Chris Sorrell introduces "The Carped Crusader"!
So I just had an idea that might just be the one I was looking for to round off the new concept.
To me a Pond game should have a name that:
- Encapsulates a new role for Pond, one that conjures up a silly juxtapositional alter-ego for him (Robocod being the perfect example)
- The suggested alter-ego should be one whose characteristics lend themselves to fun new gameplay features
- It should be something we can really have fun with in terms of adding character across the game, helping to define things like presentation and audio
- …And of course it has to be a catchy, Pond appropriate name in itself
So how about…
James Pond: Batfish
I can't believe we didn't think of it sooner! ...I think we already have great framing for this in the concept. Imagine if:
At the start of the game Dr Maybe has his penguin henchmen capture Pond and inject him with his evil serum. He expects Pond to turn into a brain-washed, be-fanged monster, totally subservient to his vampire master, but of course he hasn't accounted for Pond's super-agent genetics. ...The serum's bat DNA derived formula immediately starts to work on Pond, changing him into part fish, part bat, ALL hero: ...The Carped Crusader!
So what does this do for Pond in gameplay terms? It would certainly give him some kind of bat-like gliding ability. It might also be fun if F.I.5.H. Mission-Support deliver some new gadgets that - quite co-incidentally - happen to fit perfectly with his new persona - perhaps a special belt, a grappling hook, a new car? (A Bat-Tub?)…So many possibilities suggest themselves!
Perhaps Pond's transition into Batfish happens in stages? Initially perhaps the serum has a quite violent and uncontrollable effect on him: he finds himself turning in a bat-fish monster outside of his control (i.e. in certain levels). It could be a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, a little bit like in the Spectrum classic Knightlore. In bat-fish monster mode, Pond has fangs, little bat wings that allow for gliding and is super tough. …The next stage might allow for player controlled transitions: the player can choose to become bat-fish on demand, also gaining a more refined glide mechanic. …And then for the final stage F.I.5.H. send through some new stuff: a Batfish utility suit (with cape!) and of course some cool toys. ...And so Pond's new alter-ego is complete!
As I think I alluded to in the concept update, I would actually like Pond to effectively have four 'suits'. The first three would relate to his original forms. So from Pond 1 we'd have the 'Suave Pond' outfit, complete with tuxedo and bubble-gun. From Pond 2 we'd have the Robo-suit, complete with extending body and maximum armoured capability. From Pond 3 we'd have the gravity boots allowing him to to run around certain walls. …And of course for the new game we'd be adding the bat-fish mode to round off the set.
Bringing all of the suits together would be a 'quick-change' feature that would allow you to switch modes at any time, permitting you to pick the best suit for any given moment. Certainly this would give us some awesome new directions to explore in our new level designs and really support there being more than one way to complete a level, not to mention helping to ensure that we can have ridiculous amounts of hidden loot throughout the game :)
Hope you like the new ideas. Any comments are very welcome! …Thanks again for your support.