Game Plan

Real live has been keeping me busy and it will continue to do so for a few months. So I currently do not have anything much in terms of new content (except for that one new image in the Various Sights gallery. Have fun figuring out which one I mean! Progress on the final round of improvements to the Quicksand Clock have been slow. And progress on the game I mentioned in my New Year’s post has been non-existent. But that is fine. I feel confident that I will be able to really get the game project going later this year. And I would like to at least share some of my plans and ideas about it.

The Game ¶

So I have not even revealed its name yet. Let me start with that though I consider more of a working title that is still subject to change. It’s Stumble to the Rescue.

The game is 2D platformer set in the Great Swamp. The basic gameplay idea is really quite simple and straight-forward and the title sort of already spoils it. You need to get to a person who is sinking in *drumroll* quicksand and rescue them! That’s it. You just walk over to them. You pull them out. Done. Next stage. Sounds easy. Right? Yeah… There will of course be various obstacles, traps, and everyone’s favorite sinky substances to make things more interesting. I have a kind of struggle-game-mechanic in mind that is different from what we have seen in other games (like Slack of Descent which I like very much and which has given me a lot of inspiration for this project). I will not go into any detail about that yet - mostly because I have to try and possibly adapt it to make it more interesting and fun - but I can say that there will be no jumping out of a bog, because that’s just not how things work around here at TGS. People who are stuck and sinking around here do not escape quicksand by jumping out of it. We have laws here that prohibit any such behavior. They are called the laws of physics. Another thing you have probably figured out already without me telling you is the time limit. Each stage has a time limit, because… well, there is someone sinking in quicksand. And they will be visible on-screen instead of some lame countdown timer. So hurry and get to them before it’s too late.

For the graphics I will mostly be sticking to my usual toolset which is Daz Studio. You can expect to see familiar characters and environments in the game. But in the early phases of development there will just be one playable character and one sinking character. I need to get all the animations done and be happy with them before I even begin to apply them to other characters.Eventually however, I hope to have a great many characters in the game and possibly with various outfits, too. However, you will still start out with only have one playable character available. The others will be unlocked when you successfully rescue them. I am also considering having a stats system for these characters to affect game play and difficulty.

Now I will not go too deep into the technical stuff, but let me tell you that I am planning to use the Godot game engine, because it is well-suired for this project, completely free, and it supports all sorts of platforms. There will be builds for the web (embedded here at TGS) and for Windows and Linux (downloadable versions). There will not be a Mac build, unless someone volunteers to help me with that. That being said, there will be opportunities for others to contribute to the project.

So all in all this is one very big project and I am just one developer. Of course I will not be working on all aspects of the game at once and I need to break down and prioritize tasks if I want to have any chance of this project getting anywhere. So I put some thought into what should come first and the result of that is this little milestone plan right here:

  • Main Menu
  • Playtest Level
  • 1 Playable Character
  • Partial Set of Animations / Placeholders
  • Sinking Physics
  • Breath, Death, Respawn
  • Complete Set of Animations for 1 Character
  • Other Hazards (Poison Plants, Spikes, ???)
  • Various Sinking Substances
  • Substances with Changing Properties (Moss layer, Changing Viscosity)
  • Struggle/Button Mashing Mechanics
  • Sounds
  • Second Character complete
  • Dialogue with Speech Bubbles
  • Tutorial Stage done
  • Background with several parallax scrolling layers
  • Music
  • Unlock Codes
  • Custom Play
  • Sources published on Github
  • More Stages and Characters

There are no dates set for any of these milestones and that is going to stay that way. At least until they have been reached. Then I will release the milestone build and you will know it is done. Also, that last milestones is not where development ends. It’s actually where things should start to get really interesting because after that point I can really focus on adding more and more content in terms of characters and stages.