Think of the way Zelda II used individual scenes for towns and battle scenes, and even some challenging pathways, entered when you hit their tile on the overworld tile map. In a sort of similar vein, space will be explorable through a series of nodes connected by highways, selected via dialog system, and interrupted by episodes of non-linear combat. There could be random events, but most of the time it will be based on which path you’ve taken to get to a node in the system. Planets will be explorable, but I think I will restrict what regions of what worlds can be explored, and by what medium: whether by air, land, or sea will depend on what I want to make that place. I don’t think I will create spherical worlds because that is just a big pain in the ass. Furthermore, I don’t want to procedurally generate them, or at least I think I don’t; that seems like a cop-out to create quantity, without necessarily being quality gameplay. Areas will be hand-crafted, as well as the quests that exist to be completed there.
I also have an inkling for some of the underlying story for this game, parts of which come from other dreams that had scenes in them that I think can fit well in this formula. I want to tell a specific story, so that’s why it’s not going to be a procedurally-generated infinite open world kind of game–not to mention that’s a way bigger technical challenge, to make something like that worth playing, compared to a hand-crafted experience.
Overall, I think I can identify a few of the major subconscious influences that contribute to my vision for this project: Spore, StarFox 2, Zelda II, Descent, TimeLapse, and Battlestar Galactica all have elements I can recognize in my full vision. Obviously I’m not about to claim that my project will be as big as the sum of all of these great works, nor even as great as one of them by itself, but that these are what have spoken to me in bits and pieces to give my vision substance.
Stay tuned. Or don’t, you don’t have to be here unless you owe me money.