Monday, January 2, 2012

The Guninja Game!

So I haven't really been working on the FPS... My aspirations for it are far too great for the time, experience and willpower that I have. It seems like I keep coming up with projects, each with a progressively smaller scale, and I finally have reached one that I feel like I can actually complete.

The first bit of concept art I made for the heroine. Titled, "Wtf are you going to do? I'm a Guninja."
I don't know what the game will be called yet. It's an iOS/Android game that's sort of like a twin-stick shooter, e.g. Minigore or iDracula, but with some interesting twists. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Guns and swords: 
Rather than constantly spraying bullets at the undead, this game has the player constantly switching between ranged and melee combat. The player character uses a one-handed weapon, like a submachine gun, pistol, or sawed-off shotgun alongside a katana. The idea is that the two weapons complement each other and provide a variety of different tactics to use against a variety of different enemies.

Cover system:
The player can shoot at enemies and the enemies can shoot back. I mean, if I were trying to save the world, I wouldn't exactly want to get shot, so cover is sort of a necessity. Rather than the standard cover system mechanic where one presses a button while up against cover to insta-glue the player character to it, the game would have the player push the virtual thumbstick towards cover they want to stick to. To pull away from it, the player simply pushes the stick in the other direction. Simply pressing the fire button causes the player character to pop up and shoot. There could also be mechanics like vaulting over cover or rolling from cover to cover.

Rhythmic fighting:
The game will have four controls: the movement thumbsick, the gun button/thumbstick, the sword button, and a jump/action button. To attack in the game, you can simply tap the sword button to slash. But to perform combos, the player must press the buttons in time corresponding to musical notes. The game will have a beat playing on a loop at the same tempo that the button combos need to be performed, and consecutive combos played on beat will give the player a bonus, either in damage or in points scored (think Guitar Hero). As the player gets a higher and higher bonus going, the music will get more and more energetic. The idea is that the player is a soloist, and the music in the background is comping.
Just to give an idea of how this would work, there's a combo that I came up with. The gun would fire with a 16th note rhythm, so pressing sword, sword, and holding gun, with the values quarter, quarter, half would yield 2 quarter note long slashes followed by five shots with the SMG.

The setting of the game would be a sort of oppressive dystopia in the near future. The government simply gets rid of those who raise a bit too much of a ruckus, has the family sign a document, and the person is never seen or heard from again.
The main enemies in the game would be soldiers and policemen who appear almost inhuman with the sheer amount of riot gear, teargas grenades, bulletproof vests and pouches that they wear.
The antagonist is a prime minister/president/dictator type person, a middle-aged man with a bald head and a pointy grey beard. I did some drawings for him on paper, and I liked the way he looked with a trenchcoat. It makes him look like the German SS during WWII, a silhouette that has long been associated with the evil stereotype. He's a very sinister character who takes things quite seriously while seeming to not care about them at all. He's so confident in the power that he holds over the people that it can't possibly be broken.

The Heroine:
It's sort of random how I came up with the protagonist for the game. I had sort of settled on making a twin-stick shooter with melee elements, and I came up with these three different characters that the player could choose from: a average looking dude who wielded an assault rifle, this big burly guy with a combination rocket launcher-warhammer, and a ninja girl with a submachine gun. I liked the "Guninja" the best out of all of them, and figured out how to mold the game around her.

Reference image I used for the 3D model.
I wanted her to look really down-to-earth and kinda average. Right now the backstory I have figured out is that she was trained by a skilled martial artist/ninja/sensei-type person to topple the dystopia. It would be a lot like the first part of Batman Begins, except with few to no reservations about bloodshed. One of the things I want to do with the game is to make the player feel responsible for his or her actions, especially when it comes to killing enemies. At some point in the game, probably on one of the later levels, the antagonist will point out that the player character has killed hundreds or thousands of people, people with families and lives, people who followed the rules. That may be a bit too serious of a tone to set, but I'll see once I get to that point. It's still a long ways off!

So far, I've made a pretty good model and an okay texture for the player character. I've also done the rigging and some basic animations. On the Unity side of things, I have the cover system pretty much figured out, and I've done some experimenting on how to keep track of the music while the game is being played. Here's a video of the game as it is right now.


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