I was inspired by Matt Schell’s Roguelike Tutorial to create a rogue like dungeon crawler of my own but without the crafting aspects that I found too tedious in Road Not Taken; quite simply, I wanted to make a Speed Chess Roguelike.
Neon Fantasy Meets Rogue-Like
Unicorns. 80s nostalgia and speed chess. Well, not yet, but that’s the final plan. If you’ve ever played timed chess before, it’s extremely nerve racking where you have to think extremely quick, think 20 steps ahead and trust your gut.
I thought it would be a cool concept to have the choice to fight enemies, or escape a room, all while looking at your every dwindling health. Health items will take Resident Evil sparseness twist so the pressure is always on.
Bosses, mini bosses and enemies will be fairly easy to defeat, but surviving enough to get to them, getting out of the room and proceeding through the next will be the problem, since every move counts.
Our Hero, The Bro-Nicorn
I spent a span of two months writing the story for Capn’ Sparkles, which wasn’t a brief snippet surrounded by functionality, but to create an entire world, which was pretty fun and vast. Santa Clause has declared war on the fantasy realm as well as the physical realm and he needs 7 Unicorns to unlock the ‘gate’ between both.
But what happens when one of those unicorns has the intelligence of a gerbil, the muscular fortitude of Rambo, the obsession for explosions? The lab he’s escaping from is the tip of the iceberg but it’s a great teaser of the world outside. What will the world be? Where are the other Unicorns?
80s Feel, Art and Music
The beta is rough as I try to get a feel for good balance and intensity, but Del Rey Studios made some great sprites to work with to get a hold of that lab feel without it being overly polished. Quick and dirty pieces are fun to play with.
On a trip to London, I ran into Jade, who is extremely awesome and found out over coffee, snacks, boba and sight seeing that she was a musician as well as an aspiring developer herself. When I told her about the project and presented a GDD, she was thrilled to work on something chippy and 80s to give the game a fun, but totally outrageous, atmosphere! You’ve heard her music before, but samples for Cap’n Sparkles will be coming soon!
Does The Player Care? Building A Game One Pixel At A Time
This is not my first project, he”…it’s not my 5th, but I wanted to start doing bigger games with more story! CSR (Cap’n Sparkle’s Revenge) is a great way to flesh out a world and work within it for continuity and, heck…a solid game slate. Jeff Vogel told me: ‘If You Have A World, You Have Infinite Games’, and this is so true. So as a developer, I’ve learned that the game is not as hard as creating a fun world…aka, giving any game a point. I remember at my old job at EA seeing this huge poster of Gary Coleman shrugging with these huge letters over his head:
‘Does The Player Care?’
Something so simple is rarely addressed in the indie real, because features and gimmicks are the new hotness, but what about intensity and purpose? That’s the most difficult in my quest so far; more difficult than art and design. Fun has to have a point, right? I found myself putting many a game down because, well, I just didn’t care anymore.
So the beta is being hammered on. Unity has a few issues with random generation that will be fixed in 5.4, but it’s a wonderful time to really get gameplay hashed out, but breadcrumb the player to move forward.