We met as a team to come up with 50 game ideas last Tuesday. After countless underdeveloped ideas, “Monster _____” games, and me constantly talking about how much I enjoyed the new Zelda game, we finally reached the 50 idea requirement. We even came up with a few usable game ideas!
My personal favorite idea on the list is more of just a fun combat mechanic than a full game idea. The idea is that you can pick up pretty much anything in your environment to use as a weapon, then you can swing these objects using pretty much just a couple of general purpose swinging animations. The interesting part is that you can press a button to let go of the object mid-swing, allowing you to throw any weapon at an angle and speed based on where in the animation you let go.
The current game idea we have based around this mechanic is like an arena based deathmatch type of game, where you are in an enclosed space with some number of other players, and you just fight until one player is left. The current envisioned setting is a bar fight, where you can pick up chairs, stools, bottles, pool cues, and any other props you can find in a place like that.
Despite that, I believe the mechanic could be used for many more interesting purposes, such as mini-games where you have to throw something, or even an entirely different single player game mode. We will probably be limited to just one of these, although a mini-game could probably be simple enough to include at some point, or if we somehow find ourselves with an abundance of time and team members (not very likely).
The only thing that prevents this mechanic from being used in a different type of single player game is that it would devalue specific weapons, because you can’t really make the ultimate sword, put all of your resources into upgrading it to maximum power, and then accidentally throw it off a cliff. It also pretty much centers around that idea of throwing weapons at things and then finding new ones, so having a focus on preserving weapons would completely go against that playstyle.
After discussing the best ideas with the team, I got started on making a prototype for this mechanic. Three hours in, the basic mechanic works exactly as planned. You can swing a weapon, and either let go, sending the object flying, or hold on and use that swing as an attack. There aren’t any enemy or damage systems yet, but you can pretend. Two hours later, I had another weapon implemented to prove another system. This weapon is a bottle that breaks on hard enough impacts. It breaks into a few pieces, mostly just as a demonstration for a concept that could be used in other weapons.
After making the prototype, I have decided that a second swing would do the game a lot of good. I am planning on adding an overhead swing, which could be used for a much better trajectory for throwing objects than the current horizontal swing. While both swings would excel at their designated purpose, the could still be used for the opposite purpose, adding options and freedom for the player, which helps for games based on simple mechanics like this.
For the idea of the multiplayer bar fight game, I think of it as more of a party style fun game than a serious fighting game. That’s obviously no excuse to make an unbalanced mess of a game, but there should be a little less pressure to make a flawless experience in favor of more chaotic and exciting gameplay.