Friday, June 7, 2013

Notes on building a shooter game

- So far I spent a lot of time removing but also adding stuff to my game in order to improve the gameplay. The gameplay is also the most important thing for every game, so if the gameplay is not good than the game will be failure.

- For building a shooter game you don't have to go in so much detail like I did. I wanted to add real world conditions like gravity, hitting ground, movement contraints but it turned out that so much constraints are annoying for the player and makes him not to want to play the game. Shooter games are built upon a fictive capabilities of the main Hero. So you can release your imagination the way you want as much as you want.  Also don't forget that if the game has some story like mine does, you always have to concentrate on gameplay first and bend the story according to the gameplay. Not vice versa. If you plan to add some story/RPG elements make sure you not bore the player with so much story telling.

- I had to change some of the game concepts. I had a concept of collecting red scrap from the ships. People are not used to collect weird things and they get confused. They will recongnize coin or money like items so make sure you add items that look like coins or money banknotes or maybe ieven gold/silver/bronze pieces. You can release you imagination but again make collectible items something familliar.
In my game I changed red scrap to science points, they look like coins. Now all monsters give you 1, 2 or 3 science points. So while you play the game you collect science points and therefore you buy weapon upgrades with those science points.

-  Shooter games should not be juicer :) Dont (make the player juice) destroy the player with shooting or moving monsters that hit him all the time.
A shooter game should have 6 to 8 types of monsters/minions/soldiers all combined toghether to make the gameplay. Each of them should have its own pattern of movement/shooting so that after a while the player can recognize what to expect.  Avoid fast units or repetitive units, that annoys the player. Hence in shooter games the most time of development should be spent on how/when to move the minions arround to produce enjoyable, story like experience for the player.  You can have moving minions, minions that move and shoot and minions that move towards the Hero. You can also enhance that movement by using straigth line or sinusoidal like. You can spawn several minions at a time in formation like 45 /135 degrees or maybe v-shape or u-shape like mine game has.  You can spawn units based on time or kills left on each level.

-  Add upgrades. Upgrades on the weapon, shields, time of regenration. Ingame short time upgrades. Add secret weapon or secret reinforcements that will aid the Hero in desperate times :)  

-  You may like to structure you game in levels/areas and lead the player part by part into the unknown aquaintaing the player with new things/monsters trough the game.

Thats all for now, I think I will get many other thoughts on my mind after. So tell me your thoughts and play my game :)