Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hero -stop- Town

I'm in my hometown and I discovered the magic of stopmotion movies. Rock on, HeroTown!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ALIVE - some caffeine induced ideas

I continued working on the NES version of ALIVE, then I told a friend about it (he is the inventor of ALIVE) and now I want to make the full scale version of ALIVE. After a cup of coffee and a walk around the block, voilà des nouveaux idées

First of all, ALIVE needs a credible background story that is more than "Polar ice caps melted - dinosaurs were discovered - scientists enhance then genetically - fighting dinosaurs are cool - money - TV-show".

It's not gonna be as nice and friendly as Pokemon, but I always wondered why there aren't even small doubts about having these cute animal fight against each other in the game. I found an article about that, that explains it pretty well, but ALIVE is not gonna be like this. It's a grim future for animals that are no longer needed after the invention of the home food replicator and former farm/slaughterhouse owners that need to make profit with their now obsolete food factories. So there's gonna be a cruel and brutal TV show and you are one of these competitors, your task is to breed and genetically enhance animals, equip them with state-of-the-art gadgets and let them fight against each other.

One important point is the scope of the game. It can get as complex as we want it to, but it has to be playable and it should be fun to play it. But it shouldn't be too simple, that's what the NES-Version is for (or you could play the inspiration for ALIVE: Mail Order Monsters on the C64). You should be able to research new gadgets for your monsters. I had the idea of some sort of economy and varying prices, but that might be a feature in part two. Or there might be a "story mode" where economy and such things are scripted, so that there's no fear of losing the game to some seemingly random changes in prices for important raw stuff. And then there's the "free game" mode where you can allow these things and try to win the game by buying tons of certain raw goods and then selling them for high prices. That seems lame, but there is a part in me that wants to play lameass economy games. Sometimes.

Okay, let's come to the main part of the game: the dogfights. Usual fights are held by two single animals in a comparatively huge arena. It's gonna be a bird's eye-like view, so simple RPG-like fights would turn out to be quite boring. And here comes the fact that these arenas are mostly old slaughterhouses. Fully automated slaughterhouses from the future (since the game is set in the future)! They have a whole lot of traps you can push your enemy into. The game is so gonna be rated R.

And then there are the hundreds of possibilities to enhance your monster. I even thought of viruses that can strengthen the monster beyond natural levels, but if you don't win the fight fast enough, it will die. Or some inherited instincts, that the player has no control about and some ways for the enemy to exploit this like a transmission jammer, so the monster runs free for a limited amount of time or some pheromones that can be put on the ground or on traps to disturb the monster beyond the control of the player. But I hate these scenarios in which both monsters are loaded with equipment, but each of these things is useless either because the gadget attacks at a weak point that the opposing monster doesn't have or the things counter each other. Years of thinking let me to the conclusion that we should script all the enemy encounters and lead the player in the right direction in the "story mode" and then think even more when balancing the game in "free mode".

This post is not as satisfying as I hoped it to be, maybe I will add something, maybe I will delete it. Nevertheless: Buy ALIVE!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cheap Cheap Cheap Flight

I get many ideas for adventure games when I'm walking down the street or driving around on my bike. David Lynch says 'Ideas are like fish' and you have to use the small fish as bait for bigger fish. He said he writes down the ideas that he gets, not as a finalised script or something, but in a way that he can recall the idea when reading it again. This is what I have this blog for.

The game "Cheap Cheap Cheap Flight" is about a witch who decides not to use her broom, but a conventional aircraft for a change. And some things go wrong. But most important, there's obstacles that she didn't think of, besides the discomfort of cheap airlines and the usual thunderstorm. All the people around her think something is wrong (kind of like in "Scener ur ett äktenskap"/"Scenes From A Marriage" by Ingmar Bergman) and her sister flies by her window on a broom and reminds her how she wants her life to be. All these things make the protagonist uncomfortable, when all she wanted is to do something out of the ordinary and be ordinary for a day.

There's already a theme song. It's a song I've written a while a go, but didn't like, so I cut the vocals and put a robot saying "cheap cheap cheap flight" in it and le voila!

So, I hope I can get a whole story and enough puzzles out of it.

Your gonna see it first, dear reader. Or you're gonna be bothered with tons and tons of other small fish which I fished out of the ocean of ideas. Like "Evil B-Side sister" or another game without a name about a boy who sees dragons in the clouds and finds out, that it's not him, who sees things that aren't there, but they're real, and other people just can't see them. Sounds kinda lame? Okay. But the other thing is hardcore. I tell ya guys!

Edit: But then again, I just wanna make a game like Zelda. A world build out of tiles, mostly covered by forests and you have to explore it. That's the ultimate game, why do I even try to make something else? It's like it's hardwired to my brain.

Friday, May 01, 2009

the first HeroTown movie

There are 3 HeroTown movies, all of them are bad. This is a screencapture from the first one, apparently it is a lego movie. But not a stop motion video, it's all done with wires. Really thick and visible wires. And nobody's ever gonna see it. Ever.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Main Charakter Rename

From now on "Dan Scull" will be named "Dan S. Cullen" and "F.X. Old" is gonna be "Edward X. Old". Updating the pop culture references leads to more google hits.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Springtime, Herotown time

I didn't work on adventure games since my last post. Even between the last and the second to last post I didn't do anything. But today I was thinking about HeroTown. It needs another name, but I still wanna make it. And one thing that fuels HeroTown are long walks through forests. Ironically Shigeru Miyamoto's walks through the forests around Kyoto were a major influence for Zelda.

Since today was a lovely spring day, I took my bike and just drove and thought: HeroTown. So today's tour was not just recreational, it was a "HeroTown research tour". I'm still thinking of what I can label the other things I do all day long. My life finally makes sense. It's like Melch. Just give it a fine name and it's right.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Browsergame stole my name

I knew this day would come. Actually, I'm amazed that it didn't happen before. There is a game with the name "HeroTown". And I had nothing to do with it. Maybe that's a sign, maybe I should start something new instead of following old dreams that are never gonna come true anyway.

But let's close this with a quote from William Shatner (I hope I got all the words right):
If someone tells me "Live long and prosper", I answer: "Get ALIVE!"