Exactly how do we plan to randomise so many games? How will the system work? What genres will be available? What environments can we expect? So many questions.
This first 'Design Workshop' will hopefully answer a few of these for you. First up...
THE REEL SYSTEM
As you already know, each game will be generated using a simple reel system. So let’s start by taking a look at what these reels actually mean shall we…
REEL 1. GENRE
The first reel is used to generate the game’s 'Genre'.
Think of this like the game’s foundations: the reel that indicates the type of game you'll be playing (in the broadest sense). In our example above the genre is ‘Auto Scroll’ which basically means that the gameplay will revolve around your character being grounded in a constantly scrolling environment.
Here are a few other genre examples...
ARENA – this genre will have solid boundaries, confining the action to a single screen.
LEAPING – this genre involves the player moving upwards in order to achieve their goal.
PLATFORM – players will have to run, jump and climb to complete their objectives.
FALLING – players are falling against a constantly scrolling background.
Feel free to leave comments below, letting us know what genres you'd like to see added to the GameTron. We've already had several emails with suggestions and it's always great to get feedback.
REEL 2. SUB-GENRE
If the genre represents a game’s foundations, then ‘Sub-Genre’ represents all the cool stuff that sits on top: the finer details.
Let’s say your genre is ‘Arena’ and the sub-genre is ‘Juggle’ – this means that you’ll be confined to a single screen and have to melee objects to keep them airborne for a certain amount of time. Or perhaps it'll be ‘Swipe’ – which tasks you with chopping/swiping enemies as they leap on screen.
In our example image above, the sub-genre is ‘Lanes’ – which splits our ‘Auto Scroll’ level into three lanes that the character can flick between in order to complete their objective.
Here’s a list of some preliminary sub-genres…
STEALTH – reach the goal undetected.
BALANCE – keep your character balanced for a set period.
AVOID – avoid deadly objects to survive.
LANES – switch between lanes to complete your objective.
RACE – beat your opponent to the goal.
MELEE – ‘beat-up’ enemies that stand in your way.
MANUAL SHOOTING – fire projectiles at enemies to destroy them.
AUTO SHOOTING – tap/click enemies to fire homing shots to destroy them.
COLLECT – collect objects to complete your objective.
JUGGLE – keep enemies/objects airborne using melee attacks.
LADDER – use ladders to dodge enemy projectiles whilst destroying them.
SWIPE – swipe to chop enemies/objects as they fly on-screen.
AUTO PLATFORM – use moving platforms to reach your target.
HOVER – reach the goal by avoiding walls and deadly objects as you hover.
CLIMBER – stay ahead of the chase by constantly climbing.
STICK COMBAT – fight off enemies (using twin analog sticks).
RHYTHM – tap rhythm patterns to complete various objectives.
Also bear in mind that control methods are adjustable too.
Using the 'Avoid' sub-genre as an example, you might be tasked with having to avoid a number of falling objects to complete the level. Sometimes you might find yourself tapping lanes to avoid them, on other occasions you might have to use the phone's accelerometer to weave your way around the screen.
REEL 3. ENVIRONMENT
Gameplay is super important, but the GameTron concept is also about creating weird and whacky combinations. Reel 3 determines the environment, which will be able to fit any type of level style.
We'll be confirming some of our environments (and sketches) in a future update so stay tuned...
REELS 4, 5 & 6. CONTEXT SENSITIVE
Reels 4, 5 and 6 are context sensitive, which is a fancy way of saying they will be chosen based on what’s required.
How many objects you have to collect; what objects you have to avoid; how much time you have; what distance you have to reach; what enemies you’ll be chopping in half; which boss you’ll be battling; what NPCs you’ll be trying to protect etc.
So in our example above, the player is tasked with trying to destroy an enemy boss (chocolate octopus) within 02:25 whilst avoiding crates of TNT.
THE BRIEFING SCREEN
It would be crazy to expect players to get all the details from 6 graphical reels, so the 'Briefing Screen' will be used to highlight your objectives. This screen will immediately follow the reel sequence.
Here, you will be given a single-screen overview of your goals, alongside details of your control method. Your game will also be given a randomised title at this point too.
Take your time, soak up what's to come and then jump in!
MORE TO COME...
Hopefully this has given you a bit more detail on how the Gametron is broken down and how we plan to deal with so many game combinations. It's important to remember that although we have our design/concept in place, we still have a full development schedule ahead of us, so there's lots to share as we move forward.
We'll be confirming some of our environments soon and we also invite people to send questions to email@example.com (or via Kickstarter). You might have questions about the team, the GameTron concept, general development enquiries... we'll collate everything we receive and get them answered in an audio file.
As always, thanks for your support.
Mojo Bones xxx