It’s been a while since my last dev log post so let me catch you guys up on what I’ve been working on lately. Milo’s Many Nightmare’s is officially on hold, and it’s on hold for the same reason that Project Zeds is on hold, I accidentally designed a game too large to complete by myself. I want to finish a game so I’ve got to stop designing these huge games, and instead be willing to settle for a small but fun and entertaining gaming experience.
How do you design something that’s small and fun to play though? I don’t know, but I do know, while I’m playing a game, if that game is any fun to play. So I set off on a series of short game play prototypes in hopes of finding the one that was fun to play.
From the beginning I knew I wanted this new game to be a virtual reality experience. Why? Because I had just bought a Vive and I liked playing with my new toy. Other than that I didn’t have much of a plan. I’d found that most VR experiences I had played had chosen to be either stationary or included some sort of teleport mechanic to move the player around the virtual world. I didn’t want to do either. So I started brainstorming Ideas for movement in a room-scale VR game.
Because you can’t physically move outside of the bounds of the room you are in, I decided to experiment with making the room itself move. My first prototype was a rafting game. The rooms floor became the raft and the player’s hands became oars that they could paddle with.
I made the grave mistake of trying to make this prototype look nice. It’s much prettier than the the rest of the prototypes, but took way too much time for something I ultimately just threw away.
I kept the raft from prototype number one but got rid of the paddles. I replaced the paddles with two guns. The gun on the right hand fired bullets. The gun on the left fired a tether similar to the grappling hook from the Just Cause series.
For this prototype I threw out quite a lot from the previous 2. You weren’t on a raft anymore. Instead you were on a big hovering platform. The platform was constantly moving in the forward direction at a fast speed. In each hand the player had a gun. Squeezing the trigger fired the gun but squeezing the handle strafed the platform in that direction. Think Galaga in VR.
I got rid of the large outdoor environment from the last prototype and brought the whole thing inside. I added a jump mechanic to the platform. Squeezing both handles at the same time moves the platform vertically and letting go allows it to float back to the ground. I also implemented the fix from my last post, so now technically the platform isn’t moving at all which fixed the controller jitter.
I guess I started with a simple river rafting game and now I’m working on a VR Shmup / Bullet Hell type game. I hadn’t planned on this from the beginning, but it’s what feels fun to me so I’m going to go with it. Currently it’s still in the early prototype phase. I’m really enjoying this type of game design. My next plan is to start introducing different enemies, obstacles and features and to see how they feel. I’m taking each thing and asking the question “does this make the game feel more fun?” If so it stays in. If not it gets removed.
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