Author Topic: Side-scroller game for OUYA  (Read 58792 times)

Offline Paul

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Side-scroller game for OUYA
« on: January 01, 2013, 10:43:09 PM »
I'm toying with the idea of developing a game from the ground up for the OUYA.  This would not be the usual dime-a-dozen Android app -- it would be designed to be a console game from the start, with a specific controller in mind.

What I want to do is a side-scroller game like Super Mario Bros DS, with medium- to low- poly 3D characters on a 2D side-view map.  This lends itself really well to embedded systems like the OUYA, as it reduces the total number of polys that must be rendered, resulting in smoother, faster frame-rates.

I want the style to be similar to Mario Bros (stomping, jumping, and hitting things).  It would be fast-paced, points-based, collectible lives, and no life-meters (one hit kills the player).  There would be no inventory, and only a couple items which would be beneficial to the player in some way (along a similar vein to the mushrooms, fire flowers, and stars in Mario Bros).  There would also not/ not be a huge variety of enemies -- instead, difficulty as the game progresses would mainly come from more complex maps and strategically-placed enemies.

With all these similarities to Mario Bros, I actually do not want the game to be a clone or spoof of Mario Bros at all.  I want a unique story, unique characters, unique items, and unique maps.  Definitely do not want to use brick blocks, question blocks, coins, stars, mushrooms, or turtles, anywhere in the game.  The main character will look nothing like Mario -- no mustache and definitely no overalls and cap!  So similar to Mario Bros in game-play, but a new, unique game.

What I'd like to do is get together a team to create the game.  Everyone involved will receive a fair, negotiated compensation for their work.  The marketing strategy will be to make the first level free, and a one-time purchase unlocks the rest of the game.  The game will be designed for the OUYA, but I will also make an Android port to sell on Google Play, in order to have a wider customer-base.  Once a beta of the first level is complete, I will run a kickstarter, and the money pledged from the campaign will be evenly divided between the members of the team, after KS/ Amazon's cut and taxes.

The team will consist of the following roles:

1) Me:  I would write the game engine, UI, and special effects (lighting, smoke, fire, bolts of magic, etc).
2) Melinda (my wife):  Although she is talented at doing 3D models, her style is more impressionistic and not really what I'm envisioning for this game.  So instead she will be responsible for animations and help with special effects, but will not create most of the models.
3) A 3D modeler:  Will create the characters and enemies, and export them to .3ds format.  May also assist Melinda with the animations, if there is something unique in mind for a particular character.
4) A 2D graphics artist and map designer:  This may be the same person as #3, depending on skill-set.  Would be responsible for all the 2D components - background layers, blocks, items, etc, as well as taking the lead in designing the maps/ levels.
5) A musician and sound-effects specialist:  Would be responsible for composing the music for the levels, and either recording or locating royalty-free sound effects appropriate for the game.

The story and goal for the game and the main character will be community-driven (hoping to get some good ideas from folks that we can discuss and build on here)

If anyone is interest in taking on one or more of the above roles, please put together a sample or two and post it here for consideration, and PM me to talk about what you'd expect as fair compensation for your work if you are chosen.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 06:57:47 PM by Paul »
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Offline Vincentmrl

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 10:08:38 AM »
I offer myself as 3d modeler (I can do textures too) and I can also contribuite with graphics, i can do all these as long there's ideas. Also since I'm learning music at conservatory I could try doing audio. Currently I'm on my phone so I don't have any samples on it so i'll update the post with something later. Can there be more than 1 person in the different roles?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 10:11:49 AM by Vincentmrl »
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Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 10:13:28 AM »
Sure - just want to make sure everyone who contributes is compensated fairly for their work, which may be difficult without knowing up front whether the game will be popular or just a big flop.  It will be easier for me financially to promise a fair compensation for folks if there are fewer contributers, but of course then the project will take longer to complete as well.  Hoping to hit a nice balance.
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Offline Tom.K

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 12:16:23 PM »
I could only contribute in 2d graphics or at least level editing. Not sure if previous contributions I've sent long time ago apply.

Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 12:23:01 PM »
Not sure if previous contributions I've sent long time ago apply.
Absolutely, you'd be great!  Shoot me a PM to discuss compensation for your work.
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Offline Vincentmrl

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 07:38:58 PM »
Paul since I have to go on a trip for the remaining days of the week, I didn't have time to make a sample. You can visit vincentmrl.com to see my papercrafts (they're made from 3d models so it's a decent sample at least). They may look simple but that's because i never had that many ideas (note that some are extracted from games, the Moo was simplified so you see I know how to reduce poly too). Also you can check my deviantart ( vincentmrl.deviantart.com) to see some 2d graphics samples.
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Offline Alex Gleason

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 02:00:02 PM »
I'm definitely interested. You say impressionistic isn't what you're aiming for - what kind of visual style do you have in mind? Something like New Super Mario Bros.? I have plenty of ideas for characters and stories, but I'd like to get an idea of the atmosphere you're trying to create with this project.

Being that you develop an N64 emulator and that you chose NSMB as your example, is it safe to assume you'd like something reminiscent of the golden age of Nintendo? Colorful, Japanese influences, etc.

Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 03:08:29 PM »
Being that you develop an N64 emulator and that you chose NSMB as your example, is it safe to assume you'd like something reminiscent of the golden age of Nintendo? Colorful, Japanese influences, etc.

Exactly.  Trying to relive my childhood memories, I guess..
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Offline Alex Gleason

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 03:59:50 PM »
The sense of being a rip-off is the main thing I'm trying to avoid.  I want it to be a tribute to the style of game and the era, but not a tribute to Super Mario Bros specifically (this is mainly for copyright reasons, which I've had my fair share of at this point!)

What I want to do is bring in one or two fresh new basic concepts, and build the whole game around that.  For example, consider Super Mario Bros 2, which was criticized by most original Super Mario Bros fans as being a completely different game.  They had taken a couple of new concepts (vertical scrolling and throwing objects), and made a completely unique game out of it (ultimately too unique to be considered a sequel by most people).  Obviously the new enemies also helped make the game unique, but that was only part of it.

In this case, I want to take the basic style of 3D characters in a side-scrolling world with limited lives and game-overs, and use that to make a completely unique game experience that pays tribute to that game style without being a rip-off.

So I guess what I really need are those one or two fresh new ideas, and then start building on the ideas from there.

I thought of one idea (not my best idea, but it should give you the idea of what I'm talking about not being a rip-off of any other game).  Suppose the main character was a glass bowl or pitcher with face, arms, and legs (made to look like a super hero with a cape, for example).  He would start out with no special abilities other than the ability to jump, walk, and run.  One hit from an enemy would shatter him.  He would be able to catch things in his bowl (items rolling off of platforms), and be able to dump them out (to block things, create stepping stones to got over obstacles, drop onto enemies, etc).  He would also be able to fill up with different colored liquids at fountains, which would give him different abilities.
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Offline Alex Gleason

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 04:33:09 PM »
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.

That could work as a start-up video.  Basically 8-bit graphics video of a kid getting kicked out of the house, ducking behind a tree, and pulling out his mobile gaming device.  There would be no music during this sequence, with sound effects like the NES for his foot steps.  When he pulls out the device, cut to a retro-style game menu, with low-quality music and everything.

I still want the game itself to be NSMB- quality graphics though, not an NES-quality game.
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Offline Paul

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 04:58:03 PM »
Another great side-scroller that took a unique idea and built a game around it is Kerby 64.  I feel like if we can just think of a good, solid idea like that, development of the concept and game will take off from there.
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Offline Alex Gleason

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #13 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.

Offline Vincentmrl

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Re: Side-scroller game for OUYA
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 04:21:31 AM »
The sense of being a rip-off is the main thing I'm trying to avoid.  I want it to be a tribute to the style of game and the era, but not a tribute to Super Mario Bros specifically (this is mainly for copyright reasons, which I've had my fair share of at this point!)

What I want to do is bring in one or two fresh new basic concepts, and build the whole game around that.  For example, consider Super Mario Bros 2, which was criticized by most original Super Mario Bros fans as being a completely different game.  They had taken a couple of new concepts (vertical scrolling and throwing objects), and made a completely unique game out of it (ultimately too unique to be considered a sequel by most people).  Obviously the new enemies also helped make the game unique, but that was only part of it.

In this case, I want to take the basic style of 3D characters in a side-scrolling world with limited lives and game-overs, and use that to make a completely unique game experience that pays tribute to that game style without being a rip-off.

So I guess what I really need are those one or two fresh new ideas, and then start building on the ideas from there.

I thought of one idea (not my best idea, but it should give you the idea of what I'm talking about not being a rip-off of any other game).  Suppose the main character was a glass bowl or pitcher with face, arms, and legs (made to look like a super hero with a cape, for example).  He would start out with no special abilities other than the ability to jump, walk, and run.  One hit from an enemy would shatter him.  He would be able to catch things in his bowl (items rolling off of platforms), and be able to dump them out (to block things, create stepping stones to got over obstacles, drop onto enemies, etc).  He would also be able to fill up with different colored liquids at fountains, which would give him different abilities.
The american SMB2 is actually a reskin of doki doki panic, the real SMB2 (called the lost levels outside jap) was too hard for people.
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
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