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PARADOX - Comments, Criticism, and Suggestions

This game idea rocks!   4 members have voted

  1. 1. This game idea rocks!

    • Meh, this idea is mediocre.
      4
    • Your idea is garbage.
      0
    • Stop coming up with ideas. You're a retard. I hate you.
      0

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16 posts in this topic

Alright, for those who are intimidated by large bodies of text, I'll provide a concise summary. PARADOX is a side scrolling game with retro looking mostly monochrome graphics. It will feature an immensely advanced AI for NPCs, it will allow the player to both travel and look forward and backward in time, and it will include detailed physics for items that give the player various fun and useful abilities.

PARADOX (capitalized 'cause it looks cooler that way) is a game that I'm planning to make as a summer programming project to waste time. Drawing inspiration from many games in numerous areas and adding several unique and original game mechanics, I believe that PARADOX will turn out very well.

First, to establish an idea, this is going to be a 2D side scrolling retro-ish game. The art style is influenced by that game MadWorld, which is monochromatic with just a few splashes of color here and there. I will include a system involving the collection of necessary game items akin to the Castlevania series, where enemies drop a soul that gives the player a certain ability. Every item (I currently have about 30 of them outlined on paper) will have both a practical purpose for defeating foes and also a feature that is necessary in many parts, or at least extremely helpful, in allowing the player to progress. I plan to incorporate obstacles that might remind you of the early Mega Man games, where the player will die immediately on contact with spikes, etc. Lastly, the basis of the game and a core mechanic will be time travel both forwards and back inspired by Braid. - darn messed up links. If anyone with the power to fix this reads this, please fix links to allow parentheses in them

Sure, that all sounds nice, but where's the original content I mentioned?

- The game world will be completely procedurally generated. Every new game you start will vary vastly from any other.

- The game's enemies will exhibit an immensely realistic and human-like behavior never seen before (that I am aware of) thanks to some bright ideas on my part. I'll outline these ideas later in the post.

- I said the time travel was inspired by Braid. It is highly dissimilar, it is simply where I got the idea to incorporate such an element into a game. Read on; I'll go into more detail on this later.

- Adjusting music. What does this mean, you ask? Well, in one quick arcade game I once made, the speed and panning of the music changed based on how close the player was to death. This turned out to make the game extremely engrossing and encouraged the player to let the adrenaline flow, even for such a simple concept of a game. I plan to use a similar system involving many of the same AI concepts as will be used for NPCs to adjust the music to a beat that best compliments the player.

- Detailed physics will follow nearly every item. Detailed particle physics will be used to simulate everything from water to sand to flames. I am fully capable of this, as it is demonstrated in my game QuickSand, which used even more advanced physics than this would require in order to be convincing.

Now I'll explain the time travel aspects of the game. You will be able to go back in time to any point you wish after you began the game, and all items, enemies, particles, and everything will go back to their positions at that time, including the player himself. This will allow you to rewind a mistake you made when jumping off a cliff, etc. However, the name of the game is derived from what happens next. You see, traveling back in time is generally regarded by smart people to create a paradox. For example, the grandfather paradox. So when you go back in time, a "paradox" will occur, and when the time comes when you had traveled back originally, a perfect copy of yourself at that time will appear where you traveled back in time to. This action will result in consequences that will make the game so very unpredictable and in my mind, quite enjoyable. Using the same AI concepts behind the NPCs, these clones will play the same way the actual player did. They will try to win the game before the player does, and they will attempt to obtain vital items before the player does. Then, when this happens, the player must either search through the expansive game world or go back in time to approximately when the paradox was created, and either eliminate it before it can even get the item, divert its course of action enough that it never does end up getting the item, defeating the paradox while it has the item and taking it from the dead paradox as spoils, or trading the paradox for another item of approximately equal or greater value, literally angering the paradox if you try to strike it a cheap deal. Of course, in doing all this, you will likely end up creating even another paradox or two in the process that you'll have to deal with. However, creating paradoxes will also give you a distinct advantage against enemies, because they will aid you in your cause for their own selfish reasons. It can also be a way to get more than one of an item, if you have an item you're holding and you create a paradox, it will have the same items as you and you can trade it for that item. It is important to note that paradoxes will not be able to time travel.

In addition to traveling back in time, the player will also be given the option to travel forward in time. This will basically be an advanced-speed simulation where the AI, which will pick up on how the player would have played, will predict what the player most likely would have done. This way, if you travel backwards in time, wait a half a second, and fast forward back to the time you started at, you should end up basically in the same position you were before. This will prevent the player from having to wait ages for a certain event to occur after traveling back in time, and will be a convenient way for players to quickly get past a bunch of mundane obstacles. Fast forwarding through the entire game, though, will be rendered impossible by the fact that the absence of an item they expected to be present will confuse the AI, and some obstacles will have no obvious solution and the AI will not know how to bypass the obstacle until the player does.

Now, in addition to being able to travel through time, the player will also be given the ability to look through time. This will be an essential feature so that players do not need to literally search through time. What will happen is the player will stand still and be able to play, stop, fast forward, and rewind time, and it will show what was occurring or in the case of looking into the future, is likely to occur, at the given time at the place the player is standing. This way, if an item is not where you expected it to be, you can watch the passage of time to see when it was taken, and then take action to prevent the occurrence.

Now for some details on the artificial intelligence. What I will do for enemies, is I or a companion will play the game a bit playing as that enemy purposely playing with a distinct style. The NPC will learn by example, and when put into the game world, will imitate the player by performing similar actions in similar circumstances, and will have the ability to look ahead before performing significant action to ensure it's not going to lead to a swift death. If so, it will look for an action that won't and if none are found, will come up with its own solution to the problem. Traveling to the future will cause the player to basically become an NPC which learned from the player's own example and will play like any other NPC. This way, it will do what the player most likely would have done.

I have a good idea for the story, but nothing definite yet. Suggestions would be appreciated greatly in this area.

Pose any questions if you like, please give suggestions if you have any ideas to make the game concept better, and comments and criticism are welcome. Try not to be too negative, though. This game idea is completely mine and don't ask to develop it for me. This is my personal project for this summer. Help is appreciated; it's going to be written in BlitzPlus unless something major changes. I don't need level designers, I could use some aid in coming with items, enemies, and to develop enemy AI in the future. Thanks for reading and I like encouraging posts, but not as much as truthful ones. Please express your honest opinion, as blunt as it may be!

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I didn't finish reading the whole post to begin with...

It sounds like a good idea for a game. The time travel aspects remind me of this game more than anything else.

I'm curious as to what's going to make your enemy AI unique also.

And as far as "constructive criticism" goes I'd say perhaps you're making a game a bit feature heavy?

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Awesome.

That AI thing WAS done before, I think, but don't think that would make the game any less awesome :D

Can't wait for the result.

How come the question of the poll is "This game idea rocks!" and the options are... well, less?

Oh yeah, also:

www.achrongame.com

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augh, oops. I can't edit that though :/ thought that first field was a poll choice, too.

Feature heavy? I'm going to have a substantial amount of time to work on it, and many of the things involved I have already done for other games, though in most cases slightly less than this will need, in the past.

And I'd like to see those guys trying to beat you, lol that game is pretty nifty.

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That AI thing WAS done before, I think, but don't think that would make the game any less awesome

could you try to figure out what game it is? I'd love to have an example to look at.

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Ok, I've finished reading the whole thing now.

I like the idea behind this game...it reminds me of a lot of other games but at the same time is very unique.

The idea behind the AI is interesting, but will there be variety in enemies? What I mean is, will all the enemies behave like each other (i.e. will they all "learn" from the same play?)?

I don't quite understand why each of your clones will be out for their own selfish needs...an interesting feature would be if the players behaviour influences that. That is to say if a player was paticularly good, making personal sacrafices etc., that his clones would follow suit - allowing you to essentially gain team mates. This feature could easily be abused of course.

I think this is a great idea but I'm not sure it's going to pull together as you wish - it seems crazzzzzy complicated.

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This sounds very. very interesting. I like the idea of stopping a paradox from occurring too. I understand a small bit about paradoxes (TimeSplitters we love you!), you could possibly use an idea they used in the third game, where you need to travel back in time to help a copy of you activate switches and defend other copies. Which made a very interesting puzzle nonetheless.

I say this would be very fun to play, but a pain to make, which would be the only problem, also the art style of MadWorld you mentioned would be pretty cool to use too.

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I don't quite understand why each of your clones will be out for their own selfish needs...an interesting feature would be if the players behavior influences that. That is to say if a player was particularly good, making personal sacrifices etc., that his clones would follow suit - allowing you to essentially gain team mates. This feature could easily be abused of course.


Well, obviously the player wants to win the game. The clones will not exactly be aggressive (unless the player is, then of course the AI learns from the player's example and you've got a real problem on your hands.) but second from self-preservation, their main objective will be to progress through the game, which means finding and snatching key game items regardless if it means that you need them. To them, you're basically just a copy of one of them when it comes to winning the game. The only real difference is that they are unable to time travel like you can.

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The idea behind the AI is interesting, but will there be variety in enemies? What I mean is, will all the enemies behave like each other (i.e. will they all "learn" from the same play?)?


No, what will basically happen, is I'll play as this buff fiery dragon thing and I'll walk around casually, going out of my way to pick up all the fire attributed items I see and randomly torching enemies just 'cause I'm mean like that. Then in-game, the enemy will act similarly. As this little blob of water stuff, I'll creep around going out of my way to get water attributed items, and I'll be rather peaceable, even to the player. Then the NPC will act similarly in-game.

NPCs will not share knowledge & experience, but will all learn to survive on their own.

The only real issue that has presented itself so far for enemies, is how do I keep the world exciting? Reproduction seems a little offbeat for the mood I'm trying to achieve. Maybe some NPCs will be able to do stuff like spawn other enemies as minions. I dunno, I'm very open to suggestion here too.



And I want to know how this is for a story. And note that the game world will be procedurally generated, so the actual environment will remain the same for an individual game, but pretty much no two different games will be the same.

You wake up in a mysterious realm and you see messages carved into the wall. You also wonder what happened to your girl- (or boy-) friend (classic, ain't it?) They seem meaningless and unusual - "Press X key to look back in time" but the player experiments and hits X key and WHOA it's like you're watching what you were just doing backwards. Hit X key and you watch yourself going forwards. How weird is that? Then you hit X key and X key and this stuff you saw actually happens. More scrawlings might give some backstory reminiscent to "the cake is a lie". You'd find similar engravings throughout the game world, and eventually the player can piece together that this ability was gifted to him by some supernatural being who watches you everywhere for his own amusement. Then, quite a bit through the game, you stumble upon a giant creature holding your dearest captive and you defeat it relatively easily. But as it dies you find that it, too, can control time. You find yourself back where you started at the beginning of the game. But as you go through, your paradoxes you had created your first go through appear just like normal. Now you have twice the number of paradoxes to deal with in your venture. You eventually find him again and defeat him once and for all and rescue your friend. In his defeat your fellow paradoxes no longer have any reason to continue their ventures and therefore become your friends and only kill aggressive NPCs. You can continue playing and maybe find some cool bonuses, but the game is beaten.

And some interesting little facets I plan to add are a minimap that shows you everywhere you've been that returns to an earlier state whenever you travel back in time, and a similar journal of some sort that records significant occurrences and their details. This creates even more intrigue for the event of traveling back in time.

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I've favorited these three:

http://xkcd.com/331/

http://xkcd.com/336/

http://xkcd.com/525/

The funny thing is, I actually did and still do the thing in that third comic, even before I found out about xkcd lol.

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Argh tl;dr summarise please

You find yourself someplace with things scrawled in the wall everywhere kind of like Portal's "the cake is a lie" but with a bit more relevance to the story. It'll be the classic rescue your boy/girlfriend scenario. You get the the big baddie in charge who gave you your time travel powers for his own amusement, beat him, and get send back to the beginning of the game. Rinse and repeat to win the game and rescue your loved one, but the paradoxes you created the first goaround will pop up like they did last time, giving you twice the number of clones to deal with. When the game is over, you just kill baddies for entertainment until you decide to start a new game.

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Who doesn't do the third thing?

I generally do it during my "happy" time to scare off pedo pervs.

Joke. :P

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