I always begin LD with a friday evening of thinking about game ideas. The theme is "Enemies as Weapons". Here are ideas I've had, and I have not picked one, but feel free to steal any that you want, because even if we pick the same one, it'll come out totally different:
- A platformer, but you jetpack around freely rather than ran and jump. Get close to enemy robots to tractor beam them onto you in one of 5 or so positions. When you push fire, they'll fire the same way they do as an enemy, except this time it's helping you. So you want to go around collecting useful weapons/enemies to make you strong enough to defeat other enemies. Maybe you need to cripple enemies with a bunch of shots before you can capture them, otherwise grabbing the toughest guys not only gives you the best weapons, but is also the easiest way to beat them. I quickly realized this idea was Tumiki Fighters, just not a scrolling shooter. But it would feel pretty different if kept more organized and in this free-ranging arena rather than a fixed scrolling shooter.
- A kung fu platformer. So you need to beat guys up. Your only starting ability is to drop a dummy of yourself and leap back. Use this to get enemies to show you their moves when they attack it. If you stand still watching an enemy do a move, you learn the move. So you pick up a bunch of different fighting moves by watching enemies use them. Then you beat everybody up with them.
- You're a wrestler running around in a side-scrolling platformer. The theme use is obvious: you pick enemies up and throw them at other enemies. There are a few platformery variations, like you can jump while holding a guy and piledrive him into the floor (some floor materials can be broken this way to get new places), or you can jump while holding him and jump again, smashing him down and getting a double jump out of it. This is partly inspired by Klonoa, mainly by an idea my friend Carlos had about 10 years ago.
- You pilot a little spaceship made of two blocks (a core and a gun block). You go around shooting other blockships, and you collect some of their blocks when they die (your shots destroy the blocks they hit, and once you hit the core block, the ship explodes and any undestroyed blocks go flying to be collected). You visit landing pads to go to a design screen where you get to use your collected blocks to lay out your ship design. The blocks are various directions of pipe, energy cores, and gun blocks (of various types and directions). Pressing fire pulses all your energy cores, sending energy through any pipes touching them. If the energy reaches a gun block, it fires. So it's fun to build whatever design you want as you accumulate bits and just get ridiculously overloaded. Complicated to develop, this one, but it's got innovation on its side.
- Something sort of RTS-like. You have a base that can do one thing: mind control a single enemy. You can also set 'plans' for buildings down. So you mind control the first enemy to come by and he works on building your plans when he's not busy blasting his former friends. Something like that. The buildings could be turrets to keep you safer, upgrades to your mind control radius and number, and whatever else.
- Vague idea: you can move around pretty quickly but have no attacks. Maybe you can turn on a shield temporarily to make life easier, but that's it. The gameplay: zip around dodging enemy bullets trying to maneuver between enemies so they shoot each other. Only problem is you'd eventually beat all but one (and it'd get real tedious as their numbers dwindled).
- There are big invincible muncher monsters and assorted little monsters. You fight by punching the little monsters (very hard) in an effort to fling them into the munchers' waiting maws. Maybe munchers explode when they overeat so you can kill them too. That way both monster types are 'weapons'.
- Other simple concepts:
- Eat enemies to gain their powers (Kirby)
- Suck Cannon from Ratchet & Clank (inhale enemies and spit them back out)
- Mind control
- Telekinesis (grab a guy and fling him at others - sure it's the same as the suck cannon, but it feels different)
- Big giant who just picks up robot enemies and uses them as clubs
- Fire electric bolts that make the victim shock anybody near him (does that count as him being a weapon?)
- The same but with lighting them on fire (they could leave trails of flame for enemies to step in, too)
- Jump on enemy's back and physically control him
- Jump inside enemy (maybe you're a ghost! Possess him!) and control him until he is destroyed
- Pump fat enemies full of air (Dig Dug) until they explode and launch shrapnel at everyone else
- Run into a swamp to get a gator chasing you then run into an enemy base to make him eat enemies (could be tile-based puzzle stuff with specific rules)...
I better stop before it becomes Saturday, but that oughtta cover you. Oh, and I drew a Mexican wrestler:
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