A new fridge coming on Wednsday and no money in my wallet. But, at least we'll have a working fridge. I was a bit short with my boss today and she (probably rightfully) snapped back at me. So, I spent most of the day working on actual work things and thinking a bit about my 4E6 game. This weekend, I decided to call it: Ponies Among Us. There is a blurb on my current working ideas:

It started off as one of those simple little things. A trip across the country to get the pony that my sister insisted she must have. I mean, why couldn't she get the ones from the farm next door? Or in Salavin? No, she had to get one of those special ponies in the middle of nowhere.

It is just a simple story of a boy (and maybe a girl, depending on what I can write) going out to get their sister a cute adorable pony. Things go wrong when the meteorites hit the pony herd, exploding in a shower of magical crystals. The ones that hit the ponies in the herd grant them both elemental powers (I'm currently working with fire, air, water, wood, stone, and something else, call it "evil") and supernatural intelligence. Mostly anti-social intelligence. After that, you have your typical murder of the family accountant and the character being blamed for everything. Being sent to prison is just the kicker to end a perfectly annoying trip.

It was that first night in prison that I realized it wasn't over. I can handle being only in my mid-teens and being in prison, blamed for murders that I know that pony did. But, why am I being haunted by the damn accountant!?

In the game, the family accountant is a ghost that cannot achieve peace without revenge being taken on the pony that killed him. Until then, he acts as the character's statistics screens, inventory management, makes snide comments, and acts as someone to talk to. He also also be doing the negotiation in stores for you, as the accountant upgrades, you get better deals.

You also have a pony companion in the game, the stone pony, which you get when you get outside after prison. Your pony will also gain various powers depending on the events of the game. In the outside scenes, you'll be able to mount the pony to move faster overland and also for some combat maneuvers.

The character's first weapons are firecrackers (limited number) and a small weapon. Naturally, you'll be able to buy more weapons. I want to write it as a platforming fighter with combos, so you can use the firecrackers to juggle opponents and finish with a stab for higher damage. In addition, weapons can be upgraded with various crystals found in the world, giving it elemental powers or other effects. The crystals are one-time though, so you can keep dumping them into your first weapon and make it really magical, or keep buying new ones (which give you different combos and do different base damages) and get less magical powers in one weapon.

So, that is my basic idea for the game. The goal is to defeat the evil ponies who scatter to their elemental affinities (of course).

Graphic style:

I'm planning on using a slightly abstract style from the Flash games Thing Thing which is also used in my webcomic. Even though it is 2D, I'm looking into seeing if I can get the character's appearance to change throughout the game kind of like Fable but based on the powers/magic/what-have-yous that you get during the game. Same with the weapons, armors, and ponies. Ideally, I'd like to figure out how to make most of the game procedural so it will have a different look each time you play it.

I'm planning on doing an abstract noise for the voices (Katamari and Okami for example) with dialog boxes. If I can figure out procedural music, it will be computer generated, otherwise use background music that is CC-licensed.

Platform:

  • C#, Mono and .NET, I am going for the cross-platform thing.
  • Tao.Sdl, Tao.OpenGl and BooGame: Might as well since I package them for Debian and I've been doing a bit of work with BooGame for my CuteGod project.
  • Probably a little bit of physics and rag doll for the combat stuff.
  • I'm also considering doing procedural music for the background, if I can figure out how. Maybe something based on this guy's blog entry. There seem like a couple good ideas I might be able to use in there.

Mechanics:

It will be impossible to get everything in the game. In fact, depending on how I can do it, you won't be able to get more than 50% of the powers available with a single run of the game.

Skills will be unlocked when certain conditions are met. So, if you keep on jumping, sooner or later, you'll get a chance to upgrade your jumping height. However, I feel that most people improve through failure. Given that, failing tasks is what unlocks your skills, not succeeding. I will reward people who do succeed without failure, but a good number of the unlocks are going to come from failing to win a fight (obviously you need help then), failing to pick a lock, etc.

Purchasing skills is based on "plot points." When you finish a quest or plot, you'll get a point of improvement which you can drop into one of the unlocked skills.

The other part is that I want to make the game possible to be finished without combat. This will probably tie into the failure idea since you'll get tougher by getting your ass kicked and surviving. :)

Stop jumping around and kill that damn pony! You've made 13,432 jumps since I got stuck with you.

I'm planning on this being somewhat humorous.

Summer Biking: (281.7 of 400.0 km)
Change of Honor (3 of 4 rounds)
Another Werewolf's Tail (3 of 4 rounds)

2007-10-01