With the launch of the Sci-Fi Pack and Candy Quest, it's time to move on! There is probably a contingent hoping to see Moon Invaders 2 coming up, since it was pretty far along... and I might join that contingent, but as the guy who makes this stuff, I don't want to do the work that requires! It's gonna simmer on the back burner a bit.
Instead, working on Kid Hallow has really lit a fire under my simple-2D-game butt. It's been a blast to be able to have an idea and it comes to life in a matter of hours. And I do have lots of ideas I'd like to explore. So I am embarking on a project of unknown length, where I am going to create a series (possibly a series of 1, but let's hope more) of games that all follow some general criteria. I like to think of this as a fantasy console of sorts, because there are going to be technical elements they share as well. Here's the current idea, subject to change:
- 2D, obviously. Could be side or top view. Pixel art.
- 256px vertical resolution, with as much horizontal resolution as you need to fill the screen (For example, if your screen is 1920x1080, you'll get 480x256, at 4x zoom).
- Limited color palette. I haven't set a specific rule here, but for my first game, I went online and found a palette I liked which had 42 colors. It would be kind of cool to say that's the palette of this 'hardware' and do all the games in it, but I'd rather fit them to the style of the game, I think.
- 60FPS (just because it looks like an old console doesn't mean it needs to be clunky!).
- No transparency. In my current prototype, I've implemented shadows by having them be pure black, but only drawing them every other frame. At 60fps this makes a very nice transparency. Kind of a silly restriction, but I like the authenticity.
- Same options menu for all the games, and a unified GUI system - can be themed differently, but we need the same basic options for everything and the idea of only implementing that once is very exciting! Same simple profile system and all that.
- Small games, quick development time, cheap on Steam. Likely also releasing as Early Access. Besides Kid Hallow as my inspiration, Vampire Survivors has also been a big one. To see that be a smash success when it's such a small simple game (with a lot of Dumb stuff) really inspires me to try a bunch of quick games. I like to reach the end of my work a lot more than being bogged down in the middle of it! Of course if I do find something catches on like Vampire Survivors, I guess I'll be stuck updating it for a while! That's alright, I can do that... for a while anyway.
I'm into the idea of this as a pretend console, with a little boot screen and everything, but I probably won't go that far. Just a series of similarly-styled games.
My first release is going to be the slowest of the bunch, because (with the help of SpaceManiac) I'm building out the core of the whole 'system' - fonts, GUI buttons, sound, controls, profiles, all the basics which will hopefully only need to be done once, making the next game a whole lot quicker. I can't tell you what this first game is called yet, but it is a twin-stick shooter roguelite/like (who knows what terms mean anymore?) which is intended to be as meta as humanly possible. Here's a sneak peek of the prototype in development. The frowny faces are the badguys:
P.S. I cannot think of a good name for the fantasy console. Ham64? It's not very 64. The HamCube? HamStation? HamBoy? Maybe something without Ham in the name? I don't know.