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Messages - Alex Gleason

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Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: February 08, 2013, 11:04:55 PM »
"Caped Soul".
It would need to be made way more "Nintendoy"

Many of Nintendo's ideas and characters are adaptations of Japanese folklore. For instance:

Kappa (Koopa)
Tanuki (Tanooki)
The statue Tanooki Mario can transform into is a Ksitigarbha

Maybe we should consider implementing Japanese folklore as a tribute to this. While searching for Japanese mythology which features capes, I stumbled across Aka Manto which literally translates into "Red Cape".

See here for an explanation:

This is a pretty dark piece of folklore, but equally are the legends that Nintendo drew from to create its characters. As the Wikipedia article for Kappa says:

Kappa are usually seen as mischievous troublemakers or trickster figures. Their pranks range from the relatively innocent, such as loudly passing gas or looking up women's kimonos, to the malevolent, such as drowning people and animals, kidnapping children, and raping women.

So perhaps something can be done with the Aka Manto or a similar legend.

EDIT: Perhaps the caped soul could alternate between red and blue capes under different circumstances. Do we want him to be the playable character, or a rival (possibly primary rival)?

Your Projects / Re: A Bluetooth Speaker Array
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:42:24 PM »
Thanks so much for your insight, Paul. I hadn't thought too deeply into it and imagined a separate app for every platform (Android, Windows, Linux, etc.) that would save your speaker configuration on your device and manage the Bluetooth connections to them. This would require the array to be manually configured on each device.

Having a separate host unit would definitely simplify this process and software wouldn't have to be written for every platform that may use this.

I just read a little more into this, though, and unfortunately it doesn't look like any existing Bluetooth audio profile will actually carry more than 2 channels of sound...

That being the case, I imagine I'd have to use something like SPP to stream multi-channel audio to the host unit, meaning I'd end up having to write a driver for every platform anyway, right? Unless I was content with a speaker array playing only two channels across many speakers (in this case, I could perhaps program the host unit to optionally simulate surround sound).


Your Projects / A Bluetooth Speaker Array
« on: February 08, 2013, 06:22:02 PM »
I have no clue where one would begin with something like this or what the technical implications are. This is just an idea I had and I was hoping you guys could provide some insight.

I think it would be useful to be able to purchase multiple Bluetooth speakers and use software to designate each speaker as a separate channel. For instance, one could purchase five mono Bluetooth speakers and a Bluetooth subwoofer and designate each speaker as FL, FR, RL, RR, center, and bass for a 5.1 surround sound configuration.

The benefit of this is that any speaker system could be easily upgraded  to support more channels, clutter is removed, and speakers needn't be wired all the way to a central box. Also, a portable computer or phone could be paired or unpaired from the array without adjusting anything physical.

What do you guys think?

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 20, 2013, 02:08:22 PM »
The nostalgia factor comes from the way I want the game to feel when playing it, not some "trip down memory lane" built into the story or game play.

My point is that since you want to make a game that feels like the old games you used to play, the game is about nostalgia. You don't want to make a modern platformer like Super Meat Boy or N+, you want players to be reminded of what good old games were like.

My idea was to make this game somehow self-aware of the fact that it's doing this to avoid it feeling like a clone or a simple novelty. But maybe I got a little carried away. ;D

I hope I'm not coming off as cocky. I've never made a video game before and really don't know anything.

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 19, 2013, 06:55:05 PM »
A kid getting sucked into a video game is cliche. A blob that eats things to get powers is trying too hard to be Kirby without being Kirby. More importantly, why are we making this character transform if our goal is to make a game about nostalgia?

[relevant digression]

Have any of you guys played Majora's Mask? Link solves puzzles using masks. Some masks transform his physical body entirely, some give him special powers/abilities, and some influence social situations. Link hides his true face behind masks to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be impossible.

This game mechanic has a point, though. It reveals itself when you visit the moon and talk to the masked children there. They ask Link:

Your true face...
What kind of...face is it?

I wonder...
The face under the mask...
Is that...your true face?

When we're exposed to different situations, we have to be versatile and react appropriately in order to survive. We tend to act differently around different people because we know they have expectations of us, and we strive to meet them so we can benefit. "Be yourself" is good-intentioned advice, but is not necessarily the best advice, and that's what this game is about at its core.

[/relevant digression]

Kirby 64 is a classic, and the sense of discovery you get from that game is fulfilling. Combining power-ups begins to turn into a science, and when you find a good combination you breeze through the level feeling like a God. It doesn't directly communicate any meaningful anecdote to the player, but it doesn't have to because the game is just so interesting.

There's nothing wrong with making a game that's just interesting.

But Paul, you want to create a game that's reminiscent of your past. You don't want this game to be a clone of popular games from your childhood, you want to communicate a message about how playing games used to make you feel.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to turn that thought into a video game right now, but I am thinking about it. I just think that as we're brainstorming here, we should keep these ideas in mind.

General Discussion / Re: OUYA Artwork Competition!
« on: January 18, 2013, 04:00:15 PM »
Seriously though, thank you everyone who voted for my images. I appreciate you guys.

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 18, 2013, 05:03:39 AM »
Also an idea I got: some random powerup that makes the game go retro for a minute and lets you stomp and kill the enemies in one jump it? This would make a great tribute imo

This could actually be a very good idea of used correctly. Making it a common power-up would be overkill though because it would be sensory overload to have the screen switch so frequently.

What if instead of it being a power up there were bonus (secret) levels that used the effect? Sort of similar to what Super Meat Boy does.

General Discussion / Re: music
« on: January 18, 2013, 04:52:15 AM »

General Discussion / Re: OUYA Artwork Competition!
« on: January 18, 2013, 04:32:30 AM »
^ Case in point.

General Discussion / Re: OUYA Artwork Competition!
« on: January 18, 2013, 04:16:57 AM »
Since it is unfair to vote myself, I vote Icon #1 and splash #2

It's not unfair to vote for yourself! I'd feel bad for you to vote for my submissions when I already voted for myself. Please vote for whoever you'd like, especially for yourself.

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 17, 2013, 05:09:07 PM »
I loved Kirby 64 because it gave you so many resources (which are ironically also your enemies) to experiment with and gain new powers. It was key that you could combine powers, and that there were a lot of different powers.

It really keeps you interested, because each new level you play you can't wait to discover new powers, and then it blows your mind to think about all of the previous powers you could combine it with. That feeling of curiosity and discovery is golden.

I like where we're going with this.

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 17, 2013, 04:18:40 PM »
That's funny, I'd considered the idea of using an egg for a platformer game because I like the idea of the character being easily breakable. But it would have to be done elegantly to avoid frustrating the player. At this point this just sounds bad. Also, your character is the Kool-Aid man.

My mother would frequently tell me to get off the Super Nintendo and go outside, and this is definitely something people like us can easily relate to. I almost want to make a sidescroller with 8-bit graphics about that kid actually going outside. It says "World 1-1" on the screen, and then for eight entire worlds you literally just walk across the plain, perfectly flat and drab landscape until you eventually return home and resume playing video games. It's intentionally not fun, because as a kids, we knew that going outside wouldn't be nearly as fun as playing video games.

Obviously this wont work for your project, but I wanted to throw out this idea and start thinking about how video games affected us as kids so maybe we can develop it into a story and create a game that's actually fun. And maybe this is an idea that could be somehow worked in there.

Paul's Projects / Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 17, 2013, 03:34:06 PM »
We want a Japanese-influenced art style for sure. But if we emulate Japanese game-mechanics (you die and you restart the whole level, limited lives, game overs, etc.) we'll have to make the art style so reminiscent of classic games that people will want to play it just because it reminds them of the games they used to play as kids. We have to do this because by making a game similar to Super Mario Bros., it will be seen as a rip-off unless we put in effort to make it feel like a tribute. And making it a tribute would make this game a novelty, which isn't bad, but we have to be sure that's what we want to go for.

I like this idea you have though about wanting to relive your childhood memories playing video games, because I often feel the same way, and I've always wanted to make a game using this idea. But I think we could make a game that's a lot more meaningful by understanding the implications of this, analyzing how we feel about it, and trying to formulate a story and game around this idea.

Just my 2 cents.

General Discussion / Re: OUYA Artwork Competition!
« on: January 16, 2013, 06:38:59 PM »
Personally I do think there should be more visual consistency across platforms.

Regardless, new images are required because software is presented differently in the Ouya frontend than it is in AOSP. We have to match the image dimensions and create something that will compliment the UI. But that's the key: we're trying to compliment the UI and create something that makes sense in context, not something that necessarily looks like the console or has its name on it.

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