Kate B's blog

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Multiplayer/Multimedia/Multi-stuff

Just remembered one thing I wanted to explore a lot when I came here and moved onto smaller more experimental works was multiplayer. I think local multiplayer is pretty underutilised in AAA games. It's still there obviously, but I think it's like... It should be used more, cause it can turn an average game into a very good game, and a short game into a game you play for days at a time. I know I've sunk days into things like Skullgirls, which I otherwise wouldn't if I was playing it by myself.

The other thing I am exploring is multimedia. Games that are like... The stuff you found on old promo CDs or educational CDs back in the old days, and they resembled websites rather than games. I'm not sure what genre I'd categorise them as.

I tried exploring the multimedia genre by looking into long-forgotten genres like "animated storybooks" "activity centres" and stuff like this. I think it's a genre that was always aimed at kids but I reckon you could do more with it. Like that third example is not a kid's game. Anyway I threw this idea for an animated storybook together where I wanted it so there was a room with a few things you could click on.

What I like about these games is it's not clear who the protagonist is or even what the plot is or who you are. Are you playing in the second person, ie A cursor following the protagonist on their adventures? Are you the protagonist controlling yourself with a cursor? Are you just someone reading a book? Are you controlling the reader AS A character? Are you playing in the first person? ARE YOU PLAYING IN THE FIFTH PERSON???

I've been thinking about music too and what I like about the medium of music is that it is THE medium if you want to deal with disparate concepts rather than characters. If you make a song, it doesn't need characters. Otherwise every song would be kind of a novelty song. And thinking about this with relation to video games makes me wonder: Are video games un-evolved as a medium to the point we could be making more games about CONCEPTS rather than characters, but we are still borrowing from film to the point we think they're required?

I feel like... Can you imagine what music would sound like if it only borrowed from literature and tried to tell a story, for example? Is that what we're doing with games right now?

Anyway, I'm thinking of various games that move away from the idea of characters, or even "the player" as a character who exists in a world, and thinking of more weirder structures where it's less clear- using the above examples as my starting point, and I have come up with something. It's something that'll probably be finished just before the year is out- and that's a good time to release it, as it'll be the denoument of the first part of these studies

I'm also not doing it yet- I'm working on a smaller game first, it's called LEGACY OF REALMS I: REALMS OF DARKFYRE and it's as silly as it sounds. It looks like this. I'm pleased with the flat shading it has. I'm also doing music for this game, it's got a bangin' metal soundtrack

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What next

I've been making some stuff that seems to be steadily increasing in scope (Caught Between Dimensions and Flamingo Quest both being stupidly large for the scope I want to work in) and it stresses me out so I'm kind of forcing myself to scale down, have fun, and relax, which is sorta why I signed up to this site in the first place.

Every time I finish one of these games, I usually decide which game to make next. I have a list of games at the back of my last 3 notebooks that are all small ideas I want to make at some point. I enter ones that interest me most in that moment into a tournament bracket and then see which one wins

Usually... The one that wins isn't the one I make next. And it's usually one I don't expect. I'm currently working on a microgame about attending terrible lectures. It's called "terrible lectures". But that might not even be the next one I finish.

Right now I'm just sort of riding whatever idea takes my fancy and if I lose interest in something and get interest in something else I'll work on that. It feels much healthier and ensures everything I work on is something I'm actually passionate about and the work I release will be the games I was most invested in

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Health Bars

I'm swearing off health bars for a while. If you see me making a game with a health bar, tell me off

ALTERNATIVES:

1-hit death- I've done this a few times in a few games. It works well, and if you need to give the player leeway you can have it so like, there's a really small hitbox on some things that hurt you, or there's like... Bombs that go off on a timer, and overlapping them makes that timer count down faster, for example

No HP/No death- Speaks for itself. More interesting penalties are: the game's story continues but you are handicapped in some way. Like you're on fire (which doesn't kill you but does inconvenience you on future obstacles)

Getting launched across the map- What is death in most games but simply sending you back a few paces to try again. I think that's why dark souls worked so well, cause there was another penalty on top of that. Anyway, why not cut out the middle man and just launch the player somewhere else as penalty for their fuckups

"Weird Health"- I also had a game still in development where if you get hit dirt appears on you, and once you get dirty enough you have to take a shower (sent back to somewhere else) you healed yourself by physically wiping the dirt particles off yourself. I also tried the opposite where your HP was a petri dish full of bacteria, and whenever you got hit an explosion randomly went off in the dish, killing some of the bacteria. The dirt system evolved out of that. Also you could get different bacteria in your petri dish that changed you into cool alternate "forms"

Anyway that's tha plan

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