Designing a Game: Mutant Resistance

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Matt Barton
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Hi, all. I've been dabbling a lot in Unity 3D lately trying to get somewhere with a simple game idea. I thought I'd try to describe what I have in mind, so that others might chime in with advice about how to achieve this.

The basic concept is that the player is destroying small creatures, probably some type of amoeba-like aliens. During the game, they reproduce, occasionally producing mutants that are partially resistant to the player's weapon. The amoebas are color coded to represent their immunity (red, green or blue). Multiple resistances are shown by yellow, lt. blue, and purple. The intensity of the color shows the degree of resistance. Eventually, as the player eliminates more and more of the non-resistant aliens, these resistant ones proliferate the gene pool, eventually becoming almost completely immune to the weapon.

However, the player can collect canisters dropped by some aliens. These canisters contain bonuses (such as shields, health recovery, etc.) but the most important ones are R&D, and if enough are collected, the player is given an additional weapon (that no aliens are resistant to). However, eventually the aliens adapt to that, too. Eventually, the player gets a final weapon. The aliens can't be completely immune to all three weapons (for simplicity's sake, let's just say it's red, green, and blue lasers), so if the timing is good, the player can work it out so that the aliens are always vulnerable to one type of weapon.

The gameplay looks a lot like Robotron-style; the player is in a type of arena. The aliens collect around the border of the arena, where they spread out and reproduce for awhile (the player can't touch them). Eventually the doors open, and some aliens come in, probably in waves. In any case, the aliens will never ALL come in; enough will remain outside to reproduce the next wave. The waves eventually get tougher, with more aliens (and of course more resistant ones). After the wave is almost gone, the remaining aliens will try to escape. If the player doesn't catch them (and we can make it all but impossible to get all of them), they'll re-enter the gene pool. It's more likely that the resistant ones will be the ones escaping, thus improving the gene pool.

The player moves around like in Robotron. I'm not quite sure what mechanic would work best, but I'm imagining movement with WASD or the arrow keys, and then the laser fire with the mouse (the mouse wheel could select weapons). I like the idea of a laser beam rather than a torpedo or bullet. Of course, the laser will quickly overheat (especially a non-upgraded one), so it will take good timing to dispatch aliens with it.

I think it will be fun at first because the aliens will be completely vulnerable to the laser, so it'll be a cinch to wipe them out quickly.

So, that's the basic idea. What do you think?

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Matt Barton
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I agree 100%. I have several

I agree 100%. I have several friends are forever stuck in brainstorming or planning mode. They'll talk your ears off about all their plans, ideas, details, etc., but when it comes down to action--forget about it. I'd rather jump in there and bungle through it half-ass than not do anything at all.

Hehe, you can tell, too, if you look at the early Matt Chats. It took a long time before I had anything worth watching!

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SelZero
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Its because I think

Its because I think delivering "something" then philosophizing and making it nicer is better than overthinking and not having a solid product for a long time. Psychologically its nicer to work on something that leaves you with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment at regular intervals.

You are on episode 90 of Matt Chat you should know by now... Creativity is easy, shipping is the hard part :))

Matt Barton
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Sure. Are you having trouble

Sure. Are you having trouble with the type of baddies, or is it the coding all the color stuff? I guess it really doesn't matter what kind of critter it is.

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SelZero
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Guys Im going to get back to

Guys Im going to get back to this ASAP, sorry for the delay I have a lot on my plate...

Would it be ok to make the bad guys something generic and easy? If we use, for example space marines or mechs, we can use stock graphics and have something out ASAP. Then we can add amoebas AND centipides and other funky stuff as we go.

Also, I am learning to adapt the code to smart phones so we will be able to play this game on iPhones and Android phones.

Matt Barton
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SelZero, I just had a

SelZero, I just had a brainstorm last night! Actually, I had a dream.

Anyway, instead of having the monsters look like amoebas, how about making the centipedes (like the old arcade game). Each segment of the centipede can be a different color, as we discussed previously. Instead of having four entries, the segments are all running around the borders, then fuse into the centipede and enter through one door (or maybe more doors as the levels get more advanced). The player needs to try to shoot the head of the centipede each time, winding it down. If he shoots a body segment, it splits into two or more different centipedes, which is of course tougher to handle.

Another feature is that the head of a centipede can roll its tongue out at the player (in a straight line). If he comes into contact with it for long enough, he sticks to it and gets sucked into the centipede.

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SelZero
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Matt can you email that to

Matt can you email that to deniz@xsentrikworlds.com for me please?

Matt Barton
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I have drawn a picture that I

I have drawn a picture that I hope will communicate better than text!

I went ahead and installed the full Unity 3D package on my Mac at school, but haven't had a chance to try it yet. Anyway, everything works fine on my PC at home.

Mutant ResistanceMutant Resistance

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SelZero
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Excellent. Do you want to

Excellent.

Do you want to keep this control mechanism? If so we can move on to the next thing and fix the bits and pieces of this gradually.

I was thinking the "blobs" and their spawn points?

If you want to be able to test on your make perhaps the stand along mac (eg non-web based) would be better for testing / development?

Matt Barton
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I'm able to play it on my PC

I'm able to play it on my PC with no problems.

That is exactly what I had in mind! Wow, it's so much fun controlling this guy. It's perfect.

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SelZero
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Ok lets start looking at

Ok lets start looking at these crashes its giving you, first, (i know its a pain but) please install the latest web player, they just released something last week because, erm, people were complaining about crashes :)

If we keep getting the same error we are going to have to have a kind word with the support guys.

BTW see if you can get it to work anywhere else and give me your thoughts on the new system.

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