My senior class put together a group of around 30 ladies and gentlemen to hammer out a game for our final year of University. We started out with a Metroidvania-styled side scrolling game. Our level building team (mostly just 1 guy!) built us several fantastic levels that work very well in the Metroidvania format. In our second semester, we found out that we would be displaying our game at ECGC! This, to me, was super exciting because we’ll be showing off our game to a large number of people and we’ll be able to watch them play it directly in front of us. So, we dropped a lot of the Metroidvania ideas and started focus on something more direct… Think MegaMan with all of his upgrades right off the bat. It’s really important to us that we show off the fully completed levels because a ton of work went into them. We then decided to add Drop In/Drop Out coop multiplayer. After we did that, however, it became apparent that just fighting other players was more fun than playing the game itself. So we decided that alongside the CoOp mode, we would implement some Versus arenas where between 2 and 4 players could square off on a single screen.
Now that we’ve decided that’s the most fun element of the game, we’re talking about converting the entire game into a multiplayer experience as opposed to a single-player experience. Now, here’s where I need some help. How can we do that in a way that’s fun?
Firstly, we’ve setup some splitscreen options because our main maps were far too large to allow all 4 players to share a screen. Amazingly, the game can actually still run at 30fps when there are 4 screens split. But then there’s the new concern, what kinda gameplay should implement? We thought of the obvious ones first… Capture the Flag, King of the Hill with a moving hill, and similarly a multiple sectors capture mode, and of course a standard death match.
So in that vein, we’d be looking at shared-screen versus maps, split screen on much larger maps with objectives of some sort. Firstly, does this split screen experience sound fun? Or does it sound like a trainwreck? Would YOU play a split screen, 2D sidescrolling capture the flag? Secondly, do YOU have any cool ideas about what sorts of objectives we could implement? We want to stay away from anything that is as complex as Awesomenauts because we simply do not have enough time to implement a level-up system and other such necessities. We’re also trying to stay away from a single-player experience because we no longer have enough time to create a compelling single player or coop experience. It would just be a rather boring side-scrolling game without a very clear way to win.
Thanks in advance for any cool ideas, opinions or suggestions! We’re all looking forward to ECGC and if we can get some ideas implemented then we’ll be able to release the game here on the forums by next Monday.