I've started on this December 16th. I was planning to try and finish it by January 16th as another self-challenge, but I think I will have to change that.
The goal of this project is to improve on side-scroller interfaces, and finish a game in a short period of time. Obviously, the graphics are not a goal. I want to use little keys, and remove any possible things that seem absolutely pointless, and make some controls based on balance. The game is all about gameplay, and I think the interface is most essential to having good gameplay.
For example, if your guy is standing or walking, aiming straight down with an assault rifle is pretty pointless, cause you'll just shoot the floor. I replaced that with a crouch animation, and I am intending it to be used to cover behind objects, so it won't allow shooting either. Instead, pressing and holding the mouse button will start to cook a grenade, and releasing the mouse will throw in the direction of the mouse. The distance from the mouse to your player will determine the throwing power involved. If you are in mid-air and you are aiming straight down, I will allow it so you can fire the rifle downwards, because it actually is useful.
Also to make the user interface a bit better, I will have a bunch of things to tell you the status of your player's body. Notice the crosshairs expand to show where the bullet might land in my video. As you aim farther away, it expands even more to compensate.
As for gameplay, I will add logical tradeoffs for balance. If you notice, when my person is standing still, his accuracy is better. When he is walking, it is far worse. I also have fire modes that you can change, "auto", "burst", and "single". Fire rate and accuracy are exchanged between them, so your player's gun will be more versatile for different situations. I also intend to have the ability to switch to a melee weapon, which will let you do a lot more damage, run faster, and jump higher.
Finally, I am not avoiding or trying to achieve realism. Realism is so overrated, and in all of the games I have worked on, I would rather have fun than realism. In many games, I have heard things like "There is no sound in space, how does this space game have sound", or "Lasers are light. They should be like a beam, not a projectile." If you have played Sub Command, I think you might get what I mean (I guess my bro doesn't though, he loves the game). Since it is so based on realism, everything is slow paced. The interface is realistic, but it SUCKS. Its like "HEY I TURN KNOB AND U GO BOOM BIG BOY".
Yeah, I think you are probably getting my point by now.
Another objective - Less randoms! I will try and use no randoms at all if they affect gameplay, because I HATE luck involved in games. You can't really tell, but the inaccuracy is actually determined by a sine wave. A "recoil" variable adds to the wave's speed and intensity. The graph shows the wave to be jittery though, I guess because the inaccuracy is always being reduced (via division, curves in any type of change gives the most flowing feel), and every time you fire your rifle, the inaccuracy is cranked up a bit. But codes don't lie. I will only use randoms in graphical effects like explosion fragments and such, where they don't affect the game much, and the sound volume of things (which I am making 3d sound and dynamic based on where it is in relation to the camera, and the distance from the camera).
Oh and I bet you are wondering "What kind of name is Error?" Well I suck at making stories and names, and well I have to have both in this game. The story takes place in an old arcade game. The antagonist of the game breaks the game, and he cranks up the difficulty level of the game way higher than it is supposed to be (but it isn't going to be that hard, I will probably have different difficulty settings). You have to stop the bad guy and fix the game.
Things to work on:
Vertical speed - Because the game is pixelated, the game movements should move by multiples of 10 to compensate. I should let it add more than 10 at a time, so the game has better feel. Right now, the gravity just makes it look like the guy is falling at constant speed, he should fall at accelerating speed.
HUD - I think I should get rid of that graph. Its really for looks, but it is distracting and doesn't help show how much inaccuracy your player's fatigue causes as well as the crosshairs. I bet since it looks cool, some people might like it. I should have in the options menu something like drag-on graph modules.
To finish it- Quickly, but with high quality