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  Slow Going 06:53 PM -- Fri February 25, 2005  

Ratchet is hard on progress. But I've finished the first run-through, and am about halfway through the second (I've almost saved up enough for the RYNO! But I keep being unable to resist buying Mega weapons along the way... I could've bought it long ago if I hadn't been buying those). It can't distract me too much longer!

Really all I've accomplished on Sol Hunt this week is a lot of thinking, about 20 lines of code, and some specific plans. Specifically, I am going to begin by focusing on the multiplayer Dr. L style play (I'm calling that the "indoor game" as opposed to the "space game"), from which the single-player indoor game will flow, and after which I'll know enough to put together the space game pretty easily. Or decide it's too much work and just have a menu to put the planets together which is the smart thing to do... so I probably won't do it!

Today I listed out a bunch of weapons I'm thinking of, most of which are variations of ideas from the Dumb Idea "Buddy Blast". They should work nicely in a 2D combat environment. It'll be highly team focused since I'm stealing the Buddy Blast ideas (well, let me be clear: that's just what I'm currently thinking! Who knows what will really happen). Each weapon has a normal fire button and a Buddy fire button, which is some special way of shooting that usually incorporates a teammate somehow. Some basic examples (I'm leaving out the details, so no nitpicking please, like "won't that be a little unbalanced"):
  • Circus Cannon - The Buddy Fire sucks up any person or movable item (like a powerup) right in front of you, and the regular fire launches them out. If you suck up an enemy, he can shoot at you without even aiming as long as he is in your cannon. Use it to launch friends long distances or over water, and to launch enemies right into walls or other enemies. Yes, it's sort of inspired by Ratchet, but more inspired by the Grabby Gloves from my Buddy Blast design.
  • Shockinator - Fires a harmless electrical beam that locks onto anybody it hits. Buddy Fire it to pulse that beam briefly, doing damage to to the victim (if an enemy - if it's a friend, it static charges him so he electrocutes nearby enemies for a little while). The real fun is that if you lock it onto a friend, it comes out of that friend's gun (he can continue using his weapon as normal), so he can aim it at someone just by turning, and if he locks it onto a friend, it comes out of that friend's gun, and so on. When you pulse it, the damage is multiplied by how many guys it went through to get there. You can make a chain all across the level!
  • Prism Shield - Reflects enemy shots that hit your front when fire is held. Use Buddy Fire to hold it up on your back instead. In this mode, it doesn't reflect shots at all. Instead, any friendly shots that hit you in the back will split into 5 shots coming out your front in a spread.
As you can see, a well-organized team can really do amazing things with stuff like this. There are several others as well. Teamplay will be at the heart of the game, just like I wanted for Buddy Blast! In addition to weapons, you can also equip a Utility. These all use the same fuel: Plutonium, which you find around the level in very small quantities. They are things like Turrets, Mines, a Shield to become invincible, a Buddybot, the beloved Swapgun, and that sort of thing. Feel free to flood the Sol Hunt forum with your own ideas for weapons, items, and more that would be useful in a very team-oriented multiplayer game (keeping in mind it will play much like Dr. L in terms of perspective and all).
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