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  The Winter Pack 09:14 AM -- Tue November 4, 2008  

I hope to have many expansions for Costume Party. I built in room for no less than nine expansions! I have plans for 3 of them fairly firm in my mind, but it all depends on how well the game sells and how much people get into it. This first expansion will happen regardless - it's half done now, and it'll be done before anybody gets a chance to get bored of the game!

Each expansion will offer three new costumes, ten awards (three for each new costume, and one that is unrelated to the costumes), ten tiles to be unlocked via the awards, and an unknown number of tiles and monsters. The total number of tiles in an expansion would be 25 or less, because that's how many tiles fit on one tab in the editor. So 3 costumes, 10 bonus tiles, and up to 12 non-bonus tiles/monsters.

Of course, it's the costumes that define the game the most. And since this is the Winter Pack, you don't even need to flick your eyes downward to guess the first costume:
He's fun and unique. For many years, I've been fascinated with rocket-jumping in FPS games. There's just something about the ability to use explosive force to propel yourself that intrigues me. I've considered a game about a kid who has the odd supernatural ability of immunity to explosions (but not to spikes, monsters, etc) who goes around planting different kinds of bombs (time bombs, triggered bombs, proximity bombs) and using them in different ways to get through a level and kill monsters. Still like it, might do it someday. I also like PuffBomb, a game from an earlier Ludum Dare which used timebombs to blow up hamsters, sending them flying into a goal (a concept subsequently stolen by various flash games). So anyway, Santa can drop Gifts anywhere he likes. Then when you hit the button, all the Gifts onscreen explode at once. He's immune to them (they're very lethal to monsters), but they can bounce him skyward. It's a good thing, because as you can see by his girth, he's not much of a jumper. His jump carries him about 3 pixels upward. He can't even get up a single tile, but with well-placed bombs, he can be blasted higher than anyone else can jump!

In addition to Santa, there will be a Baby Seal, I think (with machine gun in flipper?). I've already implemented water, which is pretty cool, and so I want some kind of aquatic creature. Water is really awkward for the regular characters (and you run out of breath very fast!), so I want one character that totally rocks it instead. Baby Seal was the best I could come up with fitting the theme. And of course the third is a Snowman. That one is obvious. I have several different ideas for what abilities a Snowman would have, and haven't really picked what is best and most unique. My favorite character is the Witch, because she really changes the entire game. Do you have ideas for someone else (or ways a Snowman could work) who could change it completely?

Other tiles that are in so far are the water tiles, bubbles (for getting air when underwater), and ice (hooray for obnoxious video game ice! But this isn't just annoying, it also allows you to leap absolutely incredible distances). Also planned are pine trees, candy canes (some as candy corn, just a new look), and a couple of other ideas I've forgotten. Oh, wind tiles that blow anything on them to the left or right (and maybe 2 more for up and down, if I have room). Feel free to suggest your own tile and monster ideas. The only monster I have planned for sure is the Pengulon, which flies in a diagonal pattern, endlessly bouncing off of things. There should probably be a Yeti. I've considered having that be the costume instead of the Snowman, but Snowman is very iconic.

My main thing is to keep adding stuff that really adds new elements to the gameplay. I don't want a whole lot of wasted tiles. I like to have a few that are just for show (like the Candy Canes), but I really think levels should be built around "I need this effect here, so that means this tile/monster". I want the expansion to open up new ways to build, not just put a new coat of paint on the same old levels.

This expansion will of course be released in December. I think the next one I want to do is the Hamumu Pack - Bouapha, Yerfdog, and Happy Stick Man. I could just see Yerfdog carefully drifting his way through a field of spikes...
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