Wan • on 1st Kajam entry Rat Park

For my Kajam entry, I have decided to go with a top-down, twin-stick shooter. That should give me plenty of opportunities for finetuning the game feel and juicing up the action!

For my last MiniLD entry I tried the exercise of making a whole game design document before coding the game. Even if the actual game was quite small, it was fun writing the doc, and I think it helped keep the development focused and the end result consistent.

I won't do a full GDD this time but still, here's my notes on the upcoming entry:

Design notes

Theme/Art style

  • Game set in a strange, futuristic place that feels like a maze made out of hundreds of similar rooms arranged as a grid, with straight corridors in-between them.
  • Top-down view with either a pixel-art style (like Hotline Miami except simpler), or a smoother look with simplistic art like Prison Architect. In both cases it will be simple and in full 2D.
  • Setting & atmosphere largely inspired by the Cube movie

Gameplay loop

  1. Enter a room.
  2. The room locks up and something happens randomly: you get loot, or robot enemies appear. Maybe both. Maybe nothing.
  3. Kill the enemies until there is none.
  4. The room unlocks.
  5. (Optional) You see a clue about where the exit of the maze is.
  6. You pick one of the 4 directions, enter a corridor to the next room.
  7. Repeat.

The goal is to survive while finding the exit. I have a cool idea in mind for the ending, but I don't know if I'll have the time to implement it... If not I'll just make the difficulty ramp up until the player dies :)

Loot

  • 1st room after the one you spawn in will always let you find a weapon dropped by a dead robot
  • Health
  • Maybe ammo (if so I should give the player a way to attack if out of ammo, e.g. by throwing his weapon)
  • Maybe a 2nd weapon to have one in each hand
  • Maybe maybe, some bonuses to improve the weapon

Comments

bradur
a month ago

I really like the idea! Are you thinking of generating the rooms procedurally or making them by hand yourself?

Wan
a month ago

@bradur I'd like to use procedural generation yes, to get more replayability out of it. The bigger challenge will be to make the hints for the exit work procedurally, we'll see how it goes!

bradur
a month ago

@wan Yeah that could be a problem.

Btw, I really loved Cube! I haven't really thought about it before but the movie actually makes a very good setting for a game.

Wan
a month ago

@bradur If you're curious, I've stumbled on a game called Half Dead, which seems to draw heavily from the Cube concept. Unfortunately from the reviews it seems a bit cheap & boring.

bradur
a month ago

@wan Looks interesting. Too bad the reviews are not very kind to it.

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